The article analyzes the activities of famous women who are considered to be ancestors of the prison and postpenitentiary charity. With biographical, historical and comparative, problem-chronological and other methods the activities of S. Martin, E. Fray, M. Booth are described. It was found out that these women were trying to facilitate and improve the conditions of prisoners, many of whom were women and children. They attempted to give prisoners the elements of education, worked on their morality, made efforts to organize work among prisoners. S. Martin taught the prisoners to read and write once a week and gave them religious instruction on Sundays. She found employment for the men, women and boys of the Yarmouth gaol. S. Martin raised a fund from which she helped prisoners on their release. E. Fry focused on helping women prisoners and their children. She also was among noble men, who began to take steps to restrain the severity of a death sentence and to reduce capital punishment to cases of murder. E. Fry visited prisons in many towns in England, Ireland, Scotland. In each town E. Fry tried to form a Committee of Ladies who would visit the prisons and help the women as she herself had done at Newgate. She also visited prisons of France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. She tried to help people who were martyred for having a different faith from the established religion of the country. M. Booth was a leader of the Salvation Army in America, but then she withdrew from its ranks to devote herself to prison activity. After her visiting Sing Sing prison, the Volunteer Prison League (VPL) was organized. Prisoners who were the members of the League followed the Day Book (a collection of scripture verses for each day of the year). They chose «Look Up and Hope» as their motto. Each member had a certificate of membership. Volunteers’ Gasette was the official organ of the movement. Prisoners called M. Booth «Little Mother» and she called them «my boys». Those women also realized the need of helping those who were out of prison. M. Booth set up special institutions called «House of Hope» for released prisoners. Maud wanted Hope Hall to be a recuperative setting to prepare the former prisoners for success in the outside world. The article can be used in teaching students the relevant disciplines, building theoretical and practical foundations of patronage.