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-kindness compels belief and gratitude-many a casual word gives issue to feelings long concealed under the lava-crust of vice. Is all this to be thrown away on an ill-considered clamour about madness-which does not exist-or, if it does, it is not in a greater proportion than in half the pursuits and professions of life, which cannot be carried on without many a heartache and struggle, and much wear and tear of mind?-If the authority of thoughtful men have weight, it is all but unanimous in favour of the discipline of the cell. In England among its advocates are Bishop Butler, Howard, Hanway, Blackstone, Lord Mansfield, Paley, Sir Samuel Romilly, Wilberforce, Archbishop Whately, Lord John Russell, Lord Grey, Sir James Graham; in France, M. de Beaumont, De Tocqueville, and all the best of their inspectors of prisons; in Belgium, M. Ducpeteaux; in Germany, M. Julius; in Sweden, the King. In fact, the system is becoming universal in Europe, and its revival in the old world is attributable to its extensive and successful adoption in the new.

It is, therefore, the opponent, not the advocate, of rigorous and uninterrupted separation that is in reality the theorist. The recent changes have been introduced upon purely theoretical grounds. It has been assumed that twelve months of separation was the utmost that could be borne without excessive injury to the mental and bodily health; that it would effect all the reformation required to render the congregation of the convicts at public works harmless; that the association of the prisoners after that period would confirm reformation; and that a great saving of money would be effected. These assumptions are not only based upon theoretical grounds, but upon theory opposed to experience; every theory involved in them had already been tested by actual experiment, had been proved erroneous, and had been abandoned.

'The most important of the recent changes has been the dividing of the convict's period of imprisonment into two portions; the first portion consisting of separate confinement, the second of associated employment. This system of a first and second stage of discipline was tried long before at Gloucester, and found most injurious. It was again tried on a large scale at Millbank, again proved to be most mischievous in its effects, and abandoned. Another very important principle of the present system is, that the duration of the convict's imprisonment at the public works is made to depend upon his conduct in prison, to the extent of several years. This theory was acted upon at Millbank, but it was found to be most injurious; it was condemned by the Committee of the Lords in 1837, and an Act of Parliament was passed to abolish the practice. Another change is, that convicts are now allowed a gratuity for their labour. This was tried at Millbank, was condemned by the Committee of the Lords in 1835, and was abolished by the Act of 7 Will. IV. But the grand error of the present system lies in the necessity

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necessity for prolonging the period of imprisonment at the public works to compensate for the less severe character of the punishment. This error is the more important, inasmuch as it is proposed to make such associated employment the basis of a universal system of prison discipline. This change offends against the first principles of penal science. It is a retrograde movement, by which both the country and the criminal will be deprived of the greatest boon resulting, both morally and financially, from the whole movement in favour of prison reformnamely, the condensation of punishment within the shortest limits. In reference to this important principle, the Second Report of the Committee of the House of Lords, in 1835, contains the following weighty words: "If the adoption of a more strict discipline should add to the actual weight of punishment, its duration may be proportionably diminished; and the Committee look with confidence to a diminution of the period of confinement as one of the greatest improvements that, under any change of system, can be introduced into the management of our prisons." The introduction of associated employment at the public works is a reversal of the policy so clearly and so confidently recommended by the Lords.'-Results, &c., pp. 242-244.

We are glad to understand that the existing Government has, at all events, declined to give any pledge as to the abolition of what every experienced Judge pronounces to be a most salutary system of discipline. If any of the ministers really feel at all doubtful, the satisfactory course surely would be, not to try for the tenth time a Parliamentary Committee, but to appoint a Commission of independent persons, apart from the turmoils and temptations of active party-politics-men with capacity and leisure for deliberately sifting the whole matter, Let these have the power of examining the various officers and of calling for any documents calculated to elucidate the recent changes. We ask no more.

If the separation of the cell is to be retained, the selection of those who are to carry on the system in future should not be lightly made. Surely, if the education of the young and innocent is no light task, the education of the hardened heart and perverted mind of the criminal requires something more than the capacities which go to form the ordinary staff of our common gaols. Some experience, much temper, constant watchfulness, the absence of crochety theories and rash generalisations are essential. The power is great, extending over mind and body. That power should not be confided to the half-educated and the half-willing. There is no lack of men who are competent to fulfil all these duties-but there is a marvellous inaptitude and carelessness in seeking for such. If a board of such men were constituted, it should collect, compare, and digest information derived from our gaols and other

sources,

sources, bearing on our practical administration of criminal law, for the use of the Home Office-whose own multifarious duties and the incessant changes of its chief make it almost impossible that this great subject of social well-being can otherwise receive due attention. All our prisons should be brought under public view and control. The errors of the model prison could not have occurred, had it been subjected to the authority of independent managers, and visited by a board of magistrates or others appointed for watching its workings. Pentonville, as a criminal institution and Bedlam, as devoted to mental disease-are crying instances of the folly, not to say more, of preventing independent observation and public scrutiny.

For our own part, we are entirely convinced that, if the system of separate discipline is to be finally dropped, the Government and the Nation must make up their minds for the experience on a gigantic scale, hitherto hardly contemplated, of all the evils which always, in all places, have attended the aggregation of criminals. Norfolk Island, or the hulks at home, produce the same results-only it is better that this aggregation had not been under our eyes. Send away your criminals- for, most assuredly, the crowded society of this highly civilised country would not tolerate long the masses of convicts who, if philanthropy be allowed its swing, are ultimately to be let loose among us, in yearly multiplied masses, without a hope of gaining a livelihood but by a relapse into crime. Even now, the expiree who returns from transportation is-nay, it may be said is all but compelled to be the touter to some capitalled receiver of stolen goods, and the prompter and teacher of thieving among the young. If Mr. C. Pearson's system, or any other one based on associated labour, should be adopted, it would, we have not the least doubt, fail on account of the impossibility of efficient supervision. If a large staff of watchers is appointed, the expense will be enormous—if a few, then those few are of course soldiers, who, like the sentinels abroad, must at once shoot down the convict attempting escape. Would even the less sentimental classes of our community bear this?

Although we have not found room for much of Mr. Burt's detail as to the question of comparative mortality under the Separate and Mixed systems, we think we have given enough to satisfy our readers. If not, we beg them to consult the chaplain's book for themselves. In that section he includes also many tables as to bodily ailment generally, and here too his figures come out most distinctly in favour of the original system proscribed by Colonel Jebb. He says:

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'Upon a review of the whole of the facts adduced, it appears that, under the system of rigorous and protracted separation at Pentonville, the mortality scarcely exceeded the mortality among the free popu lation; that it was lower than throughout the prisons of England and Wales; that any advantages arising from the exclusion of a few individuals on medical grounds was, at least, counterbalanced by the demoralized habits and previous imprisonment of the convicts; that the health of the prisoners generally was "excellent;" that whatever was lost of robustness or florid looks by eighteen months or two years of seclusion, was regained in a few weeks; that, when a system of associated labour is substituted for prolonged separation, both the phy sical health suffers more severely, and the number which it is necessary to exempt from the severity of the discipline is also greater; that the mortality, the severe sickness, and the amount of consumption, have all been greater at the Public Works than at Pentonville-the removals on medical grounds very much more numerous.'-pp. 169-171.

So much as to Mortality, Insanity, and Disease generally. It remains to pause a moment on the third great plea of the Jebb partizans-and here we shall acquit our conscience by (with a reference to the volume before us) the following specimens of Mr. Burt's tables. It is only necessary to observe in limine that the average cost of each prisoner throughout the gaols of England and Wales in 1847 was about 297. per annum. For year it was as follows in the Prisons thus classified :'No. 1.-Prisons carried on wholly or partially on the Separate System.

that

Reading

:

£. s. d.

Springfield.

Preston

Usk

Lewes

Stafford

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16 14 7

£. s. d.

51 14 2

50 18 11

50 3 9

46 15 3

38 15 7

38 5 0

Upon looking into the details we think it fair to conclude that the costliness in either class need not be the result of the discipline, but may arise, probably, out of circumstances which admit of economic control-and such Mr. Burt holds to be the case especially with regard to the excess of expenditure at Pentonville itself. In 1848 the average cost of each prisoner throughout England and Wales was 277. 16s. 10d.: the average cost at Pentonville

was

was 357. 11s. 8d. But, if the accounts are carefully analysed, and if so much of the excess is deducted as arises from special circumstances connected with Pentonville, and not at all essential to the separate system, there will appear, as the chaplain asserts -and we think proves-a balance in favour of the Model Prison exceeding 21. per prisoner.-pp. 177-183.

The cost of each prisoner at Pentonville in 1852 is estimated at 241. 2s. 1d.* Compared with the cost in former years, this shows a large reduction. It is stated, however, by Mr. Burt that this reduction arises principally from the lowered prices of provisions; from the prison being kept constantly full, so that the expense of salaries, &c., is distributed over a larger population; from some offices being transferred to another department of the public service; and from other causes not connected with the system. The saving effected by the infringements upon the original discipline is estimated at not more than 17. or 25s. per prisoner (pp. 193, 194). But the saving of a small percentage on our annual gaol expenses will be bought at an immense loss, if, by such economy, an inefficient and nondeterrent discipline is substituted for an efficient and reformatory one. Crime will be increased, and, with it, all those expenses incidental to the administration of criminal law. Our outlays on the police force, on the conduct of prosecutions, on the convict service, &c., will all receive a serious augmentation. In short, the result will be, that, though our gaol expenditure of 600,000Z. per annum may be reduced, yet the three millions which are now paid for bringing our criminals into these gaols will be greatly increased.

The Legislature has always aimed at concentration of punishment, so that, in the shortest possible time, the greatest amount of protection to society might be secured. This fundamental principle has been quite overlooked in the working of the mixed system, and a mitigated punishment, extending over a longer time, is substituted for a severer one, acting in a short time. Colonel Jebb, believing that eighteen months of Separate Confinement is too severe, reduces that term to nine months, and gives as an equivalent three or four years of Associated Labour on Public Works. The country, therefore, has all the difference to pay between the cost of keeping on hand for years criminals who would, or might, be discharged in months. This, the money view of the question, is serious enough without reference to the

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* Compare table in Appendix to Col. Jebb's Report for 1851; and observe that in that the item of buildings and repairs' is omitted-whereas in the estimate stated above it is included. This item is usually rather a large one :-in 1848 it was 31. Os. 44d. per prisoner.

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