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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/670

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

gard to profitable results to the State, we can return each year a surplus into the State treasury. We do not think that the State should refrain from working its convicts or utilizing its advantages because it may have some effect upon other businesses. All over the United States prisoners are engaged in manufacturing, and our investigations lead us to believe that the effect of prison competition, so called, is greatly overestimated."

The biennial report of 1894—'95 and 1895-'96 returns to the subject, states that the jute mills can not be a success under the restrictions

PSM V54 D670 Folsom state prison.jpg
Folsom State Prison.

of the present law, and urges that they should be run on a business basis, for a profit. It continues, "One source of profit would be to make use of the granite owned by the State" (at Folsom). It suggests a consolidation of the two prisons at Folsom, where, with prison labor and free power, and granite on the ground, a model prison could be constructed. Warden Aull, of Folsom Prison, in discussing the subject in 1896, said that for nine years the improvements there have employed the convicts, but now some new scheme must be devised. "The convicts must be kept at work. Every consideration of discipline, economy, reformation, and health demands this." But he believes that it will not pay the State to make shoes, blankets, clothing, brooms, tinware, etc. (as has been suggested at various times) for the eight thousand inmates of our State institutions. There are over two thousand convicts at Folsom and San Quentin. Only a