« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
PRISONS AND PRISONERS,
THE PREVENTION OF CRIME.
JOSEPH KINGS MILL, M.A.,
CILAPLAIN OF PENTONVILLE PRISON, LONDON.
"It is the duty of society not only to punish the crimes committed, but also crrofully to sook
Oscar, King of Sweden,
PREFACE TO THE THIRD EDITION.
This book has, thus far, been successful beyond the expectations of the writer. The incidents of criminal life interspersed through the various Chapters, have been described by literary reviewers, as “facts stranger than fiction," and more instructive; and its suggestions and information have found a favourable response amongst the intelligent and influential public. It has not, however, carried off the suffrages of all;
“Omne tulit punctum, qui miscuit utile dulci.”
The professors of the modern science of penology, who advocate protracted and indiscriminate separate confinement, as the best hope of reclaiming criminals, consider it little short of a betrayal of the cause of Prison Reform. The well- . meaning friends of total abstinence and compulsory temperance, look upon its silence respecting their plans for promoting national morals, naturally enough, with disapprobation. But most of all, do the disciples of Roman doctrine dislike it; and, it is to be feared, if they should now favour it with a perusal, they will dislike it more heartily. Not that the writer has grown more intolerant or uncharitable towards others in the carrying out their opinions and conscientious convictions, (the reverse is the truth, if he knows anything of his own heart;) but because, in the treatment of his subject, he has been led to adduce facts calculated to show that the papal system of Christianity, which arrogates to itself exclusive sanctity, is more prolific in irreligion and vice than the most fanatical Protestant sect in England. Notwithstanding this drawback, the book before the reader professes to be an improvement upon its predecessor. The subjects treated upon are more copiously illustrated by living characters. It is less documentary, and gives the history of Convictism in a more readable form, from the days of Botany Bay, to its last phase in England, as the home-ticket-of-leave system, and Mr. Lucas's effort in Parliament to have attached to our gaols salaried Roman Catholic chaplains.
How far such influence is worth paying for, (in preference too, to other claimants,) in the hope of reforming criminals, which is proved so signally to have failed, in comparison with other denominations, above all proportion, and fair consideration of circumstances, in keeping people out of prison; or how far it is consistent with English notions of religious liberty to fasten its chains upon those who have lost their civil rights, whether willing or unwilling to submit, is left to others to consider. The writer only refers to the subject in these pages in order to vindicate himself from the animadversions of Mr. Lucas in the House upon his conduct as Chaplain of Pentonville Prison, in reference to convicts of the Honourable Member's adopted communion.
As regards the volume itself, it may be added, although not deteriorated in any respect, (indeed, it reflects credit upon the press from which it issues,) it is reduced in price ; and if any wish to present it to bona fide FREE libraries, or institutions supported by voluntary aid, it may be worth while on their part to communicate with the Author.
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE
THE EARL OF SHAFT ESBURY,
IX UNFEIGNED IDMIRATION
TALENT, RANK, AND INFLUENCE,
DEVOTED TO THE GOOD OF MANKIND,
IN THE REPRESSION OF IMMORALITY AND CRIME,
THE ALLEVIATION OF HUMAN SUFFERING AND MISERY,
AND THE ADVANCEMENT OF TRUE RELIGION IN THE WORLD,
AIMING IN AN HUMBLER SPHERE AT THE SAME NOBLE OBJECTS,
IS, WITH HIS LORDSHIP'S PERMISSION, MOST RESPECTFULLY