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instead of on that of the community. He needs but the means so to do, and these are acquired through the extra industry, and by the sweat of the brow, of the offender.
The objection to the system of its offering a premium to crime, if ever made, can have no place here. The early stages of discipline are sufficient to convince an inquirer that the objection would be quite invalid. The dietary, from the commencement to the termination of the sentence, is the lowest the Medical Officers will permit. The enforced order, cleanliness, and regularity, however impressive of an air of comfort to the casual observer, is, be it remembered, most repugnant to the previous habits of the criminal, and most thoroughly opposed to his ideas of enjoyment. We have stated that about seventy-five per cent. pass through the intermediate prisons ; twentyfive per cent. are at present discharged directly from the ordinary prisons, misconduct and offences having precluded their removal. It is satisfactory, however, to us to be able to observe that this per centage of prisoners cannot be deemed incorrigible. We have many reasons for knowing that after their discharge, when too late, many of these have seen their error, and have endeavoured, though often in vain, to regain the path of honest livelihood. They have left the prison under the ban of misconduct ; they have neglected their opportunities, and have joined the world without means to exist, or to obtain employment.
These may be called an unimpressible class, which will decrease in number as light advances into the prisons, and as the prisoner's future career becomes an object of anxiety to him.
A portion, however, of the twenty-five per cent. may fairly be called incorrigible. Whether in prison, or at large, theic object is the same; they pursue an unmistakable line of conduct, which must be dealt with strictly and vigorously. The public mind is shocked, from time to time, by the commission of some outrageous crime. If a capital sentence is not carried out, the offenders are, for the most part, to be found in the convict prisons, and it will require but little argument to prove, that as with the impressible, so with the incorrigible, special treatment must be used. We are of opinion that they should, whilst in prison, be employed, as far as possible, at such labour as will not give them the means of injuring their fellow-prisoners and officers. They should be placed under the special and continual watching of their Chaplain. It may be that the supposed incorrigible may become, and prove himself to be, corrigible. If not, he should be retained to the last hour of his sentence, and when discharged should be placed under such observation as will protect the public from bis outrages.
The intermediate stages so beneficial to the prisoners morally, and in practice so well regulating their future career, are those during which it has been proved that their labour can be made most convenient and remunerative to the public service. Whether these stages be trade, depot, or movable prisons, there is no doubt that a wellregulated establishinent with a proper complement of prisoners could and should be inade self-supporting.
We do not advocate their adoption solely on the experience gained by two years' trial in this country, or on a certain amount of statistical results for that period. We do not ourselves place too much reliance on the perinanency of the good resolutions of so many trained in crime as they have been from their infancy, more especially in a country where the demand for labour is so fluctuating, and in which as yet there are no Patronage Societies to assist the weak. We do feel, however, the utmost confidence in a supplementary stage of prison treatment, which can individualize criminals before they are discharged-conduce to regulate their future conduct-and, whilst under detention, employ them profitably for the public service. are not sanguine enough to expect that all criminals so treated will be reformed, far from it; but we believe that many will thus be returned to the community, to follow an honest and an industrious
We have heard some objections made to this system of supervision, here described and advocated, but we think them illfounded, and we hope in time we shall see, as in France, that in the case of known offenders, a sentence of police surveillance, for greater or lesser periods, according to the offence or bad character of the criminal, shall be added to the sentence of imprisonment. Our honoured friend, the Recorder of Birmingham, and Mr. Frederic Hill, would go further, and compel the known thief to shew that he had honest means of support, or could procure security for his good conduct, and fail. ing in either of these, they would commit him to prison. Mr. Recorder Hill stated his views to the grand jury at Birmingham, so long ago as October, 1850,and hissuggestions were approved by The Edinburgh Review, The Liverpool Hercury, The Manchester Guardian, The Spectator, and partially by The Times. The whole matter is thus shortly stated in The Edinburgh Review, in a paper from, we believe, the able pen of Mr. John Greg: “Mr. Hill's proposal merely amounts to this--that a certain amount of specified surveillance, after liberation, shall be a portion of the punishment to which every convicted offender is sentenced ; or if you prefer so to express it, a condition of his release: that when once a man has been proved to belong to the criminal population, i. e., to that class which habitually preys upon the community, he shall forfeit that portion of his civil rights which consists in the assumption of his innocence ; that whereas in the case of untainted citizens, the onus probandi lies
upon their accusers, in the case of liberated convicts the onus should lie with the defendant. In principle we see Bo objection to Mr. Hill's suggestions. The plea of the liberty of the subject has no force here. When once a man has made himself, by crime, amenable to the laws of his country, he may
justly be deprived of his liberty, to any degree, and for any period which the law deems fit and necessary. Society, which he has menaced and outraged, is obviously just as competent to condemn him to imprisonment for a given term, and to surveillance afterwards, as to imprisonment for a longer term, followed by no surveillance ; to a total deprivation of his liberty for a time, (that is) and to a partial curtailment of it subséquently, as to a total deprivation of it for a year or a life. The convicted criminal has forfeited his social position; henceforth he is entitled only to that amount of freedom, and to freedom on those terms which offended society may please to dictate."
We fully agree with this deep thinker, and believe that if Mr. Hill's suggestions, and also his suggestion as to the licensing and supervision of Marine-store dealers were adopted, we should find a speedy and wonderful decrease in thieving of all grades. We are most happy to find that the “Irish experiment” is succeeding so perfectly; we have studied the system of management pursued by the Directors since their appointinent, and knowing the men and the measures thoroughly, we can declare that their success is the pure result of earnest thoughts, of never-flinching industry, of constant supervision of their subordinate officers, and of perfect unanimity in discharging their duty to the state.
At page lv. of our last QUARTERLY RECORD, we inserted, from The Midland Counties' llerald, the first portion of a translation of the Eighteenth Annual Report of M. Demetz, on Mettray: we now, froin the same journal, present the second and concluding portion of the translation.
REPORT OF M. DEMETZ.
[CONCLUDED FROM THE HERALD OF APRIL 8.] The work you have undertaken, gentlemen, demanding as it does both self-devotion and much pecuniary outlay, can never be otherwise than costly; at least, it will appear to be su unless we place to its credit side the evil that it prevents and the good it produces, the persons whom it rescues from our prisons, our criminal courts, and our hospitals, and restores to agriculture and to other bonest labour. Then indeed does the advantage to society of our system become manifest; though it is still one which cannot be estimated in figures so as to be brought into vur yearly account. If it were possible to do this, it would be easy to show that, as a question of economy even, Mettray is a very profitable undertaking to the country. We adduce some of the numerous facts and figures which support our opinion.
The number of youths discharged from the colony since its foundation up to January 1st, 1857, amounts to 1,220. The most unremitting
and efficient surveillance has been exercised over these lads by our excellent patrons, whose solicitude never diminishes, notwithstanding the increasing number of the wards.*
Our récidivistes, (individuals who relapse into crime,] who formerly amounted to ten per cent., reach now-according to the last Report on Criminal Justice, published by the Minister of Justice-only per cent., and we have well-founded hopes of seeing them decrease to a yet lower proportion.
These results, on which we may justly congratulate ourselves, may be in part attributed to the longer time that the lads now stay with us. Our magistrates are aware how important it is that the period of leaving Mettray should accord with the age at which the colors become eligible for conscription, in order that no interval may occur between the exercise over them of our discipline and of that of the army ;t and they accordingly sentence them almost always to remain at the Colony until they are twenty years of age. They are likewise aware that those youths who are not drawn for the army are equally benefitted by remaining long at the Colony, as they thus have time to acquire the skill in their trade necessary to enable them to support themselves honestly by it. I The greater number of our récidivistes
* By patrons are meant those excellent individuals who, in France as well as in various other continental countries, and in some parts of the United States, voluntarily undertake to watch over, and aid with sympathy and advice, individuals leaving prisons and reformatories. --Trans.
† A large proportion of the Mettray lads enter the army.- Trons.
I The Procureur-General expressed himself in the following terms in a circular which he addressed November 26, 1847, to the Pro. cureurs du ressort:
“Monsieur le Procureur du Roi,-A circular issued by the Minister of Justice, dated April 6, 1842, defined in these words the character of the detention wbich our criminal courts are competent to adjudge in virtue of the 66th Article of the Penal code : - The fact must not be lost sight of that the young detentes have been acquitted,--that it is not punishment they have to undergo, and that the 66th article, in authorising their detention, has formally declared that they are to be so detained in order that they may be well brought up, that is to say, that they may receive care and instruction proper not only to correct their evil habits, but also to provide them with the means of hereafter supporting themselves by their labour.'
" The circular further states that the legislator has had the good of the children solely in view, and that their benefit alone should be aimed at by every measure undertaken with regard to them.
“ MM. Demetz and de Courteilles, the Founders and Directors of the Agricultural and Penitentiary Colony, at Mettray, acting on the same principle, addressed some remarks upon the application of the 66th Article of the Penal Code, to the Garde des Sceaux, which apbeared to his Excellency worthy the attention of magistrates, and of which the following is an abstract:-
are froin amoug the lads who have left Mettray under sixteen years of age, whose moral nature we had not had time to operate upon
suffici. ently, and who could not earn enough to support themselves.
Our average of names inserted upon the Tablet of Honour—75 per cent.-has been maintained, and the proportion of punishments has not increased, notwithstanding the addition to our numbers.
The conduct of our lads after their departure from the Colony continues to give us the greatest satisfaction. This is a most important point, as it furnishes us with ascertained results, and proves the success of our enterprise. It is the touchstone by the aid of which the public are enabled to estimate the value of our institution.
They think that a short detention imposed by virtue of the 66th Article operates against the intention of the legislator ; that for the detention to be beneficial, its duration must be regulated not by the greater or less degree of criminality in the offence with which the young persons are charged, but according to the time required for their
education. The effect of too short a detention is, in their opinion, to add to the miseries of these children, who are thus set at liberty and abandoned to themselves at an age when it is impossible for them to gain a livelihood, owing to both their physical weakness and their want of skill in the trade which they have just begun to learn. If, on the contrary, they have thoroughly learnt their trade before leaving the Reformatory, they are fit for regular employment, and will have no dificulty in obtaining work, when the daily wages they will receive will reward their diligence and foster a love of labour. Moreover, their moral training, all the less defective for their longer detention,strengthens them to resist the temptations which accompany their newly regained liberty. By the youths remaining under the guardianship of the State until they are twenty years of age, when they become elegible for recruits, their relapse into crime is rendered almost impossible. MM. Demetz and de Courteilles are therefore desirous that the period of discharge should be fixed at that age. They are convinced that this regulation would exercise the happiest in. fluence on the moral conduct of the lads. The option of apprenticing them, or of returning them provisionally to their parents before the expiration of their sentence, or even allowing them to enlist at the age of seventeen, when they display aptitude for a military career, ap. pears to MM. Demetz and de Courteilles satisfactiorily to answer the objections of those who are unwilling that the liberty of these young persons should be abrogated for so long a time.'
“ The Garde des Sceaux has thought that, the experience of MM. Demetz and de Courteilles investing their opinion on this subject with authority, it would be useful to communicate that opinion to you ; inviting you at the same time to bring their remarks, whenever opportunity offers, under the notice of magistrates charged with the duty of administering the 66th Article of the Penal Code.
• You will have the goodness to acknowledge the receipt of this circular.
“ Accept, &c., &c.,
“DELANGLE, Procureur. General.”