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again, the building for juvenile offenders is completely separate, as is also the wing appropriated to the confinement of females. Consequently, it is, in reality, four prisons in one—for the whole is encircled and enclosed by a common boundary wall which were thus tenanted at the time of our visit. The new part, built on the model of Pentonville, and intended for complete separation of prisoners by day and night, contains 120 cells, all of which were full. The old buildings were occupied by 273 persons, chiefly felons and misdemeanants; the remaining few being debtors sent hither for contempt of court. The juvenile ward, with 42 cells, contained only 13 boys. The female wing was occupied by 59 offenders, of various grades ; none, however, for very serious crimes. The total population, therefore, of Kirkdale was 406 males, 59 females ; total, 465. This number is very much higher than the average for some time past. For 1846, for example, the average was 391 ; for 1847, it was 306. The increase is rather formidable. But the same causes are assigned here as in Manchester, in explanation of the fact :- The intensity of the distress, and the vast immigration of Irish paupers, who commit petty offences in order to be sent to prison. At the time of our visit to the gaol, more than one-third of the males were of this description, and more than onehalf of the females.

Kirkdale is one of the county prisons. No criminal is placed in the New Bailey whose sentence is for more than six months. Many offenders are, consequently, sent from Manchester and other towns at a considerable distance, to undergo their punishment at Kirkdale. A circumstance connected with this arrangement ought to be abolished forthwith : we refer to the custom—the relic of a time when the cost of conveyance was very considerable, compared with what it is now-of sending offenders from their respective places of arrest or trial to the prison on foot. This is still done in all cases. Young and old, men and women, may still be met in gangs upon the roads. Winter and summer it is the same. Through rain and wind-in the piercing frosts, against the keen edge of which their scanty clothing is often a very inadequate protection—under a broiling summer sun- -when the deep snows of winter are on the ground—these wretches are compelled to travel. And, as some of them are untried, they may possibly be innocent! Certainly, this is not as it should be anywhere, and, least of all, in South Lancashire, where the railway system offers so many facilities for the transit of persons in the charge of the legal authorities. Both Captain Williams and Mr. Hill denounce this barbarous practice in strong language--as well they may. It is a sin against sound policy, as well as against human feeling. Even criminals are men.

On entering through the inner gate of Kirkdale, the attention of the visitor is immediately arrested by a very handsome church, newly built, in white stone. It is the prison chapel. It is not quite detached from the mass of other new erections ; but

from the front it seems to be so, and it has a very peculiar, if not an imposing effect. We are inclined to think this church unique in its way ; certainly, no prison in the metropolis has such a building within its walls, and we do not know of any other in the provinces which has. It must have cost a considerable sum, and greatly added to the expense of the recent improvements. This is a matter, however, that concerns only the rate-payers of South Lancashire. If they wish to have handsome specimens of “ Early English” ecclesiastical architecture in their prisons, we have no reason to object. But then, to be consistent, they should have every thing to correspond. Struck with so much ornamental grandeur, one naturally turns to making “odious" comparisons. We look at the chapel, and then at the cell—what unity of parts !

The wing of the prison already erected on the Pentonville model presents the general aspect of all gaols on that plan. The prisoners are provided with employment of various kinds, wool-picking principally, but a few are employed in tailoring, shoemaking, &c. Wool-picking is, in fact, no work at all : and the other kinds of labour here exacted are of an almost unprofitable nature. This is to be regretted, for many of these persons, being sentenced to long terms, would, with proper trade instruction, become capital workmen, and do a good deal towards paying the cost of their maintenance in gaol. But it is doubtful whether work can ever be made very profitable, either to the community or to the criminal

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himself, in a cellular prison. The master instructor at Kirkdale complained that men cannot learn in separate cells so well or so rapidly as in association. And this must obviously be the case in all handicrafts. The great thing that the learner requires, is to watch one or two good workmen, and see how a thing is done. In a workroom, like a minister or a schoolmaster, the trade-instructor can teach a dozen persons at once. One lesson serves for all. In the cell; every detail must be gone over again and again : there, there is neither emulation nor mutual assist

But, as the very intelligent trade-instructor at Kirkdale said, not only can prisoners learn faster and better in association—they turn off a vast deal more work afterwards. And this, we may add, is the almost universal opinion of the trade-instructors in prisons. We are assured that two prisoners in association--equal aptitude for the tasks assigned, and an equal amount of teaching being assumed will always earn more in twelve months than five prisoners in cells. This is a most important fact, if true; and our experience leads us to give it full credence.

Another matter in this new part of the prison deserves notice. On the right-hand side of the new wing, on the first-floor or gallery, we noticed two rooms, or cells, as they are called, the doors of which stood open. They are light, warm, well-furnished, pleasant places. At the door of one of them stood a middle-aged and a young man, chatting and looking about them ; in the other we observed two men also, one of whom, the elder, was reading aloud to the other. These we were astounded at hearing were the condemned cells, and the two young men both lying under sentence of death! One of them was Radcliffe, condemned for murdering the policeman at Ashton-under-Lyne in the Chartist riots; and the other was the young fellow who murdered his sweetheart at Heaton-Norris. To persons familiar with the condemned cells in Newgate, the difference is quite startling. At Kirkdale there are neither manacles nor iron-bound doors, nor any of the paraphernalia of the old "condemned dungeon." The penal character is hardly present to the mind at all. A stranger might easily mistake the two cells for rooms set apart for the use of the prison officers. Some doubts may, perhaps, arise as to the policy of casting aside the old draperies of terror in capital cases ; but it will be remembered, that the deterring power of these circumstances of horror has ceased to operate upon the criminal himself. The moment he enters the cell, Fear is of no further use to him his course is finished. We doubt if irons and severe treatment can do any good to the forfeit soul at any time; and, on the whole, the new plan adopted here strikes us as better than the old one still in force in the city prisons.

The old prison of Kirkdale is, on the whole, very bad. Any change must be for the better, so far as it is concerned. It was erected when prison architecture was in its infancy ; when criminals were an

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