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PRISONS BENEFIT IT AMUSEMENTS Inmate of Federal Prison Replies to Citizen Who Takes Exception to “Sentimental Ideas”—Acts as a Tonic for the Pris oner’s Health. AN AID TO DISCIPLINE In a recent issue of Good Words, the Federal prison paper printed at Atlanta; a taxpayer takes exception to amusements being introduced in prisons. We give the communica tion, and also the editor of that pa per’s reply to same. Editor, Good Words: I have been reading in your paper about your baseball, football, handball and other games; your sentimental ideas for easy discipline, and what you call the humane treatment of pris oners. Now that is all right from the prisoner’s view point, but it seems to me that the taxpayers and citizens ought to be considered as well. Suppose that a man were to break into my house and steal all the valuables and after having spent the money should come to me and say: “I will surrender myself, pro vided you will put me into some comfortable home for five years where 1 can get plenty of good food, lodge in a good room, with baseball games, moving picture and vaudeville shows whenever I feel like being amused, and given' easy work by which I can earn about half the cost of keeping me.” That is the doctrine that you are preach ing for the treatment of my robber. If the question of punishment was left to me I should tell him to re store the thousand dollars he stole, and if he could not square the ac count, I would have him suffer enough physical punishment to pay his debt in the only way left, and teach him not to break into my house again. How are we to discourage crime, if we reward the criminal with games and amusements and a gen eral good time in prison? Mr, Taxpayer: Your thousand dollars is gone, and if possibly you were permitted to “get even” by punishing the robber in your own way, don’t forget that he would make it his business to get even with you for his punishment, and it is not pleasant for a man of proper ty, who values above all his peace of mind and comfort, nor for a com munity of men like you, to be pur sued by a ruffian who has nothing to lose, and in whom the desire for re venge would be more powerful than the fear of punishment. If only you could kill your rob ber, you would be relieved of his menacing presence, and it would be better for him, for in heaven he would have a better chance, but al though this would square the ac count, and be a blessing to him, there are those who assert that he has a right to live, even if he does not live according to your code, and that the best way to destroy an en emy of society is to make him a good citizen. <3l Suppose it had been left to you to punish that robber, with the condi tion that you must administer it yourself. We very much doubt-if you would have found it satisfac tory. While your fit of rage was up on you, it would be a positive en joyment to shut him up in an iron cage, and starve and whip him, but you have a better nature and it would soon come to you that he is a human being, suffering as you would suffer, and you would end by hating yourself and pitying him. There is a modern theory that crime is largely the result of mental disease which can be cured and con troled when wisely and humanely treated. As a first step, the patient is isolated from all bis previous evil influences and surroundings, and placed where he can have the op portunity for reflection and repent ance. This is a severe and even dangerous treatment, for unless ju diciously administered, the patient may leave the institution in a worse condition than he arrived, with his criminal tendences strengthened and confirmed, instead of curbed or cured. The great curse of prison life is its mind and soul destroying monot ony. Feed a man continuously on the same food and his stomach will rebel, and he will sicken and die. From Good Word*. A Prisoner’■ Answer Tha Modern Theory Place a sealed tank of water over a tire and it will burst. Hence a saf ty-valve is provided. Subject a man to close confinement, where he has nothing to think of except his troub les, and his heart w T ill become a boiling cauldron of hate and re venge, and the safty-valve le to get him interested in something outside of himself, otherwise bis temporary disease becomes chronic and incur able. The plan for prisoners amuse ments and recreations is not a char ity nor a sentiment. It is a per scription known to be the only an tidote for the mental diseases and conditions that result from his situ ation and surroundings. It is a tonic for the mind, and a rest for the body, the necessity for which has always been accepted by, and for young and old everywhere, except for the man in prison, who of all men needs it the most. Aid to Discipline As an aid to discipline and incen tive to good conduct, the right to participate in the recreations and a musements is more powerful and persuasive in most cases, than all the promises or penalties of the pa role law and the good conduct law combined. The man who sits in his cell while his companions are enjoy ing themselves in the open air, feels the consequences of misconduct more keenly than he would feel the prospect of a few days of imprison ment added at the end of a long term. Without mental relaxation, moral teachings make no impression on the mind of the prisoner, and the office of chaplain might as well be abolished. Without the physical benefits of exercise, the prison phy sician may draw his salary, but he cannot earn it in results. If you. Mr. Taxpayer, were to visit our recreation grounds some afternoon, and saw your robber, with hundreds of his fellows, run ning, jumping, yelling and showing hearty enjoyment in the amusements provided for him and them, you would feel that he was beiDg re warded for stealing yonr money. You don’t want him to have a good time here. You want him to suffer, and this is the prevailing public sen timent that has dictated our prison policy; but we would have you re member that what you see are the evil thoughts, savage hatred, revenge and despair, escaping in noise and bodily action, which if bottled up might some day be vented on you or your friends, and you would share in paying the damage. Make* Better Men We want your robber to leave this institution in a better frame of mind than when he came here; oth erwise the first time that he is under the influence of his appetite, greed, or revenge, he will yield, even if the penalty is death, because he will not reason from cause to effect, but will be dominated by the feelings that have possession and control of him at the time. He does not think of the penalty. The humanizing effects of these recreation periods are felt, not only by the prisoners, but by the prison officials. Anything that will bring the men and their keepers into more intimate and friendly relations should be cultivated as an admin istrative measure. When people read of games and other amusements in prison, they picture the men as spending their time in frivolous pursuits, forgetting that such recreations are only inci dents in prison life, occupying at the most about five hours in a week. Suppose you, Mr. Taxpayer, were condemned to endure a dull tooth ache for five years, with liberty to spend your time as you pleased. To sit still and think only of that tooth would drive you crazy, and so, you would go about your business, and live your life more intensely than before, specially seeking every means to distract your mind into forgetfulness of the pain. Theatres, baseball, and picture shows might mitigate, but could not compensate for your punishment. People do come back to prison, but it is for other reasons than to enjoy the amusement features. McGRAW TELLS HOW “How to Play Baseball” is a book brought out by the. Harpers this week. The author is John J. McGraw, manager of the Giants, and in its pages he tells the essen tials of the game and how to play it suc cessfully. The book is intended for every boy or unprofessional player who desires to put a genuine professional excellence into his work. Every position in the held is gone over and McGraw gives careful direc tions for playing them and the game generally. OUR MOTTO* —“It Is Never Too Late to Mend.*' Stillwater, Minnesota. Tkursday, July 23, 1914. GROWTH OF HEMP IMPORTANT TO US Especially Interesting, Will This Article Concerning the Growth and Usage of Mexican Hemp be to The Boys Who Make Our Twine. YIELDS GREAT PROFIT By Hemp A very interesting article on the growth and usage of the Mexican Hemp Plant appeared lately in an exchange. We have extracted th, more interesting parts and give them to you for your information. We do not claim any credit or assume any responsibility for the informa tion. —Nature has given Mexico a plant which has been a blessing. The agave or century plant furnishes both Mexican peon and landlord with a host of the necessities and comforts of existence as well as profitable investment. The agave loves an area of serai-arid climate and is suggested by government specialists of the United States that there are some tens of thousands of square miles in western Texas and other southwes tern states, of little value for any thing else, where this plant would thrive and produce an immense rev enue. It is proposed to introduce the variety that produces that ixtle fibre, which is quite similar to a wild agave that is now growing today over a large area in Texas. The hemp from this, or even that from the native Texas agave, it is be lieved, would yield an enormous supply of binder twine and other cord and rope. The tremendous in crease during recent years in value of the agave fibre, with its maiu market in the United States largely among the farmers, give good prom ise of success for such an industry. The peninsula of Yucatan alone, in southern Mexico, now exports annu ally some 115,000,000 worth of hemp, from the agave sisalana. The sisal plantations are said to be exceeding ly profitable. Many Species Of all the many strange and re markable plants found in the Mexi can wonderland by Cortez and his followers, none excited more interest than the plant, next to Indian corn and potatoes, the most useful of the natural products of tropical America. There are about 150 different spe cies, of all sizes, and their hibitat ranges from the low coastal plains to 10,000 feet above sea level. The agave requires years for its develop ment and flowering and this has giv en rise to the popular name “century plant,” but it is doubtful if any species spend more than fifteen or twenty years in maturing. The most remarkable looking of the agaves is the huge, Maguey, the giant of the entire group, its great, fleshy leaves being sometimes nine feet long and weighing over 100 pounds each. Every plant bears from to 50 leaves around a masive, fleshy base and the largest plants weigh as much as two tons. The leaves of this giant plant spend all the years of their immaturity storing up quanti ties of sweet sap. At the expiration of this period the supreme moment of flowering and fruiting arrives and with marvelous rapidity the gigantic central flower stalk shoots up 30 to 50 feet. The stalk is sometimes a foot in diameter at the base, the up per portion branching like a won verful candelabrum, bearing white flower clusters, while bright-colored birds and insects sin the nectar. After the seeds form, the hugh leaves and the base having exhausted themselves in this final effort, wither and die. On the pulque plantations the plant is not allowed to flower, but the leaves are tapped regularly for their juices. Has Many Uses The uses of the different species and parts of the agave are almost legion. The fleshy bases of many kinds are roasted and eaten, some what resembling sweet potatoes, the hearts of other kinds are boiled and eaten like artichokes; the flower stalks were formerly used by the Indians for lance and the larger ones are still used as house rafters and for fences, while the broader leaves are employed to thatch the houses. One species furnishes a remarkable soap; the Mexican women prize it for washing their hair which it makes soft and glossy. It removes stains from delicate fabrics and does not shrink flannels. The ancient Aztecs utilized the agave leaves for making a remarka bly tough paper upon which they painted in brilliant colors their pic tured historical records. Some of these manuscripts still exist in col lections, and both the colors and the paper appears to be little affected by the lapse of centuries. Commer cial manufactured paper from this useful plant, ranging from the coars est cardboard to the finest while let iter paper, is all characterized by unusual toughness and durability, some grades almost equalling parch ment. The agave is a ready-made thread and needle of the Mexican Indian. He will break loose a thorny point of an agave leaf and stripping it away with some of the attached fibers will have a sharp and stout needle already threaded for use. Tbe fibers of the Pulque Maguey are very soft and silky. They were woven by the Aztecs into soft, deli cate garments, often brilliantly col ored with native dyes and so hand somely embroidered as to excite tbe admiration of the Spanish invaders. LOOK WHERE YOU STEP. The Street Car Man Advises Friends To Not Carry Pins Around “Let me give you a tip. Don’t : you wear no darnin’ needle any | where about your clothes. “Did you read all the trouble that poor guy in Newark got into seftin’ next to a young woman in a show one night, and when she got sick at her stummick an’ didn’t like his looks she had him pinched for try in’ to put snake poison into her with a darnin’ needle? ‘He must ’a’ been guilty, ’cause he tried to brave it out. But th’ police had him dead to rights. He was a dark skinned fellow an’ had snaky hair. That proved he come from South America an’ had snake poison. When th’ cops couldn’t find any needle on him they went back to th’ show after th’ people all got out an’ said they found a darnin’ needle. Th’ drug doctors couldn’t find no poison on it, but shucks! so many people had step ped on th’ needle, th’ poison had all wore off. “Th’ judge wasn’t gonna let no poison needle white slaver get by him. He chucked th’ man into jail an’ said it would take 12000, to get him out. ’Course that was right. Th’ fellow’s lucky not to get hung. “Lizzie says she’s afraid to let me go to work any more. She says they’ll pinch every family man go in’ around alone. Most of ’em is sure to have a safety pin stickin’ un der his coat collar. “My old granddad used to cuss about the judges an’ preachers who threw old women in th’ pond to drown ’em ’cause they was witches. If you looked cross-eyed at a fellow he had you pinched for ha’ntin’ him. “You better take ail th’ pins out o’ your coat or you’ll go to jail ’fore you get home. “Howard avenue! Have your tickets ready! “Let ’em off first, please!” “Look where you step!” NO POISONED NEEDLE. The “poison needle” theory was given the quietus by the Journal of the American Medical Association. It says: “A woman goes to a moving pic ture theatre, enters a crowded ele vator, a street car or elevated train, or is caught in the press of a crowd. Suddenly she sees, close beside her, our old friend the ‘mysterious stranger’ with the piercing black eyes and the compelling manner. “At the same time she feels a sting, and knows that she has been stabbed with a poisoned needle. She immediately becomes uncon scious, dazed or irresponsible for a greater or less period of time, dur ing which she experiences a number of marvellous adventures or hair breadth escapes. “It can be said very positively that there is no drug known to sci entific men which could be adminis tered in the manner, or which would produce the effect, described in the recent newspaper reports.” BRIDGET'S REPLY "Do you know, Bridget, I can actually read my name on the dust on that table!’’ Bridget’s ready Irish wit was not for a moment nonplussed. "Faith, ma'am, and it’s more than I can do. Shure, there’s nothin* like edication, after all!’’ —Pearsons’ Magazine, But if the ambition of personal success and the hope of political preferment operate in selfish minds to the wrong of individuals unfor tunately placed in the matter of de fence —the moneyless and friendless fare ill indeed against the batteries of state or federal courts —what is the remedy? The sovereign rem edy of all, “do unto others as ye would that others do unto you,” is too remote from the spirit of this age. One less ideal and more prac ticable and yet not unallied to it is proposed in the article from which quotation is made above. Mr, May er 6. Goldman, a prominent mem ber of the New York bar, is advoc ating the appointment of Public Defenders for the different cities, at a sufficient salary paid by the state, each Public Defender to be “a sworn public servant, and have in the courts a standing as definite ANOTHER PLEA FOR PURLIC DEFENDER The Demand for Efficient Counsel for Ac cused Men is Spreading from Coast to Coast—Defending Attorney is Sure to Come. WOULD PROTECT POOR By E. A. B, Edward Marshall, an accomplish ed wnter and a newspaper man of long; and varied experience, says in an article occupying a page of the New York Times : “Not many years ago the War den of a great prison told me of his solemn and unalterable belief that more than ten per cent of the pris oners under his charge had been convicted and sentenced to impris onment for crimes of which they were not guilty.” Probably there is not a peual in stitution in this country the War den of which could not with equal positiveness make a sim ilar declaration today. Any one in the least acquainted with the his tory of penology is aware that the main dependence of criminal pro cedure, circumstantial evidence, has in a dismaying number of in stances consigned innocent persons to death or its hardly less dreadful alternative, the anguish of indefinite and sometimes torturous imprison ment. The pointing finger of sus picion has sufficed to send many men to the gallows or the rack, for time was when the law was only too ready to apply the adage “give a man a bad name and you may as well hang him.” Those having the responsibility of enforcing the laws often develop a zeal of prosecution that blinds them not only to the moral obliga tions of their trust but to the sanc tities of human rights. It might be supposed that hardly any crime is more abhorent than the ambition that measures its success by number of convictions it is adroit enough to obtain, by the artful use of evidence from which dispassionate justice would recoil. Loosely Framed Laws Loosely framed laws which admit of an interpretation not intended by the legislators who enacted them, serve the purposes of cunning to enmesh those who never so much as dreamed of criminal act or conniv ance. It is not to be denied that in recent years there has been a ver itable passion for the chase of hum an quarry. The one time axiom of law, that “every man is assumed to be innocent until he is proven guil ty,” —one of the humanities of the early effort to transform the savage impulse into rational procedure, — has become perverted in the actual practice of courts. Now the pre sumption is that accusation by in dictment is evidence of crime, and the burden is upon the defendant to prove his innocence. This, and the modern usage of disregarding “intent” by simple process of as cribing “intent,” and proceeding as if the mere allegations were con clusive, place the defendant at a disadvantage from the very outset by depriving him of benefits which it is the moral duty of a prosecutor, anxious only for exact justice, to secure to him, for it should not be forgotten that essentially the func tion of the prosecutor is no less to withold the innocent from legal damnation, than to fix the pen alty of the law apon the guilty. The Remedy as that of the public prosecutor, and at the service of all persons charged with crime who are finan cially unable to retain for their de fence competent counsel.” Happily this proposal has the ap proval of a great many lawyers and judges, to the extent that it is likely to come under legislative considera tion as a constitutional amendment in the state of New York. Obvious ly this provision would be of incalcul able benefit to the unfortunates of legal pursuit who are too poor to engage counsel of the ability and importance, to cope with the pres tige, power and treasure at the back of the prosecutor. The Public De fender, having an equal standing in court with the prosecutor, having at his command the same resources tor the discovery of evidence and the array of witnesses, would auto matically counteract the unfair ad vantage of the state m that subtle influence, upon the jury in advance of evidence which is now so mark ed an asset of governmental prose cutions. With a Public Defender of earnest purpose, ample qualifica tions and honorable pride of office, the possibilities of improper con victions could be greatly minimized if not altogether removed. The at titude of the judges could not be other than helpfully affected by so nearly a disinterested defence as that by a responsible State officer not the especially employed attor ney of the accused. The plan not only makes for a nearer approach to just dealing in criminal procedure, but it is oracu lar of the spirit of the age which is beginning to write into the consci ousness of sane humanity the fact that man, however mean his condi tion materially or intellectually, is something of vaster importance than a mere pawn in the game of life, to be sacrificed or protected as suits the advantage of competing players. Possibly the creation of a Public Defender will tend in time to rea wakening the public conscience to a solemn regard of the legal tenet — which is in reality a divine inspira tion —that it is better, socially, mor ally, that ten guilty men escape than that one innocent man be unjustly condemned. It is not gracious in the sight of gods or men that a zeal of prosecution clamor for convic tion in disregard of all the conse quences of conviction. Criminal courts should be unprofaned by the virus of selfish ambition. But if ambitions must contend, let the state at least see to it that the defendant has a fair chance in the game. — Good Words. If you think the world is not using you as it should don’t undertake to force the world to change its course. The world is a great deal stronger than you and a great deal more likely to do right. The world will knock you down many times when it should raise you up, no doubt; but if you think your course out very carefully before you start and then go slow, you’ll find that the old world is a great deal better than people are apt to give it credit for. You are indignant perhaps at the injustice which you meet every day and you feel hot and restless and are apt to go a little too fast at times. But if you’ll think to slow up and reason when you meet barriers to your pro- gress, and not try to run over them, you won’t be likely to have barked shins and bruised bones at the end of your journey. You’ll find that some one else will often get the su- gar plums that belong to you; but keep cool and go slow or you’ll lose not only your sugar plums but your chance of getting others in the fu ture. It’s a terrible thing to have to keep cool under injustice. Of course it is: but you cannot straight en out your own bones by breaking those of others. And then, if you should find out that you have been wrong after all when you think that everything has gone back on you, and your dearest rights have been trampled on, don’t lose your grip but keep cool, think it all out and then go slow. —Exchange. "Why, look here,” said the merchant who was in need of a boy, "aren’t you the same boy who was in here a week ago?” “Yes, sir,” said the applicant. "I thought so. And didn’t I tell you then that I needed an older boy?” “Yes, sir. That’s why I’m back, I’m older now.” iBBTC ■ sot.. . Vol. XXVII: No. 51 Approved by Judges Insures Just Dealing DON’T LOSE YOUR GRIP AGED.