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the same moment in all its departments. You ask to be shown the cells—there are a dozen kinds of them. This has partly arisen from the gaol having been built at intervals, by different people, and sometimes in a very great hurry. There are the ordinary felons' cells in one part—old and very close, dark, and otherwise offensive. Nothing could well be worse, or dearer, than these. In the principal wing of the building there is a range of galleries, with the cells disposed on the plan of Pentonville. To these there is no objection except the cost, which in a juvenile prison is certainly indulged in without absolute need. Then there are, in a separate building, two large, and, as it appears to us, admirable dormitories, in which 158 boys can sleep. The apartment answers all the purposes of a room for sleeping this number of inmates, and its cost was a mere bagatelle. The building is a shell, like a barn or shed; the cells are made of wood, after the manner of those in the model lodging house in St. Giles', but are latticed over the top so as to prevent the boy from getting over and leaving his cell without permission of the proper officer. Mr. Charles Pearson got his idea and his model from these wooden cells at Parkhurst. They are said to answer
well. The cost of one of the cells at Reading or Pentonville, with its ingenious apparatus--its supplies of hot and cold water, of warm air and cool air—would pay for thirty or forty of these simple cells. We have no doubt but that 1,000 of them could be erected at the rate of 51. each, including the shell for them to stand in. Captain
Maconochie, we believe, would be willing to manage a party of criminals housed in this economical way, and well worked : their good behaviour would depend almost entirely upon that.
From the cells, let us go into the probation wards, It must be explained that when a juvenile transportedconvict is first sent to Parkhurst, he is placed in rigid seclusion for three or four months, as a probationary stage. During this period he is confined in a separate cell, is not allowed to speak with or see, except at chapel, any of his fellow-prisoners; and is instructed in the art of tailoring, or the mystery of knitting stockings. The three or four months of separation is expected to have a painful, and therefore salutary, effect upon his mind : and he is not taken out of it until his good conduct warrants, or sickness compels it. This is the theory of the prison --a theory, however, which has often to give way before its material exigencies. When the pressure of fresh arrivals is greater than usual, it is found necessary to pass the offender through the period of probation much faster than the rules contemplate : but this irregularity cannot always be avoided, and it is doubtful whether any harm springs from it. Supposed to be morally reformed, he is now placed in the general wards, to learn the habit of work.
In a scheme which has for its chief object to prepare these battalions of labourers to gain their own livings honestly by the work of their hands and the sweat of their brows—one naturally inquires first of all for the workshops and the farm. It is as well to
say here, that there are at Parkhurst now about 650 boys, of whom 120 are in the probationary stage, and 530 in the free wards. These 530 are distributed into classes, each class having a particular kind of craft or occupation to learn and practise. Thus there are classes for bakers, painters, tailors, shoemakers, carpenters, sawyers, bricklayers, brickmakers, blacksmiths, gardeners, and cooks. Besides these, there are the cultivators of the soil, common labourers, and those who do all the washing of the establishment. There is no female on the premises at all. All this looks promising; and it is a pleasant thing to see groups of these boys-whether good or bad, destined to become the backbone of the new settlements to which they are to be sent on quitting the Isle of Wight-busily engaged at their several occupations. The mischief is, that there is very little of it; a fact which wounds both ways; for if they were made to labour more, it would do them good, by forming hardier habits of body, and it would render the penitentiary less expensive to the state. For 1848 the estimated value of all the labour performed at Parkhurst was as follows for the different battalions :—The bakers earned 461. 18s. 4d. ; the painters, 121. 08. 3d. ; the tailors, 3151. Os. 8d.; the shoemakers, 3071. 2s. ; the carpenters, 851. 198. 6d. ; the sawyers, 361. 108.; the bricklayers, 101. 78. 60. ; the brickmakers, 1101. 10s. 2d. ; the blacksmiths, 261. 9s. 10d. ; the gardeners, 821. 4s. 3d. ; the cooks, 1101. 58. 10d. ; the washers, 2581. 11s. ; farming, 2281. 15s. ; other labour, 631. 10s.; in all only
1,6941. 58. 6d. As the yearly value of the labour of an average of five or six hundred persons, this is wretchedly small. It is not sixty shillings a-year for each ; hardly twelve-pence a week.
The prison officers will tell you of several causes which, they say, help to keep down the value of the produce of the prison labour. The soil is said to be
stiff and heavy,” and difficult to work with the spade in either wet weather or dry. Then there is no market for garden-stuff—the culture of which is the most profitable in the island-or for the other labour of prisoners. To these it might be replied, that the spade is just the implement to overcome the “heaviness” of the soil ; and manure, and loam, and mud, are all easily to be procured. And, with regard to markets, the largest town in the island, Newport, is only a mile from the prison gates. Vegetables must be consumed there ; and we are not aware that any prejudice exists against Parkhurst
peas and potatoes, even at Cowes and Ryde. For the work of such craftsmen as blacksmiths, carpenters, sawyers, and numerous others, has the government no resources in the dockyards at Portsmouth and Gosport ? A little arrangement would soon enable the powers which rule in these localities to avail themselves of all the surplus time and energies to be got at in the penitentiary. This very much needs to be done, not only on the south coast, but in every part of England. If there were any power which could bring the various departments of the public service into harmonious action, more thousands of pounds might be annually saved to the tax-payers than the public are at all aware.
But there is a better reason for the poverty of result at Parkhurst than a heavy soil and want of markets. The boys are not made to work enough. This is the real secret. A history of the daily routine will discover the truth of this remark. At about six o'clock the prisoner is awoke from sleep. At a quarter past six the door of his cell is unlocked ; he washes it and himself till seven. From seven to a quarter before eight he is at drill. (A semi-military organization is given to the Parkhurst boys : they would make a famous regiment of garde mobile.) From then to nine o'clock he is at breakfast and chapel. Up to this point, all the inmates of the prison have been similarly engaged ; now one batch goes off to school, another to labour : this they do on alternate days. Let us follow the boy whose turn it is to go to school. From nine till twelvethree hours at once !-he receives instruction. But, lest sitting so long should spoil his appetite, he is then sent into the yard for three-quarters of an hour to romp. From a quarter to one to a quarter to twoman hour !-is devoted to dinner. The next quarter goes in arrangements. Then an hour and a half are given to work, which brings the dial down to half-past three, when school begins again, and lasts till six. After that there is twenty minutes more for play. Then supper-bell rings; and supper, with a short prayer, lasts till ten minutes before
Seven is the hour for bed. Unless he belong