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Cochrane, who visited the place in 1852, says the prison gates were
6. Wide open, without any sentinel at the door, and a guard of only twenty men idling away their time in a guard-room off the entrance-hall. None of the doors were provided with bolts and bars; the only security was an ordinary lock, and as in most of the rooms the key was not turned, there was no obstacle to the men walking into the passage.
Over each workshop some of the prisoners with the best characters were appointed overBeers, and M. Obermair assured me that if a prisoner transgressed a regulation, his companions generally told him, 'est ist verboten,' (it is forbidden), and it rarely happened that he did not yield to the opinion of his fellow-prisoners. .... Within the prison walls every description of work is carried on; the prisoners, divided into different gangs and supplied with instruments and tools, make their own clothes, repair their own prison walls, and forge their own chains, producing various specimens of manufacture which are turned to most excellent account—the result being, that each prisoner, by occupation and industry, maintains himself; the surplus of his earnings being given him on his emancipation, avoids his being parted with in a state of destitution."
And further, the prisoners “associate in their leisure hours, without any check on their intercourse, but at the same time under an efficient system of observation and control”-an arrangement by which, after many years' experience, M. Obermair asserts that morality is in. creased.
And now what has been the result ? During his sixyears' government of the Kaisers-lauten (the first prison under his care), M. Obermair discharged 132 criminals, of which number 123 have since conducted themselves well, and 7 have been recommitted. From the Munich prison, between 1843 and 1845, 298 prisoners were discharged. “Of these, 246 have been restored, improved, to society. Those whose characters are doubtful, but have not beer
MILD DISCIPLINE SUCCESSFUL.
remanded for any criminal act, 26; again under examination, 4; punished by the police, 6; remanded, 8; died, 8." This statement, says M. Obermair, " is based on irrefutable evidence.” And to the reality of his success, we have the testimony not only of Mr. Baillie-Cochrane, but of the Rev. C. H. Townsend, Mr. George Combe, Mr. Matthew Hill, and Sir John Milbanke, our Envoy at the Court of Bavaria.
Take, again, the case of Mettray. Every one has heard something about Mettray, and its success as a reformatory of juvenile criminals. Observe how nearly the successful system there pursued, conforms to the abstract principles above enunciated.
This “ Colonie Agricole” is “ without wall or enclosure of any sort, for the purposes at least of confinement;" and except when for some fault a child is temporarily put in a cell, there is no physical restraint. The life is industrial : the boys being brought up to trades or agriculture as they prefer; and all the domestic services being discharged by them. “They all do their work by the piece ;” are rewarded according to the judgment of the chef d'atelier ; and a portion being placed at the disposal of the child, the rest is deposited in the savings-bank at Tours. boy in receipt of any money has to make payment for any part of his dress which requires to be renewed before the stated time arrives at which fresh clothing is given
on the other hand, if his clothes are found in good condition at such time, he receives the benefit of it by having the money which would have been laid out in clothes placed to his account. Two hours per day are allowed for play. Part-singing is taught; and if a boy shows any turn for drawing he receives a little instruction in it. .... Some of the boys also are formed into a fire brigade, and have rendered at times substantial assistance in the neighbourhood.” In which few leading facts do we
not clearly see that the essential peculiarities are—no more restraint than is absolutely necessary; self-support as far as possible ; extra benefits earned by extra labour; and as much gratifying exercise of faculties as the circumstances permit.
The “intermediate system” which has of late bcen carried out with much success in Ireland, exemplifies, in a degree, the practicability of the same general principles. Under this system, prisoners working as artisans are allowed “such a modified degree of liberty as shall in various ways prove their power of self-denial and self dependence, in a manner wholly incompatible with the rigid restraints of an ordinary prison.” An offender who has passed through this stage of probation, is tested by employment “on messenger's duties daily throughout the city, and also in special works required by the department outside the prison-walls. The performance of the duties of messengers entails their being out until seven or eight in the evening, unaccompanied by any officer; and although a small portion of their earnings is allowed them weekly, and they would have the power of compromising themselves if so disposed, not one instance has as yet taken place of the slightest irregularity, or even the want of punctuality, although careful checks have been contrived to detect either, should it occur." A proportion of their prison-earnings is set aside for them in a savings-bank; and to this they are encouraged to add during their period of partial freedom, with a view to subsequent emigration. The results are:-“In the penitentiary the greatest possible order and regularity, and an amount of willing industry performed that cannot be obtained in the prisons.” Employers to whom prisoners are eventually transferred, “ have on many occasions returned for others in consequeuce of the good conduct of those at first en.
And according to Captain Crofton's pamphlet
WORKING OF THE MARK SYSTEM.
of 1857, out of 112 conditionally discharged during tne previous year, 85 were going on satisfactorily, “ 9 have been discharged too recently to be spoken of, and 5 have had their licenses revoked. As to the remaining 13, it has been found impossible to obtain accurate information, but it is supposed that 5 have left the country, and 3 enlisted.”
The “mark system of Captain Maconochie, is one which more fully carries out the principle of self-maintenance, under restraints no greater than are needful for safety. The plan is to join with time-sentences certain labour-sentences-specific tasks to be worked out by the convicts. “No rations, or other supplies of any kind, whether of food, bedding, clothing, or even education or indulgences, to be given gratuitously, but all to be made exchangeable, at fixed rates, at the prisoners' own option, for marks previously earned; it being understood, at the same time, that only those shall count towards liberation which remain over and above all so exchanged; the prisoners being thus caused to depend for every necessary on their own good conduct; and their prison-offences to be in like manner restrained by corresponding fines imposed according to the measures of each.” The use of marks, which thus play the part of money, was first introduced by Captain Maconochie in Norfolk Island. Describing the working of his method, he says-
“First, it gave me wages and thon fines. One gave me willing and progressively-skilled labourers, and the other saved me from the necessity of imposing brutal and demora'izing punishments. ... My form of money next gave me school fees. I was most anxious to encourage education among my men, but as I refused them rations gratuitously, so I would not give them schooling either, but compelled them to yield marks to acquire it. ... I never saw adult schools make such rapid progress. My form of money next gave me bailbonds in cases of minor or even great
offences; a period of close imprisonment being wholly or in par remitted in consideration of a sufficient number of other prisoners of good character becoming bound, under a penalty, for the improved conduct of the culprit.”
Even in the establishment of a sick-club and a burial. club, Captain Maconochie applied “the inflexible principle of giving nothing for nothing.” That is to say, here, as throughout, he made the discipline of the prisoners as much like the discipline of ordinary life as possible; let them experience just such good or evil as naturally flowed from their conduct-a principle which he rightly avows as the only true one. What were the effects ? The extreme debasement of Norfolk-Island convicts was notorious; and on a preceding page we have described some of the horrible sufferings inflicted on them. Yet, starting with these most demoralized of criminals, Captain Maconochie obtained highly-favourable results. “In four years," he says, “I discharged 920 doubly-convicted men to Sydney, of whom only 20, or 2 per cent., had been reconvicted up to January, 1845;" while, at the same time, the ordinary proportion of reconvicted Van Diemen's Land men, otherwise trained, was 9 per cent. “Captain Maconochie,” writes Mr. Harris in his Convicts and Settlers, “ did more for the reformation of these unhappy wretches, and amelioration of their physical circumstances, than the most sanguine practical mind could beforehand have ventured to hope." Another witness says—"a reformation far greater than has been hitherto effected in any body of men by any system, either before or after yours, has taken place in them.”
“As pastor of the island, and for two years a magistrate, I can prove that at no period was there so little crime," writes the Rev. B. Naylor. And Thomas H. Dixon, Chief Superintendent of Convicts in Western Australia, who partially introduced the systern there in 1856, asserts that not only was the amount of work done