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descriptive phrases. M. Salielles indeed thus characterizes the purpose of his own school: "A purely humanitarian reaction prompted by a sense of popular and sentimental justice."
The first class regards the reform and good of the criminal as the first object of the criminal law, arguing that with the criminal reformed, society is quickest and best protected. The second maintain that the chief purpose of the criminal law is to protect society with only secondary consideration for the consequences to the offender. Starting from a narrow divergence, the pathways of the two sorts of criminologists rapidly and widely separate in their results. The sentimentalists exercise largest control in France, Italy and in the United States. The practicalists rule notably in Germany, in Great Britain and in Canada. By their fruits shall we know them. The fundamental concept of justice in the several nations differ little. The ten commandments were engraved on the heart of the first cave man and will govern his last descendant. The capital differences are found in the theories concerning the adjustment of penalties.
To the north of us lies a country which speaks our language, has common religions, common traditions and like political institutions. It is only divided from us by an imaginary line. The situation in Canada and in Ohio should not differ in degree. Ohio has not half the population of all British America, but Ohio has twice the number of convicts and four times the number of its reported crimes. The great divergence in our system of criminal law and the Canadian system may be discovered in the adjustment of the several penalties.
In preparing to deal with this situation, the sentimentalist who through this generation has been in almost complete control in the United States, proposes a farther injection of sentiment. He still designs to above all, concern himself with the mental and moral condition of the accused. The practicalist insists that the first concern shall be to conserve the rights of the law-abiding citizen. For example, a lad convicted of several robberies is sentenced in Chicago for a stay at St. Charles School instead of being sent to the Juvenile Prison. The prosecuting attorney warns the court that the lad will jump the school fence within two weeks. The kind judge sentimentalizing over the power of kindness to the young offender, disagrees. The prosecutor was wrong. The lad waited two months before he jumped the fence. Then enlisting another boy, and armed with pistols, they committed 10 highway robberies in four days. On the fifth night this lad was killed in a duel by a policeman. The policeman died two days later. The Chief of Police standing above the bed of the wounded officer said, “You are going to get well, Tom.” A great light shone in the face of the injured man. “Gee Chief,” he answered, “ that's good. I just got to get well for the kiddies.” But the kiddies didn't save him. He stopped breathing within the hour.
The sentimentalist in this case concerns himself most over the sad fate of the dead crook; the practicalist thinks of more importance the fate of the widow and the kiddies. I myself believe that the life of that one officer was of greater value to society than a penitentiary full of robbers.
Since July 1st two years ago, 18 police officers have been killed in Chicago by gunmen. They left surviving them 15 widows, 47 orphans, and God knows how much consequent grief and misery.
The ardent entomologist who discovers a rare bug under his microscope, becomes absorbed to the neglect of his own family in the social activities and the spiritual aspirations of that irresponsive bug. All else becomes relatively unimportant. So the social entomologist studies the criminal. Spurred by that first of American characteristics, Sympathy for the Under Dog, he forgets that it not unfrequently happens that it was the under dog who started the fight, and so brought on his own trouble. The sentimental entomologist is surprised first of all, to discover that the prisoner is a human being, having eyes, limbs and organs similar to his own. That this constrained person loves his mother devotedly, distantly reverences his father, affectionately tolerates · his brothers and sisters notwithstanding they are constantly employed at honest work and rather resent him. In other words he finds to his surprise that
“When the enterprising burglar isn't burgling,
And the cut throat isn't occupied in crime,
And listen to the merry village chime."
The inquirer is shocked to learn that his prisoner like all the other inmates of the institution, never had a chance. This, although his hard working brothers and sisters created their own chances, kept at school and have nothing to be ashamed of but this prisoner. Although the brightest-minded and most petted among them and this is usually the case—he has no education, for to obtain an education requires work, and he would not work.
Bruce Thompson as quoted by Tarde, says that nine-tenths of the criminals have an intelligence above the average. That is my own experience. Also this prisoner was, he says, hounded by the police—in fact, all in the prison were so hounded. The policeman who fought a pistol battle with him at midnight in a lonely alley would tell a different story. But what is a policeman to the average American? Lastly, he wants another chance at freedom. It may be his sixteenth, but he wishes another. It is upon that other chance the two schools of criminologists with growing frequency often clash. After the second conviction society is foolish to take another chance. The dominant school in America insists upon considering only the evidences of the prisoner's reformation and the mitigating circumstances that surrounded his original crime. The other class with which I in most respects sympathize and which at present has little voice in the United States, urges that before he shall be forgiven, the consequences to the public of his release should be weighed as of first importance. Meanwhile his keeper in the prison is pressed between two millstones of pity. He, too, by reason of bis daily contact with the prisoner, loses sense of the interests of the public and comes to think only of the case of the prisoner himself. Then from the outside, a constant pressure of sympathy pushes in upon him until as a consequence, most inmates in our penitentiaries are more generously cared for than they were when at large. Some students in boarding-schools have not so much liberty; though soldiers in barracks are pretty much as well off. Listen to a couple of replies from wardens to my questions which illustrate the general tendency of prison treatment. Please contrast in your minds the lives of offenders with those of the clerk, a laboring man or even middle class business man.
“Our men have Saturday afternoon off all the year. In the winter we have moving pictures, the best we can find and plenty of them. The men go into the chapel when the pictures are shown at 1 o'clock and the show lasts until 4 o'clock, a continuous run.
“ In the summer time we have base-ball. Our team belongs to the Industrial League and at the present time we are leading the league. We have a fast team for our class and are proud of them.
“Each year, if the opportunity presents itself, we have one or two of the big circuses which show in the city. The grounds where they stretch their canvas is along the side of our institution, and between the afternoon and evening performances the circus people bring their entire show in our parade grounds and our men see a better performance than the people outside, as the performers work very hard to give our men a good show.
We have other entertainments during the season—lectures, Grand Opera singers, Minstrels, etc. A few Saturdays ago the Glee Club of the Chicago Chamber of Commerce was with us all Saturday afternoon, and gave the same performance they gave at the Auditorium in Chicago with Mary Garden as soloist. She was to be with them here but was called away on business, so she could not be with us. However, she promised to sing for us later in the season.
After the ball-game on Saturday our men drill to the music of the band the regular army exercises and calisthenics."
Here is just one more.
“ Amusements and entertainments are provided by motion pictures every Saturday afternoon, with road shows and vaudeville performances on afternoons during week days, whenever available. For some time past we had weekly performances in our theatre building by vaudeville circuit. Recently we have been unable to secure satisfactory arrangements with the managers and these regular shows have been suspended, and indeed we secure what road shows we can.
“ The State College and High School pupils occasionally give performances to the inmates.
“The trustees have a base-ball team and play some outside team once a week, and practice with the second team every evening.
Sundays and Wednesdays a concert is given by the prison band, at present consisting of 40 pieces.”
These letters do credit to the hearts of the men who wrote them. They describe pretty well the present general attitude of
. the prison-keeper towards his charge, and it must be confessed that they are in direct line with the sentiment in this country which concerns itself in the matter. But to my mind, the condition they describe amounts to an unspoken but constant apology to the wrong-doer for keeping him confined, a humane conspiracy against the penalties of the law, a tender readjustment of the penalties not contemplated by the law, which reacts in the more frequent commission of outrages against the innocent law-abiding citizen and ultimately the return of the prisoner to his cell. As for the food, well, it is a demonstrable fact that many of our own tables are not better supplied. I would like to cite you the daily bill-of-fare reported to the governor from one of our prisons, but time will not allow.
It is no excuse to say that some of these prisons are selfsupporting. Prisons are not intended as commercial institutions. The public can well afford the expense, if the jail fulfills the only purpose and justification of its creation. The prisons of the State of New York underwent the first and highest of these inundations of sentimentalism. It may not be unprofitable to note the result. The number of prisoners received in Sing Sing prison for the fiscal year 1918-1919 was 1073. Of these only 463 were first timers, while 610 had served other sentences. A little more than two years ago a more stringent discipline was inaugurated in Sing Sing. The sub-joined table shows the falling off in the proportionate numbers of repeaters, but also discloses that Sing Sing still continues in popularity as a winter resort for old-time crooks.
Fiscal Year 1920-1921 1297 757
Number received in Sing Sing..
341 Second time in Sing Sing..
163 Third time in Sing Sing...
34 More than three times in Sing Sing.... 8
2 Repeaters ...
540 In Dannemora sixty per cent of the inmates are repeaters.
Against this record I reiterate that the first though neglected importance of the situation consists not in the great number of prisoners, not in the increase of recidivists, but in the widespread prevalence of outrages committed against law-abiding persons, which outrages these prisoners impersonate. The crim