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and expiation; a place inspiring a wholesome dread, and to get into which the lower orders shall feel it most undesirable. But, if we mistake not, the sumptuous externals now becoming so general in this country, are little calculated to create and foster this salutary fear. How should they? Are not men attracted or repelled by the effect upon their senses of what they see before them? Is it not well known that the repulsive appearance of our workhouses does more to keep the poor from applying for admission than the mere restraints and regulations within ? It is indeed the universal experience. “A child, Sir, that has once been in gaol,” said the intelligent schoolmistress of the Borough Gaol in Liverpool, “is almost sure to come again. Before it sees the inside of a prison it has great terror of it; and for a day or two, especially if a young child, is inconsolable ; but it soon gets accustomed to the rules and ways of the new life, and ever after a prison has no terrors for it.” And this is altogether independent of the good or evil influences obtaining in the gaol. The unrealized ideas of the penal institution—the ponderous gates, the lofty walls, the sombre character of the entire building, these were and are, where they exist, undoubtedly elements of repression ; they leave a good deal to the imagination, but at the same time they furnish it with a positive suggestion of much tangible cause of terror. The portals once passed, all these are dashed to the ground. The reality is less fearful than the conception. It is a pleasant disappointment. What then ? The wholesome dread is gone for ever, and

no art can resuscitate it. The Rubicon is passed. The secret is penetrated—the worst is known. The prison is no longer the sword of Damocles. Its hard, sharp edge is feared no longer ; it has become a feather. It may

fall or not the offender is now indifferent. This is the result of an experience too uniform to admit of dispute. Prisons and prison punishments are chiefly efficacious in preventing first offences. Once inflicted, they almost lose their efficacy. Fear and shame have infinitely greater force in preventing the commission of crimes which lead to imprisonment, than the dread of restraint and the physical evils which attend it. It is in connexion with this fact that the Rev. Mr. Clay, of Preston, argues against the number of recommittals being taken as the proper test of the repressive power of any given system of discipline. He is in a great measure right. When a prison has been in operation some time, and the character of its punishments has become generally known, then the efficacy of its two distinct functions becomes visible : its deterring power, in the general increase or decrease of convictions ; its reforming power, in the increase or decrease of reconvictions. It must evidently be so. The reforming power can only act on the public—that is, on the non-criminal class-very indirectly. If, according to Mr. Field's plan, offenders could all be transformed into saints, (and a knowledge of the lives of many of the ornaments of the sacred calendar would supply many reasons for considering this idea not altogether unreasonable, it would be still doubtful whether these reformed personages could exercise a

It is, we

salutary influence over society at large. Reformatory power therefore acts only within a narrow

But the deterring power operates directly upon every individual under temptation. It is, therefore, for the good of the individual, as well as for that of society, that this deterring power should be complete and efficacious. Within the sphere of all legitimate influences, we should be glad to have this salutary power strengthened, surrounded with bulwarks, rendered more formidable to the imagination. Consequently, we regret to see the gaol stripped of any of its humane terrors. cannot avoid thinking, a grand mistake to render even the exterior of a prison inviting. There is more fascination in an object which attracts the eye by its picturesque and agreeable form, than old gentlemen are apt to fancy. Ask your daughtersif you doubt. Ask the children of the poor.

Ask some of the miserable creatures — miserable, but honest—who live under the shadow of the New Wakefield Gaol, and who feel its grandeur insult their wretchedness—and they will tell you how it courts their attention, occupies their thoughts, and tempts them with its seductions.

This great palace-prison contains 732 cells for prisoners. It stands on about fourteen acres of ground; and cost from 100,0001. to 120,0001. The site is low and bad. The prison is far too large for the present requirements of the West Riding-too large even for the observance of the common legal regulations. An example most injurious is thus set by authority in the way of criminals. By building

a prison grander and larger than is needful, the county sets the example of extravagance and want of thrift. A considerable number of the cells would be unoccupied, only that the government has sent down 400 convicts to undergo a probation in them, like that of Pentonville, previous to their being sent out to Australia as “exiles.” These are the subject of a contract between the Home-office and the magistrates of the West Riding, the government paying so much a year for each cell “let” to it. Again, the size of the prison prevents the chaplain from seeing the inmates in his room at times, and from visiting, as the rules require, each person in his cell daily. Nor is the governor able to visit each man daily, as he ought; for two reasons : in the first place, the gaol is too large to admit of it, unless he were content that it should devour up all his time, and so mischievously interfere with his other duties; and in the second place, he is most unwisely required to attend at assizes and quarter-sessions. Eleven times in the year he is compelled to leave Wakefield-in his absence devolving the government of this great establishment upon a subordinate—for

He is seldom away less than seven or eight days at a time, and often more than double the number. That is, the supreme officer of the prison is away from his onerous duties four or five months in the year! So glaring an inconsistency ought to be at once done


with. Besides the convicts---who have a department of the prison, with distinct officers, except governor

this purpose.


there are in this new model prison, general adult prisoners, male and female-felons, misdemeanants, and persons committed for want of sureties. The women are in a separate building, which was built for juveniles : the latter being now sent to the Borough Gaol in Leeds. The discipline is of course nominally the “separate” system ; but it is not the separate system as carried out at Pentonville. Here the prisoners take exercise in common, but in silence; they also receive instruction occasionally in each other's presence, which is also considered to have a very good effect. They do not, however, work in

The system is therefore an imperfect amalgam of the two rival disciplines, the best element of the social, or silent, system, the labour in common, being left out. In the exercising-grounds, of course, no communication is permitted; and the very


limited intercourse involved in the exercise in common, is allowed only because experience has shown, that in separate yards the men cannot be got to take as much physical exertion as considerations of health require. After a few weeks of isolation, a man is no longer a gregarious animal. His mind breaks down ; and his natural instincts lose their force. The silence, idleness, and loneliness of the cell affect the will. A sort of torpor creeps over the inmate. He becomes gentle, docile, and submissive, but at the same time weak, idle, apathetic. Very little exertion tires him ; he gladly avoids it, and sinks into a dreamy condition, which is neither ife nor death. To awake him out of this mental and animal torpor is no easy

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