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sudden temptation fall into evil. And 3rdly, That however necessary punishment may be, and however much it may be deserved, it more commonly, perhaps, tends to raise in the heart of the criminal a spirit of hatred against society, and renders still deeper his determination to pursue his evil courses. Hence surely punishment should not only be kept within bounds, but, as far as it is practicable, it ought to be discriminating. A poor child who has become a thief from the waut of home and food, is as much entitled to receive at the hands of society some amount of protection and sympathy, as to suffer the punishment by which alone, perhaps, he may be made to feel that his course is an evil one. The cry of vengeance ill becomes erring man, under any circumstances, for "let him that standeth take heed lest he fall," is a word of caution fitted for the best of men, and, least of all, when it is expended upon a poor creature whom we are all in some sense bound to protect, when left or driven to evil courses by the absence or the ill conduct of his parent.

But it is quite competent to urge some serious objections to the conduct of the other class to which we have referred, viz,-to those whose advice tends towards lenity. If there is to be no punishment for breaking the laws, is there not a possibility that the vile saying may become applicable to us, viz: that "the difference between vice and virtue is simply opportunity;" and however much the criminal may claim our sympathies, he has a conscience which tells him when he does wrong, and instead of being held up as a martyr to his circumstances, he must be taught that he is responsible for his actions. Is it just to the hard-working honest man who, with great privation, keeps his house and brings up his children as good members of society, that a person indulging in wicked courses should have a home with good nourishment found for him by the State, whilst he spends his time in willing idleness? Dishonesty must be discountenanced and punished, or honesty and industry cannot be properly encouraged.

Here, then, lies the difficulty of the whole question, viz.,-to apportion punishment to crime, and to suitably temper justice with mercy. If the natural instincts of men were left to settle this question, there can be no doubt that they would lean towards excess of punishment; and this indeed has been abundantly exemplified in the prisons of our own country, and is now the crying sin of several of the continental states. But this fact has led men and women to institute inquiries into the state of our prisons, and almost invariably this has tended to the amelioration of the condition of the prisoners. We need not mention the name of Howard and Fry in times now past, and we well know that the number of those who have imbibed some of their spirit is greatly increased at the present time. Indeed, such are the efforts now made to improve the condition of our criminals, that, strange as it may seem, many thoughtful as well as kind-hearted men are entertaining serious doubts as to where it is to end. A new class of prisons, under the name of Reformatories, are springing up in every county, and whilst they have been made the means of snatching many juvenile criminals from the paths of evil, they are almost altogether setting aside punishment as a mode of dealing with criminals.

This can scarcely be confined to children, but will doubtless extend to youths, and then to adults, and hence, at a period of change, we are making a plunge of infinite moment to society almost in the dark. Our belief upon this question is, that there is a tendency springing up to unduly discountenance punishment, and that it would be to the interest of the whole community if the subject were fairly and repeatedly brought under consideration. The publication of the reports of the inspectors of prisons is in a degree supplying this need, but their statements are for the most part very meagre, and are not published so widely, as to influence the nation.

Private persons are also engaging in the work, and amongst these we mention Dr. Edward Smith, one of the physicians to the Hospital for Consumption, Brompton, London, who has undertaken the enquiry in the interests of science, and has subjected himself to the various methods of prison punishment, with a view to determine their true influence upon the system. The results obtained by him have been published in a series of reports and papers read before the learned societies, and from these we have drawn some of our information.

We lay it down as a principle of action, in reference to the treatment of our criminals, that they must be punished, and reformed if possible. We cannot shut our eyes to the fact that suffering tends to prevent a recurrence of that which leads to it, and, with many, is far more effectual than any rewards for honesty could be, and that it is a mode of procedure sanctioned and even enjoined both by divine writ and by the instincts of our own nature. Only let punishments be in proportion to crime, and let them be at all times both certain and even-handed, for it has been found by experience that disproportionate severity defeats its own end, and that a smaller punishment, when certain, is more dreaded than a greater one which is uncertain. It must also be remembered that punishment may be variously administered, as by corporeal inflictions, by the restriction of liberty or of food, and by bodily labour, and, strange as it may seem, the most severe punishment may be the absence of labour. In inflicting the punishment we have therefore opportunity of applying it with discrimination, and in doing so it is possible for us to make it more effectual. Another law which we lay down is that the health and strength of the prisoner is not to be injured by any of our plans of punishment, for when he leaves the prison he should be, if possible, in a state of body such as to enable him to gain his living by his labour. But, on the other hand, it cannot be just to make it an aim to improve the bodily health and strength of the criminal, except so far as that may of necessity result from those conditions which we must adopt in order to avoid injury to his health, for it often occurs that not to injure is to improve. The question of labour, however, raises another difficulty, viz, what shall they be made to do. Shall it be of a profitable nature, or shall it be mere waste of human strength? If the former, shall it be skilled or unskilled labour? The latter is open to all men, but it is but slightly productive; whilst the former must be restricted to a few, unless we will undertake to teach it to the prisoners. Then if we teach our prisoners some kind of trade whereby the labour may be profitable, we give them that as a punishment for which honest men have had to pay, and we turn them out of the prison to be competitors with the honest man in the labour market. Now, there is an evil in all this, but whether it is practically one which society may dread is very questionable; and it has this good, that by teaching an idle criminal a trade whereby he may obtain his honest living, society does that which relieves itself from a degree of responsibility, and should the criminal abuse this advantage, he must answer for it to a higher power. It is, however, evident that the chief good of all this is the belief that if men can be taught to gain a living by labour, they will be indisposed to break our laws. There can be no doubt that idleness leads to vice in many forms, and that labour withdraws the person from temptation, and hence that there is truth in the opinions upon which the plan is based; but it is also true that many a criminal has learnt a trade in prison, and learnt it so well that when at large he can get a living, and have time enough to spare to pursue his evil courses; and also that to many, the trade which they have acquired being of no use whatever to them when they have left the prison, all the time, pains, and money expended by the country upon them to teach them the trade has been utterly useless. Hence these and similar questions have raised the further question which is

still under discussion-the desirableness of labour or no labour in our different prisons.

In applying these principles to an examination of the actual state of our gaols we must offer this preliminary remark, viz., that the apportionment of punishment to crime really ought to rest with our legislature, and with our judges, when the details of the crime and the criminal are before them. Now, on this head, we must admit that every effort has been made for years past to effect this object, and statutes which from their heartlessness have shocked the feeling of the day have been erased from our statute book, whilst others have been made more stringent to meet increasing evils, as for example, the beating of women and the wholesale robberies of banks. It would now be difficult to point to a single law which in practice inflicts a punishment greatly beyond the crime. This being admitted, we should naturally look upon our gaols as places for carrying into effect the views of the legislature and the judge, and deem it out of place to see if they meet out even-handed justice and apportion punishment to crime. They ought to be simply the rod, the judge being the head which directs its employment. But this is very far from being the case-so far, that we ought to ask what the gaol does, and not what the judge says. It is, in fact, the gaol which apportions as well as inflicts the punishment. This may appear impossible, but we shall see that it is true, and it results from the different system which is pursued in different goals.

The methods of punishment adopted are the following:-1stly, restriction of liberty; 2ndly, dietary; 3rdiy, silence; 4thly, separation from their fellowprisoners; 5thly, labour in trades, in shoemaking, tailoring, mat and rug making, repairs, cleaning, stone breaking, pumping, and grinding; oakum, wool, or hair picking; the turning of a crank, working the tread-wheel, and the shot-drill; and 6thly, education.

It is evident from looking at this list with its great diversity that the effects will be likely to differin degree, unless special care be taken to effect uniformity. They cannot all be present in the same gaol; and hence, as they must differ very greatly in the amount of punishment which they are fitted to inflict, is it not certain that uniformity will not be a leading characteristic of our gaols? Such are perhaps prima facie and self-evident objections, but they by no means approach the reality as it is present before us. That absolute uniformity in all gaols must be of difficult if not of impossible attainment is probable, but that extreme diversity should exist is surely neither necessary nor desirable. But is the judge on circuit expected to know the peculiar arrangements of each gaol, so as to help him to arrive at a just opinion as to the sentence which he shall pronounce, or, being ignorant of this, must not the same sentence be in reality very different in effect according to the gaol to which the prisoner may happen to be sent? Surely this is a most important question, for we naturally suppose that a sentence of three weeks' imprisonment, with or without hard labour, for some trifling offence, means the same wherever it may be awarded. This touches the very foundation of our sense of justice; and if the sentences be not as uniform in effect as they are in terms, there ought to be an outcry of indignation on the part of all who would maintain the uprightness of our laws. Now, without examining every particular, how stand the facts in reference to one question, viz., that of labour? Let us inquire.

In Reading Gaol there is no labour of any kind, except that of cleaning the prison and turning wheels sufficient to grind corn and pump water for the prison use. The punishment here is simply restriction, separation, silence, forced idleness, and education. There is nothing for the prisoners to do, and yet they are kept in prison for even three years. How then are they punished? Forced idleness and silence, if unbroken,

would ruin both mind and body, and hence may be most potent punishments; but they dare not have them unbroken; and hence, with fixed periods for exercise out of their cells, and with the bible, which many of them have committed to memory from end to end, employment is found for both body and mind, and the punishment is reduced to the least possible amount. Thus a man commits a great crime, and is sentenced to three years' imprisonment with hard labour, is fed, housed, and clad well, educated, and taught to know the bible by heart, as a punishment for his offence! How much further could lenity be carried only, we believe, to one degree-that of giving a pecuniary reward for good behaviour under these trying circumstances! as is effected in the Bedford and some other gaols, but with this difference that there other punishments are awarded.

On the other hand, at Wakefield and Durham, all the prisoners are constantly employed in rug and mat making, or similar employments, whereby the aim is to make their labour productive. At Leicester they work the tread-wheel, at Wandsworth the crank, at Flint gaol they break stones, and at the Coldbath-Fields and many other prisons, the tread-wheel, the shot drill, oakum picking, or working at trades are adopted indifferently.

But upon this point we will quote from a report made by Dr. Edward Smith, containing the answers given by the governors of more than sixty gaols, and ask our readers to say if such diversity of punishment in different parts of the kingdom is not a disgrace to our legislature, and a great wrong even to our criminal class.

"From this table [the tabular return of the number of prisoners and their employments] it appears that out of sixty-four prisons, eight enforce treadwheel labour as the sole mode of punishment. These are Northallerton, Warwick, Rutland, Walsingham, Spilsby, Canterbury, Huntingdon, and Cornwall. Thirty-five others conjoin some other punishment with it; so that in two-thirds of the whole number there is tread-wheel labour. In thirteen only is it stated to be productive. The crank is used alone in two prisons, and as a pump in a third; but in twenty prisons there is pumping apart from tread-wheel labour; fourteen in which the crank is employed, and three in which there are hand grinding-mills. All these are of the nature of crank labour; and from the returns I am unable to associate them in a more correct manner. In the Carlisle Gaol women are put to the crank. The shot drill is found only in two prisons. Thus, whilst there is so great a diversity in the instrument employed, there is this amount of uniformity-viz., that in fifty-six out of sixty-four prisons, some kind of instrument of punishment is retained.

"Oakum-picking, and the exercise of various trades must be classed apart from the foregoing, and we find that in twenty-seven prisons the former, and in forty the latter is adopted. The two are associated together in twenty-three prisons. The trades selected are such as are useful in the repairs of the prison fabric and the prisoners' and officers' clothing, in addition to the manufacture of mats, hearth-rugs, and cocoa-matting, of ropemaking and tarring, shoemaking, tailoring, weaving of linen, and hair-picking. Stone-breaking is adopted exclusively in Flint Gaol, and with other occupations in Pembroke, Montgomery, Swansea, Cardigan, Brecon, Stafford, Somerset, Monmouth, Kirkton in Lindsay, and Cumberland Gaols, and pounding of gypsum, with pepper and rice-grinding, in the gaol at Abingdon. Some of these occupations constitute the sole employments, or nearly so, in Durham, Tynemouth, Ipswich, Wakefield, Anglesey, and Flint Gaols, and attention is given to make the labour as remunerative as possible-as, for example, in the Durham and Wakefield Gaols. In all other instances these employments are associated with others of a more

laborious kind. In a very few gaols, as the Reading Gaol, the sentence of hard labour is carried out almost entirely by giving mental instruction.

"In reference to the plan pursued in selecting the punishment for the prisoners in each gaol, the letters prove that in some prisons the treadwheel and crank in various forms are selected for short sentences, whilst manufactures are reserved for the longer ones. This is the case at Bedford; with stone-breaking at Derby, at Northampton, and Lewes. In the Worcester, Salford, and Chester Gaols, all the prisoners work the tread-wheel or crank at first, and afterwards are engaged in trades. All who are ablebodied work the tread-wheel or crank, and only others pursue trades in Dorset, Maidstone, Louth, Spalding, Southwell, Salop, Somerset, Bury St. Edmunds, Beccles, Beverley, Cardiff, Montgomery, and Pembroke Gaols. At Taunton the tread-wheel is reserved for prison offences and incorrigible offenders, and even women are made, for prison offences, to work 'a light but wearying pump.' At Stafford the crank is allotted to second and third offences, to refractory paupers, and for assaults; and at Southwell there are three or four crank-machines, for the use of vagrants chiefly. At Dorset Castle, those are placed at the grinding-mill who are unfit to work the tread-mill. In the Horseley and Cardiff Gaols_oakum-picking is not regarded as hard labour; at Spalding it is the employment of invalids; at Taunton it is the employment of all prisoners for one hour before breakfast; and at Ipswich it is allotted to old offenders, whilst their trade employments are given to first convictions. At the Maidstone Gaol those only who have gained a good character are employed in the repairs of the prison. In the Salop Gaol oakum-picking and trades are the employment of all prisoners during one part of the day. In the Cardigan Gaol oakum-picking and stonebreaking are allotted to those who are reduced in strength from long continuance at the tread-wheel and from other causes. At the Beccles Gaol those employed in shoemaking and tailoring are only such as have previously learnt those trades.

"The number of hours during which the various kinds of labour are performed, is not given in many of the replies. In the Exeter Gaol the statement is simply all the available hours.' At Springfield the prisoners work the tread-wheel and the crank one hour at a time, and have three hours' work daily, but they give the tread-wheel and crank labour as exercise. At the Coldbath-Fields they work a quarter of an hour on and a quarter of an hour off during nearly eight hours. At the New Bailey, at Salford, they work twelve minutes on and four minutes off. At Canterbury it varies from six minutes on and six off, to sixteen on and six off. At Falkingham they work twenty minutes and rest ten minutes during ten hours. At Northallerton the tread-wheel is worked five minutes on and ten minutes off, from eight to nine a.m. and ten to a quarter to one, and from two to a quarter to six in the afternoon, or seven and a half hours' labour per day. At Beverley those working at trades in separate cells have two hours' more work than those engaged on the treadwheel. At the Salop Gaol they work the pumps four hours daily, with five minutes' rest after each half-hour. At the Somerset County House of Correction all the prisoners pick oakum from half-past six to half-past seven in the morning, then labour at the tread-wheel and other employments from nine to one and two to six, and all again pick oakum from seven to eight p.m.


"In a few instances, the governors of prisons have given additional remarks, which it may not be inappropriate to mention here. governor of Bedford remarks that they have no uniform system, and that they grant a good-conduct badge, which entitles the prisoner to a small sum on leaving the prison. At Abingdon the tread-wheel has been dis

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