In Russian and French Prisons

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Ward and Downey, 1887 - Prisons - 387 pages
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Page 146 - ... sufferers," as our people call all prisoners — is answered by the poor; the most destitute widow, signing herself with the cross, brings her coppers, or her piece of bread, and deeply bows before the chained "sufferer," grateful to him for not disdaining her small offering.
Page 283 - ... the regular life of the prison — a life running for years without the least modification, and which acts depressingly on man by its monotony and its want of impressions — a life which a man can endure for years, but which he cannot endure — if he has no aim beyond this life itself — without being depressed and reduced to the state of a machine which obeys, but has no will of its own — a life which results in an atrophy of the best qualities of man and a development of the worst of them,...
Page 94 - Judas'' into the cells. You are never alone, as an eye is continually kept upon you, and still you are always alone. If you address a word to the warder who brings you your dress for walking in the yard, if you ask him what is the weather, he never answers. The only human being with whom I exchanged a few words every morning was the Colonel who came to write down what I wanted to buy — tobacco or paper.
Page 145 - ... comes a second detachment of soldiers, who drive with the butt-ends of their rifles those women who stop exhausted in the freezing mud of the road. The procession is closed by the car of the commander of the party.* As the party enters some great village, it begins to sing the Miloserdnaya — the "charity song.
Page 294 - ... say the warders, even the mildest ones. And this punishment is not a light one. The man is not beaten ; he is not knocked down. No, we are civilised people, and the punished man is merely brought to the cellular quarter, and locked up in a cell. The cell is quite empty : it has neither bed nor bench. For the night a mattress is given, and the prisoner must lay his dress outside his cell, at the door. Bread and water are his food. As soon as the prison-bell rings in the morning, he is taken to...
Page 283 - politicals,' we had a special regimen — namely, that of prisoners submitted to preventive incarceration. We kept our own dress ; we were not compelled to be shaved, and we could smoke. We occupied three spacious rooms, with a separate small room for myself, and had a little garden, some fifty yards long and ten yards wide, where we did some gardening on a narrow strip of earth along the wall, and could appreciate, from our own experience, the benefits of an
Page 264 - ... -worse than any of those committed by any of the old offenders themselves. On the whole, the prisons are not places for teaching much honesty, and the St. Paul prison makes no exception to the rule. The lessons in honesty given from above are not much better than those imparted from below, as will be seen from what follows. Two different systems are in use in French prisons for supplying the inmates with food, dress, and other necessaries. In some of them the State is the undertaker who supplies...
Page 270 - The interviews hardly last for more than fifteen or twenty minutes ; all speak at once, hasten to speak, and amidst the clamour of voices, each of which is raised louder and louder, one soon must cry with all his strength to be heard. After a few minutes of such exercise, my wife and myself were voiceless, and were compelled simply to look at each other without speaking, while I climbed...
Page 105 - ... him, and is moved to frenzy by the mere fact of their presence. It is superfluous to add that the slightest disobedience is punished by blows and black-holes. All who were subjected to this regime fell ill in no time. After less than one year of it, Shiryaeff had taken consumption ; Okladsky- — a robust and vigorous working man, whose remarkable speech to the court was reproduced by the London papers — had gone mad ; Tikhonoff, a strong man likewise, was down with scurvy, and could not sit...
Page 271 - ... louder, and amidst the clamour of voices, each of which is raised louder and louder, one soon must cry with all his strength to be heard. After a few minutes of such exercise, my wife and myself were voiceless, and were compelled simply to look at each other without speaking, while I climbed like a tiger on the iron bars of my coop to raise my face to the height of a small window which feebly lighted the coop from behind; and then my wife could perceive in the darkness my profile on the grey...

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