See also:sentence by arbitrary authority or
See also:process of
See also:law . The earliest
See also:object sought in imprisonment was to secure the
See also:person of the accused to ensure his appearance before his Bally
See also:judges for trial, and after conviction to produce him Penalties. to take his punishment . They were applied to other uses less justifiable or defensible; they served to execute the will of the despotic
See also:master upon all who set them-selves in opposition to his authority, or were decreed, more or less wisely but still arbitrarily, by a
See also:government in the best interests of society, organized for the general
See also:good . Coercion and intimidation slowly came to be leading ideas, the infliction of a lesser
See also:penalty than the capital . The deprivation of liberty under irksome circumstances, rough lodging, hard fare and perpetual labour was after all a milder measure than
See also:death, although long years elapsed before the prison was so used . Penal codes depended rather upon shorter and more cruel methods; the
See also:scaffold was in
See also:constant use, with all manner of
See also:pain, torture before and after sentence, shameful exposure, hideous mutilation,
See also:exile, selling into bondage as slaves . Incarceration was no doubt practised by irresponsible masters, regardless of
See also:personal rights, callous to the sufferings of their victims, to which death by
See also:starvation or horrible neglect was a welcome
See also:relief . But
See also:consignment to a prison for lengthened periods was, as a penalty, of more
See also:recent introduction, and of still later date is the recognition of the duties incumbent upon the authority to use its
See also:powers mercifully by humane endeavours to reform and improve those on whom it laid hands . The progress made can only be realized by considering what prisons once were . The shocking picture
See also:drawn by
See also:Howard Howard's of the state of prisons at the latter end of the 18th Reforms In century will last for all
See also:time . They were for the England. most
See also:part pestiferous
See also:dens, overcrowded, dark, foully dirty, not only
See also:ill ventilated, but deprived altogether of fresh air . The wretched inmates were dependent for
See also:food upon the caprice of their gaolers or the charity of the benevolent;
See also:water was denied them except in the scantiest proportions; their only bedding was putrid
See also:straw .
Every one in
See also:durance, whether tried or untried, was heavily ironed . All alike were subject to the rapacity of their gaolers and the extortions of their
See also:fellows .
See also:Gaol fees were levied ruthlessly—"
See also:garnish " also, the tax or contribution paid by each individual to a
See also:common fund to be spent by the whole
See also:body, generally in drink . Idleness,
See also:drunkenness, vicious intercourse, sickness, starvation, squalor, cruelty, chains, awful oppression and everywhere culpable neglect—in these words may be summed up the state of the gaols at the time of Howard's visitation . At this time prisons were primarily places of detention, not of punishment, peopled by accused persons, still innocent in the eyes of the law, and debtors guilty only of breaches of the
See also:financial rules of a commercial
See also:country, framed chiefly in the
See also:interest of the creditor . Freedom from arrest was guaranteed by Magna Carta, save on a criminal
See also:charge, yet thousands were committed to gaol on legal
See also:fictions and retained indefinitely for
See also:costs far in excess of the
See also:debt . The impecunious were locked up and deprived of all hope of earning means to obtain enlargement; while their families and persons dependent on them shared their imprisonment and added to the overcrowding . The prisons were always full . Gaol deliveries were of rare occurrence, even when tardy trial ended in acquittal
See also:release was delayed until illegal charges in the way of fees had been satisfied . In the article
See also:DEPORTATION it is shown how the discoveries in the
See also:southern seas led to the adoption of penal exile in preference to other suggested improvements in the
See also:English prison systems . The
See also:scheme proposed by Howard was not, however, abandoned . It was revised and kept alive by
See also:Jeremy Bentham in his fanatical scheme for a " panopticon or inspection
See also:house," described as " a circular
See also:building, an iron cage. glazed, a
See also:lantern as large as
See also:Ranelagh, with the cells on the
See also:outer circumference." His plan was to keep every inmate of every
See also:cell under constant close observation, and all were to be reformed by solitude and seclusion while constantlyemployed in remunerative labour, in the profits of which they were to
See also:share .
The scheme hung
See also:fire, owing, it was alleged, to the personal hostility of
See also:George III. to Bentham as an advanced
See also:radical . Lands were, however,
See also:purchased which were eventually taken over by the government and utilized for the erection of Millbank penitentiary, begun in 1813 and partially completed in 1816 . It was now fully recognized that the reformation of prisoners could best be attempted by seclusion, " employment and religious instruction." Millbank, as a new and most enlightened undertaking in prison affairs, was opened with much eclat . It was to be governed by a specially appointed
See also:committee of distinguished personages, the chairman being the
See also:Speaker of the House of
See also:Commons . The sum
See also:total expended upon the buildings amounted to
See also:half a million of
See also:money, and the yearly charges of the
See also:establishment were a heavy
See also:burden on the
See also:exchequer . The erection of Millbank was a step in the right direction . The energy with which it was undertaken was the more remarkable because elsewhere throughout the
See also:Kingdom the prisons, with few exceptions, remained deplorably
See also:bad . J . Neild, who in 1812 followed in the footsteps of John Howard, found that the old conditions remained unchanged . " The
See also:great reformation produced by Howard," to use Neild's own words, " was merely temporary . . . 'prisons were relapsing into their former horrid state of privation, filthiness, severity and neglect." Yet the legislature was alive to the need for prison reform .
Besides the building of Millbank it had promulgated many acts for the amelioration of prisoners . Gaol fees were once more distinctly abolished; the
See also:appointment of chaplains was insisted upon, and the erection of improved prison buildings was rendered imperative upon
See also:local authorities . But these, with other and much older acts, remained in
See also:abeyance . Thus an
See also:act which provided for the
See also:classification of prisoners had remained a dead
See also:letter; even the separation of the
See also:males from the
See also:females was not a universal
See also:rule . Roused by these crying evils, a small
See also:band of
See also:earnest men formed themselves into an association for the improvement of prison discipline . They perambulated the country inspecting the prisons; they issued lengthy interrogatories to prison officials; they published periodical reports giving the result of their inquiries, with their views on the true principles of prison management, and much sound advice, accompanied by elaborate plans on the subject of prison construction . The labours of this society brought out into strong relief the naked deformity of the bulk of the
See also:British gaols . Speaking of St Albans from his personal observation Mr (afterwards
See also:Sir T . F.) Buxton, a most active member of the society, said: " All were in ill
See also:health; almost all were in rags; almost all were filthy in the extreme . The state of the prison, the desperation of the prisoners, broadly hinted in their conversation and plainly expressed in their conduct, the uproar of oaths, complaints and obscenity, the indescribable stench, presented together a concentration of the utmost misery and the utmost
See also:guilt." The reports of the society laid
See also:bare the existence of similar horrors in numbers of other gaols . Yet this was in 1818, when the legislature was setting a praiseworthy example—when half a million had been spent in providing large
See also:airy cells for a thousand prisoners . Even in
See also:London itself, within easy reach of the palatial Millbank penitentiary, the chief prison of the city, Newgate, was in a disgraceful
See also:condition .
This had been exposed by a
See also:parliamentary inquiry as far back as 1814, but nothing had been done to remedy the evils laid bare . The state of the
See also:female side had already attracted the
See also:attention of that devoted woman, Mrs Fry, whose ministrations and wonderful success no doubt encouraged, if they did not bring about, the formation of the Prison Society . Mrs Fry went first to Newgate in 1813, but only as a casual visitor . It was not until 1817 that she entered upon the
See also:work with which her name will ever be associated . She worked a miracle there in an incredibly
See also:short space of time . The
See also:ward into which she penetrated was like a den of
See also:wild beasts; it was filled with
See also:women unsexed, fighting,
See also:swearing, dancing, gaming, yelling and justly deserved its name of "
See also:hell above ground." Within a
See also:month it was transformed . and presented, says an eyewitness, " a scene where stillness and propriety reigned." The wild beasts were tamed . Movements similar to that which Mrs Fry headed were soon set on
See also:foot both in England and on the Continent, and public attention was generally directed to the urgent
See also:necessity for prison reform . Stimulated by the success achieved by Mrs Fry, the Prison Discipline Society continued its labours . Hostile critics were not wanting; many voices were raised in protest against the ultra-humanitarianism which sought to make gaols too comfort-able and tended to pamper criminals . But the society pursued its
See also:objects, undeterred by
See also:sarcasm . Many of these are now accepted as axioms in prison treatment; for instance, that female
See also:officers only should have charge of female prisoners, that prisoners of both sexes should be kept apart and constantly employed .
Yet these principles were unacknowledged at that time and were first enunciated in acts such as the 4 Geo . IV. c . 65 and the 5 Geo . IV. c . 85 (1823-1824), the passing of which were mainly due to the strenuous exertions of the Prison Discipline Society . It was laid down in these that over and above safe custody it was essential to preserve health, improve morals, and enforce hard labour on all prisoners sentenced to it . Irons were strictly forbidden except in cases of " urgent andabsolute necessity," and it was ruled that every prisoner should have a
See also:bed to himself—if possible a
See also:separate cell, the last being the first formal statement of a principle upon which all future prison discipline was to be based . The importance of these acts cannot be over-estimated as supplying a legal standard of efficiency by which all prisons could be measured . Still the progress of improvement was extremely slow, and the managers of gaols still evaded or ignored the acts . Many local authorities grudged the money to rebuild or enlarge their gaols; others varied much in their
See also:interpretation of the rules as to hard labour and the
See also:hours of employment . One great
See also:drawback to general reform was that a large number of small prisons
See also:lay beyond the reach of the law . Those under small jurisdictions in the boroughs and under the
See also:petty corporate bodies continued open to the strongest reprobation, and thus remained until they were swept away by the measure which brought about the reform of the municipal corporations in 1835 .
But by this time a still more determined effort had been made to establish some
See also:uniform and improved
See also:system of prison discipline . In 1831 a select committee of the House of Commons went into the whole subject of secondary punishment and reported that, as the difficulties in the way of an effective classification of prisoners were insurmountable, they were strongly in favour of the confinement of prisoners in separate cells, recommending that the whole of the prisons should be altered accordingly and the expense
See also:borne by the public exchequer . There can be little doubt that this committee was greatly struck by the
See also:superior methods of prison discipline pursued in the United States . The best
See also:American prisons had recently been visited by two eminent Frenchmen, J . A. de
See also:Beaumont and A. de Tocqueville, who spoke of them in terms of the highest praise . It was with the object of appropriating what was best in the American system that Mr W .
See also:Crawford was despatched across the
See also:Atlantic on a
See also:mission of inquiry . His exhaustive
See also:report, published in 1834, was a valuable contribution to the whole question of penal discipline . Another select committee, this time of the House of Lords, returned to the subject in 1835, and after a long investigation re-enunciated the theory that all prisoners should be kept separate from one another . It also urged in strong terms the necessity for one uniform system of treatment, more especially as regarded dietaries, labour and
See also:education, and strongly recommended the appointment of official inspectors to enforce obedience to the acts . These recommendations were eventually adopted and formed the basis of a new departure . For fifty years transportation (see DEPORTATION) had been in England the
See also:form of secondary punishment for
See also:crime .
See also:Primary or capital punishment still existed, but to a greatly modified extent . The pious
See also:Quakers of Penn- sylvania at the end of the 18th century had realized a deeper
See also:duty towards the offenders than their extinction, and sought to amend and reform the living . The note struck first in the
See also:Walnut Street penitentiary began a new era in prison treatment, and the methods adopted were destined to extend over the whole
See also:world . This was the germ of the nearly universal principle of individual confinement, and the origin of what some advanced thinkers have denounced as the greatest crime of the
See also:present age, the invention of the separate cell . It was and still is held by many that the criminal may be best and most effectually weaned from his evil ways by shutting him up for lengthy periods between four walls, and subjecting him, when most susceptible, to curative processes, to constant exhortation and searching introspection, changing his nature and restoring him to society a reformed man . It must be at once admitted that the system of
See also:isolation has produced no remarkable results . Solitary confinement has neither conquered nor appreciably diminished crime, even where it has been applied with extreme care, as in Belgium, and more recently in France, where it obtains strict and unbroken for long terms of years . Cloistered seclusion is an artificial condition quite at variance with human instincts and habits, and the treatment, long continued, has proved injurious to health, inducing
See also:mental breakdown . A slow death may be defended indeed on moral grounds if regeneration has been compassed, but it is only another form of capital punishment . Still the
See also:measures introduced in the United States and the
See also:action taken upon them fill a large page in prison
See also:history and must be recorded here . Several states in the Union followed the lead of Pennsylvania . That of New
See also:York built the great Auburn penitentiary in 1816 to carry out the new principles .
There every prisoner was kept continuously in
See also:complete isolation . He saw no one, spoke to no one, and did no work . Within a short
See also:period very deplorable results began to show themselves . Many prisoners became insane; health was generally impaired and
See also:life greatly endangered . Mr Crawford, whose mission to the United States has been already referred to, was in favour of solitary confinement, but he could not deny that several cases of suicide followed this isolation . Some relaxation of the disastrous severity seemed desirable, and out of this
See also:grew the second great system, which was presently introduced at Auburn and afterwards at the no less renowned prison of Sing Sing . It was called the silent system . While the prisoners were still separated at
See also:night or meals, they were suffered to labour in association, but under a rule of silence ruthlessly and rigorously maintained . The latter, entrusted to irresponsible subordinates, degenerated into a despotism which brought the system into great discredit . All discipline officers were permitted to wield the
See also:whip summarily and without the slightest check . Under such a system the most frightful excesses were possible and many cases of brutal cruelty were laid bare . Reviewing the merits and demerits of each system, Mr Crawford gave his adhesion to that of unvarying solitude as pursued in the Eastern penitentiary in Pennsylvania .
Mr Crawford came back from the United States an ardent
See also:champion of the solitary system . He saw, however, great difficulties in making this the universal rule, chief cellular among which was the enormous expense of provid- separation,
See also:ing suitable prisons . Some modification of the rule of unbroken solitude would be inevitable; but he strongly urged its adoption for certain classes, and he was equally convinced of the imperative necessity for giving every prisoner a separate sleeping cell . It is clear that the government endorsed Mr Crawford's views . Where it was possible they gave effect to them at once . At Millbank, with its spacious solitary cells, the rule of seclusion was more and more strictly enforced . Ere long permissive legislation strove to disseminate the new principles . In 1830
See also:Lord John
See also:Russell had given it as his opinion that cellular separation was desirable in all prisons . But it was not until 1839 that an act was passed which laid it down that individuals might be confined separately in single cells . Even now the executive did not insist upon the construction of prisons on a new plan . It only set a good example American Progress . by undertaking the erection of one which should serve as a
See also:model for the whole country .
In 184o the first
See also:stone of Pentonville prison was laid, and after three years of considerable outlay, its cells, 520 in number, were occupied on the solitary, or more exactly the separate system—the latter being somewhat less rigorous and irksome in its restraints . To the
See also:credit of many local jurisdictions, they speedily followed the lead of the central authority . Within half a dozen years no fewer than fifty-four new prisons were built on the Pentonville plan, which now began to serve generally as a " model " for imitation, not in England alone, but all over the world . Sir
See also:Joshua Jebb, who presided over its erection, may fairly claim indeed to be the author and originator of
See also:modern prison architecture . The building of Pentonville was epoch-making . The modern prison
See also:dates from it . The penal discipline of to-
See also:day, much modified and varied it is true, may be largely traced to it . The " cell " scheme of individual separation holds the ground, and countries which can afford the outlay have built or are building cellular prisons . France has made steady progress in this respect . Great additions have been made to La Sante prison in
See also:Paris, and a new prison on gigantic lines has been opened at Fresnes
See also:les Rungis, on the outskirt of the metropolis, to replace the obsolete Mazas, and to give cellular accommodation to the large numbers always on
See also:hand in Paris . Germany has embarked on penitentiary reforms with the
See also:provision of several new prisons; it is the same with the United States,
See also:Holland, Spain,
See also:Portugal, Denmark, Norway, Sweden . In Italy a comprehensive scheme has been drawn up so that cellular imprisonment may become a general rule .
In Belgium, where penaladministration has received the closest attention for a number of years, the regime of cellular imprisonment has been long carried to its farthest limits, and solitary confinement ranging over ten years and in some cases much more has been strictly enforced . Of
See also:late years however a new school has arisen in Belgium which expresses strong doubts of the wisdom or efficacy of prolonged cellular confinement . In England, moreover, which, if not the first to adopt separation in principle, certainly gave the largest effect to it in practice, continuous cellular confinement for short terms is ceasing to be the inevitable rule; and although it has been retained in cases of penal servitude for the first six months, it was in 1899 practically abandoned for lesser sentences, and all prisoners after the first month work together in association under surveillance . In
See also:July 1910 the home secretary announced his intention to reduce it to one month in all cases, except those of recidivists (see REemrvisM) . The
See also:bias of modern practice, in short, is towards milder methods, not only in treatment, but in those anticipatory processes which may render imprisonment unnecessary . To understand the existing British prison system it is necessary to consider its gradual growth and the steps taken to establish it . Its
See also:foundations were laid by Sir George
See also:Grey, The Moc,ern home secretary, when transportation ended rather British abruptly by the refusal of the chief colonies to System. continue to be the dumping ground for British convicts . Sir George Grey sought to
See also:deal with the difficulty as a whole, and to provide for all classes of criminals, the most heinous deserving severe correction and the minor offenders in the earliest stages of misconduct . For the first there was some urgency, the latter was still the business of the local jurisdictions . The system now introduced consisted of three principal parts: (1) of a limited period of separate confinement in a home prison or penitentiary, accompanied by
See also:industrial employment and moral training; (2) of hard labour at some public
See also:works prison either at home or abroad; and (3) of exile to a colony with a conditional
See also:pardon or ticket-of-leave (q.v.) . No pains were spared to give effect to this plan . Pentonville was available for the first phase; Millbank was also pressed into the service and accommodation was hired in some of the best provincial prisons, as at Wakefield and
See also:Leicester .
Few facilities existed for carrying out the secondstage, but they were speedily improvised . Although the hulks at home had been condemned, convict establishments in which these floating prisons still formed the principal part were organized at Bermuda and
See also:Gibraltar . Neither of these was a conspicuous success; they were too remote for effective supervision; and although they lingered on for some years they were finally abolished . The chief efforts of the authorities were directed to the formation of public works prisons at home, and here the most satisfactory results were soon obtained . The construction of a
See also:harbour of
See also:refuge at
See also:Portland had been recommended in 1845; in 1847 an act was passed to facilitate the
See also:purchase of
See also:land there, and a sum of money was taken in the estimates for the erection of a prison which was begun next
See also:year . At another point,
See also:Dartmoor, a prison already stood available, although it had not been occupied since the last war, when ten thousand French and American prisoners had been incarcerated in it . A little re-construction made Dartmoor into a modern gaol, and in the waste lands around there was ample labour for any number of convict hands . Dartmoor was opened in r85o; two years later a convict prison was established at Portsmouth in connexion with the dockyard, and another of the same class at Chatham in 1856 . The third stage in Sir George Grey's scheme contemplated the enforced emigration of released convicts, whom the discipline of separation and public works was supposed to have purged and purified, and who would have better hopes of entering on a new career of honest
See also:industry in a new country than when thrown back among vicious associations at home . The theory was good, the practice impossible . No colony would receive these ticket-of-leave men .
See also:Diemen's Land positively refused to do so, even though this denial cut off the supply of labour, now urgently needed .
The appearance of a convict
See also:ship at the Cape of Good Hope nearly produced a revolt . Although
See also:Earl Grey addressed a circular letter to all colonial governments offering them the questionable boon of transportation, only one, the comparatively new colony of Western
See also:Australia, accepted . But this single receptacle could not absorb a tithe of the whole number of convicts awaiting exile . It became necessary therefore to find some other means for their disposal . Accordingly, in 1853 the first Penal Servitude Act was passed, substituting certain shorter sentences of penal servitude for transportation . It was only just to abbreviate the terms; under the old sentence the transportee knew that if well conducted he would spend the greater part of it in
See also:comparative freedom . But although sentences were shortened it was not thought safe to surrender all
See also:control over the released convict; and he was only granted a ticket-of-leave for the unexpired portion of his original sentence . No effective supervision was maintained over these convicts at large . They speedily relapsed into crime; their numbers, as the years passed, became so great and their depredations so serious, especially in garrotte robberies, that a cry of indignation was raised against the system, which Ied to its arraignment before a select committee of the House of Commons in 1863 . Meanwhile prison discipline in the elementary stage, as inflicted on lesser offenders, was continually discussed . The subject was referred to many committees for inquiry, and it was shown that there was a lamentable want of uniformity in the enforcement of legal penalties . The processes and treatment varied with the localities .
Dietaries differed, here too ample, there meagre to starvation . The amount of exercise allowed varied greatly; there was no universal rule as to employment . In some prisons hard labour was insisted upon, and embraced tread-wheels or the newly-invented cranks; in some it did not exist at all . The cells inhabited by prisoners (and separate cellular confinement was now very general) were of different dimensions—variously lighted, warmed and ventilated . The time spent in these cells was not invariably the same, and as yet no authoritative decision had been made between the solitary and silent systems . The first named had been tried at Pentonville, but the period had been greatly reduced . The duration had been at first fixed at eighteen months, but it was proved that the prisoners' minds had become enfeebled by. this long isolation, and the period was limited to nine months . In many jurisdictions however the silent system, or that of associated labour in silence, was still preferred; and there might be prisons within a short distance of each other at which two entirely different systems of discipline were in force .. In 1849 Mr
See also:Pearson, M.P., moved for a select committee to report upon the best means of securing some uniform system which should be at once punitive, reformatory and self-supporting . He urged that all existing plans were inefficacious, and he advocated a new scheme by which the labour of all prisoners should be applied to
See also:agriculture in
See also:district prisons . The result of a full inquiry was the reiteration of views already accepted in theory but not yet generally adopted in practice . Thirteen more years elapsed and still no such steps had been taken .
A new committee sat in 1863, and in its report again remarked in no measured terms upon the many and widedifferences that still existed in the gaols of Great Britain as regards construction,
See also:diet, labour and general discipline, " leading to an inequality, uncertainty and inefficiency of punishment productive of the most prejudicial results." Matters could only be mended by the exercise of legislative authority, and this came in the Prison Act of 1865, an act which consolidated all previous statutes on the subject of prison discipline, many of its provisions being still in force . Yet the years passed and uniformity was still far from secured; it was impossible indeed while prison administration was still
See also:left to a number of local authorities, no two of which were often of the same mind . The legislature had tried its best, but had failed . It had exercised some supervision through its inspectors, had forbidden cells to be used until duly certified as
See also:fit, and had threatened to withhold exchequer contributions from prisons of which unfavourable reports were received . Such penalties had exercised no sufficient terrors . It began to be understood, moreover, that the prisons under local jurisdictions were not always conveniently and economic-ally situated . Crime, with the many facilities offered for rapid locomotion to those who committed it, had ceased to be merely local, and the whole state rather than individual communities ought to be taxed; prison charges should be borne by the public exchequer and not by local rates . These considerations gained strength and led at length to the introduction of the Prison
See also:Bill which became law in 1877, by which the control of all gaols was vested in a body of prison commissioners appointed by and responsible to the home secretary . These commissioners had power to consolidate by closing superfluous prisons, to establish one system of discipline, and generally by watchful supervision, aided by the experience of specialists, to maintain that much-desired uniformity which had been so long and unsuccessfully sought . At the same time the co-operation of the local magistrates was invited so far as advice and assistance were concerned; but all real power and control has passed from their hands into that of the commissioners of prisons . The system established by the act of 1877 is that now in force . As for penal servitude, the punishment reserved for the gravest offences, great changes had been introduced .
We left thisbranch of the subject at a parliamentary inquiry . The
See also:verdict given was in the
See also:main satisfactory; but doubts were expressed as to the severity of the discipline inflicted, the principal features of which were moderate labour, ample diet and substantial gratuities . The first was far less than the work
See also:free men did for a livelihood, the second larger, the third excessive, so that convicts often left prisons with
See also:forty, .even eighty pounds in their pockets . Penal servitude, to use the words of the lord chief
See also:justice Sir
See also:Cockburn, one of the members of the committee, " was hardly calculated to
See also:pro-duce on the mind of the criminal that salutary dread of the recurrence of the punishment which may be the means of deterring him and, through his example, others from the commission of crime." The chief recommendation put forward to mend the system comprised lengthening of all sentences, a diminution in the dietaries, the abolition of large gratuities, and, speaking broadly, a general tightening of the reins . The most notable
See also:change however was in regard to labour, the quantity and value of which was to be regulated in future by the so-called " mark-system." This plan had originated with Captain365 Maconochie, at one to
See also:superintendent in Norfolk
See also:Island, who had recommended that the punishment inflicted upon criminals should be measured, not by time, but by the amount of labour actually performed . In support of his theory he devised an ingenious system of recording the convicts' daily industry by marks, which on reaching a given total would entitle them to their release . This mark system had already been tried with good results in
See also:Ireland, where the Irish system, as it was called, introduced by Sir Walter Crofton, had attracted widespread attention . There had been a very marked diminution in crime, attributable it was supposed to this system, which was in almost all respects the same as the English, although the Irish authorities had invented an " intermediate stage " in which convicts worked in a state of semi-freedom and thus practised the self-reliance which in many produced reform . As a
See also:matter of fact the diminution in crime was traceable to general causes, such as a general exodus by emigration, the introduction of a poor law and an increase in the facilities for earning an honest livelihood . It may be added here that judged by later experience the Irish system had no transcendent merits, and it is now
See also:extinct . But we owe something to the Irish practice which first popularized the idea of maintaining a strict supervision over convicts in a state of conditional release, and it reconciled us to a system which was long wrongfully stigmatized as espionage . The mark system, as recommended by the committee of 1863 and as subsequently introduced, had however little in common with either Maconochie's or the Irish plan .
It was similar in principle and that was all . According to the committee, every convict should have it in his power to
See also:earn a remission—in other words, to shorten his sentence by his industry . This industry was to be measured by marks earned by hard labour at the public works, after a short probational
See also:term of close " separate " confinement . But the remission gained did not mean absolute release . All males were to be sent, during the latter part of their sentence, " without disguise to a thinly peopled colony," to work out their time and their own re-habilitation . The committee still clung to the old theory of transportation, and this in spite of the lively protests of some of its members . The one outlet remaining, however, that of Western Australia, was soon afterwards (1867) closed to convict emigrants; and this part of the committee's recommendations became a dead letter . Not so the mark system, or the plan of earning remission by steady industry . This was carried out on a broad and intelligent basis by officials prompt to avail themselves of the advantages it offered . Thus in 1877–'878 efforts were made to minimize contamination by segregating the worst criminals and restricting conversation at exercise . A special class was formed in '88o, in which all convicts " not versed in crime," first offenders and comparatively innocent men, are now kept apart from the older and more hardened criminals . The committee last quoted gave it as their opinion that " penal servitude as at present administered is on the whole satisfactory; it is effective as a punishment and free from serious abuses .
. . a sentence of penal servitude is now generally an object of dread to the criminalpopulation." Since then, steps have been taken in the classification of convicts when undergoing sentence with a view to dealing more effectually with habitual criminals . Having thus traced the history of secondary punishments and prison discipline in England, it will be well to de- Latest
See also:scribe the system now actually in force . This will measures be best understood if we follow those who break :'' Epa rl the law through all the stages from that of arrest, 1ngenal Oisclpliae through conviction, to release, conditional or In Bnyian& complete . After a short detention in a
See also:police cell, an offender, unless disposed of summarily, passes into one of His
See also:Majesty's prisons, there to await his trial at sessions or assizes . The period thus spent in the provinces will never exceed three months; in London, with the frequent sitting at
See also:Clerkenwell and of the Central Criminal
See also:Court, it is seldom more than one month . While awaiting trial the, prisoner may
See also:wear his own clothes, provide his own food, see and communicate with his friends and legal adviser so as to prepare fully for his defence . His
See also:fate after conviction depends on his sentence . If this be " imprisonment," so called to distinguish it from " penal servitude," although both mean deprivation of liberty and are closely akin, it is undergone in one of the " local " prisons—the prisons till 1878 under local jurisdiction, but now entirely controlled by the state through the home secretary and the commissioners of prisons . The regime undergone is cellular; able-bodied prisoners are kept in strict separation for at least a month, and during that time subjected to severe labour; although the term of first-class hard labour and of purely penal character no longer exists . The tread-
See also:wheel has also been abolished . A system of progressive stages based on the mark system has been adopted in the local prisons, and the prisoner's progress through each depends on his own industry and good conduct . During the first month he sleeps on a
See also:plank bed, a wooden
See also:frame raised from the
See also:floor, with bedding but without
See also:mattress .
When he has earned the proper number of marks, which at the earliest cannot be until one month has elapsed, he passes into the second stage and is allowed better diet and a mattress twice aweek . The third stage, at the end of the third month, gives him further privileges as regards diet and bed . The
See also:fourth stage concedes to the prisoner a mattress every night, and the
See also:privilege, if well conducted, to communicate by letter or through visits with his friends outside . These stages are applicable to females except as regards the plank bed; youths under sixteen and old men above sixty are also allowed mattresses . A small gratuity may be earned during the second and three `following stages, amounting in the aggregate to ten shillings . The labour, too, may be industrial, and include instruction in tailoring,
See also:bookbinding, printing, and many more handicrafts . Throughout the sentence the prisoner has the
See also:advantage of religious and moral instruction; he attends divine service regularly, and whatever his creed is visited by a
See also:chap-lain professing it, and receives educational assistance according to his needs . His physical welfare is watched over by competent medical men; close attention is paid to the sanitary condition of prisons; strict rules govern the
See also:size of cells, with their
See also:lighting, warming and ventilation . Dietaries are everywhere the same; they are calculated with great nicety according to the time of durance, and afford variety and ample
See also:nutrition without
See also:running into excess . In a word, as regards discipline, labour, treatment, exactly the same system obtains in the " local " prisons throughout the United Kingdom . Where the sentence passes beyond two years it ceases to be styled imprisonment and becomes penal servitude, which may be inflicted for any period from three years to life . The prisoner becomes a convict and undergoes his penalty in one or more of the convict prisons .
These are entirely under state management . A sentence of penal servitude as now administered consists of three distinct periods or stages: (1) that of
See also:probation endured in separate confinement at a so-called " close " prison; (2) a period of labour in association at a public works prison; and (3) conditional release for the unexpired portion of the sentence upon licence or ticket-of-leave . 1 . In the first stage, which was limited to six months, but which it is proposed to reduce to one month, the convict passes his whole time in his cell apart from other prisoners, enga.
See also:ged at some industrial employment . He exercises and goes to
See also:chapel daily in the society of others, but holds no communication with them; his only intercourse with his
See also:fellow-creatures is when he is visited by the
See also:chaplain, schoolmaster or
See also:trade instructor . This period of almost unbroken solitude is of a painful character, and its duration has therefore been wisely limited . 2 . The second is a longer stage and endures for the whole or a greater part of the
See also:remainder of the sentence, its duration being governed by the power a convict holds in his own hands to earn a remission . It is now passed at a public works prison; either at
See also:Aylesbury (females), Borstal, Dartmoor, Parkhurst or Portland . While cellular separation, except at work,at prayers or exercise, is strictly maintained, labour is in association under the close and constant supervision of officials . Inter-communication no doubt takes place; men working together in
See also:quarry, brickfield or
See also:barrow-run, and out of earshot of their guardians, may and do converse at times . But the work is too arduous to allow of long and desultory conversation; the
See also:chance of contamination is now minimized by the careful separation of the less hardened from the old offenders .
There is noreason to suppose that any great evils arise from this association, and without it the execution of the many important
See also:national public works which now attest its value would have been impossible . Among these may be mentioned the following: the
See also:quarrying of stone for the great Portland
See also:breakwater, nearly 2 M. in length and between 50 and 6o ft. deep in the
See also:sea, with the defensive works on the
See also:Verne, batteries, casements and barracks intended to render the island of Portland impregnable, and the enlargement and extension of the
See also:dock-yards at Chatham and Portsmouth . At Borstal a
See also:line of forts intended to protect Chatham on the south and west have been erected by convicts; they have also built magazines at Chattenden on the left
See also:bank of the
See also:Medway . Besides this, convict labour has been usefully employed in the erection of prison buildings at new points or in extension of those at the old . In all cases the bricks have been made, the stone quarried and dressed, the
See also:timber sawn, the iron
See also:cast, forged and wrought by the prisoners . The great merit of this system is the skill acquired in handicrafts by so many otherwise idle and useless hands . Convict
See also:mechanics are rarely found ready made . It is a fact that a large percentage of the total number employed at trades learnt them in prison . These results are ne doubt greatly aided by the judicious stimulus given to the highest effort of the mark system . The chief objection to enforced labour has been the difficulty in ensuring this; but the convict nowadays eagerly tries his best, because only thus can he win privileges while in prison and an earlier release from it . Every day's work is gauged and marks recorded according to its value; upon the total earned depends his passage through the stages or classes which regulate his diet and general treatment, and more especially his interviews and communications with his relations and friends . Yet more; steady willing labour continuously performed will earn a remission of a fourth of the sentence .
It must be borne in mind that the marks thus earned may be forfeited at any time by misconduct, but affect remission to this extent only . The full remission in a five years' sentence is one year and ninety-one days; in seven years, one year two
See also:hundred and severity-three days; in fourteen, three years one hundred and ninety-seven days; in twenty, four years one hundred and. flinty days . " Lifers " cannot claim any remission, but their cases are brought forward at the end of twenty years and then considered on their merits . 3 . Having earned his remission the convict enters upon the third stage of his punishment . He is released, but only conditionally, on licence or ticket-of-leave . This permission to be at large may easily be forfeited by fresh breaches of the law . Stringent conditions are endorsed upon the licence and well known to every licence holder (see TICKET-OF-LEAVE) . Further modifications have been introduced from time to time in the British penal system, tending mostly to milder discipline, more intelligent classification of prisoners and a certain amelioration of their lot . In its general outlines the system as set forth above has been maintained, but the depart-mental committee appointed in 1895 made some important recommendations which were presently adopted in part . The committee was dissatisfied with the moral results achieved and thought that more attention should be paid to reformatory processes . They believed that " few inmates left prison better than when they came in." Recommittals were frequent and
See also:recidivism on the increase .
Imprisonment was not sufficiently deterrent to the habitual criminal class, and small attention was paid to the reclamation of less hardened offenders . The views of this committee were embodied in a Penal Servitude bill which was long debated, but became law in 1898 . It emphasized the excellence of the system devised in 1879 for the segregation of the comparatively innocent from convicts hardened in crime . The system of the "
See also:star " class as originally established provided that the prisoner never previously convicted should be kept absolutely apart, at chapel, labour, exercise and in quarters, from his less fortunate fellows who had already been imprisoned . The rule was strictly enforced and with the most conspicuous results, so that little more than 1% of " stars " have been re-convicted when once more at large . The privilege of the " star " is only accorded after careful inquiry and reason-able
See also:proof that the individual has never before been sent to prison . Reference is made to the police at the time of conviction, and the duty of looking into previous and present character is very strictly performed . The inquiry is continuous and may be prolonged into the sentence; then, if necessary, correction is applied . But as a matter of fact very few mistakes are made . It is obvious that wrongful
See also:admission into the " star " class might be fraught with mischievous consequences, and it is well known that a first sentence does not necessarily mean absolute unacquaintance with crime . For administrative convenience the " stars "—whose name comes from the scrap of
See also:cloth worn on cap and jacket sleeve—have been generally concentrated at Portland, and employed in labours specially allotted to them, for the most part demanding a higher
See also:rate of intelligence than the general
See also:average shown by convicts . Moulders, blacksmiths, carpenters, tinsmiths, stonemasons, bookbinders, painters and various other trades and handicrafts are the
See also:peculiar province of the " stars." The Prison Act of 1898 made some marked changes in penal discipline .
One was the strict
See also:limitation of
See also:corporal punishment to offences of
See also:mutiny and
See also:gross personal violence to officers, where previously it might be inflicted for many forms of misconduct, and it can only now be adjudged under great restrictions . It was feared that the removal of this powerful deterrent would adversely affect discipline, but on the contrary, the yearly average of prison offences has diminished from 147 to 131 per thousand prisoners, and it has been
See also:felt by the authorities that the limitation was salutary and wise . Another change was the power given to courts of law to differentiate between offenders by ordering them one of three classes of treatment ranging from severe to less rigorous . The first of these divisions was akin to that of former first-class misdemeanants; the second division was allotted to persons guilty of trivial offences not amounting to moral depravity, the third division was apportioned to serious crime calling for severe repression, involving strict separation for the first twenty-eight days with " hard labour " (now an obsolete expression, since all prison labour is nowadays accounted " hard ") . The scheme was judicious, but courts have been slow to make use of its provisions . Yet a third improvement was permission conceded to prisoners locked up in default of payment of
See also:fine, to obtain a reduction of time proportionate to part payment of the fine . The numbers under both categories are considerable, and taken together show a steady increase in the ten years from 1892 (when the acts first came into effect) to 1902, the figures being 33,802 in 1892 and 51,302 in 1902 . Imprisonment, albeit somewhat modified and diluted, continues to be used as the chief penalty and most trusted panacea for all crime . The
See also:medicine is so
See also:simple in application and so easily available that it is served out almost automatically and indifferently to every law-breaker; the pickpocket and the burglar are locked up next
See also:door to the clergyman at variance with his
See also:bishop; the weak-kneed and self-indulgent drunkard rubs shoulders with the
See also:political zealot who has endangered the peace of nations . There is an enormous mass of so-called crime in England which is not crime at all, and still is perpetually penalized by am infliction of imprisonment for such short periods as to be perfectly futile . The bulk of the offences for which it is meted out are trivial and unimportant . Eighty-three per cent of the
See also:annual convictions, summarily and on
See also:indictment, followed by committal to gaol, are for misconduct that is distinctly non-criminal, such as breaches of municipal by-
See also:laws and police regulations, drunkenness, gaming and offences under thevagrancy acts .
The leniency of the sentences indicates the comparatively trifling character of the wrongdoing . Forty per cent. of the males and 39% of the females were sent to prison for periods of a week or less; on the other hand, no more than 4% were sentenced to six months and under, only 2 % were imprisoned for terms between six months and one year; and .75% to more than one year . The question will arise some day whether it is really necessary to maintain fifty-six local prisons, with all their elaborate
See also:paraphernalia, their imposing buildings and expensive
See also:staff, to maintain discipline in daily life and insist upon the proper observance of customs and usages, many of them of purely modern invention . Of course there is in most cases the alternative of a fine, the non-payment of which entails the imprisonment; yet a penalty imposed on the
See also:pocket is so clearly the proper retribution for such misdeeds that better methods should be devised for the collection of fines . The chief aim of penal legislation should indeed be either to keep gaols empty or to use them only where distinct reduction in the number of offenders, whether by regeneration or by continuous withdrawal from noxious activity, can be obtained . An
See also:axiom based upon this view has been formulated, and although paradoxical it may well be quoted here . The great aim and object of all penal processes, it has been said, should be the recognition of the general principle of dividing all offenders into two categories: (1) those who ought never to enter a gaol, and (2) those who ought never to be allowed to leave it . Praise-worthy efforts to compass the first end have been made in recent legislation . The First Offenders Act in 1887 had the effect of postponing sentence and sparing these offenders from incarceration subject to their good conduct . An average of about 4500 thus escaped imprisonment in the five years between 1893 and 1897, and an average of 5500 the five following years . The gain in this was great, seeing that no more than 6 to 8% were actually sent to gaol after the commission of a second offence, and that there was therefore a very distinct saving in expense of
See also:maintenance of prisoners incarcerated . The value of this act is to be seen in its wide adoption .
It is in force in some of the states of the American Union . It was adopted in France by theBerenger law of 1891, and in Belgium, where 14% of sentences of imprisonment in one year and a-half were postponed . In some countries the concession has been accompanied by admonition . The
See also:Summary Jurisdiction Acts, by which large numbers of minor offenders were discharged on
See also:bail, or subjected to fines or very brief terms of imprisonment, have also tended to diminish the prison population enormously . The number annually discharged increased from 33,000 in 1893 to 51,302 in 1902 . This excellent system has commended itself to many countries and it is now adopted by the hulk of governments and jurisdictions owing
See also:allegiance to the British
See also:Crown . Two new systems of applying imprisonment have commended themselves to English administrators, and both have been effected by the Prevention of Crime Act 1908 . The first is a new method for educating and reforming
See also:young offenders, already on the frontiers of habitual crime, no longer
See also:children, but at an age still susceptible of permanent improvement; the second is the legal acceptance of the principle of indefinite detention, the willingness to inflict an indeterminate sentence on those who have already forfeited the right to be at large . Both these measures originated in the United States . The Borstal scheme of a juvenile-adult reformatory has been to some extent planned on the institutions of
See also:Elmira reformatory in the state of New York and of Concord in Massachusetts (see JUVENILE OFFENDERS) . Side by side with the new processes introduced, the idea of the indeterminate sentence was started and put in practice, by which release was made to depend upon reasonable hope of amendment and sentences were prolonged until it was more or less certain that the treatment had resulted in cure . Other measures are set forth in the new classification of convicts, prescribed by the secretary of state in the rules submitted by him to the House of Commons in 1904 .
All convicts are classed in three categories, viz . (A) theOrdinary division; (B) the Habitual Offenders' division; and (C) the Long Sentence division . The " A " or Ordinary division comprises all ordinary convicts under old rules who are still separated into the three classes of " star," intermediate and recidivist, as provided by the act of 1898 . The qualifications for each class are clearly laid down . Only those never previously convicted, or known as of not habitually criminal or corrupt habits, are eligible for the " star " class . The intermediate class takes those not previously convicted but deemed unsuitable as " stars " from antecedents and generally unsatisfactory character . The recidivist class is for those previously sentenced to penal servitude or whose record shows them to have been guilty of
See also:grave and persistent crime . These three classes begin with cellular confinement, but for varying periods; the first for three months, the second six months and the third for nine months, in all cases subject to a medical report upon mental and physical condition . Female convicts pass the first three months of their sentence in separate cells . The " B " division indicates the worst penalties to be inflicted upon habitual criminals . There is no recognition whatever of the principle of the indeterminate sentence . The law merely prescribes the
See also:forfeiture of all remission .
The convict is not eligible for release or licence, but when the time of conditional liberation would have formerly arrived thecase is submitted to the authorities and dealt with on its merits . Early release depends upon the reports on industry and conduct, and the prospect of his keeping straight if set free . He may have to " do " his whole time but not an
See also:hour beyond it . Certain privileges are conceded to the " B " division to compensate those in it for the loss of remission . They wear a special
See also:dress, a band of blue cloth on the left
See also:arm; they may earn an extra gratuity and spend a part of it in buying extra food or articles of comfort and relaxation; they may take their meals in association, converse at them or at exercise, but not at labour . The " C " division has been designed for convicts serving long sentences, who have gained all possible privileges in the early years of sentence and have little or nothing to expect further until the last year of their sentence, when they. may earn an additional gratuity . But after ten years they may enter the " C " division, earn a special gratuity therein, and enjoy the various privileges accorded to the " B " or habitual criminals' division with the additional advantage that there is no interference with their remission . Still milder and more humanitarian prison treatment was that put forward by the home secretary in 1910 in his speech already referred to . In it he suggested that the following reforms should be carried out, some by administrative
See also:order and some by future legislation: (1) time for the payment of fines inflicted for minor offences; (2) disciplinary treatment outside prison for all offenders under 21 years of age; (3) punishment of those guilty of offences not involving moral turpitude to be relieved of all degrading features; (4) the reduction of the period of solitary confinement to a maximum of one month; (5) and the abolition of the ticket-of-leave system . It was also proposed to give four lectures or concerts a year in convict prisons . Prisons in other Countries.—The general progress made in prison treatment will be best realized by a brief survey of penal institutions in the principal countries of the world . It will be convenient to take them alphabetically .
1 . Austria-Hungary.—The regime of cellular confinement has not been universally adopted; only six prisons are built on that principle and no more than 15% of the whole number of prisoners can be subjected to the system . Cellular separation is not inflicted for long periods, the minimum being six months and the maximum three years . The bulk of the prisoners live and labour in common . A great feature has been the execution of public works by prisoners in a state of semi-liberty beyond prison walls—the
See also:practical adoption of the so-called " Irish " ors intermediate prison—and good results are seen in road-making and the improvement of
See also:river courses . 2 . Belgium.—This country has spared neither pains nor money in carrying out penal processes, and the Belgian prisons are examples of the cellular system prolonged to the utmost limits of human endurance . There is a minimum of ten years, but the individual may elect to continue in separation, or be transferred to partial association . A new school of Belgian criminologists has been headed by M . Prins, the chief of the prison department, who has protested that to hope the vicious, hardened offender, after a long detention, " surrounded with every attention, soaked with good counsel, will leave his cell regenerated," is a Utopian dream . 3 . British Dominions beyond the Sea.—The principle of cellular separation was accepted as far back as 1836 and the model prison of Pentonville, opened in 1842, has since been copied throughout the civilized world .
The cellular system has been adopted in all British colonies with various modifications, and prisons built on modern principles are to be found in
See also:Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Cape of Good Hope . India retains association as the system most suitable for its criminal classes, with other methods generally abandoned in Great Britain, such as the employment of well-conducted prisoners as auxiliaries in prison discipline and service; deportation is still the penalty for the worst offences and is carried out on a large scale and with satisfactory results in the Andaman Islands . In
See also:Egypt since the establishment of British control a very marked change has been introduced in prison affairs . 4 . Denmark.—In Denmark all convicted prisoners pass through several stages, from cellular treatment to the intermediate prison and conditional liberty . Two new prisons on the latest model have been erected at
See also:Copenhagen, one for males and the other for females . The smaller gaols for short terms are mostly on the cellular plan . 5 . France.—France has devoted very considerable attention to prison matters and is now practising the two extremes of treatment, the strict cellular isolation of the Belgian system and the penal exile or transportation which was long the English rule . 6 . Germany.—The unified German
See also:Empire has not as yet adopted one system of prison treatment, and its various component kingdoms still retain independence in views and practice . Baden has a well-known cellular prison at
See also:Bruchsal, but separation is not imposed for more than four years and associated labour is carried out in another quarter of the prison .
See also:Bavaria has four cellular prisons, the chief being at
See also:Munich and
See also:Nuremberg, but the collective system also obtains . Prussia having declared for the cellular system constructed the well-known Moabit prison in Berlin, also those of
See also:Ratibor in
See also:Silesia and of
See also:Herford in Westphalia, while those of
See also:Werden and Cologne have been added since . The total number of separate cells to-day is 11,041 against 3247 in 1869 . Two new cellular prisons,
See also:Luttringhausen and Saarbruck, have recently been added . Frankfurt has a good prison on the Pentonville (London) plan; so has
See also:Hamburg; and new buildings have been erected at Wohlan,
See also:Siegburg, Breslau and Munster . Separate cells in Prussia had increased in 1896 from 3247 to 6573 . The cellular regime is applicable to prisoners between 18 and 30, and to first offenders of 50 years of age, the term being fixed by the governor of the gaol, but never exceeding three years . Saxony established a penitentiary at
See also:Zwickau in 1850 and in its earlier management exhibited exaggerated kindness to its inmates . Both the cellular and the associated systems obtain .
See also:Wurttemberg has accepted the cellular system . There are prisons for females at
See also:Heilbronn, and for males at
See also:Ludwigsburg and
See also:Stuttgart; in Wurttemberg itself the regime is collective . 7 .
Holland has followed her nearestneighbour Belgium and has now at command separate cells sufficient to receive the whole number of her prison population . The system of unbroken seclusion, prolonged to five years, is maintained with strictness . 8 . Italy.—Although accepting the principle of cellular imprisonment, Italy has not adopted it largely, partly from want of funds and not a little because the current of thought has set against it . The really penal establishments are 77 in number, the great ergasiolo of
See also:San Stefano being one . Agricultural labour for convicts has been tried in colonies of coatti (or those provisionally released) planted out in the islands of the
See also:archipelago . 9 . Norway.—The separation of Norway, as an
See also:independent state, from Sweden has produced no great change in its prison institutions, which still follow the lines of the neighbouring country . 10 . Portugal.—There are three or more cellular prisons at
See also:Coimbra and
See also:Santarem, and the system of'strict separation when first adopted in 1884 was expected both to amend and deter . 11 . Sweden.—Prince Oscar of Sweden was one of the earliest adherents of cellular imprisonment, and at his urgent
See also:representation penitentiary reform was warmly espoused in 1841 .
Hisinfluence is still felt, and the system in force in Norway and Sweden is progressive from strict separation to working outside the cell . Sweden, which adopted the cellular system in 1842, has now cells sufficient for prisoners sentenced to two years and less . There are three principal central prisons, one at
See also:Langholm near
See also:Stockholm, a second at
See also:Malmo and a third at Mya Varfet near
See also:Gothenburg . 12 . United States.—The penal system of the United States varies between being the most advanced and the most backward in the civilized world . At one end of the scale are the numerous bad
See also:county gaols and the horrors of the convict lease system in the southern states, now nearly extinct; at the other such modern and well-equipped reformatories as Elmira and Concord (see JUVENILE OFFENDERS) . The worst feature is the indiscriminate association sometimes seen of all inmates, bond and free, the convicted and accused; even witnesses against whom there is no
See also:shadow of a charge are sometimes imprisoned among felons . Nor is it only in distant corners of the great continent that this
See also:criticism applies, though constant improvements are removing the grounds for it . It is only a short time since the local gaol in the city of New York, " the Tombs," a house of detention for prisoners awaiting trial, was described in an official report to the state legislature as " a disgrace . . It is defective in every modern appliance . It is dark,
See also:damp and ill-ventilated . . . worst of all is the hideous system of keeping. two or three men in a cell ; .
. . a means of indescribable torture to a decent man and a prolific source of
See also:vice and crime to a criminal . Such treatment of
See also:dogs would be gross cruelty." This building has, how-ever, now been pulled down, and a new and better one has taken its place . The administration of prisons rests mainly with the various state authorities, and there is no federal or general system which would introduce uniformity of treatment . The federal government has no influence or control except for offences against the federal laws, regulating coinage, postal service, the revenue andtirso forth . Prison management is essentially a local concern,' but some general features are common to all states, such as the rule that while petty offenders and prisoners awaiting trial are under county and city jurisdiction, the state takes charge of all persons convicted of serious crimes . The state prisons receive by far the largest proportion of the criminal population, more than half the general total being imprisoned therein . Some of them are
See also:models of cleanliness and good order, built on the best and most imposing lines with large comfortable cells and an abundance of
See also:light and air . The earnest
See also:desire of most prison administration is to develop industrial training and trade profits side by side with mildness of treatment . The latter sometimes lapses into methods which are not usually thought compatible with prison discipline, such as the permission to
See also:play on musical
See also:instruments, the holding of concerts, the privilege of smoking and chewing
See also:tobacco, of receiving baskets of provisions, novels and
See also:newspapers from friends outside . It is worthy of note that prison architecture in the United States misses many of the gloomy features common to such constructions . The newest prisons are generally lighter, more roomy, better ventilated and on the whole more comfortable than even the best British prisons . In 19oo Sir E .
Ruggles Brise, the Englishexpert on prisons, declared that " the purity of the air and the cleanliness of the American prisons are admirable, and under a very elaborate system of warming by hot air, a
See also:regular and uniform temperature is sustained throughout the year, which, considering the varying nature of the
See also:climate from extreme
See also:heat to
See also:cold many points below zero, is a considerable
See also:triumph." Prison
See also:Industries.—It is an axiom in prison science that enforced labour cannot easily be made productive . No doubt the problem has been in a measure solved in England by that useful incentive to industry, the mark system . But the more substantial returns cannot always be expected with the sedentary employments and single-handed effort inseparable from the regime of cellular imprisonment . England for many years past, in adopting the principle of Public Works Prisons after a certain short period spent in separation, has pronounced in favour of open-air employment in association . Although the system still has many hostile critics its value cannot be contested . It has been said by a trustworthy authority,' " We are convinced also that severe labour on public works is most beneficial in teaching criminals habits of industry and training them to such employments as digging, road-making and
See also:brick-making--work of a kind which cannot be carried on in separate confinement." A good proof of the value of the system as remunerative and healthful, morally and physically, is seen in the growing desire of other countries to follow our lead . Very similar operations have been carried out in Austria-Hungary, where large tracts of land have been brought into cultivation, and watercourses have been diverted successfully despite serious difficulties,
See also:climatic and physical; in Russia convict labour has been largely used in the construction of the Trans-siberian railway; the military operations in the Sudan were greatly aided by convict labourers engaged in useful work at the
See also:base and all along the line; Italy passed a law in 1904 enacting outdoor labour for the reclamation and draining of waste lands by prisoners under long sentence; and France, although much wedded to cellular imprisonment, is beginning to favour extra-mural employment of prisoners under strict regulations . The subject was discussed at the Penitentiary Congress at
See also:Budapest in 1905, and a
See also:resolution passed recommending extra-mural employment for prisoners of rural origin, vagrants and drunkards, and those subject to tuberculous disease, " so largely the concomitant of cellular confinement." Prison industries continue to be largely sedentary in character; they cover a wide range, although the conditions of life are for the most part artificial . Most trades and handicrafts are practised, such as shoemaking, tailoring,
See also:carpentry, the work of
See also:white- andblacksmiths; skilful and intelligent workmen, such as the French and
See also:Japanese, find a wide outlet for their versatile and
See also:talent . The well-known products, styled articles de Paris, prison-made, find a large sale, and many objects of high
See also:art, fine paintings, cloisonne enamels and gold
See also:lacquer are among the beautiful products from Japanese prisoners . The indoor manufactures followed in British prisons are not so varied as the foregoing and have been limited by the protests and objections raised by free or outside labour against alleged unfair competition . Accordingly, the production of goods has been largely curtailed for the open market and prison labour is restricted nowadays to supplying articles required for current use by public departments—such as the
See also:navy, army,
See also:office and, of course, all prison establishments .
Prison labour has found an outlet, therefore, in such work as service blanket making,
See also:hammock making,
See also:mail-bag making, the manufacture of cartridge cases, flags, chopping firewood for barracks and so on, having been diverted almost entirely from
See also:mat-making, once an exclusive prison trade originally invented indeed by prison task-masters . The total annual value of the labour applied in English prisons has varied . In 1896–1847 the total accruing from manufactures,
See also:farm operations and the ordinary service of the prison was £213,812, the prison population in local and convict prisons being 17,614; in 1903–1904 the total amounted to £244,518, the prison population on the 31st of
See also:March 1904 being 21,117 . The gross
See also:expenditure was £524,289 for 1896-1897, as against £615,656 for 1903–1904 . Figures are not avail-able for any exact comparison of outlay and return in other countries, but the earnings in
See also:European countries generally run to about half the expenditure . In the United States the policy varies between the two extremes of making prisoners self-supporting and of leaving them in idleness so that the whole
See also:weight of expense falls upon the state . In some states economic considerations have carried the day; in others the stringency of labour laws under the pressure of labour associations has paralysed all prison industry . In the first mentioned, the contract system, by which a contractor hires the prisoner's labour from the state, has proved very profitable, but at the sacrifice of discipline and neglect of reformatory processes upon the individual . This leasing-out system has been carried further in some of the southern states, and has produced the convict camps, which have been much criticized and condemned from the harshness of the discipline enforced, the many abuses that exist and the meagre results other than monetary that have been obtained . The modern
See also:movement in favour of industrial employment combined with humane and intelligent considerations has swept away the more or less barbaric method of enforcing labour by automatic machinery such as the treadmill,
See also:crank and shot
See also:drill (see TREADMILL) . (A . G.) PRISONERS' BASE (PRISONERS' BARS), an
See also:game much affected by children .
The players are divided into two sides, each
See also:standing within a base or home marked off at some distance apart . After preliminary songs and war-like challenges, a player on one side runs out and is pursued by one of " the enemy "; if touched he becomes a prisoner of the side to which his captor belongs . If another player from the side of the pursued runs between him and his pursuer, the latter has to follow him, but the last to leave his base is privileged to
See also:touch any one of the enemy who left his base before him . The rules of the game are, however, traditional, and necessarily somewhat elastic . The end comes, of course, when all of one side have been captured by the other .
PRISM (Gr. rrpivµa, properly a thing sawn, Irpii"e...
CHARLES PRITCHARD (1808–1893)
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