Remarks on Prisons and Prison Discipline in the United States

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Kite, 1845 - Prison discipline - 108 pages
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Page 88 - I have no hesitation in declaring my conviction that its discipline is a safe and efficacious mode of prison management ; that it has no unfavourable effect upon the mind or health; and that, with the addition of moral and religious instruction, in which this penitentiary...
Page 83 - If he be placed amidst virtuous men, his higher faculties will feel acutely, but be still feeble in executing their own resolves. Convicts, after long confinement in solitude, shudder to encounter the turmoil of the world; they become excited as the day of liberation approaches; and feel bewildered when set at liberty. In short, this system is not founded on, or in harmony with, a sound knowledge of the physiology of the brain, although it appeared to me to be well administered.
Page 97 - There is a general improvement in manner and address, indicative of intellectual advancement, very strikingly shown among the prisoners who have been the longest in continement ; and an increased alacrity, and desire to excel in work, is, in most cases, the early result of this system of confinement.
Page 17 - The faint desire becomes quickened into a living purpose; this passes into the fixed resolve; and this creates a sentiment of self-respect. Self-respect implanted, conducts to the desire of possessing the respect and confidence of others; and through these paths grow up moral sentiments, gradually increasing and gaining strength; and, in time, there is the more profound and soul-saving sentiment of reverence for God, acknowledgment of his laws, and a truer perception of that sanctifying knowledge...
Page 43 - The mode adopted is attended with but little expense, and is; as follows : the daily escape-steam from the steam engine is passed into a tank containing about eighty hogsheads of water, which thereby is maintained at a temperature of about 90° ; ten separate cells, each having a bath, receive the prisoners that are brought separately by their overseers, and are allowed fifteen minutes for bathing ; soap, fresh water, and a dry towel being furnished each.
Page 19 - To procure suitable boarding places for discharged prisoners, where they will not be exposed to corrupting influences — taking care not to have more than one in a place, where it can be avoided.
Page 100 - ... timely care. Its object was to take the young from the midst of temptation, to shield them in their tender years, to give them proper mental and moral culture, and thus, without any stigma being placed upon them, open for them a happy home, and return them to society, exemplary and useful citizens. From the establishment of this institution to the present time, it has been a source of extensive good. The children of intemperate and profligate parents have been taken from evil influences, and...
Page 97 - I have, while writing the above, received, through the ready attention of a friend, the Third Report of the Pentonville prison, and make the following extracts. "The MENTAL condition of the entire body of the prisoners has been highly satisfactory. (Daily average 456.) During the past year, and up to the present time, no case of insanity, hallucination, or mental disease of any kind, has occurred among the prisoners.
Page 56 - There was no matron in the women's wing at the time I was there, . . . and they were not slow to exercise their good and evil gifts on each other
Page 106 - Dauphin County Jail at Harrisburg, is undoubtedly one of the best conducted county prisons in the United States. Like the Jail in Chester County it adopts the separate system with employment, and such instruction and advantages, as prisons constructed on this plan, secure to morals and habits.

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