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tions that, but for these habits, and the associations to which this dissipation led, they would not have been here."
The chaplain of the new Penitentiary in Philadelphia says, “In examining the causes which have impelled to the earliest commission of crime, I have been led, after a careful investigation, to the following results," (in four hundred cases :) Propensity, independent of external temptation,
116 Temptation of evil companions, chiefly in early life,
115 Gaming, 9; circus shows, 2; domestic trouble, 1,
12 Pecuniary difficulties, 4; revenge, 17; lotteries, 3,
24 Malicious mischief, .
IMPRISONMENT OF LUNATICS IN PENITENTIARIES.
The physician of the Connecticut State Prison, Dr. Archibald Welch, says, —
“There are, at the present time, six insane convicts. Robello, from Portugal, and De Wire, from Ireland, are the most prominent cases. The first was committed in 1836 for safe-keeping, having been previously tried for murder, but was acquitted on the ground of insanity. The second received a wound, and probably a fracture of the skull, in a fit of intoxication, at the time of his arrest; and from that time, he has occasionally been insane, refusing to take food except by the use of a stomach tube. He is now in the hospital, in a state of mental derangement, with diseased lungs, which preclude all hope of recovery. The others have mental disease of less severe character, which does not ordinarily interfere with their regular employment in the shops. Some of them are, however, in the opinion of those who have an opportunity of judging, more fit subjects for an Asylum for the Insane, than for a Penitentiary."
The inspectors of the State Prison at Charlestown, William Minot, Samuel Greele, and Bradford Sumner, say, in their last report,
Among the prisoners are several idiots or lunatics, and some who have passed the age of labor, and for whom no employment can be provided. The Prison has no accommodations for the safe-keeping or relief of persons who are destitute of reason. While here, they are a source of expense to the government, and can derive no possible benefit from a residence in the Prison. Those who, from age or bodily infirmity, are incapable of labor, are necessarily permitted to sit in idleness in the workshops, and in some measure interfere with the labor of the working men.'
The warden of the same Prison, Charles Lincoln, Esq., says,
“ There are in confinement several convicts, who are either deranged, or so far deficient with respect to their mental faculties, as to render it very difficult, if not actually impossible, to keep them under the restraints required by a rigid discipline. They are a constant tax upon the institution ; for, if they are put to labor, their earnings amount to little or nothing; and several are in a condition which renders them very unsase persons to be at large in the yard. For the latter class, we have no suitable accommodations; consequently, they are very likely to be made worse, rather than improved in mind, by a continuance in this place. It would seem but the dictate of humanity, that such persons should be placed in circumstances more favorable to the restoration of their reason, or at least in circumstances better adapted to their unfortunate condition, than are the confinement and restraints of a Penitentiary. It may not be improper to remark, that of the five convicts who are suffering under the effect of deranged intellects, to an extent which requires them to be kept in close confinement, but one of the number became reduced to this situation since his commitment to this place. The others were deranged before they came here. This fact bas suggested to my mind the expediency of some legislative enactment, providing for the relief of this institution, in the cases of all convicts who, at the time of their commitment here, should be manifestly insane or non compos mentis.”
The physician of the Auburn Prison, Dr. Erastus Humphreys, says,
“ There have been two cases of insanity, since my connection with the hospital, one a strongly-marked case, produced by masturbation. This one has recovered. The other was evidently insane on his admission. He has been subjected to medical treatment, at different periods, and has also recovered.”
The inspectors of the New Jersey Penitentiary say, in their last report,
“ According to the physician's report, there are twelve deranged persons in the Prison," (i. e., more than 1' part of the whole number) “ and more than half fit subjects for a Lunatic Asylum when they were received. The board feel that the admission of these persons into an institution that requires solitary confinement, quiet, and orderly discipline, is subversive of all system, and that it is an evil that calls for redress. Our Prison is no Asylum for the Insane. Solitary imprisonment, instead of affording relief, is of a character to confirm the malady."
The inspectors of the new Penitentiary in Philadelphia, of whom Thomas Bradford, Esq. is chairman, say, —
“ We cannot omit to bear our testimony, with the thousands of our fellow-citizens who are petitioners before the legislature, in favor of a State Lunatic Asylum. Every year some of this unhappy class of men become unjustly the inmates of this Penitentiary, where they
cannot receive that peculiar care and treatment which their melancholy condition requires."
The late warden, Samuel R. Hood, says, –
“I have alluded to three deranged persons having been received from the crime of murder in the second degree. That these men were so deranged, at the time the murder was perpetrated, there is no doubt ;' and these are not the only cases of deranged persons having been sent to the Eastern Penitentiary. Many have been clearly and decidedly proven to be so at the time of iheir conviction. They were, however, ill-disposed and mischievous, and the judges ask, What can be done with them? Until the legislature of Pennsylvania shall provide a suitable Asylum for the indigent deranged, (a measure which every motive of policy, of economy, and humanity, imperiously deinands,) we must expect that such will be sent to the Penitentiary."
“In a future age, it will scarcely be believed, that, in the nineteenth century, in a Christian land, in a state containing, throughout its extent, innumerable monuments of piety, of intelligence, and benevolence, that those whom Providence, in its mysterious dispensations, had visited with the most grievous, the most appalling calamity, the deprivation of reason, and consequently of responsibility; that indigent lunatics should be deprived of all sympathy, of all justice, by the cruelty or negligence of their fellow-men,- should be consigned to a Prison appropriated only to felons of the vilest degree, where no friend or relative could visit them, or alleviate their distress, and where alınost every surrounding circumstance is hostile to their repose, their comfort, and their restoration to reason.”
ENCOURAGEMENT TO EFFORT FOR DischaRGED Convicts.
The governor of New York, in his last message to the legislature, in speaking of the Female Penitentiary at Sing Sing, say's,
• The chief obstacle to a reformation of this class of offenders, is the inflexibility with which society rejects them after their season of penance is past. While the cause of public morals requires their exclusion, at least until they have given satisfactory evidence of reformation, humanity and expediency unite in recommending proper efforts to sustain those who are truly reformed. It has been suggested, that a Retreat might be provided for them at Mount Pleasant, where, under the care of benevolent females, they might maintain themselves
by labor, until, by good conduct, they should become entitled to em· ployment elsewhere. Such a plan must necessarily be left to private
liberality; and I am informed that such liberality is awakened to the undertaking, and ready to engage in it, if a proper edifice can be obtained. There is a building which belongs to the state, situated near the Prison, and now of very little use, which might be devoted to this humane purpose, at least until the experiment can be tested. The
whole number of male convicts in the State Prisons is 1423; of females, 74. The sex has a just claim to extraordinary effort for the reformation of the small number of persons it furnishes to our State Prisons.”
The house or building here spoken of by the governor, we suppose to be the same as that spoken of by the agent in the following manner:
“When your agent came, he found the house on the farm, known as the State House, unoccupied, and he took the liberty of allowing the chaplain to move in, and use two or three rooms without any charge, provided he looked after the rest of the building and premises, to see that it took no damage. He would suggest the propriety of asking the legislature to pass a law allowing the chaplain to occupy as much of the house as is necessary for his family, and land enough for a garden. His is the home for all discharged convicts that are willing to call on him, and it appears but reasonable that the state should allow him to live in the house rent free."
The chaplain the Rev. John Luckey) of the Female Prison, of which Governor Seward here speaks, says,
“ Great pains have been taken by the matron to procure for the convicts which have been discharged, places of employment, where they would be encouraged in a virtuous course of life; and success in this benevolent work may be inferred from the fact, that, of the entire number of those who have gone out of the Prison from the commencement, two only have been recommitted.”
Among the 200 men and women discharged the last year, he says,
“ There were some 18 or 20 whom I had noted as having given satisfactory evidence of a gospel change, exbibiting the fruits of it in their lives."
"A majority of these, residing in New York and the vicinity, we have visited, and conversed freely with both them and their friends, and hence have the best evidence that they observe a correct course of conduct; and I correspond with others or their friends, so that I am constantly advised of their conduct and prospects; and I know not an instance of one who, having made a profession of piety while in the Prison, has dishonored that profession by returning to his former corrupt practices. A few of them have so far secured the confidence of the Christian community, as to be admitted into different churches, in which they now occupy a respectable standing.”
“ The honorable testimony which individuals have borne to the upright character and correct moral deportment of reformed convicts, whom they have taken into their employ after their discharge from Prison, is truly gratifying."
“ Not long since, I met a gentleman in New York, who had employed one who was in his service at the time he was arrested.
“With feelings of interest of which I cannot divest myself when the case of any of these unfortunate men is introduced, I inquired after his welfare. The gentleman promptly replied, “My dear sir, I had been so vexed and disgusted with the conduct of that young man for some months before bis arrest, and so exceedingly mortified by the developments showing his criminality at his trial, that I determined to abandon him forever. But when I first saw him after his return from Prison, his very appearance disarmed me of all my former prejudice against him. There he stood, bathed in tears, consessing his crimes, and begging for pardon and protection; and he appeared so sincere and deeply affected, that I almost involuntarily said, Yes, come back, and I will be your friend and guardian.” And, sir, soch has been his conduct ever since he has been with me, that my confidence in the sincerity of his professions of a change has increased every day.'
“Of another reformed convict, a very worthy Christian gentleman, under whose care the convict had been employed since his discharge, said to me a few days since, Why, sir, I have that confidence in the genuineness of the moral and religious change wrought in that man, and the integrity of his principles, that I should not be afraid to trust my property or my life in his hands.'
Many similar testimonials of the uniformly good conduct of this class of discharged convicts, after their leaving the Prison, might be given, but it is not necessary. These instances of radical reform are sufficient to convince the most skeptical that even the convicts of the State Prison — those who acknowledge their guilt and the justness of their punishment- - are not beyond the remedial influences of the gospel; and that God, who declares himself to be “merciful and gracious, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin,' does, in the plenitude of his compassion, condescend to grant pardon to the contrite among men, 'even to the rebellious.'"
The chaplain of the Prison at Auburn, the Rev. Thomas R. Townsend, says, –
“ I am greatly encouraged by the cheering reports received from many, who have returned from these walls to their families and firesides. Some have gone away as they came; others have returned as the dog to his vomit;' but the greater proportion have become better husbands, better fathers, better sons, better citizens, and, through the abounding grace of God in Christ, consistent, devoted Christians, adorning their profession by a holy walk and godly conversation."
“Many heart-broken wives and mothers have had their sorrows turned into joy, their tears and lamentations into songs of praise ; many poor, neglected children have now a kind and affectionate father to provide for all their temporal necessities; to instruct them in the principles of industry, honesty, and religion; to lead them to the domestic altar and to the house of God.”
The moral instructor, Thomas Larcombe, of the new Penitentiary in Philadelphia, says, –
“ Here are persons who have possessed character and respectability at home, until, in some surprisal of passion, or unguarded moment of