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a home, open their souls to good and holy influences, if need be correct them, but with a loving severity, and so, under God's blessing, restore them to society, prepared to fill well their station in it, and to pass honourably through this life, always striving to attain to a better;" whether we think of our pockets here, or of our own and of our brothers' souls hereafter, we must, from facts and figures, or from grace and human sympathy, accept this Bill, or some other framed upon its provisions, as an act of the Legislature most useful and most pressingly necessary for the requirements of this country.
At this particular time, one very important circumstance renders Ireland peculiarly well situated to derive the fullest and most complete benefit from the extension of a Reformatory Act. Whilst the Government Inspectors of Prisons, and the Directors of Convict Prisons, are exposing, earnestly and ably, the defects in our system of management of young offenders, and whilst the advocates of the Reformatory principle are endeavouring to obtain the aid of the Legislature in behalf of the child "Home Heathen," the nobleman, distinguished by his efforts to ameliorate the condition of the poor, even amongst a band of high-born philanthropists, who represents the Queen in this Kingdom, has evinced his appreciation of the Reformatory principle, by accepting the Presidentship of the Society for the Reformation of Juvenile Offenders for the East and North Ridings of Yorkshire, and the town of Kingston upon Hill, established the 12th of last April, which takes for its object this noble design, thus set forth in one of the resolutions of its Promoters :
"That it shall be one of the chief purposes of the Society to provide the advantages of an Industrial Reformatory School for children, who have fallen or appear likely to fall into a criminal course of life; such children to be there religiously and morally trained, habituated to labour, and to receive such intellectual cultivation as is suited to their condition of life."
Already this Society has received subscriptions amounting to £938: 14:0; of which sum £866: 70 are donations, and £72 70 annual subscriptions.
We need not write further on this subject-if the Earl of Carlisle, the Lord Lieutenant of Yorkshire, approve the establishment of a Reformatory in his county, surely the Earl of
See "Juvenile Delinquents, Their Condition and Treatment." By Mary Carpenter, London: Cash. 1853, p. 7. This book is worth a dozen of Miss Edgeworth's " windbags."
Carlisle, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, will approve, and with him to approve is to advocate strenuously, the establishment of Reformatories in the Kingdom of which he is the Viceroy, and with the wants of which, from old association he is so well acquainted.
The first lines of this paper were an extract from Mr. Frederic Hill's book, in which the statement that by government management of Prisons, reformation and cheapness are best secured, is recorded; and if further proof of the truth of the statement, than that already offered were needed, it is more than furnished by a very admirable document just now placed in our hands-The Annual Report of the Directors of Government Prisons in Ireland. The framers of this Report, Captains Crofton, Knight, and John Lentaigne, Esq., though appointed to the office of Directors, so recently as the 29th of last November, have in this, their first official Report, given the fullest evidence of their own earnestness in the energetic discharge of their duties, and of the wisdom of Mr. Hill's opinion.
When these gentlemen commenced their inspection in December, 1854, they found the accommodation for convicts, in Government Prisons, suitable for only 3,210, although the numbers confined in these Prisons amounted to 3,427.*
The Directors add:-" Arrangements are, however, in progress which will remedy this overcrowding.
Males. Females. Total.
Number in custody on the 1st January, 1855, 3,097
COUNTY AND CITY GAOLS.
Number in custody on 1st January, 1855, The accommodation for female convicts has since been somewhat increased, and is now sufficient for 460.
With prisons thus situated, and without hope of being enabled to draft away the convicts to a penal settlement, the Directors first endeavoured to enlarge the accommodation, and thus, and by classification, to attempt reformation. By an official communication, from the Superintendent's Office in West Australia, they found that, owing to the want of system in our Irish Prisons, the 600 convicts sent out in the ships "Robert Small" and "Phoebe Dunbar," seemed incapable of comprehending the nature of moral agencies; they knew nothing of the necessity of prudence, and self-reliance, as means to extricate themselves from the consequences of their former errors, and the Superintendent declared "coercion appears to be the only force they are capable of appreciating." In a word, they were unfit for the world, by reason of their crimes; they were unfit for the penal colony by reason of prison mismanagement at home. Under these circumstances, and knowing that from want of good arrangement the chief mischief springs,and knowling too, that by sending such Convicts from our Gaols to our Colonies they but retarded the advancement of our dependencies, the Directors, being of that class of officials so dear to the Administrative Reform Association, and whose qualities are pithily expressed in the motto-Right Men in the Right Place, set vigorously about their work of reform, and we shall permit them to relate, in their own words, some particulars of the course adopted :—
"The same feeling which prevents our inflicting on a colony convicts who have not beon subjected to a proper course of prison discipline also precludes our bringing forward prisoners for discharge in this country on Tickets of Licence as in England. We consider
Disposal of Convicts.
During the past year, 250 convicts have been sent to Bermuda,
Employment of Convicts.
They have either been employed on the Public Works, at Spike Island and the Forts, or at Trades in the other prisons."
such "Ticket of Licence" to be a sort of guarantee to the commu. nity, that in consequence of a prisoner having been subjected to a proper course of prison discipline and reformatory treatment, he is considered a fit subject to be received and employed by those outside the prison.
Such reformatory course not having hitherto been pursued in this country, we have not felt ourselves justified in recommending the
issue of tickets of licence.
On commencing our duties, we found the most pressing evil to be remedied was, the indiscriminate association of the young with those more advanced in years and crime; instead, therefore, of awaiting the completion of the Juvenile Penal Reformatory Prison, (a period, probably, of eighteen months or two years), we immediately selected all the male convicts under seventeen years of age, and placed them at Mountjoy and Philipstown Prisons. In the former there are separate sleeping cells, and convenient accommodation for working in association during the day. We have every reason to be fully satisfied with the results as evinced by the conduct and industry of the prisoners located here. In the latter there were facilities for separating the juveniles from the adults; but similar advantages to those possessed by Mountjoy were not here presented, and the effects have not been so favourable; however we hope that great improvement will result from arrangements which we are now enabled to make in consequence of the barrack (situated within the walls of the prison) having been recently transferred to the convict department, and by which the prisoners will be placed under more effective supervision. Taking into consideration the inefficient state of the educational departments of the Convict Depots, and the importance which should be attached to them in this country, where the causes of crime are principally ignorance and destitution, we have felt it our duty to recommend that all the Government Prison Schools should be placed under the inspection of the National Board of Education. We are much indebted to the Right Hon. Alexander Macdonnell, the Resident Commissioner, and P. J. Keenan, Esq., for having been the means of securing the services of two gentlemen, as Head Schoolmasters, for Mountjoy and Philipstown Prisons. For the former we have selected Mr. M'Gauran, late master of the Andrean Free Day School, in Cumberland-street, who has had great experience in training as well as teaching, amongst a class of persons from which the criminals may be expected to emanate.*
For the latter we have chosen Mr. Donaghy, (late master of Cork Union School), who has a well earned reputation, and possesses qualifications we have thought it all-important to require. Our intention is to train our different masters from time to time, under these gentlemen, and thus ensure a uniformity of system throughout the Government Prison Schools. We trust, therefore, the experience they have had will exercise a beneficial influence through the different convict establishments.
See two admirable Reports, by this gentleman, on the Andrean School, and printed in THE IRISH QUARTERLY REVIEW, Vol. IV., No. 14, p. 1237. No. 16, p. 424.-ED.
In order further to increase the influence which we trust these teachers will exercise over the convicts under their care, we thought fit to recommend the Government to allow them to visit the different penal and reformatory establishments in England, and practically acquaint themselves with the systems adopted therein, thus giving them an opportunity of forming opinions on a broad basis, which would render them more efficient for the reformation and training of the prisoners. Permission to carry out this recommendation was readily accorded by Lord St. Germans, and we have reason to believe the result will be most advantageous to the service.
We have found it necessary to call for special reports on the character and capabilities of the different officers of the prisons, with a view to remove those who are not qualified for so important a position; and regret to add that we have been compelled to recommend the dismissal of several warders for drunkenness, a crime that cannot be tolerated for an instant in a prison where a good moral example should operate as one of the principal elements of reformation.
We have endeavoured to assimilate the treatment of the Irish convicts as far as possible to those of England-i.e., immediately after conviction the male adults will be subjected to separate imprisonment at Mountjoy, Dublin, for a maximum period of nine months, though we hope to be enabled to recommend that an average shorter period should be recognized. Before undergoing this stage of imprisonment, they are medically inspected, and owing to the diseased state of the convicts of this country, we regret to say the rejections are very large. We are in hopes, however, and are disposed to believe, from the assurance of one of our Board, well conversant with medical subjects, that we may in most cases be able to carry out some portion of the term by judicious treatment on the part of the Medical Officer at Mountjoy. The high character and professional attainments of Dr. Rynd enable us to place every confidence in his judgment.
We have altered the arrangements that existed in this prison before our Board was formed, and, as we believe, with beneficial effect. The manufacturing department was then carried on, as we consider, to the detriment of the deterring and reformatory character of a prison, built at a great expense for a special purpose, the principal feature of which was to introduce religious impressions into the hearts of the convicts, through the influence of their Chaplains, whose time should be devoted to them, and who consider that the best preparation for these influences is the reflection engendered in separation, instead of the mind being busily and pleasantly occupied with the active employment of manufacturers. Education in this prison (a peculiarly fitted field for it) will, we trust, from recent arrangements, before alluded to, operate as an essential element in reformation.
In addition to these important reforms the Directors have dismissed many of the officers of prisons unfit for their posts; and in future none can be appointed until they shall have passed a