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spectable situations, when exposed to those temptations, which are peculiarly incidental to outcasts in a foreign land.
"In addition to the school for children, an adult school has lately been formed on the un-tried side, in which the prisoners are taught to read as soon as they are admitted into the prison; and which introduces them (often from the streets) into a degree of wholesome discipline, and prepares them for further instruction in the regular adult school, on the other side of the prison, where those who are desirous of learning to read, are removed after conviction."
The Report concludes with the following words:
"We think it right to add some interesting facts, respecting three of our women who have left the prison since last year: two of these, who were under sentence of death, have received a free pardon; one has been assisted to procure a mangle, and is obtaining a respectable livelihood; the other has been admitted as nurse into an hospital; a third has been received into the family of one of our friends, as a servant, and we have the satisfaction of hearing that all conduct themselves with uniform propriety.
"It will doubtless be acceptable to learn, that our Association still extends its care to GILTSPUR-STREET COUNTER, by a deputation of several of its members to this prison some of the prisoners from Newgate are committed for correction, during a stated period, and where the system is carried on much in the same manner as in Newgate; the women are classed under a matron, supplied with work, and have the benefit of hearing the Holy Scriptures read to them.
"With these encouragements, the Committee cannot but hope that the system they have adopted in Newgate will meet with a general reception in other prisons, and will continue to be diffused until not one prisoner, in this Christian country, is left destitute of that assistance, which the more enlightened are called upon to extend to the ignorant and wretched; considering that we are all the children of One Universal Father.'"
The conduct of Mrs. Tatnall, the wife of the governor of Warwick county gaol, ought not to be passed over without particular applause. It is an example which ought to excite imitation. "The present visit" (says the statement before us, at p. 77 of the Appendix)" was quite unexpected."-After an account of what the visitors saw of the prisoners, their labours, situation, &c. in other parts of the prison, they say:
"We next entered the yard where the convicted felons, about fifty in number, were walking up and down, chiefly in pairs, a greater number not being allowed to walk together. One turnkey superintended them; and they were under inspection from the Governor's room.
"The general behaviour of this assemblage of the most desperate men in the county appeared submissive and orderly: the moment they saw Mrs. Tatnall, every hat was pulled off, and this token of respect seemed perfectly voluntary. She inquired after one or two, by name, who had been sick, and was answered in a manner that shewed their gratitude for the kind treatment they had received from her.
"The day-rooms and sleeping-cells were all clean; the floors of the former are washed twice, the latter once, a-day. The walls had been recently whitewashed. In every room were pasted on the wall the 'Prison Rules,' 'Advice to Prisoners,' and Evening Prayers.'
“The very great want of space in this county prison occasions this large assemblage of prisoners. In the convicted felon-yard, above mentioned, a much larger number than fifty have been often congregated; the inconvenience is endeavoured to be remedied, by placing an officer amongst them, to prevent the mischief of contamination as much as possible.
"Mrs. Tatnall continues to direct the employment of the female prisoners, the instruction of the boys, and their labour. Let the gaol be ever so full, she occasionally assembles the men in their day-room, reads the Scriptures or other books to them, and addresses them in a manner suitable to their condition, without receiving the slightest insult or interruption."
After the cheering exhibition of so much that is excellent in the conduct of our countrymen relative to prisons, there are some things which excite sensations of a very different nature. Of Tothill Fields Bridewell, Westminster, we read at p. 50 the following particulars :
"This very defective prison is in nearly the same state in every respect, as described in Mr. Buxton's work on prison discipline. At Easter Sessions 1818, the prison was presented as insufficient by the Grand Jury; since which period, some exertions were made by the Magistrates of Westminster to improve, if not rebuild, the prison; but it was found that a part of the building belonged to, and was claimed by, the Dean and Chapter, and from that time to the present nothing has been done, and this prison continues to be a disgrace to that part of the metropolis."
Other instances of a very defective state of things are adduced in the Yarmouth (Norfolk) Bridewell, and in the Worcester city gaol.
We conclude this article with the following passage from the Report itself:
"The deplorable condition of the Borough prisons is well known. Owing to the smallness of their size, and the general inadequacy of the funds applicable to their amendment, they do not generally admit of any material improvement. Until they be abolished, the prisons of England can never be, what they ought to be, at once the terror, and the reformation, of the criminal. It does not appear indeed that any necessity whatever exists for the continuance of these defective establishments, as the persons usually committed to them might be sent to the county prisons. In the Bill in question, there is a clause which suggests the expediency, and renders lawful, such a transfer, and points out a mode of arranging the expense. But it is apprehended that the benefit of this clause will be very partial, as the recommendation will be neglected by those who are indifferent, and opposed by others who are unfriendly, to improvements in prison discipline. The advantage of the clause being thus lost, and the introduction of the most salutary provisions of the Act not being geneQ2
rally practicable in these places of confinement, the Bill must necessarily become a dead letter as to the government of a great proportion of the prisons in the kingdom.
"The Committee cannot refrain from adverting to a subject not noticed by the present Bill, and which, in their opinion, is very intimately connected with the interests of justice. The present delay in the gaol-deliveries is productive of evils, the extent and importance of which give them a claim to the serious and immediate attention of His Majesty's Government.
"From the long period which elapses between the Summer Assizes in one year and the Lent Assizes in the year following, many prisoners are frequently exposed to an imprisonment of three, six, and even eight, months, before they are brought to trial; a severe hardship, to be defended on no just grounds, and indeed in direct opposition to that maxim of English jurisprudence, which considers every man innocent till proved to be guilty. By this practice, however, a heavy punishment is inflicted, not only before the law convicts, but in many cases where it eventually pronounces an acquittal.
"From papers laid before Parliament, it appears that at Maidstone Lent Assizes, in 1819, there were 177 prisoners for trial; twenty-nine of these had been in confinement before the 1st of October, a period of six months. Now, it is well known that for many crimes six months imprisonment is considered a sufficient punishment and it is a fact that, at the same sessions, twentyfive felons were sentenced for different terms, not exceeding that period. Yet, here, twenty-nine individuals are punished with the same severity before trial, as that to which twenty-five felons are subjected after being convicted of a breach of the laws. It is still more worthy of remark, that of these twentynine, seventeen were declared innocent, or discharged without prosecution.
"At the same Assizes, at Chelmsford, the injustice of the practice was as strongly illustrated. Of 166 prisoners brought up for trial, twenty-five were in prison before the 1st of October preceding. Of these, eleven were acquitted or discharged by proclamation. Two had been in confinement eight months, three upwards of seven months, and three upwards of six months: while sixteen convicted of felony were sentenced to shorter periods of imprisonment than these had already suffered.
"Nor is this evil so grievous in one or two particular instances only; for, from the parliamentary returns, it appears that the whole number of prisoners tried at the same Lent Assizes in England and Wales, exclusive of Middlesex, was 2700: 405 of whom were in confinement before the preceding 1st of October, which number was increased to 1270 by the 1st of January. Thus it appears that more than one-seventh of the whole number of prisoners, innocent or guilty, had suffered six to eight months imprisonment before trial; and nearly one-half, from three to six months."
ART. XVI." Théorie des Peines et des Récompenses, par M. J. Bentham; rédigée en François, d'après les Manuscrits, par M. E. Dumont."
[Continued from p. 132.]
UR author, after having completed his views on the subject of imprisonment, next compares the two punishments of imprisonment and transportation. The respective advantages and disadvantages of both are distinctly placed before our view; and it appears that as to the great ends of example and reformation, transportation is far inferior to imprisonment. Transportation is also much more expensive to the state. These general principles are illustrated in a most striking manner in chapter the eleventh, on Botany Bay. The facts, argument, and eloquence contained in this admirable chapter cannot fail to make their just impression on the public mind. By the late Report of a Committee of the House of Commons on the state of Botany Bay, we learn that the government of the colony is now better regulated, that cultivation is more extended, that the inhabitants are not exposed, as they were during the first years of the establishment, to famine. It appears also that the police (for even at Botany Bay there must be a police) is better managed, the number of crimes diminished, and that there is reason to hope that the disorders arising from the excessive use of spirituous liquors are likely to be still further diminished, when in a year or two a certain contract or license which the Government had made with some individuals shall expire. But all these actual and expected improvements do not materially affect the general question, respecting the comparative advantages of transportation and imprisonment, as modes of punishment. There is one point in which our author differs from most of those, who detect faults in the laws or in any thing else. His aim is continually to suggest amendments, and to propose some safe practical remedy or substitute for that, to which he objects.
"Let us (says he) never forget that for all practical purposes, the examination of any given punishment would be but fruitless labour, if it were not compared with some other punishment, to determine which ought to be preferred. It is with punishments as with taxes. To point out that a certain tax is an evil, is only to sow the seeds of discontent; but to become really useful, the person, who makes to the public this dangerous discovery, must at the same time suggest other means of producing, with fewer inconveniencies, an equal effect."
After pointing out the evils of the system of transportation, and establishing the comparatively superior advantages of imprisonment, our author shows the means by which the punishment of imprison
ment may be rendered still more useful than it is at present. He gives a full, or (if we may be permitted the expression) a working plan of a prison on a new construction, calculated to remedy the inconveniencies and evils of those in present use. This prison provides for the great objects of example, reformation, and prevention of crimes. It is infinitely superior to others in security, in economy, in the humane purpose of protecting the health of the prisoners, and in providing that they shall be subject to no evil but that which the law awards; thus reducing their sufferings to the smallest possible portion of pain, which can effect the purpose of reformation.
Of Bentham's prison, or as he calls it Panopticon, most of our readers have probably heard, as it has been of late the subject of much parliamentary and public discussion. Its principle-central inspection-is well known. For the details we must refer to the work itself.
"It should be observed, however, (as our author says,) that the success of such a well-regulated prison is not now a mere probability, founded only on theoretic reasoning. The experiment has been tried at Philadelphia, at New York (and at Edinburgh), and has completely succeeded. Besides the official reports of the director of the Philadelphia prison, we have the evidence of Mr. Weld in his excellent Travels in America; and we have the accounts given by two other travellers, whose concurrent testimony may be considered as more satisfactory and impartial, because they are persons of different habits and views. The one a Frenchman, the Duc de Liancourt, well skilled in the regulations of hospitals and prisons; the other an Englishman, Captain Turnbull, a man more intent upon maritime affairs than upon subjects of this sort. Both agree in representing the interior of this prison as a scene of peaceable and regular activity. Neither insolence nor severity is to be seen in the gaolers, nor impertinence or servility in the prisoners. They are spoken to with gentleness, no abusive expressions are ever used. If any fault is committed, the punishment of the culprit is solitary confinement for a certain number of days, and the registering his fault in a book where an account of each prisoner's conduct, debtor and creditor, is kept. Decency and cleanliness are every where to be seen, nothing to offend the most delicate senses. No disorderly noise of singing or disputing; but each, busied at his work, fears to interrupt or to be interrupted by his neighbour. Thus silence and tranquillity are preserved, as favourable both to industry and to reflexion, and well calculated to prevent those causes of irritation which are elsewhere so common between gaolers and prisoners.
"I was surprised (says Captain Turnbull) to find a woman acting as gaoler. This exciting my curiosity, I was upon inquiry informed that her husband had formerly been the gaoler; but that in attending his daughter who had been seized with the yellow fever in 1793, he had caught the disease and died, leaving the prisoners to regret having lost in him a friend and benefactor. In consideration of his services, his widow was chosen as his successor. She acquits herself of all her duties with as much exactness as humanity."
Could we expect to find such things in a prison! They recall to