« PreviousContinue »
IN CONVENTION, Feb. 27, 1868.
Resolved, That there be printed, in addition to the number already printed, a sufficient num. ber of copies of the debates, documents and journals, to furnish each of the members with three copies ; and also one copy each to the Mayor and the members of the Common Council of the city of Albany, and one copy each to the State Law Libraries at Rochester and Syracuse, the law libraries of the several judicial districts, the Law Institute, the Astor Library, and the New York Historical Society in the city of New York, and the Young Men's Associations of the cities of Albany and Troy.
LUTHER CALDWELL, Secretary.
diminishes their own happiness, that roguery, injin this stage is cheered by the occasional visits every case, is a losing game. When we have of a teacher who gives him plain and practical done this, and when we have placed the means instruction and who encourages every germ of of obtaining an honest living in their hands, we effort which he may put forth to attain to a better may reasonably expect that our work will be understanding of his duties, and to a better reguaccomplished, and that our criminals will be re-lation of his conduct. He is in this stage under a turned to society better men and useful citizens. very rigid coercion, but there is still considerable Again, we have the large class whose crimes are scope left to him for the exercise and discipline attributable to feebleness of the will. In these of his volitions. He can violate the rule which cases the indication is to strengthen its power. imposes silence. He may fail to accomplish his The space-penetrating power of the sailor's and appointed daily task. He may waste the material the hunter's eye is enlarged by the constant upon which he is set to work. He may use abuuse of the organ; the muscles of the ballet sive language to his keeper or teacher. He may dancer's legs and of the blacksmith's arms are neglect personal cleanliness, and in several other enlarged and strengthened by constant exercise; ways ho may manifest a defiant and unsubdued the brain of the philosopher is enlarged in volume spirit. An accurate set of daily marks is kept and in power by habitual and vivid thought, and showing the exact progress of the prisoner in selfsuch is the universal law of nature. It is as truo control which it is the main object of this stage in the moral as in the physical world, and a of imprisonment to cultivate. When the prisoner course of moral gymnastics will be found as enters the solitary cell he learns that the duration efficient in invigorating the affections as physical of his imprisonment will be determined by his gymnastics are in increasing the force of the obtaining a certain number of marks. Every day muscles. The method to be adopted in these of perfect good behavior adds to the amount of cases is not to subject the prisoner to a rigid ex. the marks. Every day of misconduct not only ternal coercion, which supersedes all necessity of gives no addition to the sum of marks, but in volition on his part, and which actually paralyzes proportion to its malignity the marks already the small amount of will power that he actually accumulated are taken away. In this way the possesses, but he will be subjected at first duration of this penal stage is fixed by the prison. 10 small and nicely-graduated temptations, er himselt. If disposed to be rebellious, he can which, if yielded to, is met with immediate and indulge in his disposition as long as he likes, if he just punishment. As the prisoner gradually ac- desires to protract his term of discomfort, his quires the mastery over himself, under this pro keeper is quite patient and allows him to do so, cess, the temptations are increased and the process but after a while, when he sees one after another is continued until at last the power of resisting who entered the prison passing into higher and temptation is fully acquired. The practical modes less penal stages of imprisonment, the most hardby which these objects are accomplished were ened and rebellious finally yield and set themoriginally suggested by Captain Maconchie, but selves in good earnest for the first time to cultivate were greatly improved and simplified by Sir babits of obedience and self-control. When these Walter Crofton, under whose auspices the system habits are acquired, and not until then, he passes was brought into operation in the Irish prisons. into the second stage Here he is situated, The result in these prisons has for a series of in many respects, like the prisoners in our State years been 80 successful and so truly reformatory, prisons, he is confined in a solitary cell at night, even when applied to the very worst of men, that but during the day he works in association with it has overcome all opposition and has commended other prisoners. The utmost attention is paid in itself to the approval of all thinking men. Sir this stage to his moral and intellectual training. Walter has recently been transferred to England, He is supplied with books of an interesting and where, under the full sanction of the govo instructive character. The utmost care is taken ernment, he is gradually introducing the system to ascertain the weak points of his character, which has proved to be so successful in Ireland. which havo led him into crime, and the main The Irish system, as this is called, may be briefly stress of the instruction and discipline is directed described as follows: There are certain general to strengthen and vivify these weak faculties. features in the plan which are applicable to all Competent teachers are employed to instruct him prisoners of all kinds, classes and idiosyncrasies, in all those matters which will fit him to acquit but these are modified with respect to intensity himself well in the battle for life by honest and and duration, so as to adapt themselves to the reputable methods. This stage is divided into specialties and individualities of each particular three classes, and the prisoner, on emerging from case. Every part of it is carefully adjusted to the penal stage, enters the third and lowest class. cultivate habits of self-control on the part of the His continuance in each of these classes is gradu. prisoner; his treatment is exactly determined by ated by his own progress; he must remain in his own conduct
, and he is thus, to a very con- each until he has acquired the amount of knowl. siderable extent, made the arbiter of his own fate. edge and the system of habits which that class is Every prisoner passes through four separate designed to inculcate. If he is loug in doing stages, each stage being divided into steps. The this, his stay is long. If he does it quickly, he first stage is in the highest degree penal, and is soon rises into a higher class and remains in this an object of great dread to all classes. Each until he has fully acquired all that the discipline prisoner is confined in perfect solitude in a sepa. of that class is intended to accomplish, when he rate cell. He is kept constantly to the hardest enters the first or highest class, where the sanje labor, dressed in the coarsest raiment and fed on process is repeated. The powerful influence of the most unsavory food. Yet his solitude even Hope is thus brought into exercise. He has a