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to prepare the student to enter upon the regular College course of study. It serves also to qualify him to teach during the winter months.
LABOR.-Each student, not exempt for physical disability, is required to labor three hours a day on the farm or in the gardens. The number of hours may be increased to four, or diminished to two and a half. Some compensation is allowed; but the labor is regarded as an essential part of the educational system of the College, and is performed with special reference to illustrating and applying the instruction of the lecture room. Students are not employed in those kinds of work only in which they may be most proficient, but, as the work is classified, each is made acquainted with all the operations of farming and gardening.
T. C. ABBOT,
STATE REFORM SCHOOL.
REPORT OF THE BOARD OF CONTROL.
To the Superintendent of Public Instruction:
Another year of anticipation, hope, and reality having passed, it becomes the duty of the Board of Control of the State Reform School, to report of their labors, and make known what they deem essential for the future of those placed in their charge. It is, however, appropriate first to speak of losses and bereavements. Whenever the experience of years has served to develop peculiar adaptation and efficiency in the agencies employed for the carrying forward of any important enterprise, the removal of such agencies becomes a double loss. Such removal of agencies during the period embraced in this report, has caused marked embarrassment in the prosecution of the work placed in our hands.
During the latter portion of the year 1865, Theodore Foster, formerly Superintendent of the Institution, but more lately,
and up to the time of his death, a valued and efficient member of this Board, was called to his final rest. Full appreciation of the loss sustained by the Institution in the event here recorded, can be had only by those familiar with the man,-his adaptation to and zeal for the work placed in his hands. This loss is deeply felt and sincerely lamented.
But losses seldom come single-handed and alone. Only a few months subsequent to the event here chronicled, the then efficient Superintendent of the School, Cephas B. Robinson, "was laid low in death.” In the midst of his usefulness, and with only a brief note of warning, he was called away at about 10} o'clock on the morning of the 27th of last August. His disease bore marks of severity from the first. But for the first three or four days no serious result was anticipated, and indications of the result so soon to follow, were not discovered till late in the night of the 26th of that month. So rapid, however, was the subsequent progress of disease as to leave scarcely an interval of hope till he ceased to breathe, at the hour above designated. Conscious to the last, he bade all employees of the Institution an affectionate farewell, and then quietly fell asleep.
Any effort to portray our own estimation of the loss to the Institution here recorded would be vain. For many years prior to assuming its Superintendency, Mr. Robinson had held important positions among those placed in charge. Familiarity with the workings of its every department, combined with a natural yet genial promptness, foresight and decision, secured to him the mastery of his position, enabling him to direct, with harmony and efficiency the interests placed in his hands. But his work is done, and the responsibilities so well sustained by him must be assumed by others.
After the death of Mr. Robinson, the responsibilities of Superintendent devolved upon James H. Baker, who devoted his best energies to the same until they were assumed by the Rev. O. W. Fay, subsequently appointed to that office.
Since our last report the general health of the inmates of the Institution has been good. Only three deaths have 00curred, and cases of sickness requiring medical treatment have not been numerous, in view of circumstances, as the Physician's Report will probably show.
It may be questioned, however, whether the actual number is not largely in advance of what it need be, but for the crowded condition of the Institution, and other circumstances susceptible of remedy. And if such be the fact, it becomes a question of moment as to how long and to what extent that condition shall be allowed to exist. We commend this matter to the careful and candid consideration of our Legislators. The right to restrain the liberty of the individual, for the prevention of crime or for correction, will be readily granted, but not so readily that such restraint be allowed to work physical or moral degradation, and especially in an institution designed to foster reformation, and where youth are the subjects of that reform.
There have been received into the Institution since the dato of our last Report, 117 inmates, and during the same period 89 have been dismissed—à portion receiving an unconditional discharge, and the remainder being allowed a ticket of leave, their complete discharge being predicated on the subsequent deportment of the individual.
More room has become a sine qua non, and not room merely, but room so arranged as to favor reformation. A large area, into which large numbers may be crowded, works corruption rather, since it gives to the adept in vice and crime an opportunity to work.
An institution provided with accommodations for only 152 inmates cannot prosper in its work of reform crowded with 280, or thereabouts. At our last Report this Institution presented a total of 259 inmates, a number then entirely and largely beyond the accommodations provided, to which an increase of at least twenty during the period since elapsed affords but poor prospects of relief.
The training of the youth of the State to habits of integrity, honesty and enterprise is a matter worthy the attention of Legislators, and especially should they aim to throw their protecting arms around that large class of youth who receive no watchful care from parental guardianship, that their manhood may become a source of thrift and enterprise to the State, and honorable to themselves, rather than agencies destructive alike of all good, working only their own degradation, and taxing the State by penal enactments and restraints.
The inquiry then becomes pertinent as to the essentials of reformation as yet unprovided for our own State Reform School. It will not be denied that at the founding of this Institution all was done that experience, perhaps, warranted, and the plans and arrangements adopted were necessarily shaped thereby. But during intervening years experience has been at work and developed more perfect plans. In all the more successful and effective Reform Schools in the land, those in which the work of reformation seemingly thrives best, and is producing apparently more immediate as well as lasting benefits, what is termed the family arrangement has been adopted. By this system the evil here deprecated is in a good degree remedied-boys alike in morals and education, as far as practicable, being brought together in one family, and placed in charge of a competent person for instruction and moral training, subject, of course, to the general oversight of a Superintendent. Under this arrangement only those requiring the strictest discipline and restraint are subjected to a condition of confinement, and that only till it becomes prudent to grant them enlargement.
It is respectfully submitted whether an outlay for securing the arrangement here indicated would not be wise. In deciding this point it should not be forgotten that that system secures the best results which sends forth those subjected to its discipline best qualified for efficient and reliable citizenship.
The want of means adequate to the work assigned us has been an embarrassment severely felt during the two years now just past. This has arisen, in part, at least, from the advanced cost of needful supplies. As the means of living advances in cost, the remuneration of employes also necessarily advances. The rate of that advancement could not be determined beforehand, hence the debt now resting on the Institution, the amount of which will be learned from the Treasurer's Report.
An appropriation to meet this will require early attention, and for coming current expenses, the Board of Control ask such an amount as shall enable them to meet demands, and not come again to the end of a biennial term under the incubus of debt. Nay, more; they ask an amount sufficient for rendering the work placed in their hands, a thing of progress. A barely living existence is never remunerative, to say nothing of its hindrance to the work of reform. The glad and contented heart is always the more easily led in paths of virtue; and those paths become the more attractive for the future of life, the more of joy and satisfaction has been found therein during the past. This fact can never be lost sight of by those having in charge the reformation of youthful delinquents, nor can they, if true to the interests intrusted to them, rest satisfied with means inadequate to the responsibilities assumed.
The following statement will indicate the amount of means your Board of Control deem essential to meet current expenses, make needful repairs and erect such additional buildings as the existing condition of the Institution imperatively demands: To liquidate existing indebtedness,,
$16,000 For erecting two family buildings, each of a capacity to accommodate fifty boys,..
12,000 Steam heating apparatus,...
5,000 For building Kitchen, Bakery, and Laundry,
8,000 For current expenses for the year 1867,