Observations on Penal Jurisprudence,: And the Reformation of Criminals. With an Appendix; Containing the Latest Reports of the State-prisons Or Penitentiaries of Philadelphia, New-York, and Massachusetts; and Other Documents, Part 3

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T. Cadell and W. Davies, ... and John and Arthur Arch - Criminal law - 211 pages
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Page 28 - In the preamble of this act (which passed the legislature), a conviction was expressed, that ' if many offenders convicted of crimes for which transportation has been usually inflicted, were ordered to solitary confinement, accompanied by well regulated labour and religious instruction, it might be the means, under Providence, not only of deterring others from the commission of the like crimes, but also of reforming the individuals and inuring them to habits of industry.
Page 8 - This is why we do not recommend torture and amputation of limbs. When a man has been proved to have committed a crime, it is expedient that society should make use of that man for the diminution of crime: he belongs to them for that purpose.
Page 19 - It is a generally received and acknowledged opinion, that sedentary life, no matter in what form, disposes to debility, and consequently to local disease. It may be produced in the study or the prison; in the nursery and the college; or in any other place where muscular exertion is restrained. If we review the mental causes of disease, we shall probably find, that sedentary life in the prison, as it calls into aid the debilitating passions of melancholy, grief, &c. rapidly hastens the progress of...
Page 32 - ... or appearance of moisture. ' Several circumstances respecting the disease in question, which have been already mentioned, seemed to limit the causes of its production to such as could have had their operation exclusively upon the prisoners, and especially at the present season, and now for the first time. One such cause is found, we conceive, in the diet of the prison. During the last eight months the diet was different from what it had been ever since its establishment. The change which took...
Page 32 - In a soup made of peas, or barley, ox-heads were boiled in the proportion of one oxhead to 100 male, and one to 120 female prisoners; and we found upon inquiry that the meat of one ox-head weighed upon an average eight pounds, which being divided among a hundred allows only an ounce and a quarter for each prisoner. This new diet had been continued until the present time; and to it we mainly ascribe the production of the disease in question.
Page 66 - It is also evident that the other system is merci139 fal and wise ; while it consults the health and suitable accommodation of the prisoner, it strikes at the roots of his criminality, his ignorance, idleness, and debauchery ; while it corrects his habits, it subdues his temper. By friendly admonitions and religious instruction, it awakens a consciousness of his former depravity, and of its present and eternal consequences. It shews to him the value of a fair and reputable character, and encourages...
Page 11 - ... prison; never to leave the places assigned to them without permission ; never to speak to any person who does not belong to the prison, nor to look off from their work to see any one ; never to work carelessly, or be idle a single moment. They are also told, that they will not be allowed to receive letters, or intelligence from, or concerning, their friends, or any information on any subject out of the prison. Any correspondence of this kind, that may be necessary, must be carried on through...
Page 60 - Your memorialists have seen the convicts imperfectly educated in various trades, hired out to individuals, in some instances at reduced compensation, and in others employed for the benefit of the state, and the products of their labour thrown into market and disposed of at a price very little above the cost of materials of which they were manufactured, to the ruin of . . .
Page 113 - It operates with more inequality than almost any other instrument of punishment that ever has been invented. The same degree of labour would kill one man, that to another would be only a pastime. From this source we may apprehend the most horrid abuses in the continuance of those Tread-mills. We may be very sure, that the most atrocious cruelty will often be inflicted, upon those who with strength below the average standard, are placed in those...
Page 38 - that persons in prison require more food than those who are free;" that is to say, the moral causes which excite depression of spirits, and consequently, when long continued, a decay of health, can only be lessened by propping up the strength of the prisoner, and enabling him, through a full prison diet, to resist the effects of the mind upon the body. The prisoners in the Penitentiary are, in the opinion of your Committee, peculiarly liable 'to the operation of moral causes : the strict discipline...

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