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QUARTERLY RECORD OF THE PROGRESS OF RE

FORMATORY AND RAGGED SCHOOLS, AND OF THE IMPROVEMENT OF PRISON DISCIPLINE.

The Fourth Annual Report, that for 1857, of the Directors of Convict Prisons in Ireland is now before us, and from it we learn that the accommodation for convicts in the Government Prisons on the 1st January, 1858, may be estimated as amounting to 3,456. GOVERNMENT PRISONS.

Males, Females. Total. Number in custody on 1st Jan., 1858, 1,603 674 2.277 Accommodation on Ist January, 1858, 2,750 736 3,486 COUNTY AND CITY Gaols.

Males Females. Total. Number in custody on 1st Jan., 1858, 13 8

21 Gross Total of Convicts in Ireland, 2,298. NUMBER OF CONVICTS SENTENCED DURING THE YEAR 1857.

Males.
TRANSPORTATION.

PENAL SERVITUDE.
1 3
years,

31 15 14 4

167 Life, 14 | 5

2 6

23 7

7 8

3 10 15

3 Life,

8

14 years,

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22

266

29
Total Males, 295.

FEMALES.
TRANSPORTATION.

PENAL SERVITUDE.

2 3 years, 15

5 4 Life,

1 6

7

14 years,

.

29 88 4 2

8

123 Total Females, 131. Gross Total of Convicts sentenced in Ireland in 1857, 426.

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Irisposal of Convicts. Discharged unconditionally,

Ditto on petition, sentences having been commuted Released on " Orders of Licence,"

590

22 298

.

Total,

910 The most important portion of the Report is that which relates to the INTERMEDIATE PRISONS, as Lusk, and Sinit.Sed. Referring to these and to the Female Prisons, the Directors write as follows:

“ We have the satisfaction of reporting, that during the past year we have found the results of the special treatment of convicts in intermediate prisons, on a system explained in our two former Reports, to have quite equalled our expectations. The conduct of the prisoners, both under detention and after liberation, confirm this statement. We believe it would be difficult to find any body of men who would behave themselves more submissively to the rules, or give their labour more freely to the public service than we bare found to be the case with the convicts who, since the commencement of this system, have been placed in the intermediate prisons.

In April last we located as many convicts as were at our disposal for the purpose, (60), in two iron huts, on Lusk Common. They were at first employed in levelling the portion of the cominon on which the huts stand, and forming it into a parade ground and vege. table garden. When this was finished, they were employed in draining the commons, and at spade labour in the fields; the former work, about which they will yet be occupied some time, is excessively heavy, and the Superintendent of Drainage reports most favourably of the willing labour of the prisoners. We have before explained that the common is to form a portion of the farm to be attached to the juvenile prison which it is contemplated shortly to erect. There will be means of employinent there for some time considerably in excess of the labour we shall have at our disposal.

The discharges on licence from the inter inediate prisons have, we are happy to state, outnumbered our expectations; the consequence has been, however, that the number of selected convicts on publie works has much decreased. We have, therefore, been obliged to allot Carlisle Fort to a class of convicts in an earlier stage of their imprisonment, and have, of course, withdrawn the privileges and rules applicable to it as an intermediate prison.

The iron buildings erected at Lusk appear to fully answer the purpose for wbicb they were required. In a memorandum published by the Chairman of our Board, in October last, and which is appended to this Report, a calculation has been made of the cost and value of productive labour of 100 prisoners located and employed as at Lusk, based on the experience there obtained.

It will be observed how profitable and convenient such labour Day be rendered for the public service.

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courses.

Between 1st January, 1856, and 1st January, 1858, there have been 547 male convicts discharged on licence, and 478 discharged unconditionally, from the intermediate prisons.

Ninety-eight female convicts have also been discharged on licence.

During that period the number of licences revoked have been twenty-five, viz., twenty-two males and three females, eight of which have been for neglect of conditions.

The male and female convicts on licence pardoned, subsequently for good conduct on probation, have been 105, viz., sixty-six male and thirty-nine females.

Very many inquiries have been made respecting prisoners discharged absolutely from the interinediate prisons in 1856 and 1857, and also those discharged on licence during 1856, before the new rules for efficient supervision were established. These inquiries, necessarily limited in their extent, (about 300), and which are recorded for inspection at Smithfield Depôt, have been very generally satisfactory, especially when taken into connexion with the circumstance, that only four of the 1,025 have been re-committed to the convict prisons in addition to the twenty-five whose licences have been revoked. We are not disposed to place too much value on this statement as conclusive evidence of their having quitted their evil

We prefer resting on the more positive and reliable data we are, through the amended rules of subversion, enabled to produce concerning those discharged in 1857. We may remark, however, that fifteen male convicts discharged on licenee in 1856 are stiil em. ployed in this city, and are giving satisfaction to their employers.

We have, during 1857, discharged the following number of prison. ers from the intermediate prisons and refuges :

TRANSPORTATICX. PENAL SEBVITODE.
Absolute

Absolute

Discharge. Discharge.
Smithfield and Lusk,

108

27 Forts, &c.,

174

13 Female Refuges, The convicts discharged on licence are accounted for in the following return: RETURN of CONVICTS DISCHARGED on LICENCE from SMITHFIELD

and Lusk, &c., during 1857, and the way they are accounted for.

Smithfield and Lusk.
Discharged,

159
How disposed of
Favourably reported on in Dublin,

31
Pardoned and subsequently gone abroad, 34
Favourably reported on by Constabulary, 75
Left for England and Scotland, ten having
been heard from,

15
Licences revoked,

3 Died,

1-159 The Forts. Discharged,

91

On
Licence.
159
93
46

.

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How disposed of

Favourably reported on by Constabulary,
Pardoned and subsequently gone abroad,
Licences revoked,

.

83
4
4-9!

.

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Total discharged on licence in 1857, and accounted
for, .

250 This return has reference to male convicts only. All convicts on licence are reported on, if in Dublin, by the lecturer, if in th coustry, by the constabulary, until they receive a pardon, or quit the country.

Of those discharged since January 1, 1857, a period during which the constabulary supervision has been exercised over the conviets discharged on licence, and therefore more positive and reliable information obtained, only seven licenses have, as yet, been revoked ; of these, three were for wilful omissions and breaches of conditions, &c. RULES FOR THE REGISTRATION AND SUPERVISION OF Convicts og TICKET OF LICENCE

January 1, 1857. His Excellency the Lord Lieutenant being desirous of accurately testing the practical working of the ticket of licence system, by a well organised system of registration of licensed convicts, whereby they may be brought under special supervision and a check be laid upon the evil disposed, has been pleased to sanction the following regulations, which are, therefore, circulated for the information and guidance of the constabulary.-

1. When an offer of employment for a prisoner is accepted, a no. tification thereof will be made by the Directors of Government Prisons Inspector-General of Constabulary, by whom it will be transmitted to the constabulary of the locality in which the employerent is to be given, with all necessary particulars, for the purpose of being entered in a Register at the constabulary station.

II. Each convict so to be employed will report himself at the ap. pointed constabulary station (the name of wbich will be given to him on his arrival in the district, and, subsequently, on the first of each month.

III. A special report is to be made to head quarters by the con stabulary whenever they shall observe a convict on licence guilty of misconduct or leading an irregular life.

IV. A convict is not to change his locality without notifying the circumstance at the constabulary station, in order that his registration may be transferred to the place to which he is about to proceed. On bis arrival he must report himself to the nearest constabulary station (of the name of which he is to be informed), and such transter is to be reported to head quarters for the information of the Directors of Government Prisons.

V. An infringement of these rules by the convict will cause it to be assumed that he is leading an idle, irregular life, and, therefore, entail the revocation of his licence.

VI. Further regulations may hereafter be added to the foregoing should they become necessary.

We submit that, taking into consideration the stringent supervision exercised, this is a most satisfactory state of things, and, when taken in connexion with some returns drawn out for a special purpose (to be hereafter explained), is of high value with reference to the future treatment of our criminals.

We have found the proportion of criminals that could be discharged through the intermediate prisons to be what we anticipated, viz., about 75 per cent.

As a testimony to the beneficial effects of special training and individualizing, there are cases of prisoners who, before their committal to prison, have been a terror to their localities, the authorities in which had strongly deprecated their being returned to their own neighbourhood on licence. We have discharged such men elsewhere, and have had opportunities, subsequently, of hearing through their employers of their well-doing, and saving enough money to quit the country.

We submit that the experience of the last two years in Ireland proves the advantage of special and individual treatment to the adult criminal. The experience of the last twelve months (during which the machinery of supervision has been made more perfect) demonstrates, by the returns, what may be done for and with criminals, based on the best possible foundation, their own exertions, under a probation in which there is a maximum of work, and only such food allowed as the medical officer certifies to be absolutely necessary for them. This period includes a number sentenced to penal servitude, and with whom we expected greater difficulty. It will be found that, though their sentence would not be shortened by good conduct or by disguising their sentiments, they have as yet strongly manifested a desire to do well on discharge.

We do not ascribe these alterations in conduct and char icter exclusively to religious influences. The prisoners, have in addition, the strong motive of self-interest prompting them to do right.

It has been the labour of those connected with the interinediate establishments to inculcate in the mind of the convicts (already somewhat prepared by habits of order and discipline in their previous prisons) that honesty is the best policy. That it is so is a fact beyond question. A proper and an improving police system making punishment more certain, legislation approving of longer sentences, an increasing feeling that there should be a unity of action against crime, all tend to bring this home to the prisoner's mind. The task is to convince the criminal. The more patent we make the fact by an improved police system, and the lengthening of sentences, showing that crime cannot be coinmitted with impunity, so much lighter in proportion will be the task of reformation.

There are, of course, other and higher motives placed before the criminal ; but a fact made as clear as here described will always be estimated as an important aid to the cause of reformation by those conversant with the criminal classes in and out of prison,

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