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Template:Report of the Commission Appointed to inquire into the Penal System of the Colony footnotes


^∗1 "Society prepares crime; the criminal is the instrument that executes it."—Quetelet.

^†1 The social environment is the cultivation medium of criminality; the criminal is the microbe, an element which only becomes important when it finds the medium which causes it to ferment; every society has the criminals it deserves.—Lacassagne.

^‡1 "Last year it was very seriously urged by the press to issue forecasts of 'increase of crime,' it being known that such an increase really takes place during some sorts of hot weather."—"Nineteenth Century."

1 The idea conveyed in the above paragraph, that the State itself may in a certain sense become a manufacturer of criminals, is to some extent novel, and fearing that our views on this might be misapprehended in some quarters, we were in some doubt whether we should give expression to them. But. by a curious coincidence, the London "Times" of February 6. of this year, about the date when we first drafted our suggestions on this point, expresses exactly the same idea in almost the identical terms of our first draft. The "Times" says:—"Parliament is constantly swelling the list of Petty Offences, saving this shall be punishable by fine, that by imprisonment, and, what is a still more fruitful source of so-called crime. Parliament authorising public bodies to make by-laws which convert into crime what does not necessarily shock the consciences of ordinary citizens. This point merits attention. The various societies for the amelioration of the Criminal Law could not do better work than bring home to Members of Parliament the prodigious rate at which they are multiplying offences." We need scarcely say that we cordially endorse these sentiments. The "Times" goes on to say:—"It satisfies the pride of public bodies to stamp as a crime that which is intrinsically trivial; but it is a mischievous perversion of the objects of criminal law. At the beginning of the century there were complaints as to the multiplication of judge-made misdemeanours; at the close of it there is stronger ground for deploring the excessive increase of statute-made offences." If these remarks be true of Great Britain they apply with infinitely greater force to Australia, where the various local Governments seem to vie with each other in multiplying laws for the purpose of "converting into crime what does not necessarily shock the consciences of ordinary citizens."

^‖1 Dr. Cleland, of Adelaide, puts this point very clearly when he says:—"Increased admissions to the prisons is a good index of the general prosperity of the masses. This, at first sight, may appear to he contradictory to a former statement that destitution is a breeder of the habitual offender. It is not so in reality. The crimes of prosperity are crimes of passion and of animal indulgence resulting from the unaccustomed handling of increased money. The crimes of adverse times are those resulting from organic degeneracy in the individual, and are an index of the degeneracy in the community. In prosperous times both factors are at work in adverse times only the latter."

^∗2 "A man of rank and fortune is the distinguished member of a great society, who attend to every part of his conduct, and thereby oblige him to attend to every part of it himself. He dare not do anything which would disgrace or discredit him in it, and he is obliged to a very strict observation of that species of morals, whether liberal or austere, which the general consent of this society prescribes to persons of his rank and fortune. A man of low condition on the contrary has his conduct observed and attended to by nobody, and he is therefore very likely to neglect it himself."—Adam Smith.

^∗3 "Good conduct, so-called, is a fallacious test."—Ferri.

^†2 "Imprisonment not only fails to reform offenders, but in the case of the less hardened criminals, and especially of first offenders, it produces a deteriorating effect."—Prisons Committee (England), 1895.

^‡2 "The habitual criminal is in far too many cases a product of prison treatment, a victim of vicious and unsound methods of dealing with the convicted population."—Morrison.

2 "I do not believe in very long sentences. I do not think they answer the purpose."—R. Fairbairn, R. M.

^∗4 "I do not approve of flogging at all in any case. I consider it has a degrading effect."—J. Lilly, J.P.

^†3 "I am not in favor of the dark cell treatment at all, except in aggravated cases."—J. Lilly, J.P.

^‡3 "I was not aware, until the Commission pointed it out, that dark cells were given in every case where I ordered bread and water."—R. Fairbairn, R.M.

3 "To men of any intelligence this monotonous labor is irritating, depressing, and debasing to the mental faculties; to those already of a low type of intelligence it is too conformable to the state of mind out of which it is most desirable that they should be raised."—Sir E. Du Cane.

^‖2 "I am a tailor, but for some years I have been turning a crank until I am nearly cranky myself."—Prisoner No. 10486. Question 37.

^∗5 "Imprisonment should be a gradual preparation for liberty. It should be organised on such a principle that the contrast between detention and liberty will not be too great when the day of liberation at last arrives."—Morrison.

^†4 "The distinction made by the use of the term 'imprisonment,' to denote sentences of two years and under, and 'penal servitude,' to denote sentences of two years and upwards, no longer has any significance, and it is misleading, for both classes of prisoners are undergoing 'imprisonment,' and are equally in a condition of 'penal servitude.' The only point to be kept in view is that the treatment should be adapted to the length of the sentence."—Sir E. Du Cane.

^†† "In our First Progress Report the period of six months separate treatment was suggested, but on maturer consideration we have arrived at the conclusion that the term of three months would be sufficiently punitive.

^‡4 "It is so obvious as hardly to require stating, that as persons who are earning a livelihood while free are competing with somebody or other, so it is perfectly reasonable that they should work, and therefore compete equally after being put in orison."—Sir E. Du Cane.
"It is better for the honest man that he should submit to the competition of even prison taught fellow craftsmen than that he should be the victim of their cupidity or criminality."—Queensland Commissioners.

4 "During this period he becomes open to lessons of admonition and warning; religious influences have full opportunity of obtaining access to him; he is put in that condition when he is likely to feel sorrow for the past, and to welcome the words of those who show him how to avoid evil for the future."—Sir E. Du Cane.

^‖3 In our First Progress Report we inclined to the opinion that the classification should follow the nature of the offence rather than the length of the sentence, and to this view we still adhere, subject, however, to the modification that, under a system of associated employment, classification must obviously generally follow the character of the work for which the men are best fitted.

 "Many of the disadvantages which attend the system of making prisons into manufactories are avoided by performing in them work required by the Government, and certainly work of this kind should be preferred to any other."—Sir E. Du Cane.

^∗∗ "I would certainly like to see any articles, which are now imported, and are the product of foreign prison labor made in our own prisons."—J. Lilly, J.P.

^∗6 "The importance of the public works executed by convicts since the system was introduced is exemplified at Portland, where this labor has been employed in quarrying the stone for the construction of the breakwater—a stone dam into the sea, nearly two miles in length, and running into water 50 or 60 feet deep. They have also executed the barracks and the principal part of the works of defence, batteries, casemates, etc., on the island, which may be considered impregnable to any mode of attack except blockade and starvation of the garrison. In executing these works every variety of mechanics' work necessary in building or engineering has been executed by convicts "—Sir E Du Cane.

^†5 "We are convinced that severe labor on public works is most beneficial in teaching criminals habits of industry, and training them to such employments as digging, road-making, quarrying, stone-dressing, building, and brickmaking—work of a kind which cannot be carried on in separate confinement. It is found that employment of this nature is most easily obtained by convicts on their release, since men are taken on for rough work without the strict inquiries as to previous character which are made in other cases."—Roval Commission on Penal Servitude. 1879.

^‡5 "It is the first few weeks of liberty which is the greatest danger for all prisoners "—Morrison.

^∗7 "Females are, as a rule, later in being subjected to reformative discipline than males, with the ultimate result that the discipline is less effective, when at last it has to be resorted to."—Morrison.

^†6 "Whether we look at the Old World or the New, we find that juvenile crime is a problem which is not decreasing with the march of civilisation. Every civilised community is confronted with it in a more or less menacing form."—Morrison. "Juvenile Offenders."

^‡6 "On our return from Tothill Fields Prison we consulted with some of our friends as to the various peccadilloes of their youth, and though each we asked had grown to be a man of some little mark in the world—both for intellect and honor, they one and all confessed to having committed in their younger days many of the very 'crimes' for which the boys at Tothill Fields were incarcerated. For ourselves, we will frankly confess that at Westminster School, where we had passed some seven years of ourboyhood, such acts were daily perpetrated, and yet if the scholars had been sent to the House of Correction instead of to Oxford and Cambridge to complete their education, the country would have seen many of our playmates working among the convicts in the dockyards rather than lending dignity to the Senate or honor to the bench."—Mayhew, London Labor and London Poor, 1862.

^∗8 "It strikes me that the terms of the sentences inflicted on the prisoners by the courts are much too long."—J. Lilly, J.P.

^†7 "The judge has no data on which to form an intelligent judgment of the degree of the prisoner's guilt; he is called upon to solve a most complex psychological problem, depending upon the prisoner's environment and training, on the prisoners strength of mind and power of moral perception, on the attendant circumstances tending to palliate or aggravate the crime, and on all these questions the judge is compelled to rely largely on his imagination or his unenlightened sympathies."—J. Day Thompson.

^‡7 "When the measure of punishment is fixed beforehand, the judge, as Villert says, is like a doctor, who, after a superficial diagnosis, orders a draught for the patient, and names the day when he shall be sent out of hospital, without regard to the state of his health at the time. If he is cured before the date fixed he must still remain in the hospital, and he must go when the time is up, cured or not."—Ferri

^∗9 The Committee appointed in England to report upon prison dietary scales says:—"It appears to us to be a self-evident proposition that imprisonment should be rendered as deterrent as is consistent with the maintenance of health and strength, whatever may be the sentence, and we think that the shorter the term of imprisonment the more strongly should the penal element be manifested in the diet."

^∗10 "I do not think that the clothing of any prisoner should be condemned or confiscated. It should be properly taken care of if the prisoner wishes to keep it."—J. Lilly, J. P.

^†8 "A van for the conveyance of prisoners ought to be provided between Fremantle and the prison."—G. B. Phillips, Commissioner of Police.

^∗11 "The ticket-of-leave regulations are a relic of the old convict system, and I do not think it is desirable that the efforts of a ticket-of-leave man to obtain honest employment should be thwarted, as they must be, more or less, by the intervention of the police, provided for by the regulations."—G. B. Phillips, Commissioner of Police.