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i ... ! * VOL. VIII.— No. 52 ONE DEED One deed may mar a life. And one may make it; Hold Arm thy will for strife. Lest a quick blow break it! Even now from far on viewless wing Hither speeds the nameless thing Shall put thy spirit to the test. Haply, or ere von sinking sun Shall drop behind the purple West And shall be lost—or won! —Richard Watson Gilder PRISON MANAGEMENT. address of warden WOEFER REFORE THE DISTRICT CONVEN TION OF THE W. C. T, IT. OF STILL WAT ER A CLEAR AND CONCISE STATE MENT OF THE SUBJECT. Prison management has undergone tuanv changes for the better in the last few years. Students of penology, as a ■whole, have taken a more active in terest in the progress of reformatory measures. This is evidenced by the advanced thoughts expressed on prison reform at each recurring session of the National Prison Congress. It is gen erally admitted that good discipline is the most important factor in the proper administration a prison. Without it the fundamental principles of all true reform are wanting. A loose disregard of moral responsibility, intemperance with all its kindred evils, and habitual idleness generally go be fore and most always lead into crime. A system of discipline that will tend to eradicate these distempers is vitally necessary to a successful treatment. Prison discipline, in order to be re formatory, in efi'ect, must be enforced without harshness but with firmness and impartiality. Individual respon sibility should be so firmly established as to make a lasting impression upon the mind of the wrong-doer. He should be made to feel and to under stand the meaning of the word liberty with all its manifold blessings. Under its guiding influence the prisoner should be required to labor diligently; to be cleanly and orderly in his habits: to be mindful of and kindly disposed toward his fellow prisoners; to be habitually watchful and discreet at his labor and in his studies. Physical and mental tasks should be resorteil to when nec essary to bring out diligent and in dustrious effort. A rigid course of schooling should be invariably given to the illiterate, with such library pro visions for all as will tend to elevate and direct their minds to a higher plane. The essence of all government is in the good it yields to its governed mem bers. Prison government, like all governments, should be established with a view of yielding the greatest good to the largest number. Its laws should be rational and humane, never arbitrary or capricious. Its laws should be (irmly enforced, but with such a spirit of fairness as to gain the good will and loyal support of all its well disposed members. No govern ment is safe without the support of its best citizens. No prison government is safe without the support of its best prisoners. Prison government that does not have the support of the well disposed prisoners is a lamentable failure. The grading and parole sys tem, under proper disciplinary man agement, opens up a lield in prison management that promises much good. After some years of experience, I can give it as my earnest opinion that no just and humane system of prison discipline can be inaugurated without it. The elements of a prison popula tion are not wholly unlike those found in the outside world. The inmates of our prisons eat, sleep, feel and act within their prescribed limits very much according to the same rules of action as people who live in the outside world and have more of that prized commodity called freedom. Hope, fear, ambition and other kindred emotions are not strangers, even in a prison cell. This is strikingly true if the prison is managed so as to bring its best elements into expression. 1 have seen some wonderful changes in the lives and character of men while undergoing imprisonment. I call them men because they proved themselves such after their discharge from prison. Our ability to govern wisely the in mates of our penal institutions must depentf upon our proficiency in inaugu- rating a system of discipline that will bring into action the best elements a prisoner has in him. The very atmos phere and tone of the prison should encourage the prisoner to overcome his evil tendencies and stimulate him in his efforts to raise himself in the scale of manhood. Every honest effort he puts forth to improve himself should be recognized and rewarded. This can be done to a large extent through the judicious use of the grading and parole system. It surrounds the prisoner with conditions that constantly appeals to his better nature. He cannot but see and must recognize in it a means for the accomplishment of much good. It has been my experience that when- ever you find a prisoner that does not take kindly to it you will find a hard ened criminal who opposes it be cause he feels that the system is a deadly blow against the perpetuation of a criminal career. He knows that the successful carrying out of the principles involved in the grading and parole system is gradually opening up the way for the final introduction of the indeterminate sentence, and that with it, the time will come when he will be sent to prison, not for a speci fied term, as at present, but until he is cured, or until it shall appear that it is reasonably safe to trust him again with his liberty. The parole system and in determinate sentence is gaining in favor very fast. All of the leading students of penology favor it. I be lieve that ours is the only state prison in the United States that has the grad ing and parole system now in practical operation. The best prison men of the United States, however, are taking an active interest in it. The sentiment in its favor is growing so fast that it has been decided by the executive com mittee of the National Prison Congress, that this subject shall be the principal one discussed at our next annual meet ing in Denver. A number of the states are now considering the advisability of introducing it into their prisons. Hardly a week passes that does not bring representatives from other states to investigate the result of its work ings in our prison. In my opinion one of the greatest dangers to the success ful management of the grading and parole system is the danger of laxity in carrying out its provisional safeguards. If carelessly administered it will soon grow into disrepute. Of this lam I thoroughly convinced. A careful and vigilant supervision should follow the prisoner wliile he is on parole, relaxed only when he has demonstrated fully his purpose and ability to lead an honest and self-supporting life. Since the inauguration of the grading and parole system in our prison, three years ago, we have paroled 117 men. Six (6) only out of this number have been brought back to prison for violating I their paroles. We have net a single “IT IS NEVER TOO EATE TO MEND.” STILLWATER, MINNESOTA, AUGUST 1, 1895 fugitive today out of the whole num ber. Only one attempted to escape the consequences of a broken parole by running away. After a two months search he was finally captured in South Dakota and returned to prison. He is still with us. Eleven (11) prisoners were paroled at the last meeting of the board of managers. We succeeded in finding places for all of them inside of fifteen (15) days thereafter. 1 have found the public generally very ready to give work to paroled prisoners es pecially during seasonable times of the year. 1 believe the inauguration of a pris oners’ aid society to work in conjunc tion with the management in securing places for discharged and paroled prisoners, and watching over them after their release, would be product ive of much good. I believe this matter has received some attention by the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. I hope you will continue to agitate and discuss the subject until a prac tical working organization is accom- plished. I saw in a newspaper a short time ago that the 'Woman’s Christian Temperance Union had passed a res olution favoring the establishing of a home for discharged prisoners. I hope you will bear with me while speaking very plainly upon this subject. lam not at all in sympathy with such a movement. I beWera home for dis charged prisoners would do more harm than good. I speak not only from my observations of the effects of this sys tem put in practice in another state, but from my knowledge of the make up of the men discharged from prison generally and the bad effects produced by bringing them together where they can associate together without re straint. 1 care not how well regulated the home. It will do more harm than good. Among other evils it will stim ulate a spirit of unhealthy dependence. It will bring evil elements together that will develop into further crime. Do away with conditions that suggest to you the need of a home for dis charged prisoners and you will have practically solved the problem. This can be done by requiring by law that no prisoner shall be released from prison (unless to leave the state) until employment is found for him. He should not be released duringthe winter months unless employment is assured for the entire winter season. The du ration of imprisonment generally, whether long or short, should be gauged so as to terminate during the season of the year when his chance for a successful start in life is at the highest point. 1 believe that the in discriminate discharge of prisoners in midwinter in this severe northern climate is one of the most prolific causes of recidivism. This state has enacted some wise and beneficent laws for the governing of her criminal classes, and in providing for them in various ways upon their release from prison. She has done more than any other state in the Union. Of tho 36 not heretofore spoken of I will mention the following: Good time earnings, which amount from eight (8) to twelve (12) cents per day while they are in prison. This provides them with some means upon their re lease from prison. The appointment of a state agent whose business it is to look up work for discharged and pa roled prisoners. While the office of the state agent has not borne the good fruit hoped for thus far, I believe it can be made to do so under proper organization in connection with a prisoners’ aid society. The success of our parole system, as well as the fate of unconditional discharged prisoners must depend upon the way they are handled and provided for after they leave the prison. If they are properly looked after and encouraged many substantial reforms will be accom plished. On the other hand, if the prisoner is neglected or ignored when he comes out of prison, our best efforts will prove a failure. CRIME AND CRIMINALS The above subject has been, almost uninterruptedly, the one continuous theme of Mirror contributors since the time of its (The Mirror's) incep tion, and to its many intelligent read ers the subject has no doubt become monotonous, and, in a literary sense, nauseous and threadbare. While it is not my purpose to reiterate upon this much mooted question, I want to say right here, that within the scope of the numerable theories, opinions, doc trines and dogmas thus advanced, I have as yet failed to distinguish a clear, pointed and satisfactory detini tion of this great question, based upon natural and historical facts. It has been repeatedly argued that crime is a disease and criminals a class of in dividuals of unusual, unnatural and abnormal growth or degenerated from a viscious parentage, mental defect ives. etc. It appears to me that these penologists and promulgators of mod ern theories could not have conceived a more senseless and absurd set of arguments than has been used in the construction of these ceaseless reitera tions upon “crime and criminals, which leads me to the conclusion that the authors of these alleged arguments have not been strictly honest and frank in their writings, and the nat- ural presumption that the same has been vaunted more for effect than for any absolute facts which they con tained. All history teaches us that crime is a natural, not an abnormal heritage of man which has been handed down to him since the beginning of the world. It is, so to speak, a natural science, in like sense, as art, literature, medicine, politics, finance and the thousand-and-one other natural herit ages of mankind, hence, theorize as we may, the fact remains that crime is and must be ranked as a trade, a pro fession, pure anti simple; a profession whose membership is far more num erous than that of all other trades and professions combined; for remember, in defining the word crime we must embrace the glaring frauds and decep tions of the whisky trust, the sugar trust, the bond steal, beef combines, leather trust, pine land rackets, adul teration of foods, medicines, drugs, clothing, guarantee loan frauds, insur ance swindles and the countless mil lions of deceptions, swindles and frauds which has ever been and un ceasingly continues to be practiced upon mankind, in order to give the word crime its true and proper defini tion. Therefore the profession of crime, so far as the fact of fraud and swindling is practiced, embraces all other trades, professions and follow ings, and though it be said to their everlasting shame, there are few trades or professions extant which did not, to a lesser or greater extent, add their reg ular quoto to the professions of crime and so far became members of that monstrous and ungodly profession- Crime is also the most intricate, diffi cult and hazardous of all the known trades and professions, to master. To practice it successfully, requires more j energy, more brains, more diplomacy I and more cash capital than any other trade or profession conceived or fol lowed by any member of the human race. In the two words, “crime” and “criminal” there is a great distinction, that is to say, as the two words are usually known and commonly used. In the latter sense a person does not be come a criminal, the disease and ab normal growth theories are not advanced until he has been convicted of crime and safely landed in prison, | therefore the true definition of the I “criminal” as the world interprets, un derstands and uses the term, is plainly and purely as follows. Yiz: A criminal.—A man or person who has made a complete or partial failure in his or her endeavors to practice the in- -Tcdiwio. * sl-00 per year, in advance ifcKMb.- ( sji X Months 50cents. tricate profession of crime. It is a well known and authenticated fact that if a person enters into the ranks of the profession of law, medicine, art or even gambling, and fails to make a reasonable success of his perhaps un wisely chosen profession, he is ignomini ously dubbed a pettyfogger, quack, dauber and tin horn, and thus it is in regard to the profession of crime, those who have been caught, convicted ancl cast into prison, have thus proved and demonstrated beyond a peradventure their total inability to follow with any degree of success the intricate pro fession of crime, they are simply the pettyfoggers, quacks, daubers and tin horns following in the wake of this monstrous and ungodly profession, and any man who has thus repeatedly failed and demonstrated his lack of ability to follow this or any other un wisely chosen profession, without any show or even shadow of success, and who stubbornly and persistently con tinues to follow the same, regardless of past warnings and future conse quences, is simply and irrevocably a fool. Old Zero. KLEPTOMANIACS ()ne hundred thousand dollars, a place in seemingly swelled aristocratic so ciety and ever ready to grab valuables in sight, are necessary qualifications of a successful kleptomaniac. Without these, a person, in the eyes of the law, is a thief. Xo one seems to have stopped to consider this thoroughly, yet the truthfulness of the above as sertion soils the purity of our laws the world over. On the one hand, we see a young lady of—supposed—high char acter, daughter of wealthy parents, going into a store and, when the oppor tunity presents itself, she innocently and without any intent whatever to do wrong or of violating any law, steals a diamond ring worth perhaps one hundred dollars. As luck has it she is detected, but on account of her re spectable parents and their money con siderations, she is released without the slightest blame or blemish to her pure, unsoiled reputation. On the other hand, a poor young lady, also of re spectable parents and of pure character, is caught stealing a pair of gloves which she was in need of and unable to buy. Is she, too, released and un blamed because of her respectable parents and because her assistance at home may be an absolute necessity ? She appears before a police judge to whom she tells her pitiful story of want, but his “honor” has forgotten his ear-trumpet, and consequently hears but little of her tale of woe. With an air of universal authority he replies: “Thirty dollars or thirty -days in the work-house,” and with this the curtain drops and the first act of the drama has closed. With a cry of des pair this unfortunate falls to the lloor, conscious of the stigma now attached to her blasted reputation. She is a thief; the other a kleptomaniac. Where is that justice which should be meted out alike, regardless of person or stand ing? Again, echo answers, “where?” Kleptomania is a farce, a bulwark to shield the unworthy, and should not be recognized in our courts of justice. Maniacs should be confined in an asylum and should not be permitted at large where they may at leisure injure their fellow-men. The usage of the old saying, “steal a loaf of bread to keep you from starving and you are a thief, but steal a million dollars for the con tinuation of your pleasure and you are a kleptomaniac,” weuld then be for gotten for all time. Crispin. Never bear more than one kind of trouble at a time. Some people bear three kinds —all they had, all they have now, and all they expect to have. Philadelphia (Pa.) Saturday Evening Post.