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tence for imprisonment for life-what is the value does precisely what he likes without any interof the system in that case ?
ference whatever. I believe that there is also a Mr. GOULD—The value of the system in that board of prisons in Ireland; but they never intercase is that there is a special adaptation to the fered with Sir Walter Crofton. He has done precircumstances of the individual, and that is all cisely as he pleased. there is about it in that case. Our system is Mr. C. C. DWIGHT-I would like to ask uniform. Very bad and tolerably decent men are whether the board of prisons in Ireland did not Dot placed upon the same system exactly. There appoint Sir Walter Crofton to his position to adis a dexibility, an adaptation of the system to the minister the system of discipline of which he individualities of the case. Every man, whatever was the originator ? his character, whatever his disposition, is not Mr. GOULD—My impression is that he was subject to precisely the same discipline, but there himself a member of that board. As he deis an individualization.
veloped a special fitness and capacity for the Mr. HAND—I would ask if the punishment is work, the other members just stood aside and modified according to the good behavior in cases allowed him to carry out his views entirely in his of imprisonment for life, or only in cases for a own way, so that the matter was practically series of years ?
managed by a single man. I believe I have preMr. GOULD—No, sir, in that case it is not so. sented all the views I desire. If we really do Mr. HAND—There is no encouragement, then ? desire to make a permanent advance, if we desire Ur. GOULD_The only case where it is is to do a genuine, philanthropic work, if we desire bere the prisoner is committed for life, and that to have our prisoners converted into good men, I involves the adoption of a discipline according to see no way whatever of accomplishing it unless the particular circumstances of the individual. we change entirely the system which has been
Nr. KINNEY—I would like to inquire if the hitherto made use of, and unless we carry out the decrease of the percentage of crime in Ireland is principles of responsibility, unless we have a man Lot greater than the decrease of population. I to do the work who is specially adapted by the suppose the gentleman is aware that the popula- peculiar character of his mind and the peculiar tion there is decreasing largely.
education which he has enjoyed. Sir, gentlemen Mr. GOULD-It is slightly so. I only claim ask if I know of any man who could be trusted that there is this very marked difference between with this matter. I know of a man, I have him Ireland and other countries in regard to prison in my eye, and he does not belong to the same discípline. There is one peculiarity which gen- political party that I do either, whom I should be tlemen should not overlook-and that is that the perfectly willing to intrust with the control of men who come out of prison are eagerly sought this system, because I should be sure that he far as farm servants, because the discipline which would administer it with perfect humanity, and I they had undergone admirably fits them for an have no doubt he would do it with perfect sucbonest and faithful discharge of the duty. I will cess. further remark that Sir Walter Crofton, who was Mr. BELL—I would ask the gentleman another the originator of this system, was so successful question. Does the plan proposed by the majority in Ireland that he has now been transferred by of the committee propose to introduce the Irish the British Government to England, før the pur- system or any system? pose of introducing the system throughout the Mr. GOULD-It does intend to lay the foundalength and breadth of that kingdom. Now, sir, I tion for it. The Irish system will be introduced believe I have really finished all that I desire to by the Legislature if it is introduced at all. All say. We cannot have this system administered we can do in the Constitution is to lay the foundaby a board. We may, it is true, nominally tion for the introduction of a system analogous to hare a board, There is nominally a board which the Irish system. has charge of the penitentiary at Albany, but the Mr. BELL-It looks to that end. fact is that
Mr. AXTELL I move that the committee do Mr. C. C. DWIGHT-I would like to ask the now rise, report progress, and ask leave to sit again. gentleman who it is that administers the system
SEVERAL DELEGATES—No, no, no. of prison discipline? Whether it is the central The question was put on the motion of Mr. power that appoints the wardens, or whether it is Axtell, and, on a division, it was declared lost by the Wardens ?
a vote of 12 ayes—the noes not counted. Mr. GOULD-If the gentleman is disposed to
The CHAIRMAN announced the pending quesbe Dice upon this point, I will say it is the tion to be on the substitute offered by Mr. O. C. under-keeper who administers the discipline. Dwight, for the firs.. section of the majority re
Mr. C. C. DWIGHT-I would ask if Amos port. Pillsbury is not responsible for the adminis- Mr. C. C. DWIGHT-If there is no other tration of the discipline in the Albany peniten- member of the Committee who desires to speak tiary ?
upon the pending question, I desire to say a few \r. GOULD—That is another thing altogether. words in reply to the gentleman from Columbia The gentleman did not ask me who was responsi- [Mr. Gould). ble; he asked me who it was that administered Mr. FOLGER-If the gentleman will allow the discipline, and I say it is the under-keeper. me, I will renew the motion that the committee As I was remarking, the Albany penitentiary is do now rise, report progress, and ask leave to sit Drainally governed by a board, but the fact is again. that Mr. Pillsbury is the sole dictator. The
The question was put on the motion of Mr. board never interferes in a single instance. He Folger, and it was declared carried.
Whereupon the committee rose and the PRESI. Mr. COMSTOCK-I respectfully dissent from DENT resumed the chair in Convention.
that view. I think we have a right to perfect Mr. S. TOWNSEND, from the Committee of the substitute before we vote upon it. the Whole, reported that the committee had had The CUAIRMAN-The Chair rules that it is under consideration the report of the Committee the right of the committee to perfect the propoon State Prisons, and the Prevention and Punish- sition before it is voted upon; and it therefore ment of Crimo, had made some progress therein, entertains the amendment offered by the gon. but, pot having gone through therewith, had in- tleman from Steuben [Mr. Rumsey). structed their chairman to report that fact to the Mr. ALVORD–Does the Chair understand my Convention, and ask leave to sit again.
position ? My position is, that there is an atThe question was put on granting leave, and it tempt now, by the amendment of the gentleman was declared carried.
from Steuben, to amend the substitute offered by Mr. BARTO-I move that we adjourn until the gentleman from Cayuga (Mr. C. C. Dwight] Monday evening. at 7 o'clock.
before that has been accepted by the commit. SEVERAL DELEGATES—No, no, no.
The PRESIDENT-The Chair thinks that the Mr. C. C. DWIGHT-Do I understand that motion
an amendment has been offered to my amend. Mr. HITCHCOCK-I move that we now ad. ment? journ.
Mr. RUMSEY-I withdraw my amendment, if The question was put on the motion of Mr. the gentleman wishes to speak upon the substi. Hitchcock, and it was declared lost.
tute he has offered. Mr. FOLGER-I move that we take the usual Mr. C. C. DWIGHT-I desire to ask the indul. recess, until 7 o'clock this evening.
gence of the committee for a few minutes, while The question was put on the motion si Mr. I make some reply to the remarks of the gentle. Folger, and it was declared carried.
man from Columbia (Mr. Gould), the chairman of So the Convention took a recess.
the standing committee. I wish to preface this
reply by saying that in all that gentleman has EVENING SESSION.
said in regard to the weakness, the short.cominga The Convention re-assembled at geven o'clock aud the faults of the present system of manageP. 4.
ment of our State prisons, I entirely concur with Mr. AXTELL—I ask for the calling of the bim. I go as far as he goes on that question. roll.
And in all that he has said in regard to the neces. Mr. SEAVER-I move that the Convention do sity for a radical reform in the system of managenow adjourn.
ment at present existing in this State, I go as far The question was put on the motion to ad. as he goes. I will say further that in all that the journ, and, on a division, it was declared lost, by gentleman has said here this morning in eulogy a vote of five ayes; noes not counted.
of the Irish system of prison discipline, I go as The Convention then resolved itself into Com- l'ar as he goes. I think that system is a better mittee of the Whole, on the report of the Com. one even than the gentleman has represented it mittee on State Prisons, their care and mauage here. In many respects, in many of its deteils, I ment, Mr. S. TOWNSEND, of Queens, in the understand that it operates more favorably than chair.
the geutlemau has represented. But I do not The CHAIRMAN announced the pending ques- propose to-night to discuss that system. I only tion to be upon the motion of Mr. C. C. Dwight desire to say that all that the gentleman has said to substitute the first two sections of the minor. in favor of the Irish system, makes for the plan ity report for the first section of the majority re- of prison organization which I have had the honor port.
to submit. The Irish system, although it may Mr. AXTELL-I move that the Committee not be in all its details entirely conformable to rise, report progress, and ask leave to sit our institutions and our systems of government, again.
is yet, I believe, by far the most advanced, the The question was put on the motion of Mr. Ar. most philanthropic, the most eulightened system tell, and it was declared lost.
which is to-day in practical operation anywhere Mr. RUMSEY-I move to amend the section on the globe. I claim for the plan os organizaby striking out “five" as the number of the tion submitted by me, that it is the only plan of commissioners, and inserting in lieu of it "three;" organization which can be expected to secure the 80 that there may be three commissioners; the advantages of the Irish system, or any thing of tenor of their office being nine years, electing one equal value. I call the attention of this Convonevery three years.
tion to the fact that it is a dangerous thing to Mr. ALVORD-I rise to a point of order; that put at the head of this great gystem of prison diswe cannot amend the substitute offered by the cipline and management, a single man, who may gentleman from Cayuga (Mr. C. C. Dwight) be ride a hobby other than the Irish system through cause it is not before us except in the shape of all these institutions. It is a dangerous thing to an amendment. It has not been passed upon by put in this place of power and responsibility one the committee. We must first take the question man, who may prefer the Irish system even to a on substitutiog it for the original proposition of better one. The Irish system is not necessarily the majority of the committee, which is the mat. the ultimate attainment of human wisdom upon ter now under discussion, and then we shall have this question. There may be improvements upon & right to amend it; but we have no right to even that system; and I should hesitate long tri amend it before we adopt it.
I put in the control of the prisons of this State, &
man who might make a hobby of the Irish sys- kuow thot behind the captain who commands the tem, and ride it through all these institutions, to ship stands the company of owners, or the direct. the disparagement and veglect of a system which ors of the company, to direct all her voyages and might be a vast improvement upon it. But all her ventures. And we know that behind the that the gentleman has said on that point, his superintendent who runs the factory, stands the whole argument, has made for the plan of board of directors of the company who own the organization which I have submitted. What I factory. I ask, who ever heard of a singie man want, as I said in my opening upon that question, put over the captain of a ship, a single man put is a body of men of so much wisdom, so much over the superintendent of a factory, or a single experience, so much ability, that they can devise man put over the general of an army? That, as and institute the best system, whatever it is; I attempted to show in the outset of the discusof discrimination sufficient to select from all the sion, is the weakness of the gentleman's plan, systems which are before the world the best sys. and there is no parallel for it. If these prisons tem, or to select the best features of the best constituted, in any sense, a unity, as an army is systems, and to make a new one, if possible, composed of its parts as one whole, there would which shall be better than any now existing. be some force in it; but there is no such connec. One man cannot override the counsels of such tion. They are totally distinct and separate, and a body with a hobby. I go quite as far as the at the head of each of them both of our plans gentleman goes in advocacy of a single individual would place a ward who should be made the responsibility in the management of these prisons. one sole responsible head of that institution. Bot Fbere will you have that responsibility? I There is a good deal of force in the comparison ipsist that the only place to have it is in the of a prison to a factory, for a prison is a factory. warden, at the head of each of these institutions. It is more than that—it is a collection of factories. How is it to-day? Any man who lives near a The prison at Auburn consists of six or eight Stata prison, or has had any experience or oppor- large manufacturing establishments, each of them tunity of observing them-I ask him where the employing from fifty to a hundred and fifty responsibility is now placed. With the very im- stalwart mechanics in various branches of me. perlect authority lodged at present in the hands chanical industry, and they constitute a collecof the warden, the management of each prison is tion of manufacturing establishments. At the yet in his bands, and rightly so. To-day the in. head of each is the keeper, who controls the dis. spectors appoint every officer of the prison, from cipline of the shop; in each is a foreman who the warden down to the guard that tends the directs the mechanical operations of the men; gate; and the warden has no power to remove and over the whole of these factories, thus assothese offcere, even for the grossest misconduct; ciated together, we place the warden, who per. and yet we now hold the warden responsible for sonally superintends and governs the whole. But tbe management of the prison. So it must always the prison is not merely a collection of factories ; be, either under the system proposed by myself
, it is a community of a thousand to sixteen hunor under that reported by the gentleman from dred humau beings, with interests and needs Columbia (Mr. Gould). We both give the warden physical, mental and moral, of great and press. the appointment of his subordinate officers, and ing importance. I say that behind and over the the removal of any and every one of them at his warden, who governs that community, who is pleasure. Can there be any question, then, that absolute in his sphere as the head of that instituit will be the warden of the prison ihat will be tion, I would have a body of men who possess beld responsible for its management? Can there wisdom, intelligence, experience and philanthropy be any question that the warden ought to be held enough to know whether he discharges his duties responsible for its management? I observed that as he ought to do. The gentleman says he would the argument of the gentleman for a single indi. have an undivided responsibility; that he would vidual responsibility had its effect upon the com- make the superintendent responsible. I ask the Littee. I desire that it should. I desire it gentleman, responsible to whom? should bare the utmost effect; for that argument Mr. GOULD—The Governor and the Legislature. is in favor of the system I propose. As I said Mr. C. C. DWIGHT-The Governor and the in tbe opening of this discussion, there is no such Legislature have no knowledge on the subject of thing as a system of prisons in the State of New the management of the prisons. The matter of Yorz. Each of these prisons is as separate, in prison management is a science, distinct from the dividual, distinct and independent of all the rest duties of the Governor and the Legislature, and as one of the colleges of the State is distinct no man knows this better than the gentleman from every other similar institution in the State ; himself. The Governor and the Legislature have and I would as soon think of putting one man as no experience in the management of prisons. All President over all the colleges of the State as to that the Governor and the Legislature can do is put one man in control of all the prisons of the what the people can do-look at the balanceState. The gentleman asks, who ever heard of sheet and see whether there is a balance on the an army, or a factory, or a ship, put in charge of side of profit or of loss; and that is the least of bard? I accept the gentleman's comparison. all the considerations which relate to this great Te Lever did hear of an army put in charge of a subject of prison discipline and management. I board; but we do know that behind the general say that there should be an undivided, sole re. who contands the army stands the President of sponsibility at the head of each of these prisous; the Caited States, the commander-in-chief, with and then I would create this body of men of inba board of counselors, his cabinet, to control telligence and experience, who should be comand direct the operations of the general. We do detent to exact a just responsibility from that
head. I would make them a body who could human mind-problems which will never reach
- Hr. RUMSEY-It is evident, then, there is computation of the time necessary to pass from DOT & quorum; and if that point is insisted upon, one of these prisons to the other will show that Fe might as well adjourn now as at any time. I he must use up, in the course of a year, in the make that motion.
simple matter of travel, over one-third of the Mr. ALVORD-I hope the gentleman will year, giving to him two-thirds of the year for the withdraw that motion. I ask the unanimous purpose of visiting prisons in person. He cannot consent of the Convention to go into Committee devote that time and attention to the necessities of the whole on the Preamble and Bill of Rights. and wants of these different institutions, to take SEVERAL DELEGATES objected.
care of and oversee the management and control The question was put on the motion to adjourn, of them in the limited time which will be given and it was declared carried.
him to do so, taking out the time necessary for So the Convention adjourned.
his travel, without the consumption of the whole
fifty-two weeks in the year, and then at very MONDAY, February 3, 1868. great expense to him, both mentally and physiThe Convention met pursuant to adjournment. cally. I doubt whether it is a possible thing for No clergyman present.
any human being to undergo the immense The Journal of Saturday was read by the SEC- amount of labor necessary to be devoted to an RETARY, and approved.
institution of this kind, scattered as its branches The Convention again resolved itself into Com. are all over this great State.
That is one reason, mittee of the Whole on the report of the Commit- sir, why I am opposed to this idea of having a tee on State Prisons and the Prevention and general superintendent. Again, sir, I am in favor Punishment of Crime; Mr. S. TOWNSEND, of of the proposition of the gentleman from Cayuga Queens, in the chair.
[Mr. C. C. Dwight], because of the fact that after The CHAIRMAN announced the pending ques. öne general system or idea in reference to the tion to be on the proposition of Mr. C. C. Dwight, management of prisons shall have been estab. to substitute the first and second sections of the lished by the board, then they can provide for minority report, in place of the first section of immediate actual visitation. They can have a the majority report.
portion of their committee, if it bo necessary for Mr. C. C. DWIGHT—I desire to ask leave to that purpose, visiting these different institutions modify my amendment so as to provide for the at the same time, and coming together and comsubstitution of section 3, as well as the first paring notes in reference to the results of their and second sections of the minority report. That observations. They can do it more effectually, is necessary in order to complete the organization for they will have more time to do it. They can of the board which my report contemplates. do it more understandingly, because they will
Mr. ALVORD–Mr. Chairman, I have but a have devoted more attention to the secret, inner very few words to say upon this matter. I have workings of the institutions. For that reason I be. paid very particular attention to the remarks lieve that, so far as regards the system of a board made by the gentleman from Columbia [Mr. of managers as compared with the system proGould), the chairman of this committee, and also posed by the gentleman from Columbia (Mr. Gould), to those made by the gentleman from Cayuga it is the preferable one. I have looked for a long [Mr. C. C. Dwight). The difficulties in the propo- time upon this question of prisons to see where sition of the gentleman from Columbia seem to the mistake was in their management, and I am me to be perfectly apparent to every one on the convinced, and more than convinced, by the refloor of this convention. There are now three marks of the gentleman from Columbia, coupled State prisons in this State, two of them almost as with my own observations in regard to this mat. far remote as they can be, each from the other, ter, that the great fault lies in the contract sys. geographically, and the other diverging from the tem. It is an impossibility, sir, for the State to two others in the center of the State. The gen- carry on those works while contractors take the tletnan from Columbia states, and unquestionably labor of a portion of the convicts with that labor be is right in that matter, that it is better for the necessarily done within the limits of the prisons. pirposes of discipline and punishment, that these It is an impossibility for any sort of discipline to issutations should not contain as many persons be maintained in any such state of things. In the as, under the necessities of the case, they have first place, the contractor mưst necessarily have to contain now. It involves, therefore, the prob- access to the prisons at all times for the purpose ability-almost the certainty - that other insti- of seeing to his own interests in the disposal of tations of a like kind will be located in other this labor. He must necessarily have more or parts of the State, very soon in the future. That less of those outside of the prison engaged in being the case, judging from the present number bringing the raw material into the prison to be of prisoners incarcerated in State prisons, manufactured, and carrying out the manufactured sach prisons must necessarily be increased at material. There are but very few branches of least to double the present number, if not manufacture in our State prisons but what are more, within a very few coming years. Now, divided into classes, and the result of that is they I understand the proposition of the gentle must have skilled and expert foremen to stand man from Columbia to be to have a general over, watch and govern the various methods of sa perintendent, who is under the necessity of vis- producing the manufactured article. These men iting each and every one of these prisons, and cannot be selected from the convicts, they must nust, of necessity, be coustantly in attendance be selected from outside parties. Taking these upon them. As he goes from the one to the things altogether, you have in the contractors other, he loses the time necessary in travel. A themselves and their foremen an army of men,