The paper presents the person of Aleksander Moldenhawer, lawyer, reformer of the prison system and a promotor of the concept of caregiving. It discusses his ideas about the prison system at the turn of the 20th century. Aleksander Moldenhawer was an opponent of the harsh treatment of prisoners and of severe penalties, and was decidedly against the death penalty. He advocated giving assistance to released prisoners and reforming the justice system for minors. The paper presents also ideas expressed at that time in other countries (mainly in Germany, Switzerland and France) and the practical solutions applied there.