OCR Interpretation

The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, July 16, 1912, Image 16

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1912-07-16/ed-1/seq-16/

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A man who writes under the
name of "Donald Lowrie" has re
cently issued a book telling us his
experiences, in San Quentin pris
on, Cal., a place made rather no
torious as the enforced residence
of Abe Reuf and the McNamaras.
We believe the book should be
placed in the hands of every state
legislator and every state prison
commissioner. Packed to the brim
with facts, with no false whine for
pity, but often with the saving
sense of humor, it nevertheless
constitutes a tremendous indict
ment of our prison systems and
our so-called civilization.
Penologists say prisons are
maintained in order that men who
commit offenses against society
may be made to see the error of
their ways and come out of dur
ance as future good members of
society. As a matter of fact, most
of our present prisons make
beasts of the prisoners and brutal
ize the keepers. 1 hey are poison
ous in every way.
So long as we lock men in nar
row cells with practically no ven
tilation and little cleanliness, so
long as we force them to eat food
under conditions that are disgust
ing, so long as we permit punish
ments that are savage, our boast
ed twentieth century is not very
far in advance of the tortures and
prisons of the middle ages which
we so love to call "dark."
The very beasts in the menag
eries are treated better than mast
inmates of state prisons. We will
begin to make men of offenders
against the law only when we be-
vense dumoerhc-'us! see voy fOu
melons w seft cooccAteeks vtro Now
if ,
gin to treat them as men. If we
continue to treat them as sayage
beasts they will continue to issue
from the grim wails ot our peni
tentiaries with a raging desire to
avenge themselves upon a society
which has taught them only the
hostile spirit of the law's ven
geance. o o
"What is your husband's favor
ite'fiction?" "He's xabout equally smitten
with the 'invalid-friend story' and
narrative." y
o o
Parties desiring signatures for
Taft's withdrawal petition should
not overlook that meeting set for
Chicago, Aug. 5.
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