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Edited and Published by the Inmates. Entered at the Post Office at Stillwater Minn, as Second Class Mail Matter. Subscription Rates. THE PRISON MIRROR is issued every Thurs day morning at the following rates. One Year *I.OO Six Months 00 Three Montns 35 Single Copies 5 Subscriptions must be paid invinab v ■ vance. Advertising rates given upon application. Address. EDITOR PRISON MIRROR, Stillwater, Minn. TO THE PI BLIC. THE PRISON MIRROR is a weekly paperpub lished in the Minnesota state prison. All matter published in its columns is contributed by the inmates, except that properly credited. Its sup port must come from the outside as every inmate is given a paper without cost. It is published in the interest of the prison library and after paying for the printing outfit, contributed $l5O to the library fund the first year. Its objects are to en courage individual intellectual effort, provide a healthy journal for the inmates of this and other prisons, and, above all, to acquaint the outside world with the needs of the prison by reflecting its inner life and thus aid the cause of moral ad vancement and prison reform. The New York Voice is the most persist ent and earnest prohibition paper that comes to our table. If there were no fools in the world there would be no lawyers, no courts and no pris ons. So, you see, fools have produced many great men and institutions. The prison library is indebted to Mr. W. H. C. Folsom for a volume of his late book, “Fifty Years in the Northwest.” It is a large, handsome and valuable book, and is tilled with information of deep interest, es pecially to those who live in the Northwest. The inmates of the Sing Sing, N. Y., prison were allowed to celebrate New Year’s day. It was a truly happy day to one “life” man. who, by the grace of Gov ernor Hill, was permitted to return to his home and friends a free man. He had been in the prison eleven years. One of the cleanest and brightest little exchanges which comes to our table is The Prison Mirror, published by the inmates of the Minnesota state prison at Stillwater. It is a four column folio, well edited and neatly printed and is full of good advice to would-be “bad men” from experienced writers. It has for its object the very laudable one of advancing the prison li brary. SI.OO per year.—The Steele Ozone, Steele, N. Dak. Another name is added to the long list of innocent victims of circumstantial evidence. The name is that of John Stephenson who was hanged at Ft. Smith, Ark., after being convicted of the murder of Dr. J. \Y. Pyle and Mrs. William Kerr m the Indian Ter ritory in 1886. A few days ago a gambler, called “Minnie” Rogers, confessed the mur der on his death bed. It is to be supposed that the Chief Magistrate of the Infernal Regions will now have to grant a requisi tion for Stephenson. One of our local papers is considerably worked-up over the fact of us having had a pretty good time Christmas day. We are sorry that our neighbor begrudges us our little relaxation from the grinding monotony of prison life. It is true that we had abet ter dinner and better entertainment on that day than many worthy poor people out side of prison; but we venture to say there was not a man in this prison that day but would have gladly exchanged the luxuries received for the liberty and humble fare of the poorest man in Stillwater; nor do we be lieve there was a man in Stillwater who would have preferred to be one of us. even were there no disgrace to follow. The inmates of the Minnesota state prison were treated on Christmas to a min strel and specialty entertainment given by and for the said inmates. The show lasted three hours and was. The Prison Mirror assures us, a grand success. An interesting feature was that, when the curtain fell upon the last act. Warden Randall stepped up to the stage and thanked the men for their gentlemanly conduct during the day, and the men rose up and gave him three rous- ■ ■ ing cheers. The plan ot treating prisoners like men. maintaining a firm yet kindly disci pline, works well in Minnesota. We com mend Stillwater's example to the prisons of other states. —The Hatchet, Washing ton. D. C. A mother took her twelve-year-old son be fore the court in St. Paul the other day and requested the judge to send him to the re form school. She said he w’as an awfully tough character. The judge thought that five days in jail would be an adequate measure of justice for one so young. As the mother left the court room the con demned culprit broke down and wept and cried “Oh, mama, mama! I want to go to mama.” She returned and accompanied the officers to the jail with her “incorrigible” son. It is said that a sign of a tear glit tered in her eye and her lips trembled as she hurried away from the cries of her im prisoned offspring. It is safe to say the buy will be better treated in jail than he had been at home and will not act the calf the next time he is presented at court. With this issue ends the first year of our editorial experience. It seems a very short year for we have been in a hurry all the time. It has been the hardest year’s work w T e ever did. Many and many a time we have felt like resigning the position and re turning to the “stick and rule;” and we would have done so only that we hated to acknowledge ourself incapable of contin uous effort. We do not know whether we have kept the paper up to the mark at which it stood when it came into our hands, but we do know' that we have not spared ourself in the. effort to hold it up. What ever merit the paper has is due in great part to its contributors and the boys who have set the type, read proofs and done all in their power to assist. We have exper ienced many perplexities and vexations due. principally, to our own lack of sagaciiy; but on the whole it has been a profitable and agreeable experience. Some of our fellow-prisoners have occasionally reminded us that we are a “chump” (penitentiary for a smart fool,) a “sucker” (toady,)etc., etc., but this has been well offset by the many kindly compliments and encouraging words from others ot the boys. If we had made a paper that pleased all hands we would have accomplished more than was aimed at or desired. Mistakes we have certainly made, but we can truthfully say that we fell into them through ignorance or lack of foresight and not through an evil spirit. The press and the reading public generally have been universally liberal in judgment and patronage, and it gives us the truest happiness to be able to say that not one un favorable comment has come to our ears from the outside world. We did our best during the year gone by; we will do the same during the coming year, which we will begin by asking your assistance, without which we could accomplish little. PREJUDICE, AND NOT REASON, It is well known that there are persons who believe that imprisonment with hard labor is not sufficient punishment for per sons convicted of crimes. They would have the prison made a place of terror, the very thought of which would fill men with dread; they would have an ineffaceble brand placed upon the ex convict that would cause him to be driven out of the ranks of respectability to consort with the lowest on earth; they would ostracize his family and relatives; they would degrade him to the depths of human degradation, and, not intentionally, but necessarily, make Dim a helpless prey to that con temptible class who have nothing good in themselves to boast of and can claim no superiority except by comparing themselves with those who have been only less fortu nate in not escaping the consequences of their criminal acts. Of course they will not admit that they wish such consequences to follow imprisonment; but such was tiie result in the days when their theory of im prisonment was m popular practice. They do not profit by the experience of the past; they let prejudice override reason, and they oppose every effort looking toward a change of old systems. They predict an increase in crime and the eventual demoralization of IT IS A YEAR TO-DAY. ORJECTS. society as the conseqnences of doing away with a system of prison discipline that could only be maintained by methods de grading and brutalizing to both those who enforce it and those upon whom it is in flicted. They do not take into considera tion the effect such a system of treatment works upon the convict, who, sooner or later, will leave the prison to mingle with the people. They seem to forget that man is an impressible being, and that it is his nature to grow mean from prolonged mean treatment and mean surroundings, or good from good treatment and good surround ings. It is said that men are but children of a larger growth, and who would be so foolish as to expect to make a good man out of a boy by depriving him of every lib erty, punishing him for every slight devia tion from a set of rules that forbid him ex ercising the faculties with which his Creator has endowed him, and showing him by ev ery sign that the purpose is to degrade him? When it is desired to rear a boy into a noble manhood an effort is made to surround him with good examples and instill in him right principles. The same methods must be used to inspire the convict with the ambi tion to rise above his own level. It can no longer be denied that criminals may be reformed by humane treatment ac companied by mental and moral training. Those institutions where a plan has been introduced for treating the inmates as sus ceptible scholars instead of impressionless machines are accomplishing the purpose for which prisons are maintained —that is, they are protecting the public by changing crim inals into useful citizens. This plan is be coming popular and is being introduced in many prisons; old prison officials are los ing their partiality for the old system in favor of the new system as the different re sults have compelled them to acknowledge its superiority. But there is an element in all communities that opposes every step in the advance of prison reform. We would ask such persons if their ideas have not had along and frightful trial in the past and if when those ideas were in the fullest operation crime was not the most rampant? Look at England's experience. When she was hanging men, women and children for the most trivial crimes her criminal popula tion was on the most rapid increase. It was not until of late years—since she lias light ened the penalties of crime and begun using humane efforts to reform her convicts —that her criminal population has been on a steady decrease. Every reform meets with opposition and has to be carried through in spite of the pulling back of those who are fast in the ruts of prejudice. They would have the prison made a place wherein vengeance is measured out under the license of the law. They forget that violence begets violence and that most convicts become free men sooner or later when it will be in their power to exercise the spirit of retaliation that holds a place in the nature of all men. Most men have become more or less de graded before they commit the act which sends them to prison. If they are still far ther degraded while in prison can it be rea sonably expected that they will be better men when they come out of prison than when they went in? No person of any un derstanding would expect them to grow into better men without any effort being made to teach them right principles while shut away from the allurements of the world. The public should recognize in the treatment of criminals that many are not such by their own volition, but have been unfortunate in many ways; such as having been reared in homes where the princi ples of crime were instilled in their very natures; thrown into criminal associations before they had arrived at an age of dis cretion; surrounded by allurements to which the strongest of men have been known to yield. The wretched circumstances of these men’s lives have made many of them fatalists to the extent that they feel they are more sinned against than sinning; and the worse they are treated the more hope less they become and the lower they sink. The writer himself attributes his present — to him deplorable—circumstances to his having early in life —owing to poverty and the inability to succeed in undertakings— become, ignorantly,a believer in the doctrine of fatalism. Therefore we can appreciate' what a great many of our fellow-convicts have to contend against and also something of what they need to lift them up; and this is what we plead for—humane treatment, education and a general uplifting of the whole man during his imprisonment. If this is not done it would be better for the man, better for the public, that when he enters the prison the doors close on him forever. Don’t go to the opera house with a huge bonnet on your head, a little smaller than an ordinary church steeple, and then wiggle from one side to the other during the per formrnce, so that the person who sits be hind you can only see the three-foot vane on your hat. Don’t obstruct the sidewalk by the rule of three, with your hands in your pockets and your elbows at an angle of forty-five de grees. moving at a rate of five miles per hour. It is pleasant to a man who is in a hurry to get by these civilized incum brances. Don’t blow your nose on your fingers close to a neighbor in a chop house, who is just in the act of gobbling a piece of turkey. The tendency is like a ship to make him heave. Don’t giggle and laugh at poverty, or misfortune of any kind, for you may get there yourself, and then you will realize how good it is to be sneered at by the brutal rich! Don’t overflow spitoons with tobacco juice and obstruct hallways and carriage drives with huge cuds of tobacco over which horses stumble and men go down to death. Don’t sit where you can send all the smoke from your cigar into the eyes and nose and mouth of your delicate fellow passenger. It only shows your “broughten up.” Don’t be “stuck up.” “He who hum bleth himself shall be exalted.” He who climbs a lofty ladder based upon a poor foundation, often gets a fall. Don’t be a fool and get drunk w'hen you know you ought not to. When you have enough, say so with a big N. Don’t imagine you know it all. The shallow brook makes the most noise; the quiet brook is the deepest.—T. M. Newsou, in Midway News. The Way of the Transgressor is Hard. He was a dirty, big-fisted, blear-eyed, whisky-soaked bum, and as he sat on an empty beer-keg with his elbow on his knees and his unshorn chin buried in his palm, he meditated thusly: "If somebody would only take me by the hand—if some sweet woman would but place her little hand upon my arm, and looking up into my face with a winning, enrapturing smile, plead me to abstain from the use of intoxicants for her dear sake, 1 believe that I could rise from this degrad ing depth like a Phoenix from—” Just here an ample hand, rudely grasping his coat collar, dragged him from his resting place and a threatening voice exclaimed: “Phat! And are yez drunk agin and not six hours loose! Sure and it’s a foine, long vacation you’ll be afther gettin’ from his Honor this mornin’. Come along wid me. ye dhrunken Shpalpeen! Not a word, or I’ll bate the brain o’ ye.”—Texas Siftings. Siftings. Death sows many “weeds.” Small talk—the conversation of dwarfs. A drink that sailors like to make —home port. Woolly whiskers should be trimmed a la mutton chop. Cindarella found that a low menial posi tion lead to a hymenial one. Silence is golden: when the gold is coined, however, money talks. Eternal vigilance is the price of an oys ter at a church social. The original time lock—the one you are advised to take Time by. Has the papers to show it —a publisher whose journal doesn’t sell. Stocks, it is said, are bound to find their level. Is this because of the water there is in them? —Texas Siftings. “ Raw.” The following is what might be termed with no violence to perspicacity decidedly "raw.” The scene was a Fourth street barber shop; time, yesterday, 3p. m. A gentleman in a mink ulster sneezed twice, and glanced around guiltily. “Ah, yes,” said an acquaintance, “I see you have got la—” “Don’t do it!” remonstrated the sneezer, raising a gloved hand reprovingly. “Why. what’s the matter?” “Don’t load me up with that old chest nut.” “Opposed to chestunts, eh?” “Decidedly.” “Well, ail right, but seriously Mac’s down flat on his back with it.” “Mac who?” “McGinty.” —Pioneer Press. Won’t.