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Title: A Plea for the Criminal - Being a reply to Dr. Chapple's work: 'The Fertility of the - Unfit', and an Attempt to explain the leading principles - of Criminological and Reformatory Science
Author: Kayll, James Leslie Allan, 1873-1944
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A Plea for the Criminal - Being a reply to Dr. Chapple's work: 'The Fertility of the - Unfit', and an Attempt to explain the leading principles - of Criminological and Reformatory Science" ***

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Victoria University of Wellington College of Education
(Gender and Women's Studies Programme) and the Online









  W. Smith, Commercial Printer, Temple Chambers, Esk Street.


  Brockway, Z. R.                  Elmira.
  Corre, Dr A.                     Paris.
  Drill, Dimitri.                  Moscow.
  Du Cane, Sir E.                  England.
  Dugdale, R. L.                   America.
  Ellis, Havelock                  England.
  Ferri, Prof. E.                  Rome.
  Garofalo, (Baron) Prof.          Naples.
  Kidd, Benjamin                   England.
  Von. Krafft-Ebing, Prof.          Vienna.
  Lacassagne, Prof.                Lyons.
  MacDonald, Dr. A.                Washington, U.S.A.
  Mercier, Chas. M. B.             England.
  Morrison, Rev. W. D.             England.
  Manouvrier, Dr.                  Paris.
  Moleschott, Prof.                Rome.
  Orano, Giuseppe                  Rome.
  Ribot, Th.                       France.
  Rylands, L. Gordon               England.
  Salomon, Otto                    Nääs. (Sweden.)
  Scott, Jos.                      Elmira.
  Spitska, Dr. E. C.               New York.
  Tallack, Wm.                     England.



  Introductory                                         9

  The Criminal                                        14

  The Causes of Crime                                 28

  The Methods and Philosophy of Punishment            61

  Elimination--Dr. Chapple's Proposal                 87

  The Obligations of Society Towards the Weak        120

  The New Penology                                   133

  The Prevention of Crime                            138

  Some American Experiments--Elmira                  155

  Conclusion                                         188

Chapter I.


This little book presents an appeal to society to consider its criminals
with greater charity and with more intelligent compassion. No other plea
is advanced than that the public mind should rid itself of all prejudices
and misunderstandings, and should make an honest endeavour to understand
what the criminal is, why he is a criminal and what, notwithstanding, are
his chances in social life.

The criminal has a claim to be understood just as well as any other
creature. It is not necessary that his sympathisers should shut their
eyes to the fact that he is capable of shocking crime, that he is often
an ungrateful wretch that will bite the hand that feeds him and that
among his ranks are to be found the most depraved specimens of humanity
that the mind can conceive. A failure to recognize these facts is
actually a failure to do justice to his cause. Notwithstanding the
hideous history that he may have to unfold, he does ask to be

The majority of people take a most prejudiced view of the criminal's
case. They will read the account of some fearful outrage or the details
of a disgraceful divorce suit with absolutely no interest what ever in
the persons concerned but only for the sake of the morbid satisfaction
which such reading gives them. A glance at the sentence will draw forth
from them the exclamation that the wretch got no more than he deserved
or that he didn't get half enough. This simply indicates that society as
a whole has made very little real progress in the manner in which it
regards its criminals. The old barbaric idea of revenge is still the
dominant one and any scheme for the betterment of the criminal, even if
it should give unmistakeable signs that it will accomplish his absolute
reform, is carefully investigated to see whether it provides for a
sufficient degree of penal suffering. Suffering which is of an entirely
penal nature, has very little deterrent value and absolutely no
reformative value whatever. And yet our refined and educated men and
women will read the accounts of crimes and, in their own minds, sentence
the actors to five, ten, fourteen or twenty years; even death, as if
criminals were so used to this sort of thing that they thought no more
of it than their self-chosen judges would if deprived of a day's sport
or disappointed over a ball.

"But," as an ex-member of the Justice Department said to me, "do you
know what the wretch has done?" Yes, I do know what he has done, and I
know him personally and well, and I know of what he is capable and such
knowledge brings with it the conviction that society commits a greater
crime than that which he has committed when it undertakes to punish him
for his offence upon a principle of pure vengeance.

"Vengeance is mine," saith the Almighty, "I will repay." Society is not
God any more than is the individual, so that by acting in the collective
capacity no additional plea of justification may be advanced.

The endeavour of this book will be to show that the best interests of
society are not served by the infliction of punishments which are
essentially penal but by the accomplishment of the reform of the
criminal. This latter process is for the criminal himself, infinitely
more severe than the former, but it inflicts a pain which raises the man
to a higher level; it is purgatorial, and not one which, being penal,
leaves him a greater enemy to mankind than ever.

The criminal is not excused for his wrong-doing, he is not regarded as
an automaton, but simply as a creature of capabilities and possibilities
which require the intelligent sympathy of his fellows in order that they
may be properly developed.

There are many persons who regard the reform of the criminal as an
absolutely hopeless task and a waste of time to think over; they
advocate his extermination. They would fling back to the Creator His own
work as having, in their judgment, proved worthless, even mischievous.

Dr Chapple is astounded that the existence, or at least the birth, of
defectives should be allowed. It is, he says, due in a large measure to
the tide of Christian sentiment which is to-day in full flood. The
Christian does at least recognize that of every defective God says,
"take this child and nurse it for Me," but to speak of Christian
sentiment being at its flood-tide to-day is surely not the speech of one
who professes much belief in the future of Christianity.

Dr Chapple preaches a Gospel for the defective, and his banner is the
skull and cross-bones! Christian sentiment when at its flood-tide will
have swept away all such emblems. In replying to Dr Chapple, I have
endeavoured to show that his proposal touches but the fringe of the
problem, and even there after an unscientific and immoral manner. There
is room for a measure of surprise that Dr Chapple should have undertaken
to write his book with such a scant knowledge of the facts as they
really are.

In presenting this little book to the public, the author does so with
the hope that it may tend to restore the confidence in human nature that
Dr Chapple has somewhat weakened, but also in some measure to inspire
society towards greater collective ameliorative effort, in which our
full confidence may unhesitatingly be placed. The author hopes that the
criminal, a subject of patient study for the last ten years, will be
seen in a somewhat new light. Criminologists declare the criminal to be
seven-eighths of an average man. May society find in itself the ability
and good-will to contribute the other eighth!

Small as this volume is, it has required many communications with the
old world, and the author's thanks are due to many students engaged upon
the study of this science in England and in the United States, and who
have rendered him valuable assistance. Also, the assistance of many kind
friends in New Zealand is gratefully acknowledged, and particularly that
of Mr Alfred Grant, without whose aid the preparation of these sheets
for the press would have been an almost impossible task.

Chapter II.


The popular mind draws little or no distinction between criminals. In it
there exists the idea of a criminal caste, all the members of which are
prepared to commit any and every act of a criminal nature. In the
popular mind, although it is just a question whether a man is bad enough
to commit the greater crimes, yet thieves, violators, swindlers, forgers
and murderers are all assumed to fall into the same category. In one
sense they do, that is, that they are all anti-social beings, or rather
they all possess certain anti-social qualities; but as soon as we
proceed further we find that there exists a very great distinction in
criminals. Criminals are first classified according to the motive of
their crime. This classication ranges them under five different
headings, the political criminal, the occasional criminal, the criminal
of passion, the instinctive criminal, and the habitual criminal or

Again they are classified, according to the nature of their crime, into
thieves, robbers, violators, assassins, murderers, swindlers, etc. These
again are sub-classified, e.g., thieves are classified as housebreakers,
those who rob with violence, those who use weapons, those who rob from
the person, and those who break safes. Murderers may also be classified
according to the nature of their murderous instinct, illustrated by the
instrument of destruction that they employ, whether it be the knife,
firearms, poisons or other means, and again a classification exists
between those who commit murder themselves and those who employ agents.
All these classifications are entirely different, and although some
criminals may range under more than one heading, yet it is generally the
case that a criminal adopts both a certain form of crime and also a
particular method for carrying it into execution.

=The Political Criminal.=--This man's offence is not against morality
but against the governmental institutions of the country. He holds
advanced ideas upon matters of government and upon the constitution of
society, and in his attempt to propagate these he becomes a political
criminal. The political criminal, as distinguished from all other
criminals, never commits violence, his morals may even approach
perfection; but he holds "ideas," ideas which are not acceptable to the
government under which he lives.

The despotic rule of the Oriental countries is most favourable to the
production of the political criminal: Russia and Germany are not without
their representatives. Occasionally bands of political criminals are
formed, and then, in the midst of demonstrations, unpremeditated
violence may be committed. The Stundists and the Young Turkish Party are

=The Occasional Criminal.=--"Economic conditions are generally
responsible for the production of the occasional criminal. His crime is
committed in order to satisfy his present wants. In him the sensual
instincts may not be stronger than usual, and the social element, though
weaker than usual, need not be absent. Weakness is the chief
characteristic of the occasional criminal. When circumstances are not
quite favourable he succumbs to temptation." (The Criminal, p. 18.) The
occasional criminal is clearly a subject for educational treatment. He
needs to cultivate greater power of self-control, to strengthen his
moral sense, and above all to be thoroughly equipped for the battle of
life. Imprisonment will frequently ruin him and be the cause of his
becoming a confirmed or habitual criminal.

=The Criminal of Passion.=--He is generally of considerable culture and
of keen moral sensibility. His crime proceeds from a sense of righteous
indignation which, for the moment, completely blinds him. Personal
insults cannot disturb his calm, but the sight of a child being abused
or a defenceless one being attacked, will so infuriate him that he may
even commit murder. Premeditation is never present, he acts under the
powerful inspiration of the moment, and his crime is an isolated event
quite unconnected with his conduct in general.

=The Insane Criminal=.--Insane persons who commit criminal acts, show
rather a variation of insanity than of criminality. It would be more
exact to describe them as "criminal lunatics" than as "insane
criminals." Two classes exist, a fact which is often overlooked, for
there are both criminal-lunatics and insane-criminals. In the first
case, criminality is the product of insanity, but in the second case
insanity is the product of criminality. Not an hereditary product in
either case, but a product resulting from a cause within the person's
mental or moral self.

The pronounced lunatic, the incapable, irresponsible person whose
actions are beyond his power to understand or control, is regarded by
society as a being too dangerous to be at large. Of him we do not here
speak to any extent, he is too well recognized. It should always be
borne in mind, however, that he commits crime because he is a lunatic,
and that although his confinement is absolutely necessary, yet there is
no warrant whatever that it should be made penal in character.

Although it is not possible in a work of this kind to deal largely with
the subject, the writer would urge upon the notice of society and upon
the special notice of jurists that there are a number of persons whose
crimes should excite for them the greatest sympathy instead of, as is
the case, the greatest detestation. Men there are who, perfectly sane in
the ordinarily accepted sense, and who have not only a clear conception
of the immorality of their conduct, but also an intense abhorrence and
shame for it, find themselves performing the most revolting acts under
influences that are absolutely irresistible. The sensualist has no
justification, but our laws are excessively cruel in their dealings with
this class to which allusion is made. To be brief, no man charged with
sadism (lust-murder) pederasty or the related crimes, should have his
case made public until a most complete diagnostic examination (including
his family and personal history) has been made by competent persons.

A careful study of Krafft-Ebing's monumental work upon the subject
should convince our lawyers that they could not proceed in these cases
without the assistance of the alienist and of those who are experts in
the diagnosis of the various forms of patho-sexualism. The cases of
insane criminals, that is, of the criminals whose vice is the cause of
their insanity, is also divisible into two classes. There is that
uninteresting class who on account of their irregular, immoral and
excitable life become insane, and there is another class. These latter
frequently escape the penalty of their crimes. Insanity is disclosed and
they have no criminal record, therefore they are discharged. It would be
a nice point to decide whether and to what degree, if any,
responsibility exists. To give an example not altogether uncommon--a man
who will not brook opposition or hindrance of any sort. On every such
occasion he cherishes most spiteful, even murderous, feelings towards
his opponent. He would do him any injury, even go to the length of
killing him, but he dare not.

He will storm, abuse and threaten, but he dare not go further. He is
avoided by his neighbours as being a most cantankerous fellow; he is
always being involved in disputes. This man is undoubtedly criminal at
heart and is cherishing anti-social feelings which are steadily growing
in their intensity. Revenge becomes the almost dominating influence over
his mind, but it is held in check by fear. At last fear gives way and
there is no further restriction to the emotion of revenge, which then
becomes supreme. At this climax insanity occurs and murder is committed
synchronically. Morally the act was committed years previously, and it
was by his own conduct in goading himself on to the climax that made it
an actual fact. Subsequently, almost immediately, he may become rational
again and retain consciousness of the deed and thoroughly understands
its outrageous nature. He will not then express any regrets but will
declare that his deed was perfectly moral. This man is as near a monster
as we dare call any man, and should never be allowed to have his liberty
restored to him.

=Instinctive Criminal.=--Called also the "born criminal" (Lombroso), or
the "criminal by nature." The term "instinctive criminal" seems to be
that growing most in popularity, possibly because there is less
likelihood of it having to be modified by the results of further

By the instinctive criminal is understood a man in whom the criminal
instinct has gained a supremacy over the social instinct. He is not
only anti-social in deed but also in character. (It would be a mistake
to term him anti-social in nature, for that would indicate that he was
absolutely hostile to humanity. One, anti-social in character, is
capable of betterment, and this is possible of every man.) Many causes
operate to account for his production, some of them reaching far back
into his ancestry. When this is the case some physical handicap is
always present, such as e.g. cerebral irritation and epilepsy.

In childhood the instinctive criminal may be recognised by an excessive
vanity which will often tempt him to steal, the thefts being generally
confined to articles of personal adornment or which give an occasion to
"swagger." When accused he will deny the charge brought against him with
an effrontery which will too often create the conviction that he is
innocent. When charged he will challenge the statements of his superiors
without any hesitation whatever, but at a given moment will break down
and make a most free and perhaps disinterested confession. Frequently he
is very emotional in behavior and simulates the deepest regret, although
he is practically without any remorse whatever. He will undertake to
perform the most afflicting tasks of penance in order to expiate the
wrong and give every assurance for future good behaviour. Neither of
which is of the least value.

Onanism and a morbid love for sweets is an important characteristic. In
the adult, laziness, debauchery and cowardice are to be noticed. His
signature is peculiar, involved and often adorned with flourishes. He
loves to be credited with the performance of great achievements, and
will tatoo medals upon his body or other symbols significant of
greatness. The instinctive criminal generally complains that he is
unfortunate, or that he has never had a chance, and that society is
always contriving to keep him down.

=The Habitual Criminal, or the Recidivist.=--When once a man has fallen
into the clutches of the law and been incarcerated it is very difficult
for him to keep his self-respect. His first crime may present many
features to indicate that he is more the victim of circumstances than
well-defined ill-will. But having been convicted, he finds himself
shunned by all but criminal society, and together with other influences,
educational in character, he is frequently allured into a relapse. If a
prisoner endeavours to behave himself in gaol and keep aloof from evil
contagion, he is bullied by his fellow-prisoners, and even his keepers
regard him with suspicion. The one twit him with being a white-livered
coward, the other consider him to be either a sneak or a "deep fellow."
He is almost sure to fall and identify himself with the ranks of crime.
An instance that the writer has personal knowledge of is that of a man,
passionate in nature, and moved by the tears of a young woman on behalf
of her imprisoned lover, stuck up a small country gaol under arms and
gained the release of the imprisoned man. To escape the consequences he
had to take to the "bush," and for two years he lived the life of an
outlaw. He finally surrendered to the police and was condemned to death.
As no personal injury had been committed and his manner of using his
weapons shewed plainly that he did not contemplate any, his sentence was
commuted to imprisonment for fourteen years, the first three to be spent
in irons. At the end of that time the criminal habit was confirmed. For
various offences he was sentenced at different times to periods
aggregating in all to thirty years. After his last sentence had
expired--six years ago--he began a new life and has not committed crime
since. His whole career showed many redeeming points in it. This case is
well-known to the New Zealand and Australian prison authorities.

The number of criminals who are allured into relapse is computed by
Orano to be 45 per cent of the whole.

The distinction between the habitual criminal and the instinctive
criminal is not merely an academical one but emphatically a practical
one. Both are living the life of crime, and their acts may be, from an
objective point, of exactly the same nature; but in the one case we have
to deal with the criminal CHARACTER and in the other with the criminal
HABIT. The distinction is first seen in the different ages at which each
commences his criminal career; nextly in the different impelling causes.
Again, the emotions, ideas and methods show a distinction. All these
variations are in the aggregate of considerable practical importance,
especially in the assignment of prisoners for reformatory treatment.

       *       *       *       *       *


Prof. Lombroso writing the introduction to Dr Arthur's "Criminology"
says:--"This point as to the type, is scarcely recognized even by the
most respectable savants. The reasons for this are many: above all,
there are the criminals by occasion or by passion, who do not belong to
the type and should not, for in great part it is the circumstances, and
often the laws, which make them criminals and not Nature. And then some
have strange ideas concerning the type."

No doubt if the acceptation of the idea of type is carried out in its
complete universality, it cannot be accepted; but as I have already said
in my previous writings that it is necessary to receive this idea with
the same reserve which one appreciates averages in statistics.

When it is said that the average of life is 32 years, and that the month
least (? most) fatal to life, is December, no one understands by this
that all or almost all men should die at the age of 32 years and in the
month of December; but I am not the only one to make this restriction.
In order to show this I have to cite the definition which Monsieur
Topinard, himself the most inveterate of my adversaries, gives in his
remarkable work "The Type," says Gratiolet, "is a synthetic expression."
"The Type," says Goethe, is "the abstract and general image" which we
deduce from the observation of the common parts and from the
differences. "The type of a species," adds Isidorus St. Helaire, "never
appears before our eyes but is perceived only by the mind." "Human
types," writes Broca, "have no real existence, they are only abstract
conceptions, ideals, which come from the comparison of ethnic varieties,
and are composed of an ENSEMBLE of characters common to a
certain degree among themselves." I agree with these different points of
view. The type is indeed an ENSEMBLE of traits, but in relation
to a group which it characterises, it is also the ENSEMBLE of
its most prominent traits, and those repeating themselves, whence comes
a series of consequences which the anthropologist should never lose
sight of either in his laboratory or in the midst of the populations of
Central Africa." Manouvrier opposes Lombroso's theory and denies the
existence of the type. He argues that if it exist at all it must be
universal, whereas the peculiarities noted by Lombroso are present in
honest as well as in criminal persons, the latter having, however, the
greater proportion.

The doctrine of Fatalism seems at first sight to be bound up in the
acceptance of Lombroso's theory: but such is not the case. Lombroso
himself declares that the type belongs to the born criminal only, and
that the born criminal can be nothing more than an epileptic;
criminality being a neurosis. It would thus seem that the type was but
the indication of an organic defect which physically or psychically
rendered the subject unable to adapt himself to the social condition;
but not that unchangeable ideas, contradicting pure morality, were
innate. Lombroso goes no further than to state definitely that the type
exists, and that there are very clear indications that a different type
will be found to correspond with the different forms of criminality.
That the peculiarities are found also in persons living honest lives,
proves nothing against his theory. For instance, there are many persons
of distinctly criminal instincts who are kept in the paths of honesty
merely by circumstances; and again, scientific investigation has not yet
completed its work, and while certain typical peculiarities may be noted
in the criminal and in the non-criminal alike, it is more than likely
that the type will be found to consist in different combinations which
will be discovered to exist in the criminal (not necessarily, the
convict) exclusively. Or the type may consist in the peculiarities plus
expression. The following typical peculiarities have been noticed by
different criminologists:--

=The Cranium.=--The more frequent persistence of the metopic or frontal
suture. The effacement, more or less complete, of the parietal or
parieto-occipital sutures in a large number of criminals. The notched
sutures are the most simple. The frequency of the wormian bones in the
region of the median and in the lateral posterior frontal. The backward
direction of the plane of the occipital depression. (Dr A. Corre.)

Feeble cranial capacity; heavy and developed jaw; large orbital
capacity; projecting superciliary ridges; abnormal and assymetrical
cranium; the presence of a median occipital fossa. (Lombroso.)

=The Face.=--Scanty beard; abundant hair, prognathism, thick lips, dull
eye, lemurian appendix to the jaw, pteleriform type of the nasal
opening, projecting ears, squinting eyes, receding forehead and deformed
nose. "Those guilty of rape (if not cretins) almost always have a
projecting eye, delicate physiognomy, large lips and eyelids, the most
of them are slender, blond and rachitic. The pederast often has feminine
elegance, long and curly hair, and even in prison garb, a certain
feminine figure, delicate skin, childish look, and abundance of glossy
hair parted in the middle. Burglars who break into houses have as a rule
woolly hair, deformed cranium, powerful jaws, and enormous zygomatic
arches, are covered with scars on the head and trunk, and are often
tatooed. Habitual homicides have a glassy, cold, immobile, sometimes
sanguinary and dejected look; often an aquiline nose, or, in other
words, a hooked one like a bird of prey, always large; the jaws are
large, ears long, hair woolly, abundant and rich (dark); beard rare,
canine teeth, very large; the lips are thin. A large number of swindlers
and forgers have an artlessness, and something clerical in their manner,
which gives confidence to their victims. Some have a haggard look, very
small eyes, crooked nose, and the face of an old woman." (Dr MacDonald,
page 40.)

The following proverbs, collected by Lombroso, show the recognition in
the popular mind of the criminal type:--"There is nothing worse than a
scarcity of beard and no colour." "Pale face is either false or
treacherous." (Rome.) "A red-haired man and a bearded woman greet at a
distance." (Venice.) "Be thou suspicious of the woman with a man's
voice." "God preserve me from the man without a beard." (France.) "Pale
face is worse than the itch." (Piedmont.) "Bearded women and unbearded
men, salute at a distance." (Tuscan.) "Men of little beard of little
faith." "Wild look, cruel custom." "Be thou suspicious of him who
laughs, and beware of men with small twinkling eyes." (Tuscan.)

It must be remembered that while physiognomy gives valuable hints it is
by no means absolutely certain. Further investigation may add materially
to its value. It is also to be remembered that habits play an important
part in the physiognomy. So much so is this true that it has been said
of the reformed criminals from Elmira, that their faces have changed.

Chapter III.


In investigating the causes of crime we have first to understand what we
mean by the word "Crime," and also what we describe by the term

Crime may be regarded both objectively and also subjectively, i.e., as
regards the deed itself and as regards the doer of the deed. In the past
it was customary to consider the crime only and to punish the doer, or
the criminal, according to the enormity of his deed. Scientific methods
require, however, that we should study the criminal and ask ourselves
"what is he?" and "of what forces is he the product?" If these questions
can be satisfactorily answered, then society is better enabled to arm
herself against his invasion, in fact having successfully diagnosed his
case she may be led on to discover the means whereby criminals may be
reduced to their irreducible minimum, both as regards number and as
regards their capacity for doing harm.

Man has two natures, the animal and the spiritual. The animal is the
passive product of Nature, the forces of his development being guided
and restricted by the condition of the life in which he is born and
reared. To this animal nature belongs the natural appetites, passions,
faculties and senses. This nature is not sufficient in itself, and its
realisation cannot be accomplished until it is brought into complete
subordination to the higher or spiritual nature. The function of this
spiritual nature is to subordinate the animal nature by harmonising and
controlling it, and it finds its partial realisation in the institutions
of family, church and state; and its ultimate realisation in the
heavenly counterparts of these. Thus subordinating the animal nature, it
develops the powers of man's natural inheritance along their true line
of advance and brings him steadily nearer the goal of perfect manhood.

When, however, the spiritual influence is not exercised and man resigns
himself to the uncontrolled influences which spring from his lower
nature, he rapidly degenerates. Socially, this degeneracy is noticed by
its process of gradually loosening, and finally severing the ties which
bind man to his race. He becomes an unsocial being and ceases to
contribute to the wealth, peace or establishment of society. His desire
for society is regulated by his capacity to draw from it the
satisfaction of the abnormal appetite of unregulated passion. In this
mood he totally disregards the laws of society and seizes every
opportunity that presents itself to prey upon it and he thus becomes an
anti-social being. Through all ages up to the present, society has at
the cost of much effort and suffering been progressing, stage by stage,
towards a higher order. Each advance purchased at such a price, becomes
a free gift, by inheritance, to the next generation, and from this
inheritance still further progress may be made. It is quite possible
that in a dissolute age retrogression may set in and the ground be lost,
in which case its recovery becomes the arduous task of a succeeding
regenerate age.

With each advance that it makes society embodies in its institution the
principles of social life such as it has been able to discover them.
These principles being finally accepted, we must assume that they are
eternal or else we are compelled to admit that society may be for ever
at fault, that its development does not correspond with the true
development of man, and that this present life is in no wise preparatory
for a future. Though we declare that the principles of society are
eternal, the social institutions which embody them are merely temporal,
and may change with time and circumstances. They are, nevertheless,
binding upon our allegiance, and any attempt to overthrow them becomes
the anti-social act of the criminal and is a punishable offence. The
criminal is an enemy to social advance. He profanes that which society
holds sacred, he scatters that which society, at great cost has
acquired, and he attacks society at its most vulnerable points.

What, then it may be asked, are the causes that produce this anti-social
being? In the case of the sane criminal, an immoral basis underlies all
causes, and without this they would each and all be impotent. Some
causes, as e.g. alcoholism, are the result of the individual's
immorality; others again are independent.

The principal causes are:--A bad ancestry (heredity), bad domestic and
social conditions, alcoholism, imitation, and stress of circumstances.

=Heredity.=--Among unscientific people there are many extravagant
theories held, some even affirming that from the moment of conception a
child's character may be determined as criminal, as if character
underlay habit instead of habit evolving character.

It is therefore necessary that we should endeavour to discover if
possible how far the influence of heredity extends, and especially to
disclose its powers as a factor influencing conduct. A man may be seen
to have the same peculiar carriage and gait as his father; but to argue
from that, that he will in obedience to a naturally transmitted impulse,
follow in his father's footsteps as a thief or a forger is to step
entirely out of the bounds of science. Gait and carriage belong to a
different sphere altogether from morals and conduct. But let it be at
once acknowledged that the morals and conduct of any given ancestry show
a tendency to be reproduced in the posterity. The drunkard is the father
of drunkards; the suicide is the father of suicides, and the parent's
crime is repeated by the child. Not in all cases is this by any means a
fact: but in a sufficient number to exclude the possibility of
coincidence accounting for them all, and to demonstrate conclusively
that some influence must be at work connecting the deeds of the
progenitor with those of his offspring. What is this influence? Can it
be at once declared to be the influence of heredity? The most usual way
of determining this question is by the process of exclusion. If
environment, education, imitation and other causes do not account for
the phenomena, then heredity must. Heredity thus becomes a convenient
name by which to denominate the insolvable. Sometimes the denomination
is correct and sometimes incorrect, and very often, even when correct,
it conveys a wrong impression. The impression being that the influence
of heredity is altogether irresistible and also ineradicable.

Now, whatever the influence of heredity may be, it must be determined
scientifically and not merely guessed at. Nor must the failure to find
an adequate cause for a certain crime be a sufficient reason for
accounting heredity as responsible. Heredity has limits to its range of
influence as well as any other cause for crime, and it may be found that
there are certain fears which it can never invade. For instance, one
sphere wherein its influence is manifestly great, is in the structure of
the nervous, osseous, muscular, circulatory and vascular systems. Again,
what is more common than to find intellectual ability running in
families? Ribot, in his work on heredity, gives long lists of the
world's most famous poets, artists, musicians, statesmen and soldiers,
all showing the tendency of ability, in these various directions, to be
transmitted from one generation to another. Not always to the generation
immediately succeeding, for sometimes these various qualities disappear
in the son to reappear in the grandson or great-grandson. However,
convincing the evidence for transmission in these cases may be, it gives
no warrant whatever for the conclusion that heredity may exercise an
influence upon the MORAL conduct of man.

Let it here be observed that the Moral Law is fundamental to all law. No
laws in Nature ever contradict the Moral Law, but are always found
acting in obedience to it. All the works of God are in accord with this
Law; God is the Moral Governor of the Universe. Therefore whatever may
hold good with all other laws, does not necessarily hold good with this
Law. That a man should inherit his father's intellectual qualities is
then no argument that he should also inherit his father's immorality.
Nothing less will suffice than distinct evidence that he HAS inherited
his father's immorality.

A further observation is necessary, and that is, that morality is not
absolute but relative. Strictly speaking, no man is moral. God alone is
absolutely moral. Nor can we compare the morality of one man with the
average morality of mankind in general. To estimate a certain man's
morality of conduct we must compare his conduct with the degree of the
sense of responsibility which exists within him, and also his power of
control over his conduct. The murderous act of a lunatic for instance is
an immoral act, because we compare the act with morality in the
abstract; but it would be a mistake to call the lunatic an immoral man,
for the simple reason that he had no control over his conduct and was
therefore not responsible for it.

Take the case of the drunkard. A certain drunken father has several
drunken sons. The influence of environment, of education, or of
imitation, we will suppose to be excluded. Is heredity the cause, and if
so, has it invaded the moral sphere? The influence of the father's
drunkenness is first made manifest in his own nervous system. The nerve
centres become clogged and poisoned and fail to discharge their
functions with the same healthy activity as formerly. The nervous system
degenerates, and the consequence of this degeneracy is the production of
that form of irritation within the system which we call the craving for
drink, and which requires alcohol for its immediate satisfaction. The
man will admit that he has no liking for the taste of drink; but
declares that he is in a certain state of unsettlement which can only be
overcome by the use of liquor. A temporary calm is induced, only to be
followed by a more intense irritation or unsettlement afterwards, and
thus a circle of cause and effect is at once described.

This is then the degenerate state of the father's nervous system. Now,
it is undoubted that he may transmit this same degenerate nervous system
to his offspring and thus as his children grow up it is not to be
wondered at if the same craving for drink is to be found in them as was
existing in their parent. The influence of heredity has been at work
upon the nervous system. Has its influence been restricted to this
system, or has it invaded the moral sphere? The children's conduct is
immoral, for no amount of argument can determine drunkenness to be
anything else: but are the children themselves immoral? They are not
immoral so far as they are acting in obedience to an impulse which is
irresistible. The drunkard who is himself responsible for his habit, is,
strictly speaking, an alcoholic and is vicious and degraded. The
drunkard who drinks in spite of himself is, strictly speaking, a
dipsomaniac, and is diseased and insane. The alcoholic may become the
dipsomaniac; but the child who is the victim of a transmitted taint is
without doubt a dipsomaniac and not an alcoholic. He is insane. It may
not be an incurable form of insanity; nor need it be a very acute form;
but insanity it is, and therefore he cannot be called an immoral man
because he drinks, although he is guilty of immoral conduct. Heredity
has not invaded the moral sphere. It has given the man a diseased
nervous system, which, while weakening his will, has not perverted it.
Thus it is seen then that if any effort is to be made for the reform of
the dipsomaniac, the direct influence of heredity must be overcome by a
course of treatment which would be addressed to the nervous system.
Treatment which shall draw out the alcoholic poison and which shall
quicken and invigorate the nerve centres. When the influence of heredity
is discovered to be restricted within these limits, the case of the
hereditary dipsomaniac becomes far less hopeless than it appeared at
first sight, and it is for this reason that the causes of crime should
be thoroughly investigated. To moralise to the dipsomanic is but lost
effort, one may as well abuse a driver for not stopping his bolting
horses. Some reformatory schemes have trusted entirely to moral
agencies, and their failure has been quoted as evidence that all such
schemes are futile. But their failure has been due to an entirely wrong
conception of the cause of crime. The primary cause is undoubtedly a
reprobate will: but this cause is not found in every case. Where the
consequences of the parent's conduct has been inherited we find not the
primary, but a secondary cause, such as e.g. a diseased nervous system.
Sometimes both the primary and the secondary causes exist side by side,
and then treatment must be addressed to both the will and to the
physical system. In fact whatever methods of treatment are employed, the
moral temperament must not be neglected, for even if the will be not
perverted, it is considerably weakened and needs strengthening.

The case of the sensualist is somewhat similar to that of the drunkard.
Ribot quoting Prosper Lucas, gives the example of a "man cook, of great
talent in his calling, has had all his life, and has still at the age of
sixty years, a passion for women. To this he adds unnatural crime. One
of his natural sons living apart from him does not even know his father,
and though not yet quite nineteen, has from his childhood given all the
signs of extreme lust, and strange to say, he, like his father, is
equally addicted to either sex." (Ribot; Heredity p. 89.)

The fact that this son imitated his father's vices at an early age, is
not sufficient in itself to assign the cause to heredity. Nor does the
fact that he was separated from his father's influence or example,
strengthen the assignment beyond dispute. The causes for such conduct
are so common that very few men escape from their influence, and
whosever does not resist them, falls and becomes a victim. But probably
this was a case in which an inherited influence pressed itself so
strongly upon him as to become irresistible. What, we ask was inherited?
A perverted will? That is absolutely impossible. A perverted will is the
outcome of a deliberate choice of evil when the choice of virtue is
equally possible. A weakened will, or a will subject to heavy stress is
a different thing. There must be some stress upon the will. What is it?
It is a well known fact that the exercise of the members of our body
results in a great facility of movement being attained. The pianist can,
after long practice, execute rapid and complex performances of
fingering, which in the early stages of education were absolutely
impossible. It is because the nerve centres controlling the muscles
employed have been brought to such a high state of activity that they
operate almost independently of the will. The nerve centres controlling
certain of our functions DO operate independently of the will. Breathing
is an example, and although an effort of the will is required to
correct bad breathing, yet when once the habit of correct breathing is
established, the directing influence of the mind ceases, and the nerve
centres discharge their functions automatically.

In the normal man the sexual instinct is inherited but the passion is
submissive to the control of the will. The will is supreme and
self-restraint is always possible. The immoral man has refused to
exercise this restraining power, he has, in fact, by his immoral
thoughts, lent his mind to the strengthening of the passion until it has
gained an ascendancy. Continual sexual excitement has resulted in the
nervous centres controlling the sexual organs becoming so powerfully
developed as to act almost automatically, and independently of the will.
In the normal man, sexual excitement results upon the mental vision; in
the sensualist the excitement precedes the vision. Another effect is
noticed in the physiognomy which changes in accordance with the
development of the nerve centres and presents all the appearances of the
typical sensualist or prostitute.

In some cases the sensualist transmits this highly organised or
disordered nervous system to his descendants, and consequently when they
arrive at a certain age they find their bodies invaded by a passion over
which they have small, and sometimes no, control. It is distinctly a
case of functional insanity with them. Their will power is weak because
of undue stress, but it has not been perverted. Perversion may follow;
but may also be avoided, and even the will sufficiently strengthened so
that it may re-assume control and subject the passion to control. The
influence of heredity is here also confined to the nervous system. That
is, the direct influence, the influence which was first felt and before
it received any support which the mind of the victim may give it. The
cases of hereditary suicides, murderers and assassins afford a very
large field for investigation, and we cannot do more than suggest some
causes which seem to give strong evidence of their existence. These
causes if their existence be allowed, and we see every reason that it
should, will restrict the influence of heredity to a much narrower
sphere than is popularly supposed. The old story of the devil preaching
upon the horrors of hell serves somewhat to illustrate our meaning. When
the abbot enquired whether it was not contrary to his interests to draw
so vivid and terrible a picture he replied in the negative and gave as
his reason that the man who contemplated the horrors of hell was the man
who was bound to find his way there.

The contemplation of criminal acts effects a strange fascination upon
the mind and very often induces imitation of the same acts. When a
suicide or murder, in fact any crime, is committed by a member of a
family the other members either, according to their moral disposition,
experience a greater or lesser repulsion for the deed than they formerly
possessed. The enormity of the deed is either stronger or lesser in
their eyes than before. In the latter case, murder or suicide does not
seem nearly so heinous a crime when it is brought so closely under their
notice. The very knowledge that a father or uncle or any other near
relative, or even friends for that matter, committed suicide, makes the
act appear far less terrible, and also far less impossible for
themselves. Most men have at some time or another an impulse to destroy
themselves, it may not be very strong; but if it is felt at a time when
the circumstances of life are unfavourable and, if added to this, there
is presented the example of a suicide very near at home, the impulse is
undoubtedly strengthened. The whole chain of circumstances seem to
direct the vision upon the rash act of the friend or relative, until at
last the vision becomes fascinating, and the act is imitated. To use a
concise expression one may call this the "hypnotic power of
circumstances." It is not an absolute cause in itself; but, strictly
speaking, may we call any cause absolute? It is not a cause which would
influence a man of strong will or of sound morality. But a sentimental
person, one of morbid ideas, weak will, or overcome by the thought of
detection, or the fear of misfortune, might easily fall a victim to its
influences. It will not account for all the cases of hereditary suicide,
for a mental disease may be transmitted which would account for the
suicide of both father and son or whatever the combination may be. It,
however, does account, we believe, for the majority of the cases, and
the similarity of the method employed strengthens this belief, for it
indicates that the mind is dwelling upon the actual vision of the
relative's suicide, and is not merely contemplating suicide in the
abstract. This theory would imply that any case of suicide, upon which
the mind would dwell and concentrate itself, would exercise the same
influence, and this is the case. A few years ago in Dunedin an
accountant who was involved in financial difficulties, shot himself with
a pistol. His executor, against the advice of friends, took charge of
the pistol. Becoming involved in financial difficulties himself, he too
committed suicide by shooting himself with the same weapon! Almost,
without a doubt, we may say that the circumstances of the first suicide
exerted upon the mind of the trustee a hypnotic influence which combined
with and gave the final impulse to the other contributing causes of his

Another instance is that of a young man who, contemplating suicide,
carried a revolver about with him for a whole day. He spoke of suicide
to his friends, occasionally discharged shots into the ground, and
finally, during the evening, blew his brains out. That he contemplated
suicide was evident from his conversation, but that his mind was not
made up, is also evident from the delay he occasioned. In fact, his
whole behaviour indicates a faint desire to cling to something stronger
than himself in order to brace himself against his haunting fears. The
revolver fascinated him. He dallied with it, made up his mind, changed
it again, and finally the influence became supreme for a moment, and he
fired the fatal shot. Throughout the day, he very probably thought of
the grief of his relatives and of the young woman he was soon to marry,
he pictured the consternation of his friends, read the newspaper
accounts of his act, saw his funeral, and let his mind run altogether in
morbid channels. Thus it was that the vision of his own act exerted an
hypnotic influence upon him which became at the critical moment supreme
and irresistible.

When the picture is real and not imaginary, and when the circumstances
of a parent's or brother's or friend's suicide may easily be recalled
and the mind allowed to dwell upon them, how much greater would the
influence become, especially when the same example has served to
diminish the idea of the enormity of the act. Where persons lend
themselves to the idea that an hereditary influence exists and may
spring upon them at any moment, they are almost sure either to destroy
themselves or else to develop some form of insanity. There are cases of
murder and assassination (apparently hereditary crime) where the
conditions are so similar that the hypnotic power of circumstances may
likewise be urged as sufficient cause.

So far, an attempt has been made to show that whatever the influence of
heredity may be, it is restricted outside the sphere of morality. It
cannot transmit an IMMORAL IDEA. So far as certain forms of
vice and crime are concerned it most probably is limited entirely to its
effect upon the physical structure of man. Combined with family
tradition and working upon a diseased, or weakened will, it accounts for
similarities of conduct. Suicides, murderers and assassins do not then
receive by transmission from their ancestry any taint or tendency which
may be called the direct cause of their crime. Another factor is
present, a hypnotising power, and this is the final and directing power.
It is a different influence to imitation, although its first result is
the same, viz: the lowering of the moral idea. But crimes where the act
is the imitation of another person's act are generally committed from
the desire to become notorious and to be the centre of observation. The
spirit of vanity, very strong in the low type, is appealed to and
aroused. Or perhaps, the example of another's crime affords a suggestion
for the method of accomplishing a certain desired end. On the other
hand, the ancestral example, after having broken down the moral barrier
depends entirely upon its power to fascinate. Those of weak will or
guilty conscience, alone succumb to its influence. If we consider the
cases of thieves, vagabonds and paupers we find their crimes and vices
likewise running in families. It is nevertheless quite a mistake to jump
at the conclusion that heredity accounts for all these coincidencies.
Exempting all cases of transmitted mental alienation and observing only
those who are quite responsible for their action, it is impossible to
suppose that there is, somewhere in their organism, a power which will
direct their lives into the channels of vice or crime just as
irresistibly as the influence which makes the hair grow on the crown of
their heads. It is unthinkable. It supposes a responsible person who
cannot control himself. Which is a contradiction.

M. Moleschott, at the International Congress of Criminal Anthropology
held in Paris in 1889, "mentioned an influence towards crime that had
not been noticed, to wit, the hereditary social influence, or that is,
the tradition which is instilled into the mind of every child before he
knows the difference between right and wrong, that by which he obtains
the rudiments of his knowledge of right and wrong. Whether it be correct
or not it is the child's standard. He gets it not from any knowledge of
theory of justice, but from the tradition of his own neighbourhood, as
it is taught by his parents and associates by the people, and as is
believed by them." (Criminal Anthropology; the Smithsonian Report for

It will be understood that the influences of which M. Moleschott speaks
are not of an hereditary nature, that is, they are not transmitted
through the blood; but they are influences which are present from the
first moment of consciousness. They are quite sufficient to account for
the criminal type being found in the physiognomy of a person born and
reared among such surroundings. It is a very popular error to suppose
that a person's physiognomy never changes, and therefore that if the
criminal cast of countenance is seen it must be a faithful witness to
some innate depravity transmitted from an ancestry. The expression plays
such an important part in the moulding of the countenance, that of two
brothers very much alike in youth, one, afterwards given to crime, will
still retain his resemblance to his brother; but will display the
criminal type as well. It is thus that we have the different types in
murderers, assassins, thieves, swindlers and sensualists. They are all
criminal or vicious but their forms of criminality and vice are so
diverse that a different expression results from the different kinds of
thought passing through their minds. In their theories, few people
acknowledge that the symmetry of the facial features may change, and yet
it is a matter of common observance that they do. In the cases of
persons becoming insane or persons who have suffered from long and
painful illnesses it is very remarkable. Likewise in the case of the man
who has fallen into crime, it is also most noticeable. Of course there
are limits to the changes which the expression may produce, but these
changes are nevertheless very great and sufficiently so, not perhaps to
produce Lombroso's type in any given face, but to give that face at
least a distinctly criminal cast.

The appearance then of this criminal cast upon the features is not
sufficient evidence to account for an inherited tendency towards crime.
Dr Manouvrier insists that Lombroso's theory that the criminal is born
and not made is based upon the exploded science of phrenology, and
declares that all the anatomical distinctions and physicological
characteristics quoted by Lombroso are to be found among honest men as
well as among criminals. The fact that a greater proportion are found
among criminals to his mind proves nothing.

[There is not vast difference between normal and abnormal persons
possessing these peculiarities. In Lombroso's work "The Female Offender"
he notices:--

                            Normal Women        Criminal Women
  Receding foreheads         8 per cent.          11 per cent.
  Enormous lower jaws        9   "                15    "
  Projecting cheek bones    14   "                19.9  "
                                      Murderesses 30    "
     "       ears            6   "                 9.2  "
  Flat nose                 40   "        Thieves 20    "

Gradenigo (quoted by Lombroso) gives the following table showing the
peculiarities of the ears of 245 criminals as compared with 14,000
normal women:--

                               Normal           Criminal
  Regular external ear       65 per cent.    54 per cent.
  Sessile ear                12    "         20    "
  Scaphoid fossa prolonged
    to lobe                   8.2  "         21.2  "
  Projecting ears             3.1  "          5.3  "
  Prominent anti-helix       11.5  "         14.2  "
  Darwin's tubercle           3    "          2.9  "

Other anthropometrists notice different proportions.]

If Lombroso's theory, that a man was born a criminal, was to be taken as
the rule, Manouvrier declares that it must then be universal, and that
men thus born must inevitably commit crime. If it be a rule then it must
operate in all classes, and since it does not so operate, proof is given
that it is not the rule. Manouvrier declares that the man possessed of
characteristics the very opposite of Lombroso's criminal, if subjected
to the conditions, influences, and temptations, which lead to crime
would as likely commit crime as he who possessed all the characteristics
which Lombroso describes as typical. Manouvrier regards the social life
of a person from childhood as being the most important factor in
moulding character. He emphatically denies that there is in the embryo a
predisposition to crime. Dr Magnan likewise refuses his assent to this

It may be rather daring to suggest a theory which would reconcile the
differences between these eminent men: but as the facts presented by
each side are indisputable, some such reconciliation must exist.
Possibly if we interpret Lombroso's phrase, "inherited tendency towards
crime" or "predisposition towards crime" in the same way as we interpret
the term ("predisposition towards disease") when speaking of tubercular
persons (or, as Mercier speaks of the insane), that is as persons, who
in a given favourable environment, are more likely to commit crime than
persons without that inherited tendency, we may find these theories to
be more in accord with one another. Lombroso insists that there must be
an inherited tendency, Manouvrier insists that there must be
environment. As in the case of tubercular persons (of tubercular
ancestry) these two causes are complementary, may it not be also the
case with criminals of criminal ancestry? The INHERITED IMMORAL
IDEA seems to be really what Manouvrier rejects. A vicious
conception of life which makes the man inevitably, incurably, and
irresistibly a criminal, is apparently the interpretation he puts on
Lombroso's theory. But from Lombroso's works and speeches, the
interpretation does not appear to be at all a necessary one. The
transmission of a disordered nervous system with its consequences, as
one cause, the "hypnotic influence of circumstances" as another cause,
and these two causes acting sometimes separately and sometimes
conjointly, will very possibly account for the phenomena Lombroso
observes. A most important factor, and one which cannot be disregarded,
compels the acceptance of some such theory. This factor is the success
resulting from reformatory effort. It is not only Lombroso and
Manouvrier that need to be reconciled, but Lombroso, Manouvrier and
Brockway. This latter gentleman is the founder of the famous Elmira
Reformatory which has reformed 82 per cent. of 12,000 felons which have
been committed to it for treatment.

We come then to this conclusion that heredity plays an important part in
the production of the criminal; but that there are other very important
factors which are often confused with it and when separated from it
reduce the popular estimate of its influence to the scientific one,
which is considerably the lesser one. Furthermore, as a consequence of
this investigation, the true foundations upon which reformatory science
is to be built are clearly indicated.

This statement, that heredity plays an important part in the production
of the criminal, needs to be carefully guarded. It means precisely this
and nothing more:--That where an hereditary influence (such as above
described) making crime easier, has been transmitted, there that
influence is an important factor in the production of the criminal. It
does NOT mean that this influence is invariably transmitted by the
criminal parent, neither does it mean that the majority of criminals are
"born" criminals.

The following is an extract from a letter upon this subject which the
author has received from Dr. Arthur MacDonald, one of the leading
criminologists of to-day:--"There is no proof of any scientific value
that criminality is inherited." By criminality we understand "the moral
basis of crime."

The famous "Jukes" family that lived in the State of New York, afford
one of the most interesting studies in heredity to be found in the
annals of criminology. Of this numerous family (some 709 persons of
which were clearly traced in five generations) the elder sons took to
crime and the younger sons to vagabondage. There was indeed a proportion
of honest and industrious persons among them. Of the women 52 per cent.
were prostitutes. That a proportion of honest men among the sons, and a
fair number of virtuous women among the daughters is recorded, clearly
proves that an hereditary taint is not, in all cases, necessarily
transmitted from parent to child. Latency in one generation, with
activity in the next, is frequently observed in the transmission of
disease; but in the case of crime, as distinguished from vice, this is
rarely so.

That the younger sons of the "Jukes" family fell into habits of
vagabondage (leaving it to the elder sons to carry on the criminal
traditions of the family) is also worthy of notice. It serves to show
that whatever the influence of heredity may be, as a factor disposing
towards crime, it cannot be an independent and final factor. In families
living after a primitive manner of life, as this family did, the elder
sons are invariably the companions of their fathers and accompany them
on their depredatory raids. The younger sons are left to the milder
environment of their mother's society. Thus from a criminal point of
view, the environment of the elder sons is more intense than that of the
younger sons. The difference in environment accounts for the difference
in character formed; the more intense environment accounting for
criminals and the milder environment for vagabonds. Sometimes the
influence of environment is overcome, and we noticed that among the
"Jukes" a proportion of the family was honest and industrious.
Acknowledging the transmission of a physical defect from a criminal
ancestry, we must bear in mind that the conditions of the criminal's
life are such as are calculated to produce in himself that defect which
he transmits. His body becomes weakened, his nervous system disordered,
and the physical substratum of his mind diseased. These defects he
transmits to his offspring and thus handicaps them in the effort that is
required from the individual to adapt himself to the conditions of

This is the criminal "taint" or handicap that makes it more likely that
the individual should fall into crime than the normal man. Although
society regards this hereditary criminal as a monster, it has been made
clear that he is really more deserving of compassion than one not so
handicapped. To secure society from his injurious acts, our courts
frequently take the illogical and unjust course of imposing a more
severe punishment upon him. This is in itself a clear evidence of the
demand that exists for penological reform.

=Environment.=--By environment we understand bad homes, bad
associations, and generally bad conditions.

Of the condition of the 12,000 persons who passed through the Elmira
Reformatory between the years 1876-1902, only 1.47 per cent. came from
good homes and 37.4 per cent. from fair homes. Of the character of the
men's associations, 56.6 per cent. was positively bad; 41.9 per cent.
was "not good;" .9 per cent. was doubtful, and 1.6 per cent. was good.

It is scarcely necessary from a practical point of view to enquire into
the actual amount of crime which results from a bad environment, for it
is only too obvious that none but those of the strongest wills and of
the highest morality can resist the influence of bad surroundings when
these are constant. Our enquiry should rather be directed to ascertain
what constitutes a bad environment and what are the causes that produce
it. It should also seek to discover by what means its evil influence may
be checked and how to eradicate these influences when present. The
attitude of our law-courts towards the criminal is practically
this:--"You have been reared amidst evil surroundings whose influence
you could not resist, you are a criminal, an outcast from society, you
must be punished by being locked up in a school of crime in the hope
that it may inspire you to live a better life. The sentence of the court
is ..." And society endorses this attitude!

The evil influence of bad surroundings is well exemplified by an
instance recorded by Viscount D'Haussonville in his work "L'Enfance a
Paris":--"Some years ago a band of criminals were brought before the
jury of the Seine charged with a terrible crime, the assassination of an
aged widow, with details of ferocity which the pen refuses to describe.
The president of the court having asked the principal, Maillot, called
'the yellow,' how he had been brought to commit such a crime, he
replied:--What do you wish that I should tell you Mr President? Since
the age of seven years I have been found only on the streets of Paris. I
have never met anyone who was interested in me. When a child, I was
abandoned to every vicissitude--and I am lost. I have always been
unfortunate. My life has been passed in prisons and gaols. That is all.
It is my fate. I have reached--you know where. I will not say that I
have committed the crime under circumstances independent of my own will,
but finally--(here the voice of Maillot trembled) I never had a person
to advise me. I had in view only robbery. I committed robbery but I
ended with murder."

The following description of the manner in which parents may defeat the
work of the juvenile reformatory or industrial school was given by
Senator Roussel at the Fourth International Prison Congress:--"The
pernicious influence of parents relative to minors is manifest in two
ways and at two periods of the child's life. First in extreme youth,
when he is only a burden, his parents neglect him. He is left without
proper care, often without proper food and subjected to all the hazards
of the streets; he is forced to be a vagabond and a beggar, and this
situation continues until a violation of the law places the little
unfortunate in the hands of justice. Later, everything is changed. When
by maturity of age and good effects of penitentiary education, the child
instead of being a burden can be a source of profit, we see those same
parents, who had abandoned him in his infancy, and apparently had
forgotten him altogether, go to him and win him back to them by their
entreaties, and finally on his discharge regain him by virtue of
parental authority. This indiscretion of evil parents ... is the way
that the first-fruits of correctional or charitable education are
corrupted and that a great many minors who would have become useful
members of society, are definitely lost to it."

It may be heresy to criticise our public school system but it is more
than an open question whether we are not producing a generation of badly
educated people who are not aware of their own ignorance, who see no
dignity in labour and who prefer to make their living by speculation
rather than by work. The fault largely consists in estimating the
efficiency of a school or a teacher solely by the results obtained at
examination and making the children work for this end and this end only.
Their memories are taxed to the uttermost but no attempt is made to
develop them into reasoning, enquiring and labour loving beings. The
difficulty with which children in the sixth and seventh standards follow
the simplest arguments is simply amazing. The teachers, moreover, have
no opportunity for cultivating the art of pedagogy. Their whole time is
taken up preparing matter to pour into the child's mind. The bad
salaries that are paid can also have but one result, viz., the depriving
the State of the services of the most manly and most noble teachers and
having the work committed to those of the genus prig.

Bad homes, bad schools and playgrounds only once removed from cattle
yards, will be, in this country, the most potent factors in producing

=Alcohol.=--The influence of alcohol in the commission of crime is both
direct and indirect. We see its direct influence in those crimes which
are committed whilst the culprit is either in a state of intoxication or
else just recovering from such a state. To detect and trace its indirect
influence a much closer study is required. The inconsequent, lazy and
thriftless life of the criminal demands some sort of stimulant, and this
is found readily at hand in alcohol. Alcohol is not the cause of the
crimes of these people but it is closely associated with such cause. The
man who stabs another in a saloon is not then guilty of his first crime.
Under the influence of intoxication he has lost his power of
self-control and he commits a deed for which he may in a sober moment
have still a degree of moral abhorrence or be perhaps too much of a
coward to perform.

Many criminals, whose crime requires a certain amount of nerve and
calculation, as e.g. assassinations, murders, robberies, swindlings,
etc., will not touch alcohol until their crime has been completed and
they have satisfied themselves that they covered up all trace of it.
They then often indulge in a debauch.

In the lower courts, offenders will frequently plead as an extenuation
that they were intoxicated at the time when they committed their
offence. This is often done in order to escape the full penalty, and
such pleas are not to be relied upon in estimating the real influence of
alcohol. In the higher courts, for the same reason, criminals often
feign insanity, and in not a few of such cases they become their own
dupes by actually losing the possession of their senses. Drunkenness and
crime go together, although the increase in the consumption of alcohol
does not necessarily mean that crime has increased. Neither does the
reverse hold good. When crime appears first it is not long before all
forms of animal indulgence follow. Sometimes drunkeness appears first,
and when the home has been reduced to beggary, crime results.

Under the immediate influence of drink, the crimes most commonly
committed are those against morality and the person. In countries where
the saloon is an institution, it is invariably the home of criminals and
the scene of many murders and deeds of blood. In France, e.g. out of
10,000 murders committed, 2,374 occurred in saloons. The indirect
influence of alcohol is perhaps more terrible than its direct influence.
There is this sad feature about it also that the greatest sufferers are
the victims, not of their own abuse, but of that of others. Many a
criminal tells the story, which is easily corroborated, of the days of
his childhood when his father came home drunk and the children for very
fear had to hide themselves or run out into the streets, often to sleep
wherever they could, and perhaps steal to satisfy the pangs of hunger.
Such children are quickly absorbed, the girls into the ranks of
prostitution, the boys into those of crime. Many too, by reason of their
parents' intemperance, are weaklings and unable to take their stand in
the ranks of honest labourers. Unless they are rescued by philanthropic
effort they very soon take to crime, and physically and psychically
present all the features of the "instinctive criminal."

Of 12,000 criminals at Elmira, in nearly 36 per cent, was a drunken
ancestry to be clearly traced.

To state exactly the influence of alcohol as a cause of crime will, from
the nature of the case, never be possible; but this much is certain,
that EVERY cause finds in it a strengthening contributary of
considerable potentiality.

=Imitation.=--One of the principal characteristics of the criminal is
his excessive vanity. His great ambition is to gain notoriety and to be
talked about by the public. Almost every criminal has his hero in crime
whose deed he tries to emulate as nearly as possible; or, better still,
to outshine. Thus we find, that when some daring deed has been
perpetrated, there are not wanting others who quickly make an attempt to
imitate it. A prisoner tried to kill his comrade because a third man,
who was standing his trial for murder, was receiving in his estimation
too much attention from the public and especially "too many bouquets." A
murderer in New Zealand declared that the notorious bushranger Ned Kelly
was his ideal of a man. A certain priest, beloved by all, was found
murdered. None could account for the crime; afterwards it was discovered
to have been the act of a young criminal who performed it merely as an
act of bravado. Instances of this sort might be multiplied all tending
to show that the vanity of the criminal leads him, as far as his courage
will permit, to imitate the most daring deeds in crime. The witnessing
of executions and reading the accounts of fictitious and real crimes
often leads many into crime. As a deterrent to crime, it was once the
custom in England to conduct executions in public. Lombroso records it
as being his conviction that such publicity does, by the law of
imitation, lead more into crime than it turns from it. This he considers
is one of the most powerful arguments in favour of abolishing the death
penalty. Out of 167 persons condemned to death in England, 164 had been
present at executions. The reading of sensational novels or the
descriptive accounts of great crimes has a most alarming effect upon
those who are of an impressionable nature. These persons are to
themselves the heroes of an imaginary world. They will put on an air of
bravado, adopt a "swagger" style of attire, carry sharp knives and pose
before their companions as dare-devils. If not sufficiently courageous
to perform deeds of daring they will constantly be recounting imaginary
ones for which they will claim the authorship; or else they will be for
ever threatening to do something of a staggering nature. The more
courageous of these frequently become dangerous criminals while the
more timid descend into sneak thieves, or the assaulters and violators
of the persons of the defenceless. This inflammatory reading matter also
exerts an hypnotic influence over some which is almost irresistible. Dr
MacDonald ("Criminology" p. 131), gives the instance of a woman who
after having read of the dreadful crime of a Parisian mother, came to Dr
Esquirol and pleaded with him to admit her into his hospital, declaring
that since reading of this crime she was tormented by the devil to kill
her youngest child. Reading of the crime and vividly picturing to
herself the details of it, had resulted in the woman's mind being laid
hold of by a fascinating power which continually prompted her to kill
her own child. Her wish was granted and she recovered.

In this case we have another instance of the "hypnotic influence of
circumstances." Firstly, the picture is deeply impressed on the mind;
next the moral sensibilities are hardened, and lastly the overt act is
committed. Tropmann who murdered a whole family of eight, confessed that
his demoralisation was due to the reading of sensational novels. The
publication of the details of crimes and the circulation of inflammatory
fiction is a most fruitful cause of further crime. One of the most
efficient safe-guards against crime and scandal is a sensitive public
moral tone. This is undoubtedly hardened by the publicity given to
sordid and gruesome details. One fails to see what good purpose can
possibly be served. Knowledge is power, but in this case, it is a power
for evil. The weak-willed readily obey the law of imitation, the
criminal is gratified at seeing the big headlines in the newspapers and
impelled to further crime, and some neurotics are positively hypnotised.

Any serious attempt to suppress the increase of crime must take these
matters into consideration, and it will unquestionably prove abortive
unless a much stricter censorship is exercised over the publication of
the gruesome details of crimes and scandals and also over the sale of
the type of literature referred to.

Chapter IV.


The various punishments which are inflicted upon our law breakers are
fines, imprisonment, flogging, and death.

=Fines= produce a very useful means of dealing with persons whose
offences show a tendency to crime rather than to actual criminality. In
many cases the self-respect of the offender has not been sacrificed, and
while under arrest the sense of shame is deeply aroused. The shock from
being brought face to face with the law is often sufficient in these
persons to check any further tendency towards crime. The imposition of a
fine will satisfy the claims of justice and inflict that degree of
punishment necessary to fix the idea of abhorrence towards crime in the
mind of the offender. In the case of boys charged with petty offences
fining is often a most valuable means of punishment. To dismiss with a
caution may lead to nothing; to imprison is invariably a most disastrous
course to pursue; to flog within a gaol may be too severe but to fine is
an excellent method. The parent has to pay the fine, and as the child's
offence is generally due to the want of parental control and discipline,
the punishment reaches right home and better control for the future
generally results. Where parental control is non-existent, and there
remains no possibility of creating it, other measures must be taken
which will supply a substitute for the discipline of home life.

In some case of theft, minor assault, disturbing the peace, and other
offences which indicate a momentary and not very serious lapse of
self-control, or perhaps a somewhat vague conception of the supremacy of
the law, fines serve all the purposes of justice. A four-fold
restitution for all damage done might be taken as a standard to be
increased or diminished in exceptional cases. In all these instances the
culprit should be made to pay the fine himself even though it should
require a fairly lengthy period in which to liquidate it. Section 16 of
The New Zealand Criminal Code provides that the Court may exercise its
own discretion in imposing a fine upon any person whose offence rendered
them liable to a term of imprisonment. There are many cases, however,
even of first offenders, in which fining is quite useless.

=Imprisonment.=--So much has been written describing the various prison
systems in vogue in different parts of the world that it is unnecessary
to do much more than briefly outline them here.

(1). The congregate system. In which the prisoners are associated
together by day or by night or by both. Were the object to convert the
prison into a school of crime, no better system could be devised. The
standard of the lowest is the standard which must prevail under the
congregate system.

(2). The solitary system. The extreme opposite of the congregate system.
The prisoners are allowed to have practically no communication with
anyone whomsoever. In some countries this system is made indescribably
cruel. At Santiago in Chili in one part of the prison the inmates are
employed upon useful work under most humane conditions, and yet in
another part of the very same building a most barbarous system exists.
Mr F. B. Ward (quoted in Penological and Preventive Principles)
describes what he saw in 1893:--"In this splendid model institution
there are noisome, slimy cells, where daylight never enters, in which
human beings are literally buried alive. Under the massive arches of
enormously thick walls, where even in the outside rooms perpetual
twilight reigns, are inner cells, two feet wide by six feet long, and
destitute of a single article of furniture. Until recently, those
confined in them were walled in, the bricks being cemented in places
over the living tomb. Now there is a thick iron door, which is securely
nailed up and then fastened all around with huge clamps, exactly as the
vaults are closed in Santiago Cemetery, and over all the great red seal
of the Government is placed--not to be removed until the man is dead, or
his sentence has expired. The tiny grated window is covered by several
thicknesses of closely-woven wire netting, making dense darkness inside,
so that the prisoners cannot tell night from day. There is no
ventilation except through this netting, and no opening whatever to
admit outside air into the tomb. Low down in the iron door, close to the
ground, is a tiny sliding panel a foot long by a few inches wide
arranged like a double drawer, so that food and water may be slipped in
on shallow pans and the refuse removed. Twice in every twenty-four hours
this panel is operated, and if the food remains untouched a given number
of days, it is known to a certainty that the man is dead, and only then
can the door be unsealed, unless his time is up. If the food is not
touched for two or three days no attention is paid to it, for the
prisoner may be shamming; but beyond a certain length of time he cannot
live without eating. Not the faintest sound nor glimmer of light
penetrates those awful walls. In the same clothes he wears on entering,
unwashed, uncombed, without even a blanket or handful of straw to lie
upon he languishes in sickness, lives or dies with no means of making
his condition known to those outside. He may count the lagging hours,
sleep, rave, curse, pray, long for death, dash his brains out, go mad if
he likes--nobody knows it. He is dead to the world and buried though
living. They told us that only one man has ever survived a year's
sentence there. Those that survive six months are almost invariably
drivelling idiots or raving maniacs."

It was under similar conditions to these that the assassin of King
Humbert of Italy was incarcerated. Such a system shows a cruel
vindictive rage towards the criminal. Terrible as the offender's crime
may be, society must deal calmly and not lose self-control or give such
an exhibition of its own criminal ferocity.

=The Separate System.=--Under which the prisoners are not allowed to
associate with each other, but receive frequent visits from gaolers,
warders, chaplains, and other persons who are likely to bring beneficial
influence to bear upon them. Each man has his own cell, in which he
sleeps and works. His exercise is conducted in such a manner as to
prevent contact with other prisoners. He is allowed books and given
daily instruction. Under this system perhaps the best results are

=The Silent System.=--A system under which the prisoners associate with
one another but are forbidden to communicate. This system cannot be
strictly enforced, and as it converts trifling matters into serious
offences, it makes the prison life a state of petty persecution.

=The Combined System.=--A system which the prisoners are kept apart
during the night but work together during the day. This system has been
adopted in New Zealand, and in the following description of the value of
imprisonment it will be understood that it is to this system that
reference is made.

A man is sent to prison because he has proved himself unfit to be at
liberty. His attack upon society was evidence of this, and society
punishes him by taking away the liberty which he has thus abused. His
dread of the prison increases as he comes under the shadow of its grim
walls, and, once having passed within, a feeling of remorse and
desperation seizes him. Its intensity or weakness will depend upon his
temperament. He is soon told in the most emphatic manner that he is to
regard himself as a felon; that he is to live with felons as a felon and
observe the habits of a felon. He is given a uniform coarse in texture
clumsy and grotesque in appearance and branded over with the broad-arrow
and with his prison number. In this garb it is impossible for a man to
preserve his sense of self-respect. If he should not be amenable to the
prison discipline he may be held up to ridicule by being compelled to
wear a parti-coloured uniform. However can a man be expected to reform
who is held up to the ridicule of felons? It matters not from which
class of life he is drawn, what his age is, or the nature of his
offence, he is thrown into the company of the worst criminals in the
land. If he were a cultured man, or a man who had known no associates in
his crime, or if his æsthetic taste was considerably developed it
matters not; he must do the same work and mix in the same company as the
most ignorant and most brutal. To utterly disregard these qualities is
to ignore the wide-open channels along which the most powerful
reformative influences may be transmitted. If his recovery is to be
considered these are most substantial assets. They are, as it were, "the
general health" of the patient suffering from a local lesion. Yet our
prison system not only ignores them but patiently sets to work to
destroy them, as if their possession were an additional offence on the
part of the criminal. Prisoners who try to keep aloof from their
associates may often be made to suffer very considerably for it. Others,
craving for some association, soon fall in with men whom they would have
regarded, a few days previously, as impossible companions. The almost
entire absence of elevating influences makes it easy for the
concentrated power of evil to become irresistible. The gloom of the
prison rises, the fear of the law vanishes and the new born tendency to
crime becomes a confirmed habit. A man needs either a very strong will
indeed, or else to be supported by powerful social traditions to enable
him to resist the evil influences of prison life. A few men do resist
and maintain their sense of self-respect in spite of all indignities and
bad influences. Some sink as under a torture; some sink and are enticed
and absorbed into felony. These last will plan their future crimes while
they are serving their first sentence. Henceforth the prison is their

What purpose is thus served? Why should a man who has lost self-respect
be continually reminded of it? If a man is diseased he is not placed
amongst filthy conditions and the emblems of sickness and death crowded
upon him. His removal from all unhealthy surroundings is the first
essential necessary for his recovery, and the same should be observed
with the criminal. He should be entirely removed from criminal
surroundings and efforts made to eradicate the criminality which has
expressed itself. Society has not the right to degrade a man, much less
to school him in crime. If he prove absolutely incorrigible (a very
difficult matter to ascertain) he should be banished from society for
all time either by life-long imprisonment or by death. If not, the
carrying out of his punishment must be performed with a very sacred
sense of responsibility. All manner of means are taken to relieve and
cure the physically sick; much greater surely should be the means
employed to heal the morally and socially sick.

Another matter wherein our prison system might be justly criticised is
the scale of diet provided for the prisoners. No one asks that they
should be given luxuries, but it might at least be recognised even in
prison that one man's food is another man's poison, that one fattens
where another starves, and that variety is essential to good health. A
prisoner who was serving a very long sentence once said to the author,
"fancy having the same dinner every day of your life." Let one fancy it,
boiled beef every day except Sunday, when roast beef is provided. The
same meal every day, the same clothes to wear every day and all day, and
the same routine to go through. What wonder is it that in the confirmed
criminal many faculties appear to have atrophied. They have obeyed a law
of nature. The popular comment is no doubt--"what else do you expect?
They deserve it all, they have brought it upon themselves." We expect
that our criminals should at least be treated like the by-products of
our mills and factories, i.e. made the most of. Bitter prejudices must
give way to the dictates of reason and humanity.

Practically the "combined system" produces no good results. It satisfies
neither justice, humanity, nor economy. Neither is it efficient to
afford protection to society. It satisfies prejudice and vengeance
alone. The only system of imprisonment which is of any value and which
the State ought to consider is one which converts the gaol in every
essential into a "crime-hospital."

Concerning life imprisonment much apprehension exists in the public
mind. The prevailing idea is that this sentence implies incarceration
for a period of twenty years. This is due perhaps to the fact that in
England the sentences of "lifers" are reconsidered at the end of that
period, and in the majority of cases a pardon is granted. The New
Zealand prison regulations contain this section (116) "No rule for the
remission of life sentences will be laid down. Such sentences are passed
on persons guilty of the very gravest offences; and the Governor will
only extend the royal prerogative of mercy to such persons in
exceptional cases." Under certain conditions life imprisonment is the
only way of dealing with criminals who refuse to reform. Those
conditions do not exist in our New Zealand prisons, and a life sentence
served within their walls is the most cruel form of punishment our laws
allow. The prisoner enters the gaol with a long, dark, hopeless future
before him. As the years roll by not one ray of light brightens his lot.
He can never better himself. He suffers, he is meant to suffer, the loss
of all he holds dear (and even a murderer holds some things dear). This
absolute loss, this complete severance of all ties, produces a most
agonising mental state and afflicts the poor wretch with untold horrors.
He is made to drag out an existence under most unnatural conditions,
conditions in which every effort he makes towards self-improvement is a
useless one, every aspiration is routed, the natural affections crave in
vain for an object to fasten upon, and where an artificial atavistic
process is set in motion so powerful as to defy the resistance of all in
time. This is no imaginary picture, a man is a man, and one of the
cruellest tortures to submit him to is to deprive him absolutely of hope
and make good his evil because it requires an effort which is useless,
and evil his good because it is easier and costs the loss of nothing.
Perhaps the majority of lifers are those whose sentences have been
commuted from the death penalty. Such a sentence is in reality the death
penalty carried out under slow process extending over many years.
Gradually remorse and despair do their work upon the natural instincts,
the mind and the body. The man becomes brutalised, insane and dies. An
exception here and there may be pointed out; but given twenty men of
same age and good health, and sentence ten to twenty years, and ten to
life imprisonment, and the chances are that (under reasonable
conditions) the ten with the defined sentence will survive it, whereas
of the lifers the majority will be insane within twelve years. The
following testimony will, however, be of greater weight:--

The Directors of the State Prison in Wisconsin in their report for 1881

"The condition of most of our life prisoners is deplorable in the last
degree. Not a few of them are hopelessly insane; but insanity, even,
brings them no surcease of sorrow. However wild their delusions may be
on other subjects, they never fail to appreciate the fact that they are
prisoners. Others, not yet classed as insane, as year by year goes by,
give only too conclusive evidence that reason is becoming unsettled. The
terribleness of a life sentence must be seen to be appreciated; seen,
too, not for a day or a week, but for a term of years. Quite a number of
young men have been committed to this prison in recent years under
sentence for life. Past experience leads us to expect that some of them
will become insane in less than ten years; and all of them, who live, in
less than twenty. Many of them will, doubtless, live much longer than
twenty years, strong and vigorous in body perhaps, but complete wrecks
in mind. May it, therefore, not be worthy of legislative consideration
whether life sentences should not be abolished and long but definite
terms substituted, and thus leave some faint glimmer of hope even for
the greatest criminals?"

Sir E. Du Cane stated in 1878 before the Royal Commission on Penal
Servitude Acts:--

"I myself do not think much of life sentences at all. I would rather
have a long fixed term. I think all the effect on the public outside
would be gained by a shorter period."

Mr W. Tallack, late Secretary of the Howard Association, writes in his
"Penelogical and Preventive principles":--

"Of life imprisonment it may be conclusively pronounced very bad in even
the best form of it. Years of enquiry and observation have increasingly
forced this conviction upon the writer.... A fixed limit of twenty years
would greatly aid the discipline of its subjects. And what is of more
importance so far as the public are concerned, it would, in most cases,
avail to practically incapacitate or effectually deter the persons who
pass through it from any repetition of their crime. The mere natural
operation of age, decay, and disease would tend towards this result; and
not only so, but it would, in a considerable proportion of cases, render
the limit of twenty years a virtual sentence in perpetuity by the
intervention of death. But meanwhile the elements of hope and other
desirable influences would be largely present, notwithstanding."

To say the least of it our criminals have a claim for humane treatment,
and no sentence should have a greater duration than twenty years. The
term also should be fixed when the sentence is imposed.

=Flogging.=--This is an extremely unpopular form of punishment, owing to
its abuse in the old convict stations and in the army and navy. Yet
there is a great deal to be said in its favour. In 1898 the Howard
Association instituted an enquiry among the most competent authorities
as to what were the best methods of dealing with juvenile offenders.
Nearly 40 replies were sent in answer to their circular of enquiry, and
with but one or two exceptions these replies advocated whipping as the
most expedient method. The Chief Constable of Liverpool
stated:--"Whipping has been found a most efficient and HUMANE
punishment. During the last FIVE YEARS 489 boys were once
whipped. Of these, only 135 have been again convicted. Of the 135, 44
were whipped for the second time. Of the 44 only 10 were convicted a
third time, and 2 only for a fourth time. No other punishment can show
such a record...."

Our Criminal Code describes a whipping as being a punishment of not more
than 25 strokes with the cat-o'-nine-tails inflicted upon a person of
not more than 16 years of age. A flogging is limited to not more than 50
strokes and not less than 25 inflicted upon a person of over 16 years.
Three floggings at intervals for one offence is the maximum amount of
castigation allowed.

A description of the "cat" may not be out of place. The handle is round
and of uniform diameter of one inch. It is about 30 inches in length and
is light as cork. The "tails" (nine in number) are made of cord similar
to fishing cord, about an eighth of an inch in diameter and 33 inches in
length. In each tail a strand is taken out, wound round and put back,
thus making a bob. There are 27 of these bobs in all. A flogging with
such an instrument would no doubt be very severe, but it need not draw
blood nor leave marks for all time. A flogging properly administered
should produce sharp stinging pain and leave no bad results whatever.
Then it becomes a very useful punishment to use upon such men as those
whose crimes are characterised by cruelty. Men who violate, torture, or
frighten women, who are cruel to children or take advantage of the weak,
imbecile or defenceless might well be punished with a flogging. In fact
it is questionable whether any punishment is so effective. These men are
cowards one and all; they do not dread the lazy life of the prison, but
a flogging has great terrors for them, and its moral value is
considerable. In bygone years men who were flogged were often worse than
before. The flogging had demoralised them. These floggings were,
however, shockingly cruel. Nothing is to be admitted but the sharp
swishing and this, when properly carried out, is totally without any
objectionable feature.

There seems no necessity to combine a flogging and a long term of
imprisonment under one sentence. The maximum punishment of three
floggings might be given within a period of two months, and the culprit
then in most cases discharged. As to the advisability of ordering more
than one flogging a great deal might be said. Fifty lashes and the man
discharged within a week would be sufficient for the majority of cases.
For a very brutal crime or for a second offence of the same nature, a
second flogging after a period of days might be thought necessary. The
very greatest care, however, must be exercised in the administration of
this punishment. The crimes of brutality rightly arouse the indignation
of the public, but there is no need to show a brute that society can be
a greater brute than what he is. Being a brute, leniency invariably
fails, but unimpressionable to these methods as his moral and humane
instincts are, his skin remains sensitive, and through it his instincts
may be appealed to and quickened. Flogging makes him consider that the
practice of brutality is in direct variance to his own personal
interests and comfort. From this he may be led to moralise further.

Gangs of boys who are becoming a nuisance to the neighbourhood they
infest are quickly broken up if their ring-leader is treated to a dozen
strokes that he will not feel inclined to boast about. The mercifulness
of this punishment is seen in its power in thus effectively stopping the
tendency to crime. Larrikins, unnatural husbands and fathers, brutes and
torturers, cattle maimers and stack burners, all see their personal
interests lying in a very different direction to that which leads to the

=Capital Punishment.=--The authority to take the life of a fellow-man is
based on God's word to Noah, "whoso sheddeth man's blood by man shall
his blood be shed;" and upon the abstract idea of justice "a life for a
life." These words in no sense contain a command to us of this century
to execute all murderers without exception. For the present state of
civilisation a new principle has been evolved which is, that when a man
shows himself to be unchangeably hostile to society then his life may be
forfeited. As the methods of dealing with criminals improve so the word
LIBERTY is being substituted for the word LIFE. The sin on the
man's soul may be left to God; all that men has to deal with is his
anti-social attitude. If impossible to change this attitude then either
death or life imprisonment must result. This very question of
possibility is so uncertain that few modern criminologists care to
adjudicate, and most regard the death sentence as anticipating too much.
Life-imprisonment, under the highest moral influences, becomes life-long
by and only by the continued resistance of the criminal. It is not the
objectionable form of punishment previously described for it encourages
the man to put forth his best effort to improve, and substantially
rewards these efforts, even to granting him his liberty if he persevere
with them. Punishment by death is becoming more and more unpopular. The
dislike of juries to bring in a verdict of "guilty" in a murder case is
sufficient testimony to this. In the crowds who sign petitions for the
reprieve of the condemned, the hysterical element is too prominent to
make any other estimate possible. But the reaction is steady, and it
will not be long before capital punishment becomes a thing of the past.
To abolish it before a suitable substitute were provided would be

Gradually society is awakening to the fact that the condition of the
criminal ought to be ameliorated, and that there can be no real
amelioration which does not make definite efforts for the prisoner's
reform. The aim should be to assist every man to recover by his own
effort the place in society from which he has fallen. No man is
incapable of improvement, and under a wise systematic discipline most
men do improve. A remarkable witness is found in the experience of Dr
Browning who was engaged as Surgeon-superintendent of convict ships
between 1831 and 1848. Of one voyage from Norfolk Island to Tasmania he
was in charge of 346 "old hands." These men had agreed to take terrible
revenge upon some of their comrades who had been employed as constables
over the others. Under Dr Browning's instruction and discipline their
purpose was abandoned. He landed the men in Tasmania without having
inflicted a single punishment upon the voyage. He remarks:--"The men
were given to me in double irons; I debarked them without an iron
clanking among them. I am told that this is the first and only instance
of convicts removed from Norfolk Island having had their fetters struck
off during the voyage, and being landed totally unfettered. They were
almost uniformly double-cross-ironed and chained down to the deck,
everybody being afraid of them. I was among them at all hours and the
prison doors were never once shut during the day. To God be all the
glory." Three Governors of Tasmania expressed their high opinion of Dr
Browning's system and of its subsequent effects upon their behaviour.
(Vide "Christianity amongst Prisoners." Howard Ass.:)

In the famous Dartmoor prison and at Borstal in Kent experiments are
being made to secure a greater number of reformations among the younger
convicts. It is too early to estimate the value of the systems being
tried, but they are being watched with much hope and expectation. In
America there is a decided tendency to substitute State reformatories
for prisons, especially in the case of the young. The Elmira Reformatory
has been established for more than a quarter of a century, and its
claims to have reformed 82 per cent. of the men committed to it has been
upheld by the special enquiry instituted in 1890.

If these different systems were more closely studied there would result
a great awakening as to the possibilities of the criminal, and society
would discover that its best interests were served by reforming its
offenders and making them moral and industrious servants of the State,
instead of by committing them to institutions where they were brought
into contact with consecrated villainy and where the unwholesome
influence is calculated to confirm them in criminal habits and make
them a constant menace and expense to the community. That our criminal
population is on the increase, and that the proportion of recidivists
grows larger every year, is scarcely to be wondered at in the midst of
such influences. Notwithstanding all that has been done to improve the
state of prisons from what they were even fifty years ago, yet the motto
"once a criminal always a criminal" is often too sadly true. The report
of the English commissioners of prisons shows that amongst those who
have been convicted during the year 1902, 51.9 per cent. of the men and
70.6 per cent. of the women had been previously convicted. In the past
these results were regarded as inevitable. Now they are regarded with
much disquietude. Formerly they were supposed to point to a defect in
the criminal, now they are understood to prove a defect in the penal
system. The reason for this defect lies in having regarded certain
objects as primary which are in reality only secondary. These objects
have been defined to be the deterrence of crime by the example of
punishing criminals; the repression of crime by the infliction of
punishment, and the protection of society as a consequence. The
deterrent value of the penal system has been greatly reduced by the
small amount of dread which it excites in the criminally disposed. The
representative value is of a minus quantity. Crime is assisted more than
it is crippled. The protection of society is secured only during the
period of incarceration. At the end of that period the criminal must be
discharged and he goes forth often a more skilful criminal than before
and with a vow to take vengeance upon society.

Regarding these objects as secondary the reformation of the offender has
been acknowledged as primary by criminologists, and they turned their
attention to study the criminal pathologically, to enquire into the
causes of crime and also to make trial of the best methods for securing
reformation. "Punishment the principle and reformation the incident,"
was the theory of the old school. The New school reverses the order to
"Reformation the principle and punishment the incident." Obviously this
course renounces the old principle of retaliation and vengeance and
embraces that indicated by Christ in his precept "bear ye one another's

=The Philosophy of Punishment.=--The threatening attitude of the
criminal towards the peace and welfare of society makes it an obvious
necessity that society should protect itself against him, otherwise he
would soon master the situation and reduce social order to barbarism.

What are the steps which it must take? It must first remember that its
right to punish is not an inherent, but a delegated one. Though its
powers are sovereign in the sense that there is no appeal from them, yet
they must not be exercised in an arbitrary way. So far as there is a
capacity for the realisation of responsibility to God so far must that
responsibility be observed. Where this responsibility is disregarded,
society immediately becomes the greater criminal itself even though its
deeds may be done in the name of the majority of its members. As history
is not without examples of this abuse of a sacred trust neither is it
without instances of the Divine interference expressed in the
destruction of a community which had offended after this manner. This
responsibility must be acknowledged firstly--in the end to be attained;
and, secondly or subsequently--in the means by which it is attained. We
are generally informed that our penal systems exist for the purpose of
repressing crime, and that punishment is thus inflicted upon the
criminal in order that others may be deterred from following his
example. Reformation is sometimes suggested. The public, however,
concerns itself very little about its criminals and much less about the
objects which its penal system is supposed to secure for it. The
attitude of the general public towards the criminal is undoubtedly a
vindictive one. His sentence is discussed from this point of view only,
viz.:--will the suffering that he will have to undergo be sufficient to
accord with the enormity of the crime he committed? The end which is
understood is simply suffering, expiatory suffering; suffering which
neither man nor society has any right whatever to inflict upon a human
being. The old principle of an eye for an eye, while in accord with
abstract justice, was often made the occasion for abuse, and the largely
prevailing conception of justice amongst us to-day is precisely the
abuse of that same principle. Society does well in returning upon its
criminals the consequences of their acts, but the consequences should be
a natural return and not an artificial one. The criminal should see that
by his attack upon society he is excluded from all the benefits of its
system. He has isolated himself and this isolation is of itself
miserable, and will, if persisted in, become intolerable. Its final
state is Hell, a state in which society is destroyed while the social
instinct remains and craves in its unquenched agony. It is perfectly
right to show the wrong-doer the ultimate end of his chosen course, but
there is no warrant for the strenuous effort which is made to force him
towards it. A criminal's punishment should be made purgatorial and not
internal. The old penology regarded him as a hopeless individual and
proceeded with its hellish tortures without undue delay. Beneath its
system no reforms were possible, and the fact that none were ever made,
was pointed to in order to justify its horrors. Society took no interest
in them whatever while they were being pushed lower and lower down the
social scale, but met them at the lowest steps, and, halter in hand,
gravely professed the utmost concern in their future and eternal

So far, society has failed to recognise the end of the punishment it is
entitled to impose. In the words of Dimitri Drill, a Moscow publicist,
the new penology expresses that it "renounces entirely the law of
retaliation as end, principle, or basis of all judicial punishment. The
basis and purpose of punishment is the necessity of protecting society
against the evil consequences of crime either by the moral reclamation
of the criminal or by his separation from society; punishment is not to
satisfy vengeance." We must not jump to the hasty conclusion that herein
is meant that the criminal must be treated very gently and coaxed back
to more virtuous paths. What is meant is that his punishment should be
made purgatorial and not infernal. The process of reclamation is
accompanied by far sharper pains than those which are expiatory, but
they are the pains of a healing surgery and not those of a soul
destroying brutality. Where the means for reclamation fail then
separation from society is advocated. Separation in the midst of
influences which would always tend to awaken the desire to reform and
which would give immediate assistance to that desire when awakened.

Thus the recognition of this fact that the authority to punish offenders
against its law has been, by God, delegated to the social institution,
brings with it a recognition of the responsibility which accompanies
such authority.

In primitive times most offences were punished by the death penalty, not
as a vindictive measure but because the offender was hopeless and
society helpless. That is, the social state being of a very simple
order, any infraction of its laws would declare the offender a most
pronounced criminal, bitterly hostile to society and irreclaimable by
such social machinery as then existed. The death penalty when inflicted
must ever be so regarded. Not as a life for a life but as the punishment
inflicted upon one who has by his own conduct given complete evidence
that his recovery to the social state is impossible. In this century of
civilisation it is incumbent to look upon the criminal as being in a
measure a by-product of society and to deal with him accordingly.
Outside of society crime is impossible, therefore society accounts for
crime and is also in a measure responsible for it. To this measure
exactly (although the measure itself can never be determined with
exactitude) is the criminal by-product. In a large measure he is
responsible (entire responsibility is conceivable), and it is this sense
of responsibility which makes it possible to carry out his treatment.

Large industries find that their by-products are an important asset and
to disregard them would be ruinous. Mr Frazer in his book "America at
Work" states that the expenses of the meat-packers of Chicago for 1901
amounted to £150,244,848. The sales of meat realised £124,263,998, and
yet a net profit of £6,767,638 resulted. What appears to be a paradox is
explained by the fact that a sum of no less than £32,748,488 resulted
from the sale of by-products. All the waste must be turned to dollars.

Commercial advance has certainly out-stripped social advance, and
apparently for the reason that whereas in commerce a pig's tail is
regarded as an important asset, in our social system the criminal and
the weakling are regarded as a heavy liability. When the point of view
is changed society will advance more rapidly. So, too, society finds
that it must utilise its by-products and to devise means which it can
bring to bear upon the criminal, so as to bring him to a state of
usefulness. The enormity of the crime and the degree of criminality are
alike impossible to estimate, therefore it is also impossible to define
a punishment which makes an attempt to recognise any of these qualities.

It is, however, quite possible to determine within very fair limits the
continuance of the criminal habits, also the value from a reformatory
point of view, of various social influences, and further there exists
the power to apply these influences. To sum up--society possesses within
itself the power to reform its criminals (to utilise its by-products)
and to determine when they have been reformed.

Separation from society is rendered absolutely necessary by the
criminal's own behaviour, if by his behaviour he shows that he is not
capable of using freedom profitably. But if his separation is to serve
any real purpose whatever it must be accompanied by an educational
process which will work him back to that point where he left the social
track and then so propel him forward that he may recover his lost
ground, and when restored to society be enabled to identify himself with
its progressive system.

So far our penal system is a mistake. Whatever it may be theoretically,
practically it is only vindictive. Its failure has caused some to
despair and others to reflect.

Chapter V.


In the last chapter it was shown that capital punishment sought for its
justification in the theory that certain criminals had assumed an
attitude of permanent and aggressive hostility towards society. Their
presence in society is regarded as a menace to human life, and no moral
improvement is expected to result from their imprisonment. So hopeless
is this class of criminal regarded as being that, so it is declared, no
other policy save that of extermination can be considered.

In primitive society criminals were less numerous than in our own time;
but those that did then exist belonged, almost all of them, to the worst
type. There being no public institutions for the administration of
justice, practically one course only remained open, and that was, that
the person wronged should seek to avenge himself as best he could, and
the death of the wrong-doer was generally the satisfaction that he
sought. As civilization has advanced, criminals have become more
numerous; but they have taken to crime by more gradual steps. Society,
too, has deprived the individual of the right of wreaking his own
vengeance, and has erected institutions for the purpose of determining
guilt and apportioning punishment. From the days of Noah, deeds of blood
and other crimes of a serious nature, have been punished by death and
from then, until this present day, the one idea underlying the
administration of justice has been that society should get rid of its
criminals as speedily as possible. Repression alone was thought to be
efficacious, reformation was scarcely thought of.

Of late years the criminal has been more carefully studied by his
fellow-beings. Some have studied him as a monster and believed him to
have the heart of a beast; others have studied him as a man and had
faith in his possibilities. The former have noticed the failure of
repressive methods, such as flogging and other penal severities, and
have in despair been led to advocate that the only possible remedy is
that of extermination. The latter have discovered that the failure of
these repressive methods but imposes upon society the obligation of
adopting a system of an entirely different order and with an entirely
different object, viz: a system for the reformation of the criminal.

The "exterminators" have studied the criminal objectively and have had
regard to his crimes only; the reformers have studied him subjectively
and have had regard to his possibilities. The policy of the
"exterminators" must be condemned on this ground, viz: that they have
made but a half study of their subject, and they do know, and they
refuse to listen to, of what the criminal is capable. Neither do they
estimate the capacity of the enormous social power that may be attached
to the criminal's own, but feeble, effort so as to raise him up, even
from the deepest depths of vice and villainy. The careful subjective
study--the truly humane study--of the criminal, has shown that all
theories which would declare any man to be incapable of improvement, are
to be condemned absolutely. The possibilities of reform exist in every
case, and the probabilities are never to be denied. None can gainsay
this statement nor can it be termed extravagant, for with the imperfect
machinery now in use results are being attained which justify every
syllable of it. Yet in the face of these results, the "exterminators"
still proclaim their policy. They bid us be deaf to the voice of
prejudice and follow the true light of science, ever remembering that we
are passing through a wonderful stage in social evolution! But the
policy that they adopt belies that which is indicated in all this fine
talk. They say that we must exterminate the criminal, and this is
nothing less than an acknowledgement that, to their minds, the problem
of the criminal is one of outer darkness and that we have no means of
ever penetrating it. They would take us back to a period anterior to

Prejudice, indeed, needs to be overcome, but it is the prejudice that
prefers vengeance to mercy. And if we follow the true light of science
it will lead us to discover that the criminal is best got rid of by
converting him into a useful citizen, or to be more exact, society's
best effort is to be directed towards separating the crime from the

Recently a Wellington medical gentleman (Dr Chapple) published a work
entitled "The Fertility of the Unfit." The problem which this gentleman
attempts to grapple with in his book is the disproportionate rate of
increase among the numbers of the unfit to the fit members of society.
Under the classification of the unfit he places all those persons who,
on account of mental, moral or physical defect, constitute a burden to
society. These are, principally, the epileptic, the pauper, the insane
and the criminal. These either will not, or cannot support themselves
adequately and legitimately. For their treatment support and correction,
hospitals, asylums, charitable aid boards, gaols and other institutions
have had to be established, and the upkeep of these has become a great
burden which necessarily has to be borne by the healthy, moral and
industrious section of the community.

Dr Chapple draws attention to the undeniable fact that there is a
tendency on the part of those unfit to increase at a greater ratio than
the fit. The rate of increase during the past twenty years has been so
great and so disproportionate as to make the cost of their maintenance
become an increasingly heavier one for the individual taxpayer to bear,
and to cause for this and other reasons, a considerable amount of alarm
in the minds of those who have the welfare of society at heart.

The Doctor believes that the cause of this proportionate rate of
increase is to be found in the methods adopted largely among certain
classes for the prevention of child-birth.

In the conclusion of his book he states that sexual inhibition on the
part of the better classes accounts for their smaller rate of increase
as compared with the rate of the inferior classes. We cannot accept this
conclusion without more evidence. We want to know definitely whether the
natural rate of increase among the better classes is really lower than
that existing among the inferior classes. That is to say, are the ranks
of the defective being swelled by the influence of heredity or by some
extensive force recruiting from among the ranks of the fit? Another
question is this: Since the use of preventives is available to both
sections alike, the Doctor accounts for the supposed natural
disproportion by assuming that the better classes restrain themselves.
Is he right? Using the word "restrain" in its absolute sense we beg
leave for most emphatic doubt. In an enquiry such as this is, the only
factor of any real importance as accounting for a diminished birth-rate,
is the use of preventives. If this method is confined to the better
classes, we must refuse to call them any longer our "best stock," for,
if they are not producing a defective offspring, they are, as the recent
Australian Birth-Rate Commission has made abundantly plain, speedily
making defectives of themselves, besides being guilty of lowering the
social moral tone and hardening its sensibility. We are strongly of the
opinion that the diminished birth-rate does not account for the increase
in the number of criminals and defectives further than that the use of
preventives discloses a species of criminality.

Nevertheless, Dr Chapple proposes, not so much to restore the
equilibrium as to get rid of the defective altogether. He assumes that
defectives are born and not made, and then makes enquiry into the best
possible means for the prevention of their birth. After passing several
methods in review, he accepts an operation known as tubo-ligature as
being the best from all points of view. This operation will render the
female permanently sterile without having any deleterious effect upon
her health. Absolutely no result follows, he assures us, but sterility.
If the wives of all defectives were operated upon in this way, Dr
Chapple assures us that the problem concerning the defective would
speedily be solved and society would be the happier and wealthier in
every way. The proposal might give something of a shock to the moral
conscience but such a shock would only unfit us for our work. The
criminal is upon us, he threatens us, and we must protect ourselves. The
necessities of the case are so pressing and so urgent that we seek for
the most effectual remedy and use it unhesitatingly when we have found
it. Here it is, says Dr Chapple, and its morality is determined by the
relief which it, and it alone, is able to bring.

What are we to do? Why, sterilize the wife of the defective. As the
criminal is most harmful of all defectives he is summoned to come
forward first and to bring his wife with him, when behold, the man
turns up alone. Where is his wife? Why, he hasn't got one. Has Dr
Chapple considered this fact? Did he know, when he made the statement
that it was a matter of common observation that the criminal was among
those who had the largest families, did he know then that the criminal
rarely married? It cannot be said that the criminal's wife is as rare as
the Great Auk's egg, but Havelock Ellis states that "among men criminals
the celibates are in a very large proportion." And Féré further supports
the value of the statement for our present purpose by saying that
"criminals and prostitutes have this common character, that they are
unproductive. This is true also of vagabonds, and of the idle and
vicious generally, to whatever class they belong."

Two years' experience as a prison chaplain may not be of much value, but
it certainly conveyed the impression that the majority of the criminals
were young men who were unmarried.

But Dr Chapple adduces evidence. He tells us of a family in which there
were 834 persons the descendants of one woman. Of this family 76 were
convicts, 7 were murderers, 142 were beggars, 64 lived on charity. Among
their women 181 lived disreputable lives, and in 75 years this family
cost their country £250,000 in alms, trials, imprisonments, etc. What
family is this? If the following comparison is conclusive in its results
then it must be the "Jukes" family.

                                     Dr Chapple's
                                         Case.       The "Jukes"

  Number estimated                       834             834
    "    definitely traced               709             709
    "    of criminals                     76              76
    "    convicted of murder               7               7
    "    of beggars                      142             142
    "    receiving alms house relief      64              64
  Illegitimates                          106             106
  Period reviewed                         75 years        75 yrs.
  Cost to State                        £250,000        £250,000

If it will be allowed that the agreement in these nine lines of
statistics establishes the identity between the two cases, then the
evidence may be examined.

In the first place, the "Jukes" family is the most exceptional one known
in the history of crime, and it must be treated as an exception and not
as an example. In the second place, these 834 persons were not descended
from one woman in 75 years but from FIVE women who were the legitimate
and illegitimate daughters of an old Dutch back-woodsman who lived in a
rocky part of the State of New York and who is known to criminologists
as "Max Jukes." My authority for declaring that there were five female
ancestresses during the period reviewed as against one, stated to be the
case by Dr Chapple, is Mr R. L. Dugdale, who made a close personal
investigation of the life and records of the family. He himself
collected the statistics that are given above and which are identical
with those given by Dr Chapple's authority, Prof. Pellman, and
therefore one must conclude that Prof. Pellman has studied the case at
second hand and, in this important detail, is in error.

That 834 persons should have descended from five persons in 75 years
covering five generations, exclusive of the 5 ancestresses, does not
strike us as evidence of an exceedingly prosperous birth-rate. If there
had been another thousand descendants it would not allow for an average
of 3 children to grow up and marry in each family. We may then set aside
the contention that the "Jukes" were enormously prolific.

Still the "Jukes" were an enormous cost to their country, and surely we
should prevent such a family ever appearing in our midst. The answer to
this is that the "Jukes" have only appeared once, and, so far as our
community is concerned, our social progress makes their reappearance
absolutely impossible. The "Jukes" were a tribe of vagabond outlaws.
They gained a livelihood by fishing, hunting, robbery, and intermittent
work. They lived in a rocky, inaccessible region in the lake country of
the State of New York. Their criminals were able, with a considerable
measure of success, to defy the police, and travellers very rarely
approached the vicinity of their habitat. Some drifted into the towns
and villages. A proportion of these supported themselves by honest
industry, and a proportion became a burden upon the rates; Such nests of
criminals can exist only in partially civilized countries. The advance
of civilization extinguishes them. Nowhere in New Zealand could such a
tribe prey upon and defy society for a period of two weeks together. The
criminals that we have to deal with are those which society produces not
those which it extinguishes.

But if the "Jukes" were at all reproductive what is the difference
between them and other cases of criminals? Principally this, that the
"Jukes" formed a little society of their own in which marriage and
co-habitation was the rule. Of their women 52 per cent. were
disreputable; but Dugdale refuses to call them prostitutes, but rather
harlots, indicating that their marital relations were of the order of a
progressive polyandry and by no means unproductive. Under these
conditions, a fairly large natural increase is not to be wondered at.

No such family has, nor could, exist in the midst of our civilization,
but as the case is advanced, not to show a distinct species of
criminality, but rather as an example of the rate of natural increase
that may be expected of a criminal family, we will examine and compare
the conditions of life existing among the "Jukes" and the criminal that
we have to deal with and thus discover features among the latter which
militate against a large birth-rate; but which are not present among the

Our criminals, for the most part, commence their career of crime at an
early age. The Rev. W. D. Morrison of Wandsworth Prison, England,
declares that the most criminal age is reached between the years of
twenty and thirty. This holds good, he says, for Europe, Australia, and
the United States.

It is a mistake to suppose that a man first commits crime and then
plunges headlong into vice. Though true in some cases, it is exactly the
reverse course which is followed in the majority of cases. After having
passed with a measure of success through the milder domestic and
scholastic spheres, the youthful criminal become a failure in the
severer social or industrial sphere. Some criminologists go so far as to
say that the majority of criminals have displayed distinct evidences of
criminality at so early an age as sixteen years. Whatever may have been
the cause for committing crime, the crime itself shows that the youth
refuses to acknowledge the obligations which an organized society lays
upon him. This refusal extends practically throughout the social order,
and neither is it confined to this order, but extends also to the moral
order and is shown in a total disregard for the matrimonial state. The
youth gives way to natural appetites and associates himself with women
of low repute. He is of wandering habits, works, when he does work, but
intermittently, is restless, and totally disinclined towards matrimony.
Socially, industrially and morally he is unstable. It is these
conditions of his life which so contrast him with that species of
criminality which the "Jukes" family presents. And it is these same
conditions which support the statement of Féré and Ellis, that he is
generally a celibate and non-productive. Concerning the progeny of the
female criminal there is little to say except that the causes which
chiefly account for the male criminal operate to produce the prostitute
among women, and therefore criminal women are in a very small minority.
Of these criminal women, Lombroso says that they are monsters who have
triumphed over the natural instincts of piety and maternity as well as
over their natural weakness. They are bad mothers, and children are a
burden to them from which they will readily rid themselves.

Notwithstanding Dr Chapple's evidence, it is conclusive that his
statement that criminals have the largest families, is entirely opposed
to fact, indeed the exact reverse is the case.

So far as the criminal is concerned, one may well ask whether he has not
set himself to the useless task of threshing straw.

The question concerning the proportionate rate of natural increase among
all classes of society is one which provides one of the fundamentals
upon which Dr Chapple has based his proposal. Instead of enquiring into
the actualities of this question he has assumed them, and from his
assumption proceeded to his result. His assumption that the better
classes use preventive means which the inferior classes do not use, is
open to challenge; that there might exist among the inferior classes
causes peculiar to these classes which militate against their increasing
naturally, he has failed to notice. There do exist such, and so potent
as to disprove entirely his statement that the problem is one for the
solution of which we must search deep down in biological truth. The true
solution will not be found in biological truth but in sociological
truth, and there fairly near the surface.

As Dr Chapple's evidence entirely fails, the conclusions of expert
criminologists must be accepted, viz., that criminals are
characteristically unproductive, and that, among male criminals, the
celibates are in a large majority. As, from these reasons, the vast
majority of criminals cannot be the descendants of a criminal ancestry,
obviously tubo-ligature will not meet the case.

So far indeed the criminal descendant from criminal stock has alone been
considered, whereas a large number of criminals have come from a drunken
or from a pauper ancestry. Statistics indicate that 33 per cent. of
criminals come from an intemperate ancestry and 2 per cent. from a
pauper one. But in both cases, environment has a great deal more to be
held responsible for than has heredity. It is the conditions of the home
life which make the drunkard's child a criminal, and the same applies
with equal force to the pauper's child. So that, if drastic measures are
to be taken with these classes, surely such measures will proceed
gradually from the mean to the extreme, and severe measures will not be
employed until milder ones have failed. Where the question is one of
environment it is the man's character and habits which have to be dealt
with and not his nature. Environment is always capable of modification,
and, when improved, the result is invariably a beneficial one for those
concerned. So that the least that may be said for the criminal
descendants of drunken ancestors is that a better way exists and should,
by all moral laws, be first adopted.

Further difficulties, of a physical, rather than moral nature, also

And here again Dr Chapple has assumed another fundamental position. Is
it too much to require of him that he should prove that, where criminals
have sprung from a defective ancestry, this defect should be invariably
transmitted? That, in short, a criminally defective ancestry is an
invariable cause producing a criminal descent. (Note.--By criminally
defective ancestry we mean the ancestry from which criminals spring. It
may not itself be criminal. It may be drunken or pauper.) Such an
important question cannot be assumed; positive proof is demanded, and
this is nowhere forthcoming in Dr Chapple's book.

If it were allowed that criminals were the most prolific of all classes
of society, this question of heredity would still have to be cleared up
before such a proposal as tubo-ligature were seriously discussed, for
surely so drastic a remedy would never be employed except under the most
positive conditions, that is to say, that this operation would never be
employed until it had been ascertained, with scientific precision, that
the birth of degenerates, and degenerates only, was being prevented.

Dr Chapple failing to illuminate us upon this point we inquire, does a
criminally defective ancestry invariably convey to its offspring a taint
disposing it towards crime? Or can it ever be ascertained that a certain
given ancestry will certainly produce criminals?

In the treatment of the subject of heredity it has been made clear that
on account of the vicious habits of the criminal he is apt to transmit
to his offspring a physical defect which will make it difficult for him
to adapt himself to the conditions of the society in which he is placed.
This difficulty becomes almost, though not quite, insurmountable when
the environment is one in which the practice of vice and dishonesty is
easier than that of virtue and thrift.

The transmission of a taint which is a cause of criminality cannot be
denied, but the close investigation of the criminal and of his family
has revealed the fact that among the comparatively few criminals who are
parents they do not all transmit a taint or defect to their offspring,
nor among those from whom a taint has been transmitted has it
necessarily been transmitted to every child.

The "Jukes" family being the most exceptional of all cases in which
criminal heredity may be observed can be investigated for the purposes
of discovering the extreme affirmative which the question proposed can
give. The answer is an emphatic no. When the "Jukes" intermarried there
was, strange as it may seem, almost an entire absence from crime in the
family following upon such union. When they married into other
families, crime frequently made its appearance. This, at least, shows
that an hereditary taint is not invariably conveyed. It may be claimed
that it proves that, under certain conditions, such taint is conveyed;
but in cases of this nature we do not reach our particular and exclusive
affirmatives anything like so rapidly as we reach our particular and
exclusive negatives. The negative is often obvious, the affirmative
generally remote. It may be that by cross marriages the element of
virility, necessary to maintain criminality, is sustained: but if that
were so it would be expected that pauperism would necessarily result
from consanguineous marriages which is not so far the case as to
indicate cause and effect. A more plausible suggestion is that in
consanguineous marriages there is a tendency for the family ties to be
reunited and the family ideal restored. Such, of course, effectively
disposes of criminality. Of the three grandsons of Ada Jukes, who were
themselves the sons of her one illegitimate son, their family report is
as follows:--The first was licentious, a sheep-stealer, quarrelsome, and
an habitual drunkard. He married a disreputable woman and had several
children. Of his seven boys, five were criminals. The second grandson
kept a tavern and a brothel and was a thief. He married a brothel
keeper. Of his six sons, two were criminals. The third grandson was
industrious but occasionally intemperate. He married a woman addicted to
the opium habit. Of his four sons, none were criminals. These are
fairly average cases, and they, at least, affirm very distinctly that
the criminal does not always transmit a taint to his child which will
dispose that child towards crime.

Although in the cases cited above only some 40 per cent. of the children
were criminals, it must, however, be observed that a great deal of
criminality goes unpunished, so that we might fix the average at 75 per
cent. and be more exact. Of the 75 per cent. we must find out whether
their heredity or their environment was the cause of their being
criminal. Dugdale's observations led him to conclude that heredity is a
latent cause which requires environment for its development. These 75
per cent., however, will be referred to again. There being 25 per cent.
honest and industrious, brings us face to face with a question affecting
the morality of Dr Chapple's proposal.

Since then all the children of criminal ancestry are not themselves
criminal or likely to become criminals through an hereditary taint, can
a proposal be accepted which would not only prevent the birth of the
hereditary criminal, but would also prevent the birth of several persons
who would have become good and useful citizens.

Thus far only the criminal descended from a criminal ancestry has been
considered, whereas, as was stated previously, there are a considerable
number of criminals termed "hereditary" criminals who are descended from
a drunken ancestry. The proportion of these is about 33 per cent. of
the whole. The impossibility of the success of Dr Chapple's remedy is
very apparent from the insurmountable difficulties that would be
experienced in determining with exactitude when a person was so
degenerate in his own system as to make it positive that his prospective
offspring would be born a criminal defective. Uncertainty, in this
matter, reigns supreme.

There must remain then but very little support for Dr Chapple's proposal
when we discover firstly:--that the criminal is very rarely a parent,
and secondly:--that in every case a taint is not transmitted from parent
to child. Its sphere of effectiveness is restricted by the very
circumstances of the case, and even within that restricted sphere its
operation would be most clumsy for it would prevent the birth of all a
criminal's children, good and bad alike. Thus it would become both a
moral and economic failure.

Dr Chapple has taken it for granted that a criminal's rate of increase
is at least equal to the average if not indeed, for certain reasons,
considerably greater, and that he in all cases transmits an hereditary
taint to his offspring. Then he seeks for a remedy whereby the
transmission of this taint may be avoided and he can find none other
than one which prevents the very possibility of the prospective child
being born. Before coming to such a drastic conclusion enquiry might
have been made to discover whether there might not exist a remedy which
would be a remedy in the truest sense. That is a remedy which would,
while it would prevent the transmission of the taint, yet it would not
interfere with reproduction. Such a remedy would be in fact a method for
the reformation of the criminal, for if the criminal were reformed the
problem would be solved. If he were transformed into an honest and
industrious man then the transmission of the criminal taint is at once
prevented. There are some, however, who maintain that the criminal is
incorrigible and that reformatory agencies have invariably failed. They
look upon all attempts on behalf of the criminal as a useless
expenditure of energy and money. This question of the possibility or
otherwise of the reform of the criminal must now be settled before we
can proceed further.

Is the criminal incorrigible? Some criminals do not ever reform because
they cannot. These are insane. Some do not because they will not; but
these may. The many who pass through our gaols and show no signs of
reform does not prove that although they may reform they never will. If
nine hundred and ninety-nine cases were observed of men resisting reform
it would not prove the impossibility of reforming the thousandth. It
would point to the difficulty, the remote probability or the need of
different methods; but it would not determine the impossibility. When
the term "incorrigible" is applied to certain criminals it does not mean
that these men are incapable of reform; but they are RESISTING
reform; and no one can tell when or whether the most obstinate of these
will surrender his will to the dictates of conscience and commence a
life of reform. The possibility is always an open question. No better
testimony can be brought forward than that of Mr Z. R. Brockway, late
Superintendent of the New York State Reformatory at Elmira. Mr Brockway
is one of the pioneers in reformatory work and is considered the
greatest living authority upon the subject. Some 10,000 felons have
passed through their hands. Speaking at the Fourth International Prison
Congress held in St. Petersburg in 1890 he said:--"There is a sense in
which nothing that lives is incapable of betterment, and so strictly
speaking there are no incorrigible criminals. If it is possible to grasp
the thought and cherish it, we should endeavour to discover in the very
worst characters some spark of humanity which unites us all in ties of
relationship, some secret soul-chambers where superhuman influences may
find lodgment, and so with good leaven pervade the whole man; at least
we may find in our sphere a field for most fascinating scientific
research and experiment.

"I record it as my own conviction, after nearly a lifetime spent with
and for criminals, that alike for all, corrigible and incorrigible, the
aim to accomplish reformation is a true one. It most surely supplies all
possible repression upon the criminal classes in society.... The aim of
reformations is absolutely essential to any good degree of public
protection from crimes.... Mr F. Ammetybock, Director of the
Penitentiary of Vridsloselille, Denmark, added:--I would not dare charge
as incorrigible one of the 3,000 criminals who have been confided to my
care.... During my career as a prison officer, I have seen many
criminals who offered, humanly speaking, characteristic signs of
incorrigibility and who now and for a long time had led respectable
lives.... I believe that other prison officers as well as
philanthropists, can confirm the truth of my experience, and I hope that
many will protest against the theory of incorrigibility and place in the
balance their experience against purely abstract ideas."

On the other hand, it must be admitted that several criminologists
emphatically declare that the "instinctive" criminal (or "born" criminal
to use Lombroso's term) is incorrigible. Garofalo takes such a hopeless
view of the matter as to demand his elimination by death, but none of
these men, eminent criminologists as they may be, have studied
reformatory science experimentally. Mr Brockway's testimony should be
taken as final seeing that of the 12,000 felons who have passed through
the Elmira Reformatory, 82 per cent. have reformed, i.e., have not
returned to criminal practices. The statistics for the year 1903 are as

  Total number of those paroled                445
  Served well and earned absolute release      143
  Correspondence and good conduct and
      maintained (parole not expired)          238
  Died, doing well until time of death           1
  Released by Special Executive
     Clemency, doing well                        1
  Returned to Europe by permission               1
                                               384 or 86 per cent

  Returned to Reformatory for violation
      of parole                                 15 or 33    "
  _Probably returned to crime._
  Those who ceased correspondence
      while on parole and were lost sight of    37
  Known to have returned to crime                9
                                                46 or 10    "

It will be seen that while the Reformatory claims only 86 per cent. of
reforms, there were only 9 persons (or 2 per cent. of the whole) who
were KNOWN to have certainly returned to crime.

This exhibit is conclusive. Reformatory Science, which is yet but in its
infancy, can already deal successfully with by far the greatest
proportion of criminals, and this success at this stage guarantees a
much larger measure in the future. It is clear then upon the statements
of the highest authorities that the criminal is not incorrigible, and
that the prison (penal) system compares so unfavourably with the
reformatory system that it ought to be abolished in favour of it. The
system in vogue at the Elmira Reformatory will be described in a later
chapter, and there it will be shown that the methods employed are upon a
most scientific basis and that the results obtained cannot fail to
satisfy the most exacting. It will be seen that by a "reformed" man is
meant a man who can and will adapt himself to the conditions of society;
a man sound in mind, healthy in body, industrious and honest in habit.
Concerning this man's progeny, what have we to fear? It is in this way
that we may dispose of the proportion of 75 per cent. of criminal
children descended from criminal ancestry. It should here be again
observed that the majority of criminals commence their career in crime
at a very early age, and that therefore the reform of almost all
criminals may be undertaken before they are likely to become parents.
Again, true reformatory science forbids the release of any criminal from
custody who has not given satisfactory evidence of reform.

Thus reformatory science effectually guarantees society against the evil
that Dr Chapple has proposed to eradicate, and it does it by a method
compared with which tubo-ligature is most crude.

The criminal is either set free as a reformed man or is to be kept in
captivity because his resistance to reformatory discipline has shown him
to be unfit to rightly use his liberty.

Not only are the chances of his becoming the parent of criminally
disposed children effectually removed but he is himself transformed from
having a negative to having a positive social value.

Dr Chapple's study convinces him that the cause of the startling
increase of crime, insanity, and pauperism is to be found "deep down in
biological truth. Society is breeding from defective stock." Dr Waddell,
who writes the preface of the "Fertility of the Unfit," is so alarmed as
to declare that "our civilization is in imminent peril of being swamped
by the increasingly disproportionate progeny of the criminal." The most
superficial observation of the life of the criminal would have shown
both these writers that criminal habits militated substantially against
the probability of a natural increase.

To repeat what Féré and Havelock Ellis both emphatically declare that
the criminal and the pauper do not reproduce their kind is but to show
that the cause of the natural increase of the criminal is NOT
to be found in biological truth, neither is our society in any danger of
being swamped by an increasingly disproportionate progeny of the
criminal. In short, society has no enemy in Nature.

The true cause for the increase of the numbers of the criminal is to be
found in sociological and not in biological truth. As Lacassagne says:
"Society has the criminals that it deserves."

Dr MacDonald, W.S. Expert in Criminology, writes to the author, "As to
tubo-ligature, or the like, it would not be supported by scientists."

If, however, there were absolutely no scientific objection to the
proposal that the Doctor advances, if, that is, the basal facts were
exactly he assumes them to be, would then his remedy be secure from
attack? Most emphatically not. For is it not possible, nay with the
present shrinking from maternity so widespread, is it not highly
probable that the measure would be greatly abused? Thousands as the
Doctor himself says would avail themselves of it to-morrow, and for the
simple reason that they wish to escape from the responsibilities of
bringing up children. Thousands would no doubt repudiate their debts
to-morrow if they might do so with impunity, but their wish in the
matter scarcely establishes the course as being a desirable one or one
calculated to promote the happiness of society.

From the revelations of the Birth-rate Commission and from other
enquiries it is most evident that tubo-ligature would be very largely
abused indeed.

But it may be said that it were far better that the woman shrinking
maternity should employ this method than that she should use the
preventive drugs that she does. This is but to acknowledge the morality,
or at least the necessity for the use of preventives and does nothing
less than to charge the Deity with having made laws for the governing of
the Natural Order which have got altogether out of hand and have
involved His creatures in confusion.

Is it not a question whether marriage becomes a necessity when children
are to be avoided? The evil to which Dr Chapple's remedy would run, is
one in which the moral sentiment of society would be so hardened that
the reason for marriage would disappear from the knowledge of man.

There is a great difference between this operation taking place from
pathological reasons and its being performed simply as a deliverance
from maternal responsibilities. In the latter case it is performed at
the will of the woman who thus shows that she has conquered the maternal
instinct, and as such she is a monster for she has contradicted her
nature. Lombroso declares that these are the women that commit the most
hideous crimes and that they are incorrigible.

The Birth-rate Commissioners stated that the use of preventives was
having a most injurious effect upon the health of the women who used

Clearly then Morality and Nature are both opposed to their use.

If men and women are becoming so selfish as to be determined to live
contrary to their nature then Nature will deal with them according to
Her terrible manner. If they are in an extremity and find that our
social system makes it impossible for them to undertake the
responsibilities of parentage, then the reorganization of our social
system is a matter for urgent consideration.

But Dr Chapple would only intensify the evil instead of remedying it.

What he practically says is this:--Regard yourselves for the moment as
being brute beasts and discuss the question upon that level. Murder the
social instinct; murder the compassionate spirit; disregard the Divine
Law and stifle all faith in the Providence of God; let the mission of
life be the enjoyment of pleasure; shrink from the marriage that might
be a burden, and dissolve the happy marriage should indications of
future burdens present themselves. He would have us compelled to take
our betrothed to a medical board and shamelessly confess ourselves.
Confess ourselves under circumstances which would know no secrecy. He
would have us regard our wives from the standpoint of selfishness and
lust alone. But we are not brutes we are human, and we have instincts
which the brutes have not.

NOTE.--Dr. Chapple includes among the defectives not only the
criminal but also the lunatic, the epileptic and the pauper. How far
tubo-ligature would meet the cases of these defectives seems very
uncertain. The information which the Doctor gives us, for the most part,
is in direct opposition to him. On pages 74-76 he gives the history of
eight families which it will repay to examine.

Cases I.--Cancer, consumption and epilepsy in the family. In the third
generation there are seven persons, of whom five married. The only
healthy member left five children, three were childless and one who died
at 56 left five children. That is to say, twelve children represent the
fourth generation.

Case II.--Insanity, idiocy and epilepsy. Of five persons the one sane
member only has a family. Nine children, some (how many?) imbecile.

Case III.--Drunkenness, insanity. Seven children, two died of
convulsions. One an idiot, one a dement (suicidal), one repeatedly
insane. These three are scarcely likely to be chosen in marriage. One
peculiar and irritable, one nervous and depressed.

Case IV.--In third generation there are two epileptics and one
imbecile--scarcely likely to marry. Seven others are dead. (S. P.)

Case V.--From an insane parent we have three children, one excitable,
one dull and one imbecile.

Case VI.--A family of mutes and scarcely relevant.

Case VII.--Drunkenness, epilepsy, etc. In the third generation "family
now extinct." No indications of tubo-ligature having been performed.

Case VIII.--Apparently the issue in the second generation is from two
parentages. There are fifteen persons accounted for. Seven died in
infancy of convulsions. Epilepsy, scrofula, and idiocy can claim one
each. One was drowned, and four are healthy. That is, of seven surviving
children, four are healthy.

In all from fifteen parents there is the alarming increase of fifty-six
persons. Of these eleven are healthy, fourteen are not described,
fourteen are defective and seventeen are dead. The total number of
living descendants, representing no less than the third generation of
seven families, is but thirty-nine. These figures can scarcely be quoted
to prove the "fertility of the unfit," but that is the title that stands
over them. As to the hereditary tendencies that they propagate, more
information is required.

It is a well known fact that in cases of hereditary defect there is a
tendency for the defect to appear at either an earlier or later stage
in life in each successive generation (Mercier). In the first case the
family dies out, in the second case it recovers itself. In cases of
congenital defect, there is very little to fear. The lunatic is locked
up and the epileptic is avoided.

Nature deals most successfully with these cases. She saves where
possible and destroys when recovery is hopeless. Very slowly perhaps,
but very exactly--never making a mistake, and in her slowness she is but
giving man an opportunity to contribute something towards the recovery
she aims at.

=The Case of the Epileptic.=--The number of epileptics in whom the
disease may be traced to hereditary causes is estimated to be about 33
per cent. of the whole. This is indeed a very large percentage. It does
not, however, follow that in all the cases or in by any means a large
proportion of them, the parents were also epileptics. Authorities are
not agreed as to the influence of heredity as a predisposing cause; but
it is recognised by all that the children of insane, neurotic,
hysterical or neuralgic parents are liable to become epileptics. Also
that alcoholism in the parents conveys a predisposition to the child.
The hereditary cases are therefore to be divided amongst all these
causes. In what proportion it would be difficult to estimate; but very
few persons in whom epilepsy has developed marry, and as 75 per cent. of
the cases are said to begin under the age of 20 years, and very few
after 25 years (cases of hereditary epilepsy have been known to develop
at so late an age as 65 and 70 years) it limits the number of
epileptics who marry to a very narrow margin. For even these few,
marriage should, however, be entirely out of the question. In cases,
where from syphilis or shock epilepsy is developed in the married adult
we should expect to find treatment imposing a restriction upon the
freedom of the patient somewhat similar to that provided for lunatics.
In almost every rank of society the developed epileptic would be
excluded from marriage by the law of sexual selection, and as the great
majority develop epilepsy before coming to a marriageable age, few
epileptic children can claim a developed epileptic ancestry.

The number of cases, where epilepsy results from an epileptic ancestry,
is estimated by Sir Wm. Gowers at 22 per cent. of the whole. These cases
are to be distributed between the developed form and the petit mal. As
the petit mal often escapes observation Dr Chapple's method would only
apply to those cases of the marriage of persons who were afflicted with
the major form of epilepsy, which means that perhaps not more than 10
per cent. of the number of epileptics could be prevented from coming to
birth. If a ten per centum reduction is to be considered as solving the
problem in the case of epileptics what will the 86 per cent. of reforms
among criminals be valued at?

=The Case of the Pauper.=--Paupers may be divided into two classes,
those whose poverty is due to misfortunes and those whose poverty is due
to vicious idleness. Those whose poverty is due to drink or crime are
not properly to be classified as paupers. Society regards them as
primarily drunkards and criminals. Of these two classes the first are
generally to be found making a courageous fight against adverse
circumstances and feel their position keenly. They are deserving of the
compassion of society. Their families, it is true, are a burden upon
private and institutional charity, but only a temporary one and after a
while become the very means of recovering the broken fortunes of their
parents. Very large sums are spent in relieving the necessities (often
in providing the luxuries) of the undeserving poor, but this fact should
not be made the basis of a charge against the deserving but helpless
poor. My own acquaintance with the poorest parts of one of our largest
cities leads me to believe that very little charity ever reaches the
truly deserving poor. They battle on and keep their sad condition as far
from public observation as possible. The undeserving are very clamorous.
These two incidents are by no means uncommon, they are fairly typical.
(a) I was called one night to baptise a dying child. The mother stated
that she was too poor to buy a few necessaries ordered by the doctor. I
purchased these myself and brought them to the mother. The next morning
she sent to say the child was dead and would I lend her money to wire to
the father. As he was in work I thought a collect telegram was more
suitable. In the evening a request came for monetary assistance to
provide the child with a coffin and to purchase a plot in the cemetery.
A clergyman who does that sort of thing might as well keep a private
cemetery, undertaker and monumental mason of his own. I refused to do it
and came in for a good deal of abuse. The mother appeared at the funeral
in a new black silk dress!

(b) A crippled woman who earned her living by ironing. She made on an
average 10s per week. I suggested to her the advisability of applying
for an old age pension and proceeded to fill in her papers. When she
discovered that she was two months under the age of 65 she was horrified
at what she thought an attempt on her part to swindle the Government.

These cases speak for themselves. People seem afraid to refuse to give
alms for fear of being called uncharitable, yet they have not the
charity to investigate the cases brought before their notice and see
that their relief is intelligently bestowed upon worthy persons. Some
religious societies are cruel sinners in this respect. The consequence
is that a premium is put upon professional begging and we have plenty of
it. Society will never murmur against the burden of the deserving poor.
Concerning the life of the poor, however, Korosi gives these
statistics:--The average age of the rich is 35 years, of the well-to-do
20.6 years, of the poor only 13.2 years. These statistics are supposed
to hold good for all large towns. The average life of the pauper (that
is the vicious pauper) will be shorter still seeing that in his idle,
vicious life the parent refuses to acknowledge his responsibilities
towards his children and makes no effort to save them from perishing
through want and proper healthful conditions. The numbers of the pauper
may increase, but it is seen then that they do not live to any great
length of life. The pauper has, however, a certain rate of increase and
his children are brought up in pauper habits. To the criminal population
they add about 2 per cent. of the whole. They constitute a burden, not
very great, but one which society resents. To adopt tubo-ligature might
relieve both society and the pauper, but its moral effect would be that
the pauper would regard his vice as acknowledged and approved by
society. To say that there are no other remedies, remedies which would
compel the pauper to earn his living, is an appalling confession of
failure on the part of society.

Chapter VI.


The last century is admittedly one in which was witnessed the greatest
advances in civilization that the world has ever made. All classes in
society may be said to have benefited. The rich have been given greater
opportunities for the enjoyment of their riches and an enlarged sphere
of usefulness opened to them. The poor have had their lot so greatly
ameliorated, that given health, very few men in these colonies at all
events, are poor except it be their own fault. The art of healing can
now restore to health millions who, had they lived in an earlier
century, would have suffered agonies. A universal education has opened
the doors of colleges and universities and made it possible for those
born in the humblest conditions of life, to attain to the most
distinguished positions in the land. The private has become the general;
the office boy the judge; the peasant boy the President; the
full-blooded aboriginal has graduated through our universities and been
called to the Bar; and no man can urge class distinction as being the
cause of his failure in any ambition that he has faithfully pursued. All
classes have benefited; almost all classes have advanced.

Undeniably this advance has brought greater happiness into the world;
whether it will continue will entirely depend upon what basis it is
intended to secure this advance.

With an increase of wealth and leisure there is the danger of
demoralisation. Our society may substitute a false aim for its true one.
Already there are an illimitable number of social reformers who are
prepared to describe in very definite terms what is the state of
perfected society and what laws are necessary for immediate enactment in
order that we might rapidly reach that state. We all acknowledge the
existence of the prophetic vision, but we limit its range and regard him
most audacious who declares that he can describe the heaven in which
society shall finally shelter itself securely from all that prey upon
her. Advance as quickly as we may, there is a limit to our speed, and
the future being all unknown we scarcely like to take it at a plunge.
Nevertheless, these social reformers do a good work--their schemes are
at least suggestive, and moreover they point out signs of the times.
They show us unmistakably that with our advance there is a tendency to
become more and more selfish and to regard with less true charity the
condition of the weak. One social reformer will say that there will not
be any suffering because therapeutics will have overtaken every disease
that the flesh is heir to, or better still, that some new discovery will
have made it possible to heal all sicknesses without the tedious work of
surgeons and nurses. Healing will become a pastime like table-turning.
Neither will there be any criminals because the whole social state will
be so happy, contented, and knit together that inducement to crime will
cease. Others will treat the criminal "scientifically," ensuring reforms
at the rate of 100 per cent. with lightning-like rapidity. Which all
practically amounts to this, that the problem concerning the future of
the weak is shelved. To study it deeply would spoil our best theories
and therefore it must be got rid of. Dr Chapple has done nothing more
than shelve it, for as we have seen his remedy is both practically and
morally impossible. Like all others it betrays the selfish spirit. Like
them it regards the weak as if they were nothing less than an
intolerable incubus on society, a grit in its bearings. It may be that
our social advancement will account for this. In old time when
communities were small and fixed, the burden of nursing the helpless
necessarily fell upon those who were immediately related by ties of
blood or neighbourhood, but now the many changes in the method of living
and treatment, has made this to a large extent impossible. Institutions
have everywhere sprung up, and it is invariably to the advantage of our
sick and afflicted that we should commit them to these institutions,
which practice has engendered the belief that all our social obligations
can be discharged by monetary payment. Not for one moment need we
entertain the idea that this belief will ever become a dominating one.
Charitable influences are more powerful. Nor must we charge the authors
of selfish systems with being as uncharitable as their systems. They
give expression to a fairly strong and somewhat universal sentiment, a
sentiment which we would perhaps disown at once upon its being unmasked
and which many refuse to obey upon its appeal to them to act in
accordance with its principles. This indicates that society sees many of
its assailants in but a half-light. It observes neither their malice nor
strength but only a dark ugly form which irritates us and which we would
if we could banish by an act of will.

This being impossible we must meet our assailants in a clearer light and
destroy them. How can this be done, since it would mean the destruction
of evil and the powers of evil? Then it cannot be done, but since evil
feeds itself upon its victims we can greatly diminish its power and
influence by rescuing all who fall within its grasp. Many we know we
cannot rescue for there are certain types of disease mental and bodily
which defy our skill and some of all types of moral disease also defy
our effort. Still it would be better to say that we do not rescue them,
than that we cannot, for what was incurable yesterday is curable to-day,
and the most deadly diseases are giving clear evidence that their powers
to baffle science are fast giving out. That they will give out,
scientific men confidently hope. Neither is this hope groundless for
past success warrant it and there again point to another assurance,
almost a guarantee. The miracles of healing which Our Lord wrought were
not only to confer relief upon the suffering, not only to give evidence
of His Divinity, but also to promise the triumph which would reward the
efforts of man seeking to assist his afflicted brother. We will never
heal by a word, neither will we raise the dead, for in these works of
might we have peculiar evidence of the Divine Providence; but Christ's
miracles seem to promise that He, the Light of the World, will yet grant
the fullness of that illumination by which the works of healing are

The sick, it is true, receive greater compassion from their fellowmen
than the abnormal, the insane and the criminal. But these latter also
demand our consideration if for no other reason than that they menace
society. To exterminate them is impossible. A persecution with that end
would defeat itself, and the persecutors would become morally infinitely
worse than the persecuted.

Secondly: their consideration is demanded from the fact that society has
produced the evil plight of very many of them. In the great advance,
they have fallen and been trampled on. Their right to fall may be
denied, but whose right was it to trample on them? To declare it to have
been inevitable that they should be trampled on, simply excuses guilt
but not obligation. And the obligation is to make reparation as far as

Thirdly: because what should be a valuable asset to society,
contributing substantially to her strength, becomes a hostile power
weakening her and hindering her progress. Any of these three
considerations received separately is sufficient to convince us of our
obligations to this uglier section of the weak, when combined their
force is very great. But when we speak to them of peace do they not make
them ready to battle? No, their case is not so hopeless as that. David
lived under the Mosaic Dispensation, and Moses could give but the law
whereas Christ has given His Life. Our method will determine everything.
Good advice, good books, good laws will do but little; good work will
accomplish all. "The greatest good of the greatest number" is a false
ideal and absolutely unworthy either of our charity or our science. "The
ultimate good of all" is the end society is destined to accomplish, and
anything less is too little for her, anything more is impossible even to

In working towards this ideal, which we cannot describe with greater
definiteness, we are bound to recognise that GOODNESS is our
safe and only guide. The general direction of our advance in the past we
can easily trace, but the purpose of the devious paths through which we
were led is too difficult to understand. Our present puzzles us, our
future sometimes appals us. Some rush ahead to see what lies before us
and come back injured and pass away as pessimists, others hesitate to
advance at all. We cannot outstrip our guiding pillar of light; but
following it we are safe to advance. And in following, one of the first
convictions that comes home to us is that we must allow no waste,
neither in the lives of others nor in the energies of ourselves. With
this conviction soon comes the startling fact that the energies we are
allowing to waste are identically those which were given to us to save
the lives of others which are wasting. A wonderful independence exists
among us. The social system is bound together by ties of nature, and not
merely by those of commerce or benefit. Man is social, not merely
gregarious. He enters into the life of his fellow-man and establishes
relations which we are bound to call spiritual. Through the media of
these relations, influences traverse which are of the most profound we
know. These relations when established compel us to acknowledge our
duties to one another and give us a delight in discharging them. This
delight in turn becomes the power, which opens the eyes to the
realization of the great principle of self-sacrifice. Egoism and
altruism are not to be mutually exclusive. To seek our own happiness is
not to be indifferent to the happiness of society. For what is
happiness? not pleasure, but self-realization, and we cannot realise
self without realising society.

This interdependence which exists between man and man, and which makes
it possible for us to influence one another so powerfully for good or
for evil, points out to us that the true aim of every man, namely, to
unite his work with that of his fellow-man in a grand co-operative
undertaking for the advancement and betterment of society regarded as a
whole and with regard for its units. We cannot realise self if engaged
in competition man against man in order to satisfy private ambition. Our
object should be to unite and our hostility be provoked, not against one
another, weak or strong, but against the powers which attack us
individually and collectively.

Necessity then lays the obligation upon us to give our first attention
to the rescue of the weak. It was the recognition of this obligation
which sent the Christian-Maidens into the suburbs of Rome seeking the
exposed offspring of unnatural parents. To say that they would have been
better dead, is to speak with that facility which requires neither
mental nor moral perception.

It is the recognition, in part, of this obligation which accounts for
hospitals, asylums and other charitable institutions. Hence also we
endeavour to shelter those born deficient in mental or moral power. Dr
Chapple seems to think that the result of all this is that we have made
a pretty mess of society. He says, of these weaklings, that Nature has
decreed that they should die. A most unscientific statement. Are these
charitable efforts to be regarded as profane interference with the
sacred decrees of Nature? Nature's decrees are inviolate and none can
disturb them. Because these weak, if left unaided, would perish, is that
to say that Nature has decreed that they should die? If so, we must say
of a man, stricken with typhoid fever, that Nature has decreed that he
should die, and that any effort to save him would be but a profane
interference on our part with Nature.

  What does Nature say of these that
            they do not live,
            they cannot live, or
            they must not live?

History has shown that in the past they do not live.

But in order to discover the decree of Nature we must make a full and
exhaustive enquiry into the possibilities which exist under the laws of
Nature. So far as this enquiry has advanced it has been made quite clear
that the charitable effort of man will recover many that would otherwise
perish. The whole science of therapeutics is based upon this discovery.

Dr Chapple says of defectives that they do live but that they must not.
Two arguments he brings forward. The first is that Nature has decreed
that they should not. This must be a secret communication, for it is not
universal knowledge, and the operation of Nature's laws certainly
appears to contradict it. The second argument is that they are a burden.
The burden analysed amounts to this:--

  (a). They are a misery to themselves.
  (b). They are too costly.
  (c). They hinder the progress of society.
  (d). They threaten to overwhelm society.

(a). Who can tell whether the weak are absolutely a misery to
themselves. Pain is a mystery which cannot be solved, although to the
suffering its benefits are well known. If they would be better out of
the way might they not be left to decide that matter for themselves?
They, knowing best, cry to us for help. If we were merely gregarious
creatures like wolves or sharks we would tear or destroy them in their
misery; but as social beings we are bound to answer their cry. To cry
for help is instinctive with them, and to respond to the cry is
instinctive with us. Surely this is the voice of Nature and this is the
decree of Nature.

(b). If this argument be admitted then we are bound to declare that the
one aim of both society and individual is to amass wealth. The idea is
too sordid for further consideration.

(c). So far from hindering the social progress they most powerfully
assist it. The mere bearing of one another's burdens has the most
refining and deepening influence upon character. It is most active in
creating and establishing our relations one with another. Compassion for
the suffering creates a tie between them and us. The intention to help
requires our co-operation with others, and so the bond extends uniting
first individuals then groups and then the whole of society. Nor must we
forget the immense advance in surgery and medicine which is due entirely
to the consideration of the lot of the apparently hopeless. Had these
even been allowed to perish we should still have needed our surgeons and
physicians in a well equipped society, if only to teach us how to
prevent seizure by dangerous complaints.

A short time ago many died from ailments which surgery can to-day cure
with but very little suffering on the part of the patient. Is not this a
substantial gain which the bearing of the burden of the weak has brought
to man? To mention other triumphs is but to enlarge. If therefore Nature
has spoken there can be no doubt that it was to give a promise that she
would reward diligent research by revealing the cure of all the ills our
flesh inherits. Thus assured, scientific men are most zealously studying
the most deadly and most obstinate diseases. Against plague, smallpox,
and consumption they can at least give us an effective protection, and
almost hourly we expect to hear the shout of triumph accompanying the
announcement that the victory over cancer has been gained. When stricken
with these diseases we immediately fall into the ranks of the unfit; but
we will thank society for having borne its burden when the healing art
is brought to such an excellence that, when so stricken, we may soon be
restored to the ranks of the fit. The benefit which the past confers
upon us declares imperatively our obligation to the future.

(d). Do they threaten to overwhelm? The power of disease is being
overcome, and therefore the number of the diseased is being lessened. By
being cured, instead of dying, these increase the proportion of the
strong to the weak. The obstinacy of certain hereditary diseases but
asserts the necessity of prosecuting study more enthusiastically.

But if the strong limit their increase they cannot demand that
exterminating methods should be applied to the weak in order to restore
the proportion which they, the strong, have thus by their selfishness
disturbed. Nature gives adequate protection so far as numerical increase
is concerned, and no scientific man will dare to state that this
protection may be disregarded and another demanded.

The Government of India has been charged with pursuing a suicidal policy
in safeguarding the natives against plague and smallpox and in
preventing human sacrifice. Their numbers will increase, food supplies
will give out, or, worst of all, they may become so powerful as to wrest
the supremacy from the European. Charity, however, demands that these
measures shall be taken, and the terrors of the future are at best
hypothetical. This is but another case in which consideration for the
unknown future is apt to hinder us in the discharge of our known duties
to the present. History assures us that the guarantee of the future lies
in the fulfilment of these duties. The height of absurdity is reached
when the attempt is made to establish the proportions of the future.
Such efforts defy man.

The burden of the weak is the burden of the strong, and in the bearing
of it is brought into view the grand and true ideal of society--the good
of all.

Man is endowed with natural powers for assisting his weaker brother,
and, above all these powers he has, through supplication the means of
engaging the Divine Influence, which simply defies all calculation
against the possibility of reform or recovery.

Where charitable effort in the past has not succeeded it is because it
has not gone far enough. Building institutions is sometimes due to a
craze and not charity. Thus evils are sometimes accentuated and not
mitigated. Such failures must spur to redoubled effort. Hope was never
larger than at present.

Chapter VII.


The old method of dealing with criminals was based entirely upon a
doctrine of vengeance. The criminal was regarded as being in every way a
normal man, a man who deliberately chose to be a criminal. The
possibility of a criminal's moral sense being defective, of his not
being able to bring his actions under the control of his will, or of
some other sad handicap existing, was never contemplated. His crime was
looked upon as a desperate act, for the committal of which he was
absolutely without any excuse. The consequence was that an elaborate
system of torture was devised in order to deal with him. Readers who are
familiar with such books as Marcus Clark's "For the term of his natural
life," and Charles Reade's "It is never too late to mend," will require
no further description of the horrors of "the vengeance system" which
was supposed to be the only rational method of dealing with criminals in
the days of the convict settlements.

Since then, popular vengeance has considerably relaxed and the devising
of painful forms of punishment has become almost a lost art. The
new-born science, with its first powers of articulation, loudly repeat
the words of Revelation, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the
Lord." A system of vengeance instituted by man against man is
impossible. As has been stated in a previous chapter, the new penology
repudiates all such systems. The amount of pain which an individual is
to be called upon to suffer may well be left to the higher tribunal. The
obvious duty of man to his fellow-man who is depraved, is to endeavour
to recover him. There is no satisfaction in punishing him, but there is
every satisfaction in reforming him.

The new penology covers the investigation and study of every
circumstance surrounding the criminal as such. No circumstance is so
trifling as to be passed by, every detail is carefully studied with the
object of discovering what the criminal is and how he came to be such,
what are his possibilities, and by what methods those possibilities may
be reached.

Maconochie ventured upon the bold assumption that the criminal was a
human being, and this assumption proved to be justified. In 1840 he was
sent to Norfolk Island to take charge of 1400 double-convicted felons
there. He describes them in these words:--"For the merest trifle they
were flogged, ironed or confined in gaol for days on bread and water.
The offences most severely punished were chiefly conventional; those
against morals being little regarded, compared with those against
unreasonable discipline. Thus the horrid vices with acts of brutal
violence, or of dexterity in theft and robbery, were detailed to me by
the officers with little direct censure, and rather as anecdotes
calculated to astonish and amuse a new-comer. While the possession of a
pipe, a newspaper, a little tea, etc., or the omission of some mark of
respect, a saucy look or word, or even an imputation of sullenness, were
deemed unpardonable offences. They were fed more like hogs than like
men; neither knives, forks, nor hardly any other conveniences were
allowed at tables. They tore their food with their fingers and teeth,
and drank out of water buckets. The men's countenances reflected
faithfully this description of treatment. A more demoniacal looking
assemblage could not be imagined; and nearly the most formidable sight I
ever beheld was the sea of faces upturned to me when I first addressed
them. Yet three years after, I had the satisfaction of hearing Sir
George Gipps ask me what I had done to make the men look so well?--he
had seldom seen a better looking set."

Maconochie had invented the mark system (the principle of the
indeterminate system) and made the prisoners' liberation depend upon
their conduct and character and not upon the original offence.
Maconochie's experience led him to write in after years to a friend, "if
you would try a social-moral one (prison system) you would soon get
important results. If our punishments were first of all made
REFORMATORY, and generally successful in this object the
prejudices of society against the early criminal would abate." Inspired
with this hope of reforming the criminal and restoring him to society
as a useful member, philanthropists began the exhaustive study of the
criminal. In prisons where the value of this science is recognized the
criminal upon his entry is subject to a most thorough examination, every
item of his family history is carefully enquired into. Information
concerning the occupation, education, health and character of all who
are nearly related to him is obtained, as also the moral and economic
conditions of his home life, and the character of his associates. He
himself is studied for the existence or traces of disease; for
abnormalities, arrested or exaggerated physical and mental development.
The strength of his various muscles, the vitality of his organs, his
mental and nervous capacity, and his moral susceptibility are all
estimated. His powers of self-control are determined. His disposition is
carefully studied. His opportunities in life, his educational
advantages, his early career, the nature of the crime, the immediate
influencing circumstances, as provocation, hunger, cold, atmospheric
disturbances are all noted.

Such is a brief outline of the examination, the object of which is to
discover as far as possible the real cause which led to the crime, what,
if any, were the social, physical, psychical and provocative elements
contributing to the cause; what their value; and what are the most
promising lines upon which the criminal's reform may be directed. He is
by no means regarded as a passive product of forces over which he has no
control, nor his crime as the consequence of himself. It is essential
to the success of all reformatory discipline that moral responsibility
must be recognised and observed. In fact it may be said, that
reformation is complete when moral responsibility, insisted upon by the
discipline, becomes at last acknowledged by the man.

Perhaps it may be thought that it is not possible to conduct such a
study with anything like accurate results, and that the greater part of
it would be mere guess work, as e.g. the determining the capacity of
a man's nervous system or his degree of moral susceptibility. This is
quite a mistake. There is nothing whatever of a speculative quality in
the results advanced by criminologists. Their methods are exact and
compare equally with those for the investigation of other phenomena.

It is not claimed that the absolute or the relative value of the data
collected is as yet determined, nor yet that any one investigation has
been exhausted; but this much can be claimed, that the results obtained
are of high practical worth and justify the assurance that the solution
of the problem concerning the criminal will soon be reached.

Chapter VIII.


The result of Criminological studies has indicated most clearly that no
measures for the prevention or repression of crime will ever be adequate
which are not based upon a scientific system of education. Whatever this
system may prove to be, it must have one distinct aim, and that is to
train all its members to love, and to work for, the social state. This
aim must be accomplished most thoroughly no matter what the cost may be.

The decreasing birth-rate points to other conclusions than the obvious
one that a large number of persons must be using preventive means. It
points to a widespread selfishness which regards children as an
intolerable burden, as in fact nothing less than a grievous misfortune.
It is obvious that where children are so regarded a blight has fallen
upon the domestic life. Home cannot be the brightest spot on earth to
them; neither can the father and mother be their sympathetic guides,
counsellors, and protectors. Nor can those children be studied (by those
who alone have the special faculty for studying them) in order that
their secret aims and ambitions and the difficulties which obstruct
these aims and ambitions, may be understood.

It follows then that from parental selfishness a great number (and close
observation leads one to believe that by far the greater proportion) of
the children of this generation and in this colony, are growing up with
less care and attention being bestowed upon them than what their parents
are prepared to bestow upon even their very horses or their dogs. This
factor of parental selfishness cannot be ignored either academically or
practically. It must in some way be overcome, or at least its influence
for harm must be considerably reduced.

It would be interesting to discover how far this parental selfishness
was a deviation from true parental pride. Possibly it may not be so very
great as the vast difference in results may lead us to suppose, and if
this be so the reorganisation of the child's educational system will not
be insuperably difficult.

In many homes where there are more than two or three children, there is
a total lack of domestic sympathy and pride. The children are not taught
to love one another nor to understand and help one another. Adult
influence is very seldom brought to bear upon them, and, worst of all,
parental influence is either wanting, deficient or injurious. What
children suffer from this want in the development in their natures must
of necessity be, and it unquestionably is, sufficient to handicap them
throughout their whole life. Parents profess that they have done their
best with this or that child and that they have failed, but the fault
largely lies in the parents undertaking the task with every expectation
of failure, and the chief characteristics noticed by the child have been
the parental irritability, impatience and incompetence. Having estimated
these the child then knows exactly how to gain its own ends and has
sufficient determination to persevere until it does. A certain amount of
harsh treatment will suffice, until the child is old enough to rebel, in
order to keep it in check, or, as is just as often the case, the child
may be allowed to have its own way entirely. Under such circumstances it
is not a matter of great wonderment that the child should be looked upon
as a burden to be fed, clothed, and tolerated until it is old enough to
"do something" for itself.

But our school system is also at fault, for by it our children are
crammed with an amount of information the whole, or even the greater
part, of which very few of them will ever use. Imagine the object, if
one can, of spending the precious hours of a child's educational life in
teaching it the names of every dozen or so of the different towns of
each county in the United Kingdom, and at the same time entirely
neglecting its moral training and giving very little attention to the

If a child be bright he has every consideration from his teachers and
receives from his companions the opprobious nickname of "Teacher's Pet."
He gains a reward, perhaps a medal, and at the annual distribution of
prizes the speech-makers point to the coming legislators and successful
men of business in a manner which conveys to this scholar the idea that
the one thing to live for is to gain an exalted position in the world.
This would not be so bad in itself, were it not that the love for honest
labour is not inculcated at the same time, and consequently the children
imagine that they are going to be pitchforked into prominence. As an
evidence, witness the speculative spirit so universal among our youth.
They hope to make their way in life simply by "striking it lucky."
Personally I have spoken to a large number of boys about the ages of
from fourteen to sixteen years and I have never yet been able to find a
boy who could tell me definitely what he would like to be. His father
looks about for something for him to do without any knowledge of the
boy's possibility of greatest success lying in one well marked
direction. The boy remains in a billet only so long as he fails to get
another with a greater wage attached to it, and when perhaps twenty
years of age are reached he is conscious of where the true lines of his
destiny lie; but it is then too late for him to begin the necessary
education, and the consequence is that his life loses its inspiration.
Now it is quite possible that if our school system were so reorganised
that parents saw as a result that their children developed a true love
for labour and worked with definite purpose, that they would take a more
intense pride in them and enter more sympathetically into their labours
and ambitions. The education of the child would thus be brought to react
upon the parent and tend immediately to reorganise the domestic life
and bring it closer to the Hebrew conception, which conception when
realised would most thoroughly solve the problem of the moral
regeneration of the race. It is impossible for the State to have to
commence to educate the parent except by reactionary methods and by
compelling the observance of all legitimate obligations. That our
present school system does not react favourably upon the parent must be
obvious from what has already been said. In the past when only the
fortunate few were able to secure the advantages of a good education,
they, for the most part, recognised the greatness of their opportunity
and prosecuted their studies with zeal. But to-day, with an universal
educational system the value of these opportunities is, by the child and
sometimes by the parent, very much lost sight of. The child needs now a
stimulant, something to arouse and sustain his interest in his work. He
should learn to regard his school work with pleasure and his home with

The three principal standpoints from which education is regarded
are:--(a) the utilitarian, (b) the disciplinarian, and (c) a compromise
between the two.

The Utilitarians consider that an educational system should store the
mind of the child with such knowledge only as shall be of direct value
to it in its after life. The disciplinarians consider that a child's
education should content itself with so developing the faculties that
when matured they may be adequate for such mental tasks as the after
life or vocation may provide. The middle course is held by those who
endeavour to train the faculties of the child in the manner prescribed
by the disciplinarians, but in so doing, they employ the mind upon
exercises, the accomplishment of which, is of immediate and permanent

The education system in New Zealand is constructed upon the utilitarian
basis. The children's minds are crammed with knowledge--USEFUL
knowledge let it be called--and they are encouraged to be diligent
because of the great benefit this knowledge will be to them when they
become men and women--which development the child of eight expects will
be attained sometime before the end of the world, and will then come by
chance. The reward of the child's labour is thrown into the far distant
future, and is so entirely lost sight of as an inspiring factor, that
artificial rewards have to be provided and the child ponders over his
lessons in the hope of winning one of Ballantyne's or Henty's "Books for

Now, the facts of a child's life demonstrate conclusively that the child
is capable of having all its interests absorbed in its work. The
diligence with which it will build up a doll's house out of a soap box,
a jam tin, a few stones and any odds and ends that it can lay its hands
on, is sufficient evidence of this. The child loves to make things for
itself, and its affection for the rude creations of its own mind is far
greater than that for its most gorgeous and expensive toys. Upon the
recognition of these facts, the kindergarten system is based.

In Sweden a very successful attempt has been made to construct the whole
of the primary system upon this basis, and for this purpose Sloyd has
been introduced into the schools. Certain Sloyd exercises have made
their appearance in our New Zealand schools and have met with somewhat
severe criticism, the whole system being condemned as being ideal
theoretically, but valueless practically. It took many years before the
Swedish system was perfected, and it should follow obviously that a very
partial experiment, such as the colonial one has been, gives no idea of
what value the complete system may achieve.

By Sloyd, we understand a system of educational hand-work. The children
are employed upon various kinds of hand craft with the object of
developing their mental, moral, and physical powers. The object is
NOT to make artisans of the children, although undoubtedly
those children who afterwards become tradesmen find that the educational
principles of their trade has already been grasped by the intellect, but
the same will apply to those entering any legitimate vocation without

Although there are many different kinds of Sloyd, woodwork has been
discovered to be the most useful, and it alone survives the severe tests
imposed. A glance at the accompanying table will explain what is meant.


A - Does it accord with children's capability?
B - Does it excite and sustain interest?
C - Are the objects made useful?
D - Does it give a respect for rough work?
E - Does it train in order and exactness?
F - Does it allow cleanliness and neatness?
G - Does it cultivate the sense of form?
H - Is it beneficial from an hygienic point of view?
I - Does it allow methodical arrangement?
J - Does it teach dexterity of hand?
Branches of Sloyd.|   A    |   B    |    C    |   D    |    E      |
                  |        |        |         |        |           |
Simple Metal Work |Yes & No|Yes     |Yes      |Yes     |Yes & no   |
Smith's Work      |No      |Hardly  |Tolerably|Yes     |No         |
Basket Making     |No      |Hardly  |Tolerably|Yes     |No         |
Straw Plaiting    |Yes     |Yes?    |Yes      |Yes & no|Yes        |
Brush Making      |No?     |Yes??   |Yes      |Yes?    |Tolerably  |
House Painting    |No      |No      |Yes & no |Yes     |No         |
Fretwork          |Yes?    |No & yes|No & yes |No      |Yes        |
                  |        |        |   Yes   |        |           |
Bookbinding       |No      |No & yes|Tolerably|Hardly  |Tolerably  |
                  |        |        |         |        |   Yes     |
Card-board Work   |Yes & no|Yes?    |Yes      |No      |very high  |
Sloyd Carpentry   |Yes     |Yes     |Yes      |Yes?    |Yes        |
                  |        |        |         |        |partly (not|
Turnery           |No      |Yes     |Yes?     |Hardly  |quite No)  |
Carving in Wood   |Yes?    |Yes & no|Yes & no |No      |Yes        |
Clay Modelling    |Yes     |Yes     |No       |No      |Yes & no   |
                         From "Theory of Sloyd," Salomon.

Table continued

Branches of Sloyd.|    F    |    G   |   H    |    I   |    J
                  |Tolerably|        |        |        |
Simple Metal Work |    No   |Yes     |Yes?    |Yes     |Yes
Smith's Work      |No       |No?     |Yes & no|Perhaps |No
Basket Making     |Yes?     |No      |No      |No      |No
Straw Plaiting    |No & yes |No?     |No      |Yes     |No
Brush Making      |Yes      |No      |No      |No      |No
House Painting    |No       |No      |No      |No      |No
Fretwork          |Yes      |No & yes|No      |No & yes|No
                  |         |        |        |        |
Bookbinding       |Yes?     |No      |No?     |Perhaps |Tolerably
                  |         |        |        |        |
Card-board Work   |Yes      |Yes?    |No      |Yes     |No?
Sloyd Carpentry   |Yes      |Yes     |Yes?    |Yes     |Yes
                  |         |        |        |        |
Turnery           |Yes?     |Yes     |No      |No      |No
Carving in Wood   |Yes      |Yes & no|No      |Yes     |No
Clay Modelling    |No       |Yes     |No      |Yes     |No

The objects of Sloyd are:--(a) to instil a taste for, and love of,
labour in general.

NOTE.--(For this analysis of the Sloyd system the author has
based his study upon Herr Salomon's works "The theory of educational
Sloyd" and "The Teacher's hand book of Sloyd.")

Children love to make things for themselves and prize their own work
much more than ready made articles. The educator should follow Nature's
lead and satisfy this craving. By a skilful direction of the child's
interest a love for labour in general is instilled, and rewards are
found to be unnecessary, the children being only too eager to achieve.
To sustain their interest in the work they are engaged upon must be
useful from THEIR OWN STANDPOINT. The work should not be
preceded by fatiguing exercises, but the first cut should be a stroke
towards the accomplishment of the desired end. The exercise must afford
variety. The entire work of the exercise must be within their power and
not requiring the aid of the teacher to "finish it off." It must be real
work and not a pretence; and the objects should become the property of
the children. To give children intricate joints to cut is of no real
value. The child has no genuine interest in what are simply the parts of
an exercise, it must make something complete and useful in itself. To
make a garden stick accurate according to model is of more value than to
make the most intricate joint. One may say that the child who could do
the one could do the other, but that is not the point, for the object
is not merely to gain manual dexterity but to develop all the faculties
of a child, and this is what the complete exercise achieves and in what
the partial exercise absolutely fails.

(b) To instil respect for rough, honest, bodily labour, which is
achieved by the introduction of the work into schools of all grades so
that ALL classes of the community may engage upon it, and by the
teachers taking pride in it themselves, and by their intelligent
teaching of it to their classes.

(c) To develop independence and self-reliance. The child requires
individual attention, the teacher must not tell too much, the child
should endeavour as far as possible to discover by experiment the best
methods for holding and manipulating tools, and also to be allowed as
much free play as possible for its judgment.

(d) To train in habits of order, exactness, cleanliness, and neatness.

Which are acquired by keeping the models well within the children's
range of ability, demanding that the work shall always be done in an
orderly manner and with the greatest measure of exactness that the child
is capable of. How far cleanliness and neatness may be instilled is
apparent from the nature of the work.

(e) To train the eye, and the sense of form. To cultivate dexterity of
hand and develop touch.

The models are of two kinds:--rectilinear and curvilinear. The former
are tested by the square, the rule and the compasses, but the accuracy
of the latter depends upon the eye, the sense of form and that of touch.
This training enables the child to distinguish between good and bad work
and to put a right value upon the former, to understand the right use of
ornament, and also cultivates the æsthetic taste upon classic lines. An
enormous number of jerry built articles are sold, which the public
readily buy simply on account of their ornamental appearance. If the
ability to distinguish between good and bad work were more universal it
would go far towards improving trade morality.

(f) To cultivate habits of attention, interest, etc. The success of the
work requires that the mind shall be closely concentrated upon it. The
nature of the work excites the interest of the child, and under careful
direction this interest is sustained throughout. A genius has been
described as a man capable of taking pains--a master of detail. Sloyd is
eminently suited for concentrating the attention upon the details of
work and for training the Sloyder to be thorough and never content with
"making a thing do."

The desire of the child to finish the work and to finish it well,
overrides any element of impatience or irritability that may be in his
character, and in a natural way introduces the elements of patience and
perseverance in his work. These qualities are not confined to his Sloyd
work but extend throughout his character, so that he realises that the
work of life all contributes to some definite aim.

(g) Uniform development of the physical powers. Statistics collected
from any country show that many forms of disease before unknown among
the young, are now very prevalent among the children taught in the
schools. These diseases are attributed to the many hours during which
children are required to sit and to the bad positions they assume during
those hours. Skoliosis--curvature of the spine--a serious disease, as it
produces displacement of the internal organs, nose bleeding, ænemia,
chlorosis, nervous irritation, loss of appetite, headache, and myopia,
are diseases which are declared by experts to accompany the present
system of education.

Sloyd when properly taught tends to develop the frame according to the
normal standard. It may not be as good as gymnastics in this direction:
but it has this advantage that it trains the pupil to engage in his work
in such a manner as not to hinder nor stunt the development of his body,
and not to cramp the vital organs in such a manner as to interfere with
the discharge of their functions. The pupils are taught to use both
hands and to develop both sides of the body. The following chart from
Herr Salomon's work will show to what degree the body may develop on a
lopsided manner when one side only is used in performing work. The chart
shows the sectional measurement of the chest of a boy of thirteen years
of age who for three years had worked at a bench using the right side

The foregoing brief analysis may show the ends which Sloyd is destined
to accomplish, and upon the value of those ends no explanation is
required. Habits of industry, patience and perseverance are inculcated.
The child learns to know his own power and how best to use it. His
tastes are cultivated and he learns to love work and understand the true
dignity of labour. Such results are not the results of the copy book but
they are permanently impressed upon the child's character. That such an
education must react upon the parent is obvious. The child's life is
full of aim and he does everything with a purpose, and in such a child
only the most depraved parent will fail to take interest, and children
have this characteristic, that they force their knowledge upon the
notice of their parents whenever they can. The boy who begins to learn
house painting soon expresses the wish to paint his own home; if
carpentry, he wishes to build a shed; if joinery, he wishes to make a
table; and how often one notices a home where tidiness and order are due
to the educated child, and where taste in furnishing is accounted for by
the daughter's cultivated æsthetic taste. Children then, so trained as
the Sloyd system provides, may contribute enormously to the happiness
and brightness of the home life. Instead of regarding them as a burden
their parents will behold them with delight and pride, and instead of
looking out for "something for them to do," indifferent whether it be
driving a cart, selling in a shop, or clerking in a lawyer's office,
they will find that the child himself has a definite idea of where his
after course should lie, and they will do their utmost towards assisting
him to follow it.

[Illustration: _To perceive the amount of distortion, fold the paper
along the axis of the diagram, and hold it between the eye and the

_From "Theory of Sloyd"_--SALOMON.]

It cannot be supposed that Sloyd will succeed in the midst of
incongruous surroundings. To train the eye to a sense of the beautiful
in a dirty schoolhouse is somewhat difficult. The glorious handiwork of
God will not be taught in the playground which, with its mudholes, ruts,
and filth, more resembles a cattle yard than anything else. A school and
its grounds must at least show that the authorities themselves really
appreciate the lessons they are endeavouring to have instilled into the
minds of their scholars. So, too, a similar system must underlie the
method of teaching the ordinary lessons at the school desk. How many
children will say "I love history but I detest dates"? What value are
the dates? Let history be taught as Fitchett teaches it in his "Deeds
that won the Empire" and the end will be accomplished, patriotism will
be inspired, and the nation loved. Dates, names of deeds, causes of war,
international policies may easily be introduced incidentally. Let
geography be taught as Fraser teaches it in his "Real Siberia" or Savage
Landor in his "In the Forbidden Land" and the map will be studied with
interest and the subject never forgotten. Let the notation be dispensed
with until the child understands the problem or theorem and Euclid will
become fascinating.

Without a shadow of doubt the best preventive of crime is an universal
system of education so designed that the whole interest of the child is
absorbed in its work. An absolute solution of the whole problem
undoubtedly requires that the religious education of the child be also
undertaken and effectively carried out. The question of the religious
education of the young is one which is exciting attention throughout the
whole of the English speaking world. There are those who advocate that
instruction in the Bible lessons should be given by teachers during
school hours to the scholars attending the Government schools, and there
are those who vigorously oppose such a course.

The advocates base their arguments upon their belief that no system of
education which ignores religious teaching can be effective or complete.
Their opponents declare that it is unjust to call upon the teachers of a
secular education to give instruction in religion, or for the State to,
in any way, subsidise the various religious denominations or to
supplement their efforts in this particular direction. Both sides
petition the Government and both sides prepare the people for a possible
referendum upon the question.

The State cannot be expected to regard the matter from other than a
purely utilitarian standpoint. "Will it make the people better
citizens?" it enquires. "Will it lesson crime and promote honesty,
thrift and loyalty?" These questions still remain unanswered, and in the
midst of so much rationalistic teaching, and especially with the
example of the noble lives of many rationalists before it, the State
believes that there is room for much difference of opinion, and
therefore it cannot move in the matter. The advocates of religious
education seem to take it for granted that their beliefs are
unassailable and that they are simply fighting against the powers of
Darkness: but they forget that they are doing very little to bring
others to hold the same convictions as themselves. It should not be a
difficult task to answer to the utilitarian position with an emphatic
affirmative and to bring conclusive evidence to support that
affirmative. Where, it may be asked, are to be found the men who are
leaders in thought and action who have, without any religious influence
whatever, risen from the depths of misery, crime and filth? Where are to
be found the families now living in honesty and virtue, though still in
poverty, families in the midst of which every form of wickedness was
once to be seen, who owe nothing to religious influence? The rationalist
may claim that when his educational theories are adopted and put into
practice all dens of misery and vice will disappear, but he cannot
support his statement with convincing proofs. The teacher of religion is
infinitely better off. While he strenuously supports the adoption of
better and larger educational effort, he insists that, in order to gain
the active co-operation of those on behalf of whom it is to be employed,
religious influences must be brought to bear, and for the support of his
statement he need only say "open your eyes and look around you."

The influence of religion in regaining criminals cannot be gainsaid by
any, and the United States Educational Report for 1897-98 declares that
it is most important for the inculcation of sound morality, that
children should, from a very early age, be brought under the influence
of good religious teaching.

When the State is convinced that religious education is an absolute
necessity, it will approach the question of ways and means with a
determination that a satisfactory solution must be arrived at, and what
it will then demand is not so much an emasculated Bible as the bringing
to bear upon the children of the vital regenerative influences of

Chapter IX.




=The Probation System.=--In several of the States of America an attempt
has been made to devise a substitute for imprisonment in the cases of
persons convicted for minor offences.

The State of Massachusets was the first to take the lead by initiating a
somewhat elaborate system of probation.

Briefly described, it is an attempt to reform a prisoner

Imprisonment for minor offences has had many bad features and should,
where possible, be avoided. Firstly, there is the stigma that attaches
to every man who has worn the broad-arrow. Secondly, there is the loss
of self-respect which, together with the contaminating influences
existing in a prison, often convert the minor offender into the hardened
criminal. Thirdly, there are the hardships that the wife and family are
called upon to endure while the bread-winner is in gaol and not earning

The Probation System seeks to overcome all these difficulties. Instead
of sentencing an offender to a period of imprisonment, the judge
confides him to the care of the probation officer for a period
co-terminous with that which he would otherwise have had to spend in
prison. The minimum period of this sentence is six months, and the
average about twelve months.

In the cases of female offenders and of youths under the age of 18 years
the probation officer is usually a woman; for adult males, a man acts as

The officers are invested with very considerable authority. It is their
duty to keep the very closest watch over their wards and to report
continually upon their behaviour. They frequently visit the homes and do
their utmost to become acquainted with the conditions of the home and
industrial life under which their wards live. The visits are so arranged
that they by no means imply an official errand, the officers endeavour
to discover the weaknesses of their wards and the temptations to which
they are most likely to succumb, and as far as possible to remove them
out of the reach of these temptations or to strengthen them against
their power. Some officers provide for meetings to be held for those
committed to their charge. Especially is this the case with those who
have the charge over youthful offenders. At such meetings games,
edifying entertainment and instruction are provided. It is also quite
competent for an officer to receive the wages of a probationer. In these
cases, he will give the man's wife a sufficient sum to meet the ordinary
household expenditure, allow him enough for his personal expenses, and
retain a small sum to be returned when the period of probation has
expired. This course is invariably pursued in the case of drunkards. A
drunkard may, upon the authority of the probation officer, be forbidden
to enter a public-house or to enter it during certain hours only, and he
may also be obliged to remain at home after a certain hour. In fact, the
probation officer may make almost any such rules that he thinks best to
be observed by his ward, and there is always the threat of being sent to
prison to discharge his sentence, if he should refuse to behave properly
when under probation.

To have an officer constantly watching over a man may affix a certain
stigma to the man, but even so, it is not indelible nor nearly so great
as that which the prison leaves behind it. To make this disadvantage as
small as possible, the officers wear no uniform and, within their
prescribed area, work among the convicted and unconvicted alike.

The type of officer required is not easily found. Of humane instincts,
and yet a firm disciplinarian, well educated, competent to give good
advice and able to gain the affections and confidences of those amongst
whom they work, is the type of person required. The ex-soldier or the
ex-policeman is just the man who is NOT wanted. The advantages of this
system Miss E. P. Hughes thus sums up:--

Firstly.--Instead of a few highly-paid officials and many badly paid
warders, you have a number of independent, well-paid probation officers,
chosen for their knowledge of human nature, and their skill in reforming

Secondly.--Far greater adjustment of treatment to individual cases.

Thirdly.--The stigma of the prison is avoided, and while great care is
taken that the prisoner shall be strictly controlled and effectively
restrained, his self-respect is carefully developed.

Fourthly.--The family suffers less. The home is not broken up, the wages
still come in, and if the prisoner is a mother and a wife, it is, of
course, most important that she should retain her position in the home.

Fifthly.--The prisoner does not "lose his job," nor his mechanical
skill, if he is a skilled workman. "I was told that six months in prison
will materially damage this in many cases." He does not lose his habit
of regular work.

Sixthly.--He has one intelligent friend at his side to give him all the
help that a brother man can. And this friend has the unique
opportunities for studying his case, and has also an extraordinary power
over his environment.

Seventhly.--Good conduct and a capacity for rightly using freedom is
constantly rewarded by a greater freedom.

Eighthly.--It is far cheaper than prison. The prisoner keeps himself and
his family, and one officer can attend from sixty to eighty prisoners.

=The Elmira Reformatory.=--"The New York States Reformatory at Elmira"
is the official designation of this institution. It was established in
1875 and had for its first superintendent a Mr Z. R. Brockway.

Mr Brockway had from the age of nineteen years been working in an
official capacity among prisoners, and his religious beliefs led him to
acknowledge that the men committed to his charge had their place in the
redemption of the world.

Maconochie's humane method of dealing with the criminals of Norfolk
Island attracted his attention, and from Maconochie's mark system he
evolved the now famous indeterminate sentence.

When the New York State established a Reformatory at Elmira, Mr Brockway
was placed in charge and given practically a free hand in the adoption
of such methods as he deemed most likely to effect the permanent reform
of the men committed to imprisonment there. A restriction was placed
upon the age of the offenders who should be admitted, the law reading
thus:--"A male between the ages of 16 and 30, convicted of felony, who
has not heretofore been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment
in a State prison, may, in the discretion of the trial court, be
sentenced to imprisonment in the New York State Reformatory at Elmira,
to be there confined under the provisions of the law relating to that
reformatory" (vide section 700 Penal Code).

This by no means implies that all the inmates are first offenders. Many
of them have been in juvenile reformatories, penitentiaries, and houses
of correction, so that in some cases a considerable advance in the
career of crime has been made before they are handed over to the
authorities at Elmira. Again, only felons are received, not minor

The principles upon which the reformatory system is based are
practically those set forth in the declaration of the National Prison
Congress held in Cincinnati in 1870 as follows:--

     1. Punishment is defined to be "suffering inflicted upon the
     individual for the wrong done by him, with a special view of
     securing his reformation."

     2. "The supreme aim of prison discipline is THE
     REFORMATION OF CRIMINALS, not the infliction of
     VINDICTIVE suffering."

     3. "The progressive classification of prisoners based on
     character, and worked on some well adjusted mark system,
     should be established in all prisons above the common gaol."

     4. "Since hope is a more potent agent than fear, it should be
     made an ever present force in the minds of the prisoners, by
     a well devised and skilfully applied system of rewards for
     good conduct, industry, attention to learning. Rewards, more
     than penalties, are essential to every good prison system."

     5. "The prisoner's destiny should be placed, measurably, in
     his own hands; he must be put into circumstances where he
     will be able, through his own exertions, to continually
     better his own conditions. A regulated self-interest must be
     brought into play and made constantly operative."

     6. "Peremptory sentences ought to be replaced by those of
     indeterminate length. Sentences limited only by a
     satisfactory proof of reformation should be substituted for
     those measured by mere lapse of time."

The old system of penology may be described as "so much suffering
inflicted for so much wrong done and with the object of expiating that

The principles upon which the reformatory system is founded must be
clearly grasped before the system itself can be understood. Criticism is
frequently levelled against it on the ground that the prisoners are
given "too good a time." This criticism is based upon some theory that
vindictive retaliation is the attitude that should be assumed towards
the criminal. When this theory is renounced, then the system stands or
falls according as it accomplishes the objects for which it is designed.
When it is asked why should a prisoner in captivity be better looked
after than he would be if left in his old haunts of crime, the question
must be answered from the prisoner's point of view, and he will candidly
reply that the prison which deprives him of his freedom until his
reformation has been effected is not the place which has any attractions
for him. The life of discipline and industry does not at all agree with
his idea of blissful surroundings. Upon admission at the reformatory,
the prisoner is placed in the middle of three grades of classification.
From this grade he can, by industry and good behaviour, advance to the
highest grade. If he should prove refractory, he sinks to the lowest or
convict grade. Each grade has its own particular privileges, these being
of course at their maximum in the highest grade. They consist chiefly in
a better diet, better bed and freer access to the library. His fate is
practically placed in his own hands. If he shall show himself
industrious and shall apply himself diligently to the task set before
him he may make such progress in his grades as will secure his release
after a comparatively short period of detention. If, on the other hand,
he will not exert himself to embrace the opportunity, he is kept under
detention until the maximum limit of his sentence is reached. The
authorities urge for legislation making the sentence absolutely
indeterminate, so that those who resist the reformatory measures may be
kept in prison for a period co-terminous with that of their resistance.
The principles upon which the system is founded are developed in a
course of training described as a three M course, i.e. mental, moral and
manual. The machinery consists of, the indeterminate sentence, the
school of letters, the trade school, and the gymnasium.

=The Indeterminate Sentence.=--The ideal Indeterminate sentence provides
that when once a criminal falls into the clutches of the law he shall be
deprived of his liberty until he has given satisfactory evidence that he
is able to conduct himself as an honest and industrious citizen. It
makes no distinction between different crimes, such as to provide that
the man who embezzles shall receive a longer sentence than the man who
commits arson or vice versa, but makes the restoration of liberty depend
entirely upon reformation. It refuses to tolerate the idea that any
criminals should be at large to prey upon society, and it thus imposes
upon society the obligation to undertake the reform of all criminals.
This IDEAL sentence, however, does not exist. At Elmira, the
authorities are obliged to recognise a maximum, so that if at the expiry
of this maximum, the prisoner should have made no progress towards
reform he must, nevertheless, be discharged. Since, however, a man may
at Elmira reduce a sentence of ten years to something like 22 months, a
great incentive is given to him to identify himself with the efforts
being made on his behalf. From every point of view the indeterminate
sentence in the case of those sent to reformatories appears the most
reasonable. The business of the trial court is concluded as soon as the
question of guilt is determined. The judge has not imposed on him the
impossible task of measuring out a punishment which in its severity
shall exactly accord with the degree of crime committed. The question of
the prisoner's sanity is not left to the jury to decide but to qualified
alienists. Neither does this question determine his GUILT but
only his RESPONSIBILITY. No account has to be made of the
provocation from which the prisoner suffered at the committal of his
crime. If but a small degree of criminality exist, the safest adjustment
of punishment is to be found in the indeterminate sentence. From the
social point of view, it gives the best safeguard to the society. It
guarantees that a criminal once convicted shall cease to prey upon
society. He will either reform and return to society as a useful member
thereof and a contributor to its wealth, or else, refusing to reform, he
will never regain his liberty. This sentence lays it down that society
ought not to tolerate criminals in its midst. Imprisonment for a fixed
period under our present penal system serves but to exasperate the
criminal, and at the end of his sentence, when he is a more dangerous
criminal than ever, the law demands that he shall be released. It is
only by indeterminate sentences that society obtains the guarantee it
may justly demand. For its effect as a means of discipline a prisoner
will give his own experience. The following extract, was written by an
inmate of the Reformatory in 1898:--"From the view-point of a 'man up a
tree' I would say that the character of our sentence has everything to
do with furnishing a motive which induces and stimulates us to a degree
of activity we could never acquire under a fixed penalty. Where, under a
definite sentence, we would spend most of our time crossing off days
from the calendar and lay awake nights counting over and again the
amount of time yet necessary for us to serve before the dawn of freedom,
now every moment is utilised in taking advantage of all opportunities
for improvement that are offered, well knowing that only by advancement
in the trade-school and school of letters, together with strict
compliance with the rules of the disciplinary department, can liberty be
earned. And the word earn is used advisedly, for a man to get along in
this reformatory can be no sluggard but must be alert, ever ready to
advance and not drag behind."

The ideal sentence, so far as an incentive to reformation goes, would be
an ABSOLUTELY INDETERMINATE ONE, where a man must either reform
or remain in prison for life, for where would be the welfare of society
considered if a man be released prepared to prey upon it as he did
before imprisonment? In the case of the absolutely indeterminate
sentence there is a motive that will quicken every energy and arouse the
dullest to life and exercise, for he would be fighting for life and
liberty--liberty that could never be his until he had shown by his
conduct that ready compliance with all requirements here was intended,
and willingness to discard the old and detrimental habits, taking on new
and profitable ones. The fact that a man could get along in here would
indicate his ability to live in accord with society in the outside

Under such a system no one fit to be released would fail to gain it.
Why? Because the motive is so strong as to force the most unwilling to
willingness; because a man who would rather rot in prison than try to
regain his freedom by legitimate means is better off where he is. He
would only be a stumbling block to society in general if he were set
free, and would sooner or later land again in some penal institution or
other, and thus his life would be wasted, and public funds wasted in
arresting, discharging and rearresting the useless drone, the balance of
whose life would be passed in various prisons of the country.

That the indeterminate sentence furnishes a powerful motive for
reformation is shown daily in this institution. You have only to watch
the student over his books, or mechanic over his tools to see the effort
that is being made to win that golden prize--a parole. How that motive
is undermined or taken away entirely when the sentence is definite is
readily perceived by taking a cursory glance over the records of men
sentenced here for a definite period. The greatest percentage of them
are careless, insolent, and furnish most of the class that goes to form
the nucleus of the lower or convict grades. Why? Because there is
nothing to work for. No parole can be gained by attention to duty. Time,
and time alone, counts for this class. Only to pass time and get to the
end of the sentence, that is all. No one can make a study of, or even
look about him and compare the records made by definite and indefinitely
sentenced men, without becoming a warm advocate of the indeterminate
sentence. The longer the maximum sentence of the man sent here, the
greater is his effort to travel along the straight and narrow path,
picking up such advantages as offer him through his stay in this
institution. The longer the maximum the stronger the motive, the smaller
the maximum, the smaller effort to earn a release. For example, men sent
here with two or two and a half years as the limit of their maximums, on
an average, remain here longer than those with a five, ten or twenty
years maximum hanging over them. The reason is obvious--the motive is
strengthened or weakened according as the sentence is lengthened or
shortened. The deterrent value of the absolutely indeterminate sentence
would be enormous. Not a question of a few months or years would the
criminal have to face; but a period which would not terminate until he
either reformed or died. As we have seen it gives a tremendous stimulus
to reform, and it would likewise give a powerful check to criminal
tendencies. Thus it relieves the Judge of an impossible task, is most
satisfactory to society, and most humane to the culprit.

It may be urged that since liberation would depend in a measure upon
proficiency in the trade-school and school of letters, that some
criminals whose criminality might be of a lesser degree, would be at a
greater disadvantage than others. That is not so. The system is
obviously a very complicated one, and only the bare outlines are being
given here. In operation it is absolutely fair, neither is any
inducement offered to commit crime for the benefits which the
trade-school confers. The managers know no such defect in their system
or otherwise they would report it. They have a free hand in the
employment of their methods, they are continually experimenting, and
they owe no devotion to "red tape."

A further advantage that the indeterminate sentence has, is that it
provides for a second period of probation. A man may behave himself well
in prison but upon his release betake himself immediately to his old
surroundings and then to his old habits. The most critical moment is
when the prisoner steps outside the gaol walls and finds himself a free
man. The habits of industry and good conduct acquired when in
confinement have to be accommodated to new conditions, and if unassisted
the task is often too great. The consequence is that he falls away and
rejoins his old companions and soon becomes a recidivist. The
indeterminate sentence allows for his freedom being regained gradually.
Having given evidence of reform and of abilities to support himself,
employment is found for him, and he is granted a parole. That is he is
released conditionally. For the next half year he must report himself
every month, and if at the end of that period he has behaved well he is
granted absolute discharge. Opportunity is thus given for him to
establish himself gradually amidst the conditions of free social life.
The sense of freedom comes without shock, and when it comes, the
critical period has long since passed away.

Should he violate his parole in any way, he is rearrested and may be
called upon to serve the maximum penalty for his crime.

=The School of Letters.=--As has been said the system of the Reformatory
is classified under the headings of mental, moral and manual. There is
no sharp distinction between all three, inasmuch as no mental or manual
training is considered of any value which does not also assist to
develop the moral character of the pupil.

The whole aim of the system is to develop minds and bodies, arrested in
their growth, in order that they may become more susceptible to moral
influences, and that habits of correct thinking and useful industry may
be established. Every prisoner upon entering the institution is assigned
to the school of letters, care being taken that the task imposed upon
him is well within his mental grasp, but at the same time shall require
an effort on his part in order to master it.

The school is divided into three sections--The Primary, the Intermediate
and the Academic or Lecture division. Each section is subdivided into
classes and each class again subdivided into groups. The usual method of
making the lower classes large and the upper classes small is exactly
reversed at the Reformatory. There may be as few as twenty pupils in the
lower classes and as many as two hundred in the upper ones. The school
is under the management of a director who is assisted by a competent
staff of civilian teachers, as well as by a number of the inmates
themselves. Some of the prisoners, being illiterate, have to commence
their education at the very bottom of the ladder. Others, according to
the education they have received, enter the course at higher points. In
the case of foreigners much of their education consists in teaching them
the English language and instructing them in American customs and
manners. The training is of immense advantage to them.

The classes are held in the evening and the routine of the Reformatory
is so arranged that throughout the whole of the prisoner's waking time
he is kept employed.

From the elementary instruction in reading, writing and arithmetic,
given to illiterates, the course progresses so as to include History,
Civics, Political Economy, Ethics, Nature study and Literature. Attached
to the school there is a well stocked library from which books are
issued under regulations relative to good conduct and progress made.
There is also a weekly paper issued within the institution called "The
Summary," to which the prisoners may contribute articles. Attendance at
the school is in all cases compulsory. The inmate has no option
whatever. He is not consulted as to what course of study he would like
to pursue but this is chosen for him and he is set to it. In selecting
his course, every attention is paid to the man's abilities, tastes and
attainments. No useless studies are undertaken. Every study must be of
value from a reformative point of view and also from an educational one.
That is, it must serve to correct bad and wandering habits of thinking
and to cultivate good and consecutive habits. It must assist to broaden
the outlook of life and to bring the individuals into living touch with
the life and traditions of the country to which he belongs. It must
serve to inspire hope, confidence and zeal. It must cultivate a taste
for the beautiful, a love for the natural, and an adoration for the
Divine. When released, the student must find himself equipped with such
a knowledge as will enable him to steadily advance in his station of
life. And yet there is on an average, only two years in which to impart
such an instruction. How is it done? Firstly, nothing useless is taught,
the object primarily aimed at being the formation of character.
Attendance is therefore compulsory, and attention and application are
necessary in order to obtain a parole. Monthly examinations are held and
failures at these gives a set-back in the matter of obtaining a release.
A failure, however, may be overtaken by extra exertion during the next
month. However distasteful it may be to the prisoner to study regularly
and methodically, or however difficult his former irregular life may
have rendered this task, yet it is so intimately bound up with his
interests that he soon finds a motive powerful enough to correct mere
dis-inclination. He must work and work at his best, and invariably he
does so.

Upon entering the class room each student receives a printed slip which
gives an outline of the lesson to be studied. This serves to convey an
idea of the amount of work to be undertaken, to show the progressive
steps and to prevent any idle speculation concerning the development of
the lesson. These slips are kept by the student and they are made the
basis of the monthly examination. These examinations are conducted with
great strictness. In order to pass 75 per cent. of the maximum number of
marks must be obtained, and marks are given for exact knowledge only.
For instance, if in a sum in arithmetic a right method is employed but a
wrong answer given no marks are rewarded. The student has shown an
inability to use his knowledge. In other subjects the men in answering
their questions must give the exact "how," or "why," or "when," or
"where," or "which" before their work will pass. They may write sheets
but it will not count if they miss the point. They soon find therefore
that in order to pass their examinations they must pour forth all their
energies upon their work. Needless to say, no catch questions are ever
introduced, neither does the examination task exceed the men's

When English literature was first introduced the men regarded it as an
imposition. They did not know what the new study meant nor what was
expected of them. A great amount of coaxing and gentle treatment was
necessary to overcome the general bewilderment. The first examination
passed off measurably well. Soon a change took place and English
literature rose rapidly to become the most favourite study. The demand
upon the librarian for the supply of English and American Classics
became so great that special restrictions had to be placed upon their

Marked success from a Reformatory point of view has attended this study,
and the men enthusiastically enter upon a new and broader life.

The late Prof. S. R. Monks, for twelve years Lecturer at the
Reformatory, says:--"But does such education contribute to the
reformation of the criminal and the protection of the public?"
Unqualifiedly and unhesitating I answer, Yes. Men are found to acquire
in this school month by month a growing application of better things, a
readier apprehension of truth and a heartier sympathy with virtue, and
best of all, a greater capacity for sustained and consistent effort in
practical undertakings. These transformations are the successive steps
of a real reformation, and every step puts the man at a greater and
safer distance from past shiftlessness and viciousness. "The virtues,"
says Felix Adler, "depend in no small degree on the power of serial and
complex thinking," but, continues that practical philosopher, "the
ordinary studies of the school exercise and develop this faculty of
serial and complex thinking. Any sum in multiplication gives a training
of this kind." It is hardly possible to exaggerate the benefit that true
education will confer on one who has come under the condemnation of the
law. His improved education will counter-balance some of the disgrace of
his past criminality; it will with industrial training extricate him
from the hopeless mass of ignorant unskilled labour where competition is
always hottest and most perilous, it will teach him, better than he
could know without it, the relative value of things; it will so elevate
his thoughts and refine his tastes that the path of duty in its roughest
and steepest places, will yet steadily attract his footsteps.

The charge is sometimes made that the criminal is made more dangerous by
education. The assertion begs all it carries. It assumes that education
strengthens character but does not transform character which is false
for it does both.... No man can use his mind in the careful
investigation of moral principles, and become thereby merely a more
dangerous cheat. No man who has opened his eyes to see the revelations
of eternal wisdom and goodness written in letters of light on all the
handiwork of Nature, can be made thereby merely a more dangerous
villain. On the contrary, every hour of honest search after reality, of
careful industry governed by principles and lined to accuracy, every
hour spent in happy contemplation of wisdom and goodness, wherever
manifested will make the man forever the better for it.

=Physical Culture.=--This Department of the Reformatory falls into three
divisions--the Gymnastic, the Military and the Manual.

=The Gymnastic.=--The idea of a gymnasium within a gaol must deliver no
small shock to the prejudices of many, but in studying the Elmira system
we must endeavour to keep before us the end which the authorities are
aiming at, viz., the restoration to society of their criminals in a not
only harmless state but in their most useful state, and this can only be
made possible by the most careful and thorough training of the mind,
body and soul.

Neither is there any cause to think that the prisoners are getting too
good a time, and that, being treated better than the industrious worker,
a premium is being offered to crime. The investigation of the
authorities has revealed no case in which a man has entered the
institution on account of advantages offered. To criminals they are not
realised as advantages. They understand them only as the rough road
leading to their release, and it is about the last thing for men of
shiftless, lazy, inconsequent habits of mind and body, to suppose that
they are having a good time when sent to a gymnasium every morning for
two hours' steady work. Work which brings all the muscles of the body
into play and which demands the fixed attention of the mind and its
submission to the word of command from the instructor, is many times
more distasteful than the "hard labour" of lazily cracking stones.

Until 1900 the whole prison population went through a regular gymnastic
course. This is now changed and assignments are made to the gymnasium
only upon the certificate of the physician. All new arrivals however
spend a period, averaging about five weeks, in the "awkward squad," half
of whose morning time is spent in the gymnasium. They come in a very
ungainly looking set of men. Many are undersized, underweight, rickety
and diseased in body and generally of a slovenly, unmanly appearance. A
multitude of causes have been at work to produce this condition.
Chiefly, these are a bad ancestry, foul atmosphere of their dwellings,
their idle dirty habits, intemperance and sexual abuse.

The course of treatment prescribed for these is one which brings into
exercise all their latent muscular power. Special attention is paid to
deformities and weaknesses resulting from any cause whatsoever.

Turkish baths, swimming baths and massage also play an important part in
their treatment and help to bring the dregs of disease, the results of
excessive drink and the use of tobacco, out of their systems.

The effects of such treatment are at the end of a few weeks very
apparent. The body is supple, the carriage is erect, the cutaneous,
circulatory, muscular and nervous systems are in a healthy state, and
the stupid, bewildered or stolid expression has given way to one of
manly concern.

At the end of five weeks most of the men graduate from the awkward squad
and engage in the work of other departments. Some, however, for various
reasons have to remain for a longer period of physical exercise.

The majority of these are classified into three groups:

I. Mathematical Dullards. II. Deficient in self-control. II. Stupids.
These groups are described by Dr Hamilton Wey in his report for 1896 as

Group I.--The Mathematical dullards. These were incapable of solving the
most elementary problems in Mental Arithmetic or else did so with
hesitation and difficulty. They were instances of sluggish and dragging
walk, and presented a sleepy or dreamy appearance at work or in repose.
They suggested arrested mental growth. From a careful study of these men
by observation and immediate contact exercises were selected that would
tend to act upon their defects. In addition the exercises prescribed
necessitate the direct employment of their mathematical faculties. The
following schedule was adopted, though subject to constant change as
occasion for change presented itself. The exercises of their group as
with others are confined to one hour's practical work five days per
week. The men receive a daily rain bath and rubbing down immediately
after their exercises. With this group the hour is divided into sessions
of half-an-hour each, subdivided into periods of fifteen minutes. The
first fifteen minutes are devoted to light calisthenics executed by
command with loud counting and simultaneous movements. This is followed
by 15 minutes of marching and facing movements with step counting. The
first 15 minutes of the second half hour are occupied in the laying out
of geometrical fields for athletic events. Employing the 50ft. tape and
the 2ft. rule with divisions of an inch. After being instructed as to
dimensions they are required to lay out the following:--

(a) Baseball diamond; (b) basket ball field; (c) track for 30 and 40
yards running races; (d) placing of hurdles at intervals, in harmony
with established athletic field rules. The closing 15 minutes embraced
practical work, viz., high and long jump, hop skip and jump, high
kicking, target throwing, etc.

Group II.--Those deficient in self-control. The members of Group II,
compared with those of Groups I and III, are physically of better
quality. In general appearance they show a better all-round physical
development, and in some instances the deteriorating effects of sexual
abnormality were not so apparent, this class would, in the performance
of athletics, compare favourably with the scholar outside prison walls.
In the general performance of their work they have shown more interest
than either Group I or III, and in some instances have acquired skill in
some of their athletic branches. The tendency of the athletics selected
for this group by the Gymnasium Director was of a nature conducive to
the cultivation and encouragement of self-control and self-reliance
among its members as shown by the spirit of good-fellowship displayed by
the successful towards the unsuccessful player, and in a measure
subduing the ebullition of passion and the spirit of jealousy that
formerly influenced their every notion in competitive contests.... It
can be safely asserted that one essential feature in athletics, viz.,
will-power, which was conspicuous at the first by its absence, has been
strengthened and inculcated, especially in this group.

It was observed by the Director that perhaps by their exuberance of
animal spirit, the men were prone to make frequent excuses for changes
from one game to another, instead of striving to excel in one branch.
Another observable feature was the attempt to shirk the exercises which
required any exertion on their part. These defects have been remedied,
not entirely, but sufficiently to justify the efficiency of athletics as
a fact in the production of self-control; and instances can be cited of
complete subordination of will to the controlling powers.

Group III.--The Stupids. The members of this group are not far above the
standard of feeble-minded boys. They are what might be termed "all-round
defectives." The object of the athletics selected for this group has
been to awaken and arouse them from that lethargic state into which they
periodically relapse. This has been in a measure accomplished, a great
aid to which has been the daily rain bath. The following physical
defects (some of which have been remedied wholly or in part) come under
my observation: general weakness, weak chest (respiratory organs), bent
carriage of the body, stiffness of wrist, joints, and clumsy movements
of fingers, spinal curvature, extreme (comparative) development of right
arm. To overcome these defects systematic exercise was necessary,
including free-hand exercises, club-swinging, dumb-bell exercise, etc.,
meted out according to the respective deficiencies and requirements of
the men. This group also spent one half-hour in practical outdoor
gymnastic and athletic work. After a general resume of the work
accomplished it can safely be asserted that outdoor athletics and
gymnastics have proven to be in a measure, a prophylactic for a number
of the ills which these three groups of defectives are subject to.

=Military Instruction.=--Military drill was introduced into the
Reformatory as a direct outcome of the Prisons Bill of 1888 which
forbade all machine labour in prisons being conducted for profit. The
statute requiring the "shutting down" of all industrial plants the work
of the institution was practically brought to a standstill. In this
difficulty the management conceived the idea of forming a military
regiment. Most beneficial results immediately followed. The men began to
walk with more erect carriage and to respond to quick words of command.
Besides this, the open-air exercise developed their lung-power and
stimulated their circulatory system. A pride in their performance was
also inspired by the opportunity given to rise through the different
ranks to that of lieutenant. Above all, good habits of discipline were
cultivated. Although the circumstances that rendered necessary the
introduction of military drill have passed away, yet the organization
has been found of such great reformatory value that it has become an
integral part of the Elmira system.

The regiment consists of sixteen companies, four companies to the
battalion, company roll of about seventy. The colonel's staff is
composed of colonel, four majors, inmate adjutant, and sergeant-major,
and national and state colour-bearers. The uniforms are blue, black, and
red, corresponding to the grades. White belts, with nickel buckles, are
worn and white cross-belts. Proper insignia of rank is also worn. Dress
parade is held daily at four p.m. on the regimental grounds, or, if
weather be inclement, in the armoury.

So far as is possible the regiment is drilled on exactly the same lines
as those observed by the United States army.

=Manual Training.=--Manual training was introduced into the Reformatory
in 1895. The number of men who had been in the institution for a
considerable period of time and upon whom the ordinary reformative
measures exerted little influence rendered the adoption of some other
means absolutely necessary. The men, with whom the ordinary methods
failed, belonged to the defective classes already described as
mathematical dullards, deficient in self-control, and stupids. The
habits of vice seem to have wrought such a destructive work upon the
will-power of these men that in order to repair it some potent influence
would have to be brought into operation. The conception was to entirely
disengage the mind of its connection with the past and to concentrate it
upon healthy, useful and interesting work. Habit produces character, and
if the old habits of thought could be destroyed and new ones implanted
it would naturally follow that the character would be improved and
developed. The character of the normal man requires for its development
a moral, religious, intellectual and physical training, and the abnormal
man requires the same, in a greater degree.

It was with this knowledge that the managers introduced manual training
into the Reformatory. As the usefulness of manual training (Sloyd) is
described in a preceding chapter no more need be said upon its value as
a factor in education now. It needed the greatest skill on the part of
the managers to adopt the various Sloyd exercises to the requirements of
the different defectives, but each year has given additional proof of
their success, and its inclusion in the reformatory system was amply
justified. In 1899 it was discontinued on account of the small
appropriation that was made for the maintenance of the institution,
making it necessary to curtail expenses.

Before the abolition of Sloyd the following course was employed for

(With each year the group was divided into three terms, there being 17
weeks in each term and 35 hours in each week.)

GROUP I.--(Mathematical Dullards.)


Mechanical drawing, Sloyd, athletics, and calisthenics, clay-modelling,
and mental arithmetic.


Card-board construction takes the place of clay-modelling.


Wood-turning instead of card-board construction.

       *       *       *       *       *

GROUP II.--(Deficient in self-control.)


Athletics and calisthenics, geometric construction involving the
intersection of solids, etc., wood-turning, pattern making, mechanical
drawing and Sloyd.


Athletics and calisthenics, wood-carving, clay-modelling, mechanical
drawing and Sloyd.


Athletics and calisthenics, chipping and filing, moulding, mechanical
drawing and Sloyd.

       *       *       *       *       *

GROUP III.--(Stupids.)


Athletics and calisthenics, free-hand drawing from solids and familiar
objects, elementary Sloyd, clay-modelling, mental arithmetic, and
sentence building.


Sloyd, free-hand drawing, wood-carving, mental arithmetic, and


Sloyd, free-hand drawing, wood-turning, athletics and mental arithmetic.

=The Trades' School.=--Of all crimes, about 95 per cent. are committed
against property. It therefore appeared imperative to the management of
the Reformatory that every man passing through the institution should
be taught a useful trade so that he would be able to provide an honest
and sufficient livelihood for himself and for those who would be
dependent upon him. For this purpose the trades' school was established
and a regulation passed that all men entering the Reformatory without
the knowledge of a trade should be required to learn one before they
would be granted a parole.

Under conditions of free life it would be impossible to teach these men
a trade. In their haunts of crime the criminals live a lazy ambitionless
life and regard work as an evil to be avoided; the reformatory system,
however, captures his interest on behalf of industry by making his
liberty depend upon his having reached the status of an honest and
enthusiastic tradesman.

Two or three days after his arrival the newly committed prisoner is
personally interviewed by the superintendent. This interview, which is
in the nature of an exhaustive examination, generally discloses the
species of criminality to which his crime belongs. This knowledge is
made the basis of the plan which is then formulated for the course of
treatment to which he will be submitted.

In the selection of a trade, the prisoner is given the opportunity of
choosing for himself. If the choice show sincerity and intelligence, he
is applied to it. If, on the other hand, it should reveal mere
indifference or a desire to shirk hard work, the managers take all
matters into consideration and select the trade for him. Once placed at
a trade he is given to understand that he will be kept rigidly to it and
no release from imprisonment granted until his progress has satisfied
the authorities. Changes from one trade to another are rarely granted,
and then only when the learner has given unmistakable signs that he
cannot succeed at his first task. Within the trades school, his identity
is not lost sight of. Day by day, a record of his conduct and also of
his progress is kept. Every persuasive means is used to awaken his
understanding to the fact that his best interests are to be served by
habits of industry and application. The whole system is an appeal to his
desire for freedom. Freedom is offered to him but at a distance, and he
can reach it by no other means than that of following a given road, the
direction of which is very clearly pointed out to him.

The work is graduated according to his ability to make progress, and
care is taken to so arrange his course that he shall be taught
thoroughly all the fundamental principles of his trade. The ordinary
apprentice works so that he will be able to fulfil the orders that are
given to his master. The consequence of this is that two ideas exist,
the apprentice having the desire to learn a trade, his master desiring
to profit by his work. The end of the apprentice is served by constantly
advancing to new work, even though this should mean the loss of time and
the waste of material; his master's object is attained by keeping him
at that work which he learns quickest and giving the difficult work to
more experienced men, consequently he passes through his time and learns
but very little. Now, the pupil of the Elmira trades' school is not
considered to have completed his course until he has gained a thorough
knowledge of every department of his trade. Besides the practical
instruction given in the workshops, classes are also held in the
evenings and instruction given in mechanical drawing so that the men may
be able to understand any plan that may be put into their hands, and
also to draw plans for themselves. Trade journals are subscribed for and
circulated among the men.

The value of this industrial training extends beyond the providing the
means of obtaining an honest livelihood, for by making release depend
upon success, interest is thereby combined with industry. This
combination is bound to react upon the voluntary system and produces a
moral effect. Again it re-acts, this time beneficially upon the
character of the man.

The following is a list of all the trades taught in the Reformatory:--

  Stenography & typewriting

In the year 1903 there were 1986 pupils instructed in these trades.

=The Results of the System.=--English critics have regarded the system
as being somewhat extravagant and as placing the honest labourer at a
disadvantage to the criminal. This criticism has been considerably
weakened of late years and the results investigated instead of being
imagined. The most careful investigation has made it impossible to deny
that the Reformatory achieves all that it claims to, viz.:--that it
contributes nothing to the strengthening of the criminal habit[1] and
therefore it is not a partial remedy, and that it actually returns to
society as useful citizens no less than 82 per cent.[2] of those
committed to it.

Lombroso speaks of the system as a practical application of the results
of the science of Criminology.

Should the system be adopted in other countries, it would need to be so
translated that it would accord with the traditions and customs of the


[1] It is generally supposed that such a system cannot act as a
deterrent to crime. The American delegates to the International Prison
Congress (held in Paris in 1895) declared that the obligation imposed
upon the prisoners, in such institutions, to raise themselves by mental
as well as by industrial labour, into higher grades as a necessary
condition for liberation, is felt by many of them, to involve so much
exertion, that they would rather be consigned to some ordinary prison,
where self-improvement is not specially enforced. This system, they
declared, was more deterrent than was generally supposed.

[2] Of some 13,000 criminals who have passed through the Reformatory,
the number known definitely to have returned to crime is a little less
than 1 per cent. of the whole!

Chapter X.


The reader will have formed his own conclusion. He may conclude that the
author has a sentimental affection for the criminal and would have all
disturbers of the public peace treated with more compassion than the
hard-working and honest labourer. But that reader will have jumped to
his conclusion from his preconceived prejudices. The reformation of the
criminal is no chimera, it has been undertaken for thirty years and
every year has seen better results. The results for 1903 (86 per cent.
of reforms) ought to convince the most sceptic that the reformation of
the criminal is the true aim for society to pursue.

Another reader may ask why, if all these results are so good, does not
the Government adopt some such system as the Elmira one instead of
continuing the present obsolete penal system. The New York State
Government experiences a difficulty in finding, for their reformatory
staff, men who will undertake their work with a real sense of mission.

Nor is this the only difficulty. If New Zealand is going to undertake
the reformation of its criminals and to restore them to society as
honest and industrious persons, society itself must be prepared to drop
its prejudices and suspicions and receive the men at their present
worth, and not forever stamp them as outcasts. Nothing less, then, is
required than an earnest desire among all classes to recover those among
men who have fallen into villainy and vice and to receive back among
their ranks all those who, having responded to the efforts made on their
behalf, can make a claim upon the confidence and good-will of society.

But the reformation of the criminal is not the only obligation laid upon
society, there is also the education of the child. It is frequently
being stated that criminals are on the increase; it has been shown that
this increase is not a national one, it must be then that for some
reason the practice of virtue is becoming more and more difficult,
whereas that of vice is becoming increasingly easier. Recruits are
steadily joining the ranks of crime, and when one sees that, as a result
of their home and school training, the rising generation is developing
all the characteristics of the criminal, a somewhat alarming conclusion
very strongly suggests itself. Society has the criminals that it
deserves. It may fail to recover those who have entered upon a criminal
career, or it may be actually guilty of manufacturing criminals. What
are we doing? New Zealand has this hope, that its traditions do not
fetter it, and its institutions are young and plastic.


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*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A Plea for the Criminal - Being a reply to Dr. Chapple's work: 'The Fertility of the - Unfit', and an Attempt to explain the leading principles - of Criminological and Reformatory Science" ***

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