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try, to second the humane designs of the Ladies' Associations, has been highly praiseworthy: with their concurrence, visiting female committees have been formed in the prisons at Bedford, Bristol, Carlisle, Chester, Colchester, Der by, Durham, Dumfries, Exeter, Glasgow, Lancaster, Liverpool, Nottingham, Plymouth, and York, and also at Dublin.

In Ireland, the progress of improvement has been very satisfactory. The Irish Government have evinced great anxiety on this subject; and the manyexcellent charges of the judges on the circuits have had great influence in impressing the magistracy and grand juries with the importance of correcting the abuses of the county gaols. The legislative acts lately passed have given a powerful stimulus to amendment. By one of these acts gaol fees have been abolished in Ireland; a grievance long and severely felt. Prison schools, labour, and classification, are exciting great attention in this country.

The Committee have continued to extend relief to distressed boys, and others who were destitute, on their discharge from the prisons of the metropolis, and were desirous of abandoning their vicious habits. During the past year, a considerable number have been received into the Temporary Refuge, who, on their liberation, were without money, character, or friends, and who possessed no means of procuring employment. Without the assistance thus afforded by the Society, it is scarcely possible but that these guilty, yet unfortunate, objects, must have again resorted to crime for support. The Committee refer, with great satisfaction, to the success which has attended their exertions in this establishment; but add, that the number of objects relieved has necessarily been limited by the low state of the Society's funds. The following particulars will convey a general idea of the history of the lads

in this institution, and the nature of the relief extended to them:

W. B. aged fourteen.-This lad was corrupted by some bad boys in the neighbourhood where his parents resided. They persuaded him to abscond from his home; and by them he was initiated into the ways of vice. After having been a short time in prison, he was received into this establishment. He expressed a wish to go to sea, and was sent on a voyage in the merchants' service. He conducts

himself well, and to his master's satisfaction.

J. G. aged twelve.-This child absconded from his father's house, and associated with bad boys for two months. He was then taken up for theft, and after trial was received into the Temporary Refuge, where he remained eight months: he was then delivered to his father. He now conducts himself extremely well, and works at his father's trade. Twelve months have elapsed since his discharge.

H. P. aged thirteen.-The father of this boy has been separated for many years from the mother, and now lives with another woman. She declared that she would not continue with him, if his child remained under the same roof. In consequence of this, the unnatural father turned him out of doors. He maintained himself for about six weeks by begging and holding horses in the street: at length, in a state of starvation, he stole a loaf of bread out of a baker's shop, was apprehended, and sent to prison for one month. From the Temporary Refuge, he was, after some time, sent on a voyage in a merchant vessel, and has behaved so well that the captain bas desired that he may be apprenticed to him.

J.S.aged sixteen.-He never knew his father, and his mother has been dead some years. He was in three several employments; the first with a stationer, where he learned part of the business, and in the two others as an errand boy. Unfortu

nately for him, two of his employers became bankrupts; and upon the failure of the last, this lad was thrown upon the town completely destitute. He then fell into evil courses, and was imprisoned twice; once for passing forged notes, and the second time for picking a gentleman's pocket. Upon his discharge from Newgate, he solicited admission into the Temporary Refuge, and, after remaining there four months, was received into the permanent establishment. He is now engaged in the bookbinding department, where he takes a leading part, and bids fair to be a useful member of society.

The Committee next invite the attention of the public to the progress of prison improvement in foreign countries.

At their last anniversary, they had the pleasure to announce some highly interesting particulars relative to the proceedings of the Prison Society of Russia, formed under the immer'iate patronage of the Emperor Alexander. This noble institution is pursuing its important objects with great zeal and success. Many improvements have been effected in the prisons of St. Petersburg: regular employments are carried on by the prisoners, and a depôt is established for the sale of goods made by them, the produce of which has amounted to a considerable sum. Various articles are made for the service of the army, and some of the public departments. Hard labour is enforced on criminal prisoners, and a salutary provision has been made for debtors, who were before in a very destitute condition. The Ladies' Committee, under the personal influence of the Princess Mestchersky, is indefatigable in this Christian work. This distinguished female daily visits the prisons, and reads a portion of the Scriptures to the convicts. From a report of the state of the town prison in September last, it appears that, of upwards of two hundred prisoners, there CHRIST. OBSERV, APP.

was not one sick person in the hospital, although before the present regulations were in force, nine or ten persons were usually sick in each ward. Auxiliary Prison Societies have been formed at Archangel and Orel, with a Ladies' Committee attached to each, for the purpose of visiting and relieving the prisoners; and encouraging prospects are held out that similar associations will speedily be organized in all the principal towns. From the capital of Russia, these benevolent exertions have extended even to the remote districts of Siberia. New prisons, on the penitentiary system, are to be erected in different parts of Russia, after the most approved models.

In Prussia also, encouraging prospects are now presented. A society was forming at Berlin for the improvement of the gaols in the Prussian dominions.

The Paris Society, for the amelioration of the prisons in France, have collected and published a large body of useful information, on the state of the gaols throughout that country; and some valuable reports have been drawn up by the council, for their regulation and improvement. The king contributes 50,000 francs annually, towards the promotion of the Society's views, and his munificence is liberally supported by other branches of the royal family. The effects of improved discipline are strikingly exhibited in the prison Montaign, for soldiers committed for insubordination and other crimes. This prison has for the last three years been under the occasional inspection of Marshal Suchet, who states, that, when he first entered upon his duty as visitor, the prisoners were in a dreadful state of vice and disorder; and that, for some time after the commencement of his visits, he was obliged to be attended by guards for protection. The present state of the gaol exhibits a very pleasing contrast: all is restored to order and

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decorum. Mr. John Venning (the brother and worthy successor of the late Mr. Walter Venning, in the charitable work of prison reformation,) found one hundred and twenty prisoners learning to read and write, and submissively attending to the instructions of a young teacher. They were closely employed, and several had been so completely reformed in their babits, that, on being discharged, they were, by the Marshal's recommendation, restored to their regiments, and have since obtained promotion.

Dr. Holst, of Christiana, is engaged in preparing for the press a work, containing an account of the best regulated prisons in England, with suggestions calculated to facilitate the introduction of similar improvements in Norway. The necessity of ameliorating the state of the prisons in that country appears to be strongly felt.

The patriotic zeal evinced by many distinguished individuals in the cantons of Switzerland, to improve the condition of the prisoners has been highly praiseworthy. The Council of State at Geneva have passed a law for the establishment of a new penitentiary prison.

It is with no ordinary pleasure we state, that the kingdoms of Spain and Portugal may now be ranked among the foremost of those European states whose earnest desire to ameliorate the state of prisons promises so much to the interests of humanity. It appears that, immediately after the re-establishment of the Constitutional Government in Spain, the Cortes then elected occupied themselves in applying remedies to some of the most obvious evils of the prison system. They decreed that no prisoner should be confined in any unwholesome or subterranean apartment, or in any place not visited by the natural light of day. They also ordered that no chains or fetters should on any occasion be em. ployed. Those dismal cells which

were long the scenes of grief and suffering, have in consequence been destroyed. In some of them torture was secretly applied, and chains were used of intolerable weight. The dungeons were dark, dreary, and unventilated. At Madrid, cells were in use from which prisoners have come forth in utter and incurable blindness. There were others, in which the body could rest in no natural position, neither sitting, standing, kneeling, nor lying down!

One of the first steps of the Cortes was to appoint from their own body a prison committee, whose attention is specifically directed to the state and improvement of the prisons. The Committee of the Cortes, in their Report, propose, that in all the cities and principal towns in the kingdom, prisons shall be built in the most approved situations, and on the best principles of construction; that the government of a gaol shall be deemed an bonourable appointment, and be given to a military officer of established character, who shall be personally responsible for the security and discipline of the prisoners, and for carrying into effect the prison regulations; that the magistrates shall elect all other officers of the prison, and frame the regulations, which must be submitted to the approval of the Government; that all prison-fees shall be abolished; that there shall be a system of classification according to age, character, and crime; and that labour shall be introduced, the severity of which shall be proportioned to the offence of the prisoner, and his conduct during confinement. The Committee of the Cortes further remark, that the loss of liberty, and the punishment adjudged by law, are all that society has a right to inflict upon the convicted criminal; that it has no authority to add to his miseries, by confirming the hardened in their guilt, eradicating every remaining feeling of virtue, or by corruptly associ

ating the young and timid with the daring and irreclaimable offender. They conclude their Report by declaring, that the time has at length arrived for the termination of the miseries which they feelingly describe; and they strongly urge on the Government the necessity of immediately adopting remedial mea

sures.

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The Cortes of Portugal have evinced a like earnestness for the amendment of the prisons in that kingdom. A committee of six in dividuals has been appointed, with directions to occupy themselves in the immediate improvement of the gaols. They have already begun their good work in a manner which promises the happiest results. The principal prison at Lisbon is described as a miserable place of confinement. It is a representation, on an enlarged scale, of all the filth and wretchedness so conspicuous in the Spanish gaols. The prisoners can communicate through the

bars with persons in the street. A great proportion of the crimes committed in Lisbon are planned by the prisoners and their associates at large, between whom a constaut and unchecked communica tion is kept up. By means of the bars, food, clothes, liquors, tools, weapons, &c. are introduced into the prison. The number of prisoners at one time has been as great as seven hundred: the usual number is four hundred. The state of the apartments is described to be most dreadful.

The Appendix to the Report contains much interesting intelligence, a part of which we hope to be able to extract in some future Number. At present we conclude with earnestly recommending this excellent justitution to public patronage. We greatly lament to learn that the funds of the Society are very inadequate to the extent of its meritorious designs.

BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY.

THE Eighteenth Report of the Society presents a condensed but very satisfactory account of the principal occurrences in connexion with the institution during the year. We must restrict ourselves to the leading particulars.

The Protestant Bible Society in France promises to redeem the pledge given in its First Report, that it would one day occupy a distinguished station among the continental Bible Societies. "Our resources," it is observed in the Third Report of the Paris Society, "have increased through the generosity of the friends of the Gospel in France and abroad; twentyeight new Bible Societies, of more or less importance, have been formed in our country; and upwards of 11,000 copies of the holy Scriptures have been issued from the depository of the Society.". The following testimony is contained in a letter addressed to the President

of the Paris Society, by the Duke de Cazes, while on his embassy in England. "I was unable, until my visit to this country, duly to appreciate the good that may be expected from the publication of the Bible. I have found that book' in every cottage, esteemed by the peasant as the most valuable furniture of his humble habitation. His Grace, the Duke of Rochefoucault has requested me to bring him copies of books published for the use of the poor in England. I have made diligent inquiries on the subject, and shall conclude them by presenting him with the Bible, which supplies all the moral wants of a country, of whose national religion it forms the basis, and of whose political institutions, it is the safeguard and the surest guarantee."

The Parisian Society had distributed in the capital itself about 900 copies of the Scriptures. The

prisons and poor-houses have been supplied by its liberality; and the Committee record with satisfaction, a striking instance of the value at tached to the sacred boon, in the case of a poor woman at the Salpetriere hospital, who, on being questioned respecting a copy of the Scriptures which had been presented to her, confessed that she had lent it to a poor friend who was busily engaged in copying it. A gratifying report has been given of the effects produced by the perusal of the Scriptures upon the prisoners in the hulks. "The superintendent of these prisons," says the Rev. Mr. Martin," had the goodness to assure me, that there was a remarkable difference between the Protestants and the other prisoners; that the former were generally more docile and more duti ful, and that their moral conduct was much more regular; and it was not doubted, that this difference must be ascribed, in a great measure, to the religious instruction which the Protestants derive from reading and meditating upon the holy Scriptures."

Guernsey and Jersey have profited by the facilities afforded by the Parisian Bible Society for supplying them with the French version of the Scriptures. There are few points on the globe where so many copies of the Scriptures have been distributed, in proportion to the population; and yet the demands multiply every year.

While the Protestant Scriptures have been diffused among the members of the Lutheran and Reformed churches in France, considerable progress has also been made in promoting among the Catholics a dissemination of the version of De Sacy, of which not fewer than 30,000 copies had been printed during the last year. As the Protestant Bible Society at Paris is precluded by its constitution from taking any part in this undertaking, it has been executed through the medium of an agent of the British

and Foreign Bible Society. Among the channels in which the Catholic Scriptures have thus been made to circulate, may be mentioned schools of mutual instruction, prisons, hospitals, and asylums. The Society for Mutual Instruction,on receiving the first offer of New Testaments, stated that "it accepted with gratitude so generous a gift, and would be happy to spread in all the provinces of the kingdom the code of the Christian doctrine, which also, being put into the hands of the children and of their families, can alone expedite that moral and religious improvement which is the object of all their wishes." The acceptance of a similar offer made to the council of administration for the prisons of Paris, was announced by the Duke de la Rochefoucault, in very gratifying terms.

The Strasburg Bible Society, in the course of five years, has brought into circulation 10,313 copies of the Scriptures. Throughout the sphere of this Society "a deep conviction of the necessity and utility of a free dissemination of the word of God has made a rapid progress beyond all expectation."

The United Netherlands Bible Society exhibits a detait of facts which demonstrate the growing prosperity and usefulness of that national institution. Its funds have been augmented, not only by liberal donations, but also by considerable legacies; and its issue of Bibles and Testaments exceeds that of the preceding year by nearly 6,000 copies. The Marine Bible Society of Amsterdam, in the course of the past year, has distributed copies of the Scriptures in the Dutch, English, Swedish, Danish, German, French, and even Hebrew and Malay languages, among seamen of various countries and denominations. A similar association has been established in Rotterdam. What is stated in the Report with regard to the activity and influence of the Central Society at Amsterdam, may be considered as representing,

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