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The Governors of the Liverpool school have therefore so arranged their charity, that it does not relieve the burthen of those liable to support the blind, otherwise than by gradually bettering their condition, and enabling the blind to support themselves; leaving, however, in the mean time the onus, where the laws of nature or of the state have placed it, until that desirable effect has been produced; and thereby stimulating their friends to assist in their improvement.
This principle, if applied to every other charitable or pauper establishment in this country to which it is applicable, would double,-I might say, would give a fourfold increase to their power and effect. When once it became a general interest, that the usefulness, the well-being, and the morals of the poor should be improved, one-fourth part of our present parochial and charitable funds would be more than adequate to the objects.
2d Nov. 1806.
Extract from an Account of the Execution of Criminal Law in Pensylvania. By THOMAS CLARKSON, M. A.
WHEN criminals have been convicted, and sent to the great goal of Philadelphia to undergo thelr punishment, it is expected of them that they should maintain themselves out of their daily labour; that they should pay for their board and washing, and also for the use of their different implements of labour; and that they should defray the expenses of their commitment, and of their prosecutions and their trials.* An account, therefore, is regularly kept against them; and if, at the expiration of the term of their punishment, there should be a surplus of money in their favour, arising out of the
*This Account is also extracted from Mr. Clarkson's Portraiture of Quakerism.
produce of their work, it is given to them on
An agreement is usually made about the price of prison-labour between the inspector of the goal and the employers of the criminals.
As reformation is now the great object in Pensylvania, where offences have been committed, it is of the first importance that the goaler and the different inspectors should be persons of moral character. Good example, religious advice, and humane treatment, on the part of these, will have a tendency to produce attention, respect, and love on the part of the prisoners, and to influence their moral conduct. Hence it is a rule, never to be departed from, that none are to be chosen as successors to these different officers, but such as shall be found on enquiry to have been exemplary in their lives.
As reformation, again, is now the great
object, no corporal punishment is allowed in the prison; no keeper can strike a criminal; nor can any criminal be put into irons. All such punishments are considered as doing harm. They tend to extirpate a sense of shame; they tend to degrade a man, and to make him consider himself as degraded in his own eyes: whereas it is the design of this change in the penal system, that he should be constantly looking up to the restoration of his dignity as a man, and to the recovery of his moral character.
As reformation, again, is now the great object, the following system is adopted. No intercourse is allowed between the males and the females, nor any between the untried and the convicted prisoners. While they are engaged in their labour, they are allowed to talk only upon the subject which immediately relates to their work. All un
* As cleanliness is connected with health, and health with morals, the prisoners are obliged to wash and clean themselves every morning before their work, and to bathe in the summer season, in a large reservoir of water, which is provided in the court-yard of the prison for this purpose.
necessary conversation is forbidden. Profane swearing is never overlooked. A strict watch is kept that no spirituous liquors may be introduced. Care is taken that all the prisoners have the benefit of religious instruction. The prison is accordingly open at stated times to the pastors of the different religious denominations of the place. And as the mind of man may be worked upon by rewards as well as by punishments, a hope is held out to the prisoners that the time of their confinement may be shortened by their good behaviour: for the inspectors, if they have reason to believe that a solid reformation has taken place in any individual, have a power of interceding for his enlargement, and the executive government of granting it, if they think it proper. In cases where the prisoners are refractory, they are usually put into solitary confinement, and deprived of the opportunity of working. During this time the expenses of their board and washing are going on; so that they are glad to get into employment again, that they may liquidate the debt, which, since the suspension