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'| SPIRIT OF THE PRESS.

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OTJR CRIMINAL ADMINISTRATION.*

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OTJR CRIMINAL ADMINISTRATION.* Just as the Prison Congress is beginning its labours in the Metropolis, the Howard Association has very appro- priately issued this work, which it proposes distributing among its members, and among other persons interested in this important question, both here and abroad. It is from the pen of Mr. William Tallack, Secretary to the Howard Association, who was requested by the com- mittees of that society and of the London branch of tho International Prison Congress to embody his views on tho" Defects of the Criminal Administration and Penal Legislation of the United Kingdom, with Remedial sug. gestions." Mr. Tallack writes con amort as one who deeply feels the importance of his subject, and is keenly sensible 01 the evils resulting from maladministration. Like most enthusiasts, he goes to the extreme on many points, and t'c pictures he draws of life in the English convict prisons are very darkly coloured. He goes into some- what irrelevant matter too, in discussing the duties of an English Home Secretary and the desirability ot limiting the loquacity of indiscreet members of the House of Copimons. Nevertheless, his work is a very valuable contribution to the question of prison discipline, and the earnestness of tho writer's convictions gives force to his suggestions and complaints. Unlike many exponents of social or political grievances, he has his remedies ready for trial, and after each department of his work—Govern- ment or convict prisons, County and Borough gaols, Irish prisons, Sentences, kc.,—he adds a table of the changes which he thinks imperative. The main subject ot attack in regard to the convict prisons is the gang system, which he condemns unsparingly, and the exposure of which, we are told, is one special object of tho work. It has he sys, been over and over again condemned by the best authorities on prison discipline as inevitably corrupting, and he ranks its abandonment as the first of the needed reforms. Secondly, he recommends tho adaption of separate imprisonment, with abundant cellular in- sti-iction, useful occupation, exercise, and viita-, tion, official and voluntary. He strongly supports tho plan tried in Ghent and elsewhere of keeping the convict apart from his fellow prisoners, but maintaining frequent Î communication between him and his guardians and in- structors. The education of the convict has hitherto been almost entirely neglected, and voluntary visits discouraged rather than approved. Yet most of the prison reforms which have been achieved have been effected by means of such agencies. When these improvement are carried out, the length of tho sentences, Mr. Tallack thinks, might be greatly reduced, and the rupture of family ties avoided.. The class of. convicts, which form only one-fourth of the whole, should be separated from the others, and those confined under life sentences should be placed in separate prisons under special treatment. The writer does not dis- cuss the abolition of capital punishment, but comments with just severity on the dangerous inconsistency and un- certainty now existing in the administration of the law with regard to murderers. In respect to the county and borough gaols Mr. Tallack advocates a great increase of remunerative labour that may be use- ful to prisoners on discharge, an extension of the separa- tion of prisoners, more instruction, secular and religious, and more voluntary visitation. He speaks very highly of the British system of judges and unpaid magistracy, and recommends that the police should have their prospects of promotion and reward made more dependent on the pre- vention than on the detection of crime, on. the principle of the vessel whose doctor was paid for every passenger ho landed in good health, and not paid for the tick and dead. Of the Irish prisons Mr. Tallack does not speak so favourably as many other prison reformers, since their administration runs counter to his system. Intemperance, he observes, is the main cause of Irish crime. Throughout his work he takes his stand on the principles of Christianity, "seeking to save that which is lost." Such principles alone, ho argues on the ground of long experience, can supply permanent and effectual means of treating this most difficult and im- portant question. Issued by the Howard Association. London Kitto, Bistopsgate Without. 'T

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CARDIFF.