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of a criminal's sentence- yet, in period of twenty years subsequent point of fact, imprisonment in the to the death of Howard, when Mr. greater part of the gaols of Great Nield (a man worthy to tread in the Britain carried with it sufferings footsteps of that great philanthrowhich amounted to torture, and at pist) personally inspected the prithe bare contemplation of which sons throughout the kingdom, it humanity shudders. A fatal disor- was his painful task to record many der, known by the name of the gaol of the most prominent defects which distemper, had at different periods his eminent predecessor had so faithof our history made frequent and fully exposed ;--and even to the dreadful ravages. About the mid- present moment there are to be dle of the sixteenth century, an as- found prisons in nearly the same size was held at Oxford, which was condition in which Howard left afterwards denominated, from its them monuments of the justice of consequences, “ The Black As- his statements, and of the indiffersize;" when, the disease being in- ence with which his recommendatroduced into court, all who were tions have been regarded. present, consisting of the judge, the The evils, of a defective mode of sheriff, and about 300 persons, died prison discipline have however now within forty hours. Frequent oc- been thoroughly investigated and currences of a like awful nature made known. The claims of justice might be related ; and even so late- and humanity are recognized. . The ly as in the middle of the last cen- folly and the wickedness of that tury the gaol fever was introduced neglect of system has been exposed into the court at the Old Bailey, when which confounds all distinctions of the judges presiding, and a consider character which corrupts the innoable number of persons present, fell cent, still further vitiates the crivictims to this dreadful malady. No minal, and hardens the more guilty attempt was made to prevent the which impairs the health while it recurrence of the gaol distemper, debases, the mind and which reuntil, in conformity with Howard's stores to society an offender, to prey recommendation, a law was enact- upon its property, pollute its moed, the effect of which has been to rals, and disturb its peace.. insure cleanliness and, ventilation, of the progress of information and which has happily been instru- and of public feeling, within these mental in preventing a return of the few years, on this subject, the highcalamity. :
ly valuable Reports of the Society But although Howard accom- for Prison Discipline bear ample tesplished much, and great was the timony. Parliamentary interference, sum of human misery which he re- the exertions of the magistracy and moved, it required the labours of a diligence of inquiry, have combined succeeding generation to remedy the to bring the subject prominently begeneral imperfection of our gaols, fore the public mind. The princiand especially as respects the moral ples on which punishments are enconsequences of imprisonment. Of forced have undergone the delibethese, Howard was fully sensible. rate investigation of the legislature. He says, that “ if it were the aim It is the general feeling that the unand wish of magistrates to effect the convicted should be treated with as destruction, present and future, of much lenity as is compatible with young delinquents, they could not the safe custody of his person, and devise a more effectual method than the good order of the prison; whilst to confine them so long in our pri- upon those on whom the law inflicts sons—those seats and seminaries of punishmenty, a salutary system of idleness and vice.” But these re- discipline ought to be enforced ; presentations appear to have pro- that in the treatment of the conduced but little effect; for, at a victed, no severity should be allow. ed that is not warranted by the laws, vent them from seeing, conversing, and consistent with justice; that the or holding any intercourse with each prevention of crime is the ultimate other; and the prisoners of each object of imprisonment; and that to sex are to be divided into distinct attain this end, it is necessary to classes : female prisoners are in all insure the reformation as well as cases to be attended by female ofthe punishment of the prisoner. ficers: a matron is to be appointed Uniform severity, it is generally ad- to superintend the female prisoners : mitted, hardens the offender, and prayers are to be read at least every prepares him for the perpetration of morning, and also portions of the further crimes. It is necessary not Scripture to the prisoners, when only to inspire terror, but to kindle assembled for instruction : provision hope ; to impress upon the mind is to be made for the instruction of not only a sense of guilt, but the prisoners of both sexes in reading love of virtue; and to implant those and writingo no prisoner is to be principles, and cherish those feel- put in irons by the keeper of any ings, which religion only can im. prison, except in case of urgent part. Most cordially do we rejoice and absolute necessity; and every in these results ; and we congratu- male prisoner is to be provided with Jate the individuals and the Society a distinct bed, hammock, or cot, and, to which we are chiefly indebted for if possible, in a separate cell. them. We are also most happy to The operation of this law is learn from the Fifth Report of the unhappily confined to a few city Society, (the sixth has not yet been and borough prisons, in addition published, ) that the efforts of the to county gaols; it being thought friends of prison discipline continue advisable, in order to insure the steadily progressive.
execution of the act, to render it • The Committee justly congratu- obligatory in those instances only late the public on the passing of the which admit of the possibility of consolidated Prison Act, which de- introducing such classification and clares that it is expedient that such such arrangements for labour as the measures should be adopted, and law prescribes. The consequence such arrangements made in prison of this limitation is to exclude from discipline, as shall not only provide the operation of the act a considerfor the safe custody, but shall - also able number of small prisons under tend more effectually to preserve the local jurisdiction. In many of these health and improve the morals, of gaols the want of space is such as to the prisoners, and shall insure the render classification impracticable, proper measure of punishment to and in some cases even to preclude convicted offenders : and that due the separation of the sexeso much classification, inspection, regular less that of the tried from the unlabour and employment, and reli- 9 tried, or debtors from felons. With gious and moral instruction, are es- the exception of the larger gaols of sential to the discipline of a prison, this class, no employment is proand the reformation of offenders. It vided for the prisoners, who geneis not necessary to give the various rally pass their time in entire idleclauses of this act. The following ness, and in mutual corruption. To are among other important regula- a very small proportion only of tions which it contains :-Due pro-łothese prisons is any chapel attached. vision is to be made in every prison It is seldom that any Divine service for the enforcement of hard labour is performed: no religious or moral in the cases of such prisoners as instruction is provided, nor is any may be sentenced thereto, and for attempt made at reformation. The the employment of other prisoners : allowance of food is frequently scanty the male and female prisoners are to and insufficient in lieu of which there be confined in separate buildings, is given sometimes a small sum of or parts of the prison, so as to pre- money, the mode of expending which
is improperly left to the choice of such as are absolutely requisite for the prisoner who has not the means the purpose of confinement only." of applying it to the best advantage. The Committee, however, warmly In many districts, no clothing is recommend the labour and employprovided fot the destitute, and straw ment of all prisoners, whether tried is substituted for bedding. The si- or untried. With the convicted, tuation of the sick is also distress. labour ought to be compulsory : ing. The removal of the evils of and although the untried are not which these defective prisons are obliged to work, still they may, the source, had engaged the serious without difficulty, be induced to consideration of the Committee, who labour at employments not severe had no doubt but that this desirable or disgraceful, by the allowance of object might be accomplished with- a slight increase of diet, or a share out great difficulty, by means of a in their earnings.
o it suitable legislative enactment. : r The Committee proceed to advert
In reference to the merits of the to the principal improvements that tread-wheel,' as an instrument of had taken place in the prisons prison-labour, the Committee, after throughout the kingdom during the mature consideration, can discover year. Our limits forbid our follownothing in the proper use and ing up this detail ; but we are remoderate application of this punish- joiced to perceive that an earnest ment, that is irreconcileable with desire very generally prevails among the feelings of humanity, and those the governors of prisons, to førprinciples of prison discipline which ward the progress of improveit is the object of this Society to ments. The ladies, who y have, recommend. From dociments laid with so much honour for thembefore Parliament, the healthiness selves, and benefit to thie crimiof the tread-wheeh exercise is satis. nal, visited Newgaten had contifactorily provedo The opinions of nued their labours with unabated the medical officers in attendance at perseverance. There is in the conthe variousrprisons, concur in de- duct of their plans somnioh of quiet claring that the general health of feeling and unobtrusive goodness. the prisoners has in no degree suf- so much that shuns prablicity and fered injury by the exercise; but avoids praise--that but few are that, on the contrary, the labour fully acquainted with the efficacy has in this respect been productive of their labours, and the extent of of considerable benefits - The imis- theiršbenevolence. Never, perhaps, chievous consequences of which it was there exhibited a more striking is stated that the tread-wheel is the illustration of the power of katedsource, attach not so much to the ness than has been evinced by their nature of the labour as to the de- exertions to instruct the ignorant gree in which it may be forced..! and reclaim the guilty. But a few Tu Among the subjects which have years have elapsed since it was peroccupied the attention of the friends sonally dangerous for the visitor to, the improvement of prison dis- of Newgater to pass through the cipline, is the compulsory labour of female part of that prison. ToWhatia untried prisoners. i, On this subject contrast does the presenti staten of the Committee justly remark, in Newgater nowi present! Ir Idléress, the words of Blackstone, that " this dissipation, and licentioumeris, baye imprisonment is only for safe čus. been succeededobiy industolilorder, tody,' and not før punishment. and restraint. Great benefits share Therefore, in this dubious interval also resulted from the forniation for between the commitment and trial, ladies' associations in various other a prisoner ought to be used with parts o of the kingdom.--The Asthe utmost humanity; and neither sociation for the Improvement of be loaded with needless fetters, nor Prison Discipline in Ireland consubjeoted to other hardships than tinue their useful labours with the
best effects, and to their unwearied round with pleasure on many who are efforts may, in a great measure, be variously settled, and are conductattributed much of the attention ing themselves exemplarily. But which the subject of prison discip- for the care thus extended, these line has received from the Irish lads must inevitably have recurred public.
to criminal practices for support. The Committee had continued to in the Temporary Refuge they extend essential relief to distressed are trained up in habits of industry, boys, on their discharge from the instructed in moral and religious prisons of the metropolis, who have duty, and after a time provided expressed a desire to abandon their with suitable situations. The ComCriminal courses. There are few mittee are persuaded, that, were situations of such entire destitution the beneficial effects of the Temas that of a boy thus circumstanced. porary Refuge generally known, His character is lost: and, friendless funds would not be wanting to and without protection, he has no enable them to extend the relief means of obtaining employment, or of they now so inadequately afford. It prucuring subsistence. The Commit- is with considerable reluctance that tee mention the following instance. they are compelled again to urge on Eight boys were released on the public liberality the low state of their same day from Newgate. The finances; but on the success of their Court had sentenced them to be appeal, the prospects of the Society, flogged; and the sentence was as and especially the further relief of usual, carried into effect on the day distressed boys, materially depends : of their discharged: The boys were There is great reason to con then immediately turned into the gratulate the friends of the instistreets with their backs sore from tution, on the progress of its 'views the flagellation, and in such a state and principles through various parts that two of them, who were received of the continent of Europe. We by the Committee into the Tem cannot enumerate all the particul porary Refuge,” were obliged, im- lars; but it would be unpardonable mediately on their admission, to be not to mention onel foreign instiplaced in the infirmary"; one of tution, the Russian Prison Society. them,ya lad of Gifteen, having re- A spacious building (érected by the ceived seventy lashes. Difficult as Empress Catherine after the plan of it at all times is for a destitute boy, Howard, and hitherto used as an discharged from confinement; to hospital for twelve hundred seamen) obtain a situation, how much is that has been converted into a prison difficulty increased under circum- calculated to insure proper classifistances so degrading to the cha- cation and employment. 11. All the racter of the individual ! for, laying prisons of the capital have been aside other considerations, who, the placed under the risuperintendence Committee ask, would receive into of the Society, and the number of
son the stigma of guilt and the three years.' A 'law has passed for effect of punishment and whose reducing the weight of irons worn want of strength, occasioned by that by prisoners throughout the empire. punishment, necessarily disables him, Criminals sentenced to exile in for a time at least, from obtaining Siberia. have an allowance of a livelihood by honest industry? clothing suitable to the change of Limited as have been the funds of climate : ''the heavy Ichains worn this institution, it has been happily during their journey have been instrumental in saving a consider- changed for others of a less painful able number of youths, who, on description ; and female convicts their liberation were in urgent have been altogether exempted want. The Committee can look from this species of restraint. The