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lent results, in Mr. Adderley's Reformatory,* near Birminglam, conducted by Mr. Ellis.
People in general expect a great deal from criminals. They are shocked to hear of their indolence and hypocrisy, but if these persons would suppose themselves criminals, locked up in a prison, suffering the penalty of the law, without any motive to industry, and with a strong motive to hypocrisy, they may get a somewhat clearer notion of what ought to be looked for from persons so situated. Place the most industrious man in a situation where he cannot get or expect the result of his labor--and will he work? He may, in a desul. tory manner-half idleness and half work — the essential ingredient-earnestness, being wanting. Will the fear or dread of punishment in any form give that ? “A willing mind is half the work," and "where there's a will there's a way.” The man who has an interest in his work may, probably he will, have an earnestness to do it, but one who has no interest in his work, is sure to have no earnestness whatever, or even the least inclination to perform it. This is quite natural, and it is folly to oppose nature. "If we cannot turn the wind, (and who will attempt it?) we must turn the mill sails” (which will amount to just the same thing). The fact is, criminals give us a great deal of annoyance, before they are committed at all to prison, and we very naturally give ourselves very little trouble to examine what is best to be done with them when imprisoned, but content ourselves with saying, it is no great loss what becomes of the ruffians, let the authorities do with them just as they please, it's no affair of ours. Nothing could be more natural, we adınit; but true wisdom does not consist iu allowing ourselves to be led by our natural
Certain parties have said, that this Institution has been ruined by Mr. Ellis' over indulgence, because two or three of the boys belonging to his Reformatory were brought before the Recorder for thefts committed by them, when sent of messages to Birmingham by Mr. Ellis. Now in this case we see the worst phase, which we could not, were the boys kept under strict discipline—in that case, we should see only the best phase. And out of the whole number in the Institution, where all had the same opportunity of acting wrong, only two or three took it as their choice to do evil. It seems to us that Mr. Ellis' plan is to try all-trust all-out of these, two or three break trust-is there not a moral certainty that a genuine reformation has been effected upon the remainder—and what has Demetz done more? We have seen Mr. Ellis' Reformatory, we have ex. amined it most minutely, we have seen it in working order, and observed its results, and nothing could have afforded us greater satisfaction. In fact, we saw no institution of the kind in England more admirably con. ducted.
feelings. The Almighty has given us reason to guide us, and shall we not exercise our noblest faculty in solving this problem, a problem which concerns us so much, in fact the problem of the present day.
Give a prisoner an interest in his work, pay him for what he does, deducting of course his expense to the public, and placing the balance of his industry to his credit, to be paid him upon his discharge, and we venture to predict, that in a short time the appearance of the prisoners at work will assume quite a different aspect. Out of this balance sell him even luxuries if he wishes to purchase them, but the amount for this purpose should be limited to a certain per centage on the overplus. Mr. Turner writes :
“A system of small earnings, or rewards for labour, varying according to the boy's industrial exertion, from one penny to fourpence or fivepence per week, will allow of a system of small fines or penal. ties, for all the lighter classes of misconduct, and make the boy his own regulator, giving him a direct interest in his good or bad be. haviour. If it be arranged that sundry little luxuries, such as coffee for breakfast, treacle with his pudding for dinner, sweets, fruit, postage stamps, knives, neck handkerchiefs, Sunday caps, the journey home when allowed to go for a holiday to see his friend, &c., be all paid for by the boy himself out of these same earnings, and be diminished or interfered with therefore by the fines which fully, or disobedience, or bad temper involve, the power of the system as an instrument of discipline will soon be felt. It contributes most essentially to the teaching the boy what he most needs to learn, self.control and self regulation. It has been in full action at Red Hill'since ve began six years ago, and I believe it has been a matter of no small surprise to those who watch and enquire into the daily working of the school, that our boys keep within our boundaries, and observe our rules as to work and discipline so steadily, and with so little in. terference, or direct compulsion. The secret is, that each boy is responsible for himself, and feels that he has something at stake; that he is doing his own business in fact, and is a gainer or loser by his own act."
At Parkhurst Prison the boys are allowed plum pudding on Sundays as a reward for industry and good conduct. This may be considered by some as going to an extreme, but we would suggest to the mere theoretical reasoner the propriety of abstaining from venturing an opinion, until he first had watched the practical working of it, noted the results and carefully examined them. We say with Mr. Recorder Hill, that there is a science in this matter, a science hitherto but little uuderstood. It must make its way like all other sciences, by patient
induction. For this reason the learned Recorder felt great pleasure in noticing the experimental character of an Institution in London, known as the Home For Outcast Boys, Hungerford Bridge ; and on this same point Captain Maconochie writes :
“ The elementary and indispensable step to be taken, then, as I think, in improving prison management, and making the punishment of imprisonment at once formidable outside and improving within, is to make the accommodation and comforts allowed in prisons of right the worst possible, consistently with proper seclusion, decency and support of life,--but to enable good conduct and exertion to acquire better and better, as they are progressively more and more signally and steadily displayed. Thus, in the beginning, I would allow nothing but the coarsest brown bread and water for diet, without artificial heat, or gas-light, or bedding beyond a rope-mat and blan. ket, or accommodation of any other kind beyond the indispensable, in separate cells, visited from time to time by the clergyman and officers of the prison, but by no other, and with only some means of cellular labour for company or employment. In this stage all should remain till they had undergone a fixed probation, performed so much work, and otherwise complied with every prison requisition ; and the task though graduated according to strength, should in every case be made a hard one, the object being to stimulate exertion by a strong motive. The first removal should then be to another stage, in which a little more comfort should be given, but still with a reserve suited to maintain the impulse thus once imparted; and thence to a third, a fourth, and so on, always on the same plan. But from each, misconduct should restore again to a lower, or even the lowest position, according to its degree. As exertion and self-command had raised, so must these continue in order to sustain.”
A doctor concludes that liis patient has been attacked by a certain disease, from observing certain symptoms, and prescribes accordingly. But if, by some accident, these symptoms were prevented from appearing, he would be quite unable to arrive at any conclusion, and therefore the treatment of the patient must solely be all guess work, left entirely to blind chance, the doctor hopelessly trying this and that, until the poor patient is either killed or cured, but in all probability the former. Hence the necessity, the imperative necessity, that the symptoms should be watched, and instead of sedulously contriving to stifle them, the utmost care should be taken to develope then. The moral physician must be groping in the dark in treating his patients, if full liberty is not allowed for individual action. The existence of a moral disease must with certainty be ascertained, before a moral cure can be applied with success. And as there are various moral diseases or bad dispositions, so are there various kinds of remedies. But there must in all cases be an appropriateness or adaptation of means to the desired end, and this is individualisation. Mr. Field says, that advice and instruction should be suited to the character and circumstances of individual. If so, here again is shown the necessity for allowing full liberty for individual action, as there is no other way of ascertaining every phase of natural disposition. And it should be remarked, that this liberty of action is not at all incompatible with strict but rational discipline, which has for its object reformation, but it is incompatible with that stiff and starched discipline which some fancy is the only discipline which is strict, and which has for its object nothing more than an imposing aspect. It looks well to be sure, but that is all. “I have already mentioned," writes Mr. Bengoughi
, “full liberty for individual action and the developement of individual character, as being almost at the foundation of all which can be truly called reformatory treatment."
A sentence of refirmatory imprisonment should always be indefinite: imprisonment should be contingent upon reformation, just as a lunatic is sent to an asylum, not for any definite period, but until he is fit to be restored to society. Mr. Recorder Hall, in a lecture read before the Leeds Mechanics' Institution, goes on to say :
“ What then are we to do with our criminals? At all events let us hold them fast until we have a reusonuble certainty that they will offend no more : we put our lunaties out of harm's way until they cease to be dangerous, we must put our criminals out of harm's way until they cease to be dangerous.”
• But this is a principle which as regards the punishment bş imprisonment, seems hitherto to have been entirely lost sight of. All the legislatures, and all the tribunals on the face of the earth, have been endeavouring to apportion different terms of imprisonment by a sort of scale, graduated according to the presumed enormity of the offence, and the guilt of the offender, so that if the offence is a light one, the offender is discharged in a few days, with a moral certainty of his offending again in as many hours, and, if the offence is a grave one, he may be kept in prison for years after a reformation so thorough, that there is a moral certainty of his never offending again. This is retribution; the attempt is to make a man undergo the precise amount of pain which by his misconduct he has deserved, and I freely adınit that we must still assert the truth, that sorrow is the inevitable penalty of sin, that for grave offences the punishment must be of sufficient severity, not to shock the public conscience, and to prevent the retaliations of private vengeance ; but, subject to this qualification, the human tribunal has very little to do with what a man deserves ; human tribunals have not the means of measuring it, and neither judge nor jury dare submit to such an ordeal: the true question seems to be, not what amount of punishment does a scoundrel like this deserve ?' but, what amount of punishment will make this scoundrel behave like an honest man?' This is the reformatory system."
Truly it is THE REFORMATORY SYSTEM in all its wisdom, in its entirety, and in its integrity. Thoroughly and throughly this is The REFORMATORY System, and nothing less than this can be considered a fair and just carrying out of the Principle. False friends have sneered at the old and true advocates of the Reformatory System, but in doing so they but raised giants that they might slay them. Mr. RecorderHill, and Mr. Recorder Power have been the peculiar objects of these covert attacks, but we have the best reason to know, that both these gentlemen agree with Mr. Recorder Hall in his examplar of The REFORMATORY SYSTEM.
We have already carried our paper to a greater length than at first we contemplated; we have not, however, exhausted our subject; it is one which we shall have to refer to again, when our remarks will be directed particularly to the present discipline and management of our Convict Prisons and to the building of new Prisons upon the latest and most improved plans. As the Convict Prisons are the best conducted, and as they are placed immediately under the Government, who are so anxious to carry out every improveinent in Prison Discipline, we conceive that our observations will be best directed to those who are able to make further improvements, sɔ that we may ultimately force upon Government the expediency of taking the management of all Prisons into their own hands.*
We hail with delight a principle on which the Directors of Convict Prisons in Ireland are intended to act, knowing as we do the excellent results to the convict service with which its being carried into effect must be attended, as it was to the adoption of the same principle, the Commissioners of Education, in a great measure, owe their success, namely, the PROMOTION OF OFFICERS TO BE CONTINGENT SOLELY ON THEIR OWN GOOD CONDUCT, ABILITY, AND FAITHFUL SERVICE. The Directors write :
“We hope further, by making the rewards and promotion of the officers contingent solely on their own good conduct, ability, and faithful service, to raise their character and elevate their position generally, and thus to render the situations of warders in the Go. vernment prisons more generally sought for by a superior class of the community."