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other hand, there must be a large punitive than reformative. That is amount of waste, for those who have the worst that can be fairly said ; but more than they require cannot give in his criticisms of the system the the surplus to their neighbours, and man who has spent twenty-five years with cellular catering it cannot be in seventeen prisons is not quite avoided. On one question,--that of logical. “So long," he writes, “as the evils of association in convict the present gang system obtains, a prisons without a more highly de force is at work which can produce veloped system of classification-con- but one result, viz., the manufacture vict-authors agree. At present the of criminals. Every working party in line is drawn between men under- every prison in the country is an going their first term of imprisonment incubator, and produces through the and the remainder; and considering infallible law of cause and effect, a that a sentence of penal servitude is daily brood of criminal chickens.” never awarded for a first offence, The point of this passage turns upon except in cases of grave crimes of the words manufacture and incubator; passion or of serious fraud by one in but a manufactory deals with raw a position of trust, the latter by men material, and an incubator with a of education and with family ties form of life which has not yet taken which will probably prevent their shape. If the recruits who join the being drawn into the vortex of crime, gangs of convict prisons were made we can appreciate W. B. N.'s point, of the raw material of innocence, or when he suggests that association were filled with the negative virtues among themselves by men of this and the interesting possibilities of an class is not likely to be materially egg, the metaphor would be absoinjurious. But as to the others, lutely true. It must be remembered, looking at the question from the however, that the manufacturing and broad point of view of worldly ex- hatching processes have been conperience, no one can doubt that the summated outside the prison, that the standard of the community will be manufactory and the incubator are to, formed on the lines of the strongest be found in those conditions of life personality. In a community com- enumerated at the commencement of posed of men whose power of resist- this article as working towards crime; ance to temptation was not strong the results of which only reach the enough to restrain them from a first prison when they have drifted through lapse, whose moral strength has neces- the preventive and reformatory agensarily grown weaker with each suc- cies set up to save them. It is not ceeding fall, there cannot be one fair to say that the prison manufacwhose influence for good is suffi- tures criminals ; on the other hand, ciently potent to sway his com- statistics of reconvictions show that panions. Given, then, an atmosphere it does not reform them; therefore, of evil, it may be assumed that the say the convict and the unphilopersonality of the man who has had sophical observer, the prison is a most success in crime, or most ex- failure. The student of criminology, perience of prisons, or is the most however, must take a broader view. daring in defiance of authority, will The reason for the existence of capital set the tone. Under such conditions, punishment is the hope that it may we must take it that, except in the deter others from committing murder. case of those segregated as first Similarly, the only reason for the offenders, a convict prison is more imprisonment of a man, whose cure will not probably be effected by it, the opposition of Trade Unions to the is the certainty that if he went State-supported output of manufacunpunished others would be more tures is said to make it exceedingly likely to follow in his footsteps, to difficult to find profitable or even their own condemnation and to the useful work for their inmates. The undoing of the community. Some military element he also thinks too form of punishment must be kept in strong in prison administration. That hand for the deterrence of those who is a moot point, but as he goes on to are not amenable to social laws, and suggest more highly paid officials as civilisation has hitherto failed to an alternative, we fear that the econoevolve anything better than depriva- mising spirit of the Treasury will bar tion of liberty under penal conditions. a trial. Under another heading it
What form those conditions take in is suggested that "an opportunity this country is the feature in prison should be given to every person to literature which interests the general start life afresh under favourable conpublic, for a knowledge of the existing ditions." The Discharged Prisoners'
а state of things is necessary before Aid Society exists to ensure such improvements can be considered. To chances to those willing to make use attain such knowledge a perusal of of them ; but, it is suggested, County these books will be found useful; Councils should establish public workthough, as has been said before, the shops to meet this need, or, failing student of criminology will look that, a larger sum of money should mainly for side-lights on the varying be handed over to prisoners on discriminal individualities, and to the charge than is now the rule. The views which the writers express on efficacy of the latter does not strike the results of prison treatment upon one as being demonstrated, while, if themselves and others. But when we local authorities are to set up public come to examine criticisms and re- workshops, it should be in the incommendations, taking first him of terests, primarily, of those who have the twenty-five years' experience, the not yet fallen into paths of crime. results are disappointing. He sug- Another suggestion is the institution gests that the "commercial element of “mutual improvement" classes in in the employment of convict labour" convict prisons, and the author thinks should be eliminated, for to this he that a "counteracting influence" to attributes the "promiscuous associa- the "vicious agencies” would be so tion," being apparently under the produced. If worked by carefully impression that it is with a view to selected instructors from outside, such making prisons self-supporting that an institution might have good results; such association exists. If this be but the “mutual” idea, for reasons the idea of the Home Office, it cannot stated previously by this writer himbe congratulated on success, for the self, would tend to vice rather than estimates for the Department are still to reformation. That a free interview considerable, nor do they show any with a parent, a wife, or a child sign of annual decrease. It is gener- would produce a “wonderful effect ally supposed that the associated work upon most men,” and that the encourin convict prisons was adopted as agement of instrumental music in being more humane than the alterna prisons would operate powerfully as tive of keeping a man in a cell by a reforming agency, are the two final himself for a long term of years; suggestions. while in the ordinary local prisons It has been said that the view of
the convict is narrow; and if these than does the present one, for it six suggestions embody the experi- would be obviously impossible to ences of twenty-five years, we are provide for circumstances which are justified in our conclusion. W. B. N. never the same in any two cases. suggests improvements in food, more Two chapters of PENAL SERVITUDE especially in the matter of vegetables, are devoted
to criticising certain and an extension of the privileges of articles in the London daily journals talking and of earning remission and some papers contributed by Mr. amongst the less hardened, and then George Griffith to PEARSON'S MAGAdevotes himself to the inequalities of ZINE. The latter have recently been sentences. The first two are worth republished in book form, with a consideration; the third, by far the number of other articles descriptive most important, lands us at the door of prisons by the
writer. of a very serious and insurmountable W. B. N. comments severely on the problem. The fact is that in the mention of his own and other names administration of criminal law the by one or other of these journalists ; only factor that is constant is the and the fact that any individual, prison. There nothing is left to while behind the barrier, should be chance; neither sentimentality nor brought before the public in passion can alter the course of events, descriptive article on a prison, is for the nature of imprisonment is laid certainly in questionable taste. The down by statute, and its details are differences between the author of filled in by orders of the Secretary PENAL SERVITUDE and Mr. Griffith of State amplified by instructions are, however, principally concerned from the Prisons Board. The once with details, on which the former, convicted criminal thus knows what as an inhabitant of Parkhurst Prison form his punishment will take, if he for several years, is more likely to is caught and convicted; but his be accurate than the casual visitor. capture will depend very largely on The statement of the latter that his the intelligence of the police and his articles were “passed as correct” by own cunning, both varying factors. both the governor of the establishIf caught, the skill of his advocate ment in question and by the Prison and the dulness or sympathy of a jury Commission is hardly satisfying; for may ward off conviction ; and if con- it appears to the outsider that the victed, his sentence may be for any duties of these authorities would be term, from one day to a long period completed when they had satisfied of penal servitude, depending, in part, themselves that there was nothing in upon the gravity of his offence, and, the articles subversive of discipline in part, upon the temperament and or detrimental to the public interest. prejudices of the presiding judge. As This little passage of arms between W. B. N. points out, and illustrates, the writer from inside the prison and this last factor introduces an
the looker-on from without is only mous element of chance; but until alluded to here to assist us in judging all men's minds are equally balanced, of the value of the point of view of
-when judges would become unneces- the latter. The descriptions of the sary-or until a fixed ratio of punish- places visited, as well as the illustrament is laid down for every variety tions in the book, appear to be full of offence, this uncertainty must exist. and detailed, but in reading SIDEAnd the adoption of the latter system LIGHTS ON Convict LIFE one does not would probably lead to more hardship feel that one has got any further,
either in the unravelling of the AND REFORMATION by an American problems of penology, or in acquaint- (Dr. F. H. Wines) and Mr. Havelock ance with the convict from the Ellis's THE CRIMINAL.
Of this more psychological standpoint.
serious form of prison literature, the Of a more weighty calibre were the student will find Dr. Wines's book series of articles published in The the most comprehensive guide to the Daily Mail last October. Though knowledge of criminological matters the writer, seemingly, started on his yet published. In this article, how
, task with little knowledge of the ever, it was intended to deal with the subject, he was evidently equipped literature of the prison rather than of with a keen power of observation, penology, and these books are only and perhaps had facilities denied to mentioned for the guidance of anyone less fortunate journalists. Certainly who may desire to pursue the subject his articles, whether descriptive of from the concrete to the abstract. prisons or descriptive of their work On the other hand, having dealt with and results, leave the reader with the point of view of the prisoner and a feeling that he has learned some- of the outside observer, it is but fair thing, and with an appetite for to glance at the official view as set more. Here, again, we have an in- forth in the Annual Report of the stance of the observations of the Commissioners of Prisons. A blueonlooker being checked by & critic book is not the most attractive form from inside, for this series of papers of reading, and this particular volume was followed by two articles written with its statistics and returns, its by an ex-convict of superior intelli- reports by governors, chaplains and gence and with some gifts of composi- medical officers, containing none of tion. Unfortunately for the enquirer, those exciting tales which adorn the his articles are marred by a personal pages of an ex-convict's book, would bitterness which makes one distrust not appeal to the general public. his fairness as a critic; and he falls There are, nevertheless, in the Report into the same error that we have passages full of hopefulness and pointnoticed on a previous page, namely, ing towards progress. It has been basing his argument against the suggested more than once in this prison system on the fallacy that paper that the prison, as a punitive good men are made evil by its instrument, is the last resort of civiliinfluence. The fact being that the sation in its war against crime, and elimination of first offenders from no one will deny that the less punishthe sphere of habitual criminals is a ment there is, commensurate with the safeguard against the propaganda of public safety, the better. It is, then, crime which is so sedulously insisted more than satisfactory to see upon by the ex-convict.
deavours being made to reduce the Books which deal with penology, punishment of the prison at both ends that is to say with punishment as of the scale, substituting for it, in the a branch of social science, are not case of the class called juvenile adults, numerous in this country, though a reformative treatment; and for the they range from PRINCIPLES OF hopelessly irreclaimable, putting forth MORALS AND LEGISLATION, first pub- a scheme, the details of which are not lished over one hundred and twenty more than hinted at, under which years ago, and in its later editions these people shall be restrained from developing the utilitarian philosophy depredations on society under conof Jeremy Bentham, to PUNISHMENT ditions, irksome no doubt, but not
punitive. These two schemes, of for dealing with crime; on the one which the former is in its infancy and hand, a purgatory in which the crimin. the latter but foreshadowed, will, as ally-inclined youth may be purified, they develope, narrow the field of as well as punished, and so have a punishment on both sides.
chance of social salvation; and on count upon the new treatment of the other, a limbo for the detention these youths as yet another obstacle of habitual and professional organisers that the young criminal must pass of crime, on whom experience has before his downward career lands him shown that punishment has no effect, in a state of habitual criminality. but whose seclusion is necessary as Already, we learn from the Report, a safeguard to the community at steps are to be taken to multiply large, and as a means of preventing these establishments, by allocating a contamination. When these two a part of certain prisons in different developments have become mature, parts of the country to the reception and if means of carrying out a stricter of juvenile adults. So far Borstal classification of the criminals who has been the scene of the experiment belong to neither of these categories in the case of youths committed to can be arrived at, the convict-writer terms of imprisonment, and Dartmoor of the future will no longer be able to in the case of those sent to penal allege, as he so often does now, in servitude; and the officials in charge excuse for his criminality, that his of both these establishments speak evil propensities have been increased hopefully of success.
by contact with others worse than The Prison Board is to be con- himself under the roof of a prison. gratulated on their two new schemes