In 1775, Jonas Hanway published a book that included a section urging an investigation of the state of prisons. Hanway proposed that the sheriff of every county should be required to provide an account of prisoners and prison conditions. He provided a list of seventeen questions concerning these issues.
From Nov. 4, 1773 to Mar. 3, 1774, John Howard visited more than 30 out of the 40 county gaols in England. On Mar. 4, 1774, Howard testified to the House of Commons about the state of prisons in England. While he did not mention Howard, Hanway was probably aware of Howard’s testimony and work.