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crimes, and that such punishments should be invariably inflicted; the other admits of no punishment but such as is necessary to reform the offender, and is as ready to pardon on evidence of repentance, as to convict on evidence of the crime; applying to practice on all occasions the Christian precept, Do unto all men as ye would they should do unto you. To extend this comparison further is surely unnecessary. If the latter plan can by any exertion be substituted for the former, is it possible that any one can doubt of its expediency?
REPORT of the Board of Inspectors of the Prison i for the City and County of Philadelphia in the Year 1791.
To THOMAS MIFFLIN, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF PENN
It has been our constant endeavour to exercise the
powers intrusted to us, according to the spirit of the penal code of Pennsylvania ;, we have, therefore, constantly kept in view three principal objects—,
The public security;
Humanity towards those unhappy members of society. The first has been effected by the vigilant attention of the keeper and his deputies, which has frustrated some daring and artful plans of escape, as also by the mild and prudent treatment, which has reconciled the greater part of the prisoners to their condition.
The second object we have pursued by moral and religious instruction, by promoting habits of industry, by a separation of the sexes, by the prohibition of spirituous liquors, by exclusion of improper connexions from without, and by confining the refractory to solitude, low diet, and hard labour.
The third we have attained by supplying the prisoners with necessary food, clothing, fuel, medical assistance, and by recommending to the governor's pardon those whose trespasses are of a venial nature, and such as from their industry, quietness, and good behaviour in gaol, appeared to merit a restoration of their civil rights.
To this general account we shall add a few particulars : Bibles, and other books of practical religion, have been provided for the use of the prison ; the clergy of the different denominations in the city and suburbs, perform divine service once a week, commonly on Sunday mornings, and other edifying persons have at all times access to the prisoners ; a regular course of labour is kept up in various branches of industry, from which there are a number of persons daily supplied with flax, prepared in its best state; rope-makers, ship-chandlers, and carpenters, are served in the pounding of hemp, and picking large quantities of oakum; plaster of paris is prepared for manure and the use of mill-stone manufacturers; hatters and dyers are supplied with chipped logwood, and the women spin flax; solitary cells have been constructed, calculated for the safe keeping and proper correction of the obstinate ; and the security of the gaol is improved by the addition of lamps, and watchmen who go the rounds during the night.
From the experiments already made, we have reason to congratulate our fellow citizens on the happy reformation of the penal system. The prison is no longer a scene of debau. chery, idleness, and profanity; 'an epitome of human wretchedness; a seminary of crimes destructive to society; but a school of reformation and a place of public labour. We hope, by the blessing of Divine Providence, that the community of rational beings may be preserved, without the deplorable necessity of cutting off evil members by a sanguinary process, of exposing them on whipping-posts to the painful sympathy of the humane, and the barbarous mockery of brutal mobs. This hope is confirmed by the singular fact, that of the many who have received the governor's pardon, not one has been returned a convict.
By Order of the Board,
GEORGE MEADE, Chairman.
Philadelphia, Dec. 7, 1791.
AN ACCOUNT of the Alteration and Present State
of the Penal Laws of Pennsylvania, &c. by CALEB LOWNES. First published at Philadelphia in 1793.
Enquiries are frequently made by citizens as well as by strangers, about the interior management of the gaol and penitentiary house of Philadelphia : and as I have frequently been requested by respectable characters in other states, who wished a change in their system, to furnish some account of the means that led to the present regulations of our prison, and the effects produced by them, connecting this account with the Enquiry, &c.* may be as proper a mode as any that can be adopted for giving them the desired information. I have therefore made the attempt, and if any
assistance in my power can contribute to promote a work of so much importance to mankind as that of reforming the system of criminal jurisprudence, I shall freely afford it. The many improvements, both in government and the arts, which have been produced in our time, afford pleasing prospects to liberal and enlarged minds, and have been a great encouragement to those wbo bave ventured to combat ancient prejudices, and to attempt improvements, in a science hitherto so little attended to, and of .so great importance in every system of legislation.
It is true, society has not been without information upon this interesting subject. Montesquieu, Beccaria, Lofft, and others, have thrown considerable light upon it. The benevolent Howard greatly sympathised with the wretched pri.
* Mr, Bradford's Enquiry respecting the Punishment of Death, gc,