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On Profitable Labor in the United Kingdom for Convicts sentenced to imprisonment or transportation, combined with a system to induce self-reformation, and for enabling them to obtain employment after expiration of sentence.

£400,000 sterling, is paid annually, according to calculations, on Parliamentary Returns, (see Turnpike Trust Return, shewing the total receipts and expenditure, &c., in England and North Wales, for 14 years (1834 to 1847,) printed for House of Commons, 12th July, 1850. Highways Return, shewing receipts and expenditure in thirteen counties in one year, 1845, (printed for House of Commons, 13th July, 1848,) for Labor in breaking stones for Turnpike and Borough Roads and Highways in England and Wales.

That the required amount of such labor for the United Kingdom is estimated at per annum, £600,000.

That such labor requires but little skill, and could be learnt in a few days by male convicts.

That such labor does not require expensive food, exposure to weather, nor freedom from control.

That at such work men can earn, and do at present rates, on an average throughout England as supposed, 11s. per week, (being average in Worcestershire and Warwickshire) per annum




Deduct for tools, 9d. per week-per annum

Net value of labor per annum


£28 12 0

1 19 0

26 13 0

That the cost of maintaining and clothing convicts in the United Kingdom on an average is, per annum

Shewing a net profit on labor per man of

That the total number of male convicts in the United Kingdom annually sentenced to transportation is 2800, gross labor at 11s. each per week, per annum



Deduct for tools, 9d. per week each-per annum

Deduct cost of maintenance and clothing 2800,
at £9 12s. 6d. each

Net profit on total labor

9 12 6

£17 0 6

£80,080 0 0 5,460 0 0

£74,620 0 0

26,950 0 0

£47,670 0 0

That if the transportation of male convicts ceased, the country would save the expense of transporting, amounting to £24 per head-total males sentenced, 2800-£67,200, besides deriving the profit upon their labor during the time, that if transported, is lost on the voyage, as also a great variety of contingent expenses in extra salaries to officers going abroad, &c. &c.

Proposed, 1st.-That Government should employ male convicts to break stones for roads in the neighbourhood of the existing jails as an experiment.

That the convicts should work in shels forming a circle, each convict being in a separate compartment, as such form would be good for secu rity and supervision.

That such sheds be so constructed as to be readily taken to pieces for

planting where most convenient for materials, as near railways and canals.

That should such experiment prove successful, convicts sentenced to transportation be employed in preparing materials for turnpike, borough, and highway roads throughout the country.

That iron jails moveable, forming a square, would be economical and advantageous for such purposes, being fire-proof and indestructible, and they might be planted in districts where stocks of materials are required.

That detachments of soldiers in time of peace might encamp near such moveable jails, forming an economical guard and satisfactory security to the public, and providing practical drilling for troops.

2ndly. That as to give a stimulus to labor it is essential to make it beneficial to the employed, it is therefore desirable that the convicts should have an interest in their labor.

That an account be kept with each convict shewing the absolute value of his labor.

That the balance of his earnings beyond the cost of his clothing and maintenance be placed to the credit of each convict, to be applied to his benefit for purposes hereafter stated, and that such amount be placed to a separate account called his 'guarantee fund.'

On providing convicts with employment after expiration of


It is admitted that one chief cause of the overflowing of jails is, that when men have been once in jail there is little hope of their obtaining employment, and they are consequently driven to crime from want or desperation; in confirmation of which, returns shew that out of 120,000 criminals, being the total number annually in the United Kingdom, onefourth, or 30,000, return to the jails again, it is therefore most desirable to give an inducement to employers to engage released convicts. Proposed that the following system be tried :

Ist. That at the expiration of convict's term of punishment, a certain sum, sufficient to provide necessaries, be paid him weekly, for say one month or some such period, to support him whilst endeavouring to obtain employment, and that such payments be placed to the debit of his 'guarantee fund.'

2nd. That on his obtaining employment a 'guarantee ticket' be given to his employer by Government to the amount of such convict's 'gua. rantee fund,' obtained whilst in jail.

3rd. That on such convict being convicted of crime against such employer, the amount of such guarantee ticket' shall be paid to employer by Government.

4th That should a released convict become amenable to the laws against other than his employer, his 'guarantee fund' shall be forfeited to Government or to the party aggrieved.

5th. That after the expiration of a given time from a convict's release, his guarantee fund shall become his absolute property on the following conditions:-That it be expended in an outfit and passage for himself and family to a British colony, leaving a sufficient sum for necessaries on arrival there; or, be devoted to the purchase of a Government annuity for his life (not transferable, to commence after a certain age); or, to an annuity in case of permanent disability to obtain a livelihood through accident, illness, &c., &c.; or, for the benefit of his widow and family should he die and leave one.

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6th. That if unable to obtain employment the Government shall employ released convicts on public works on above regulations.

That £600,000 per annum is paid for getting from quarries, &c., materials, for turnpike, borough, and highway roads in England and Wales, and that such work would be an advantageous employment.

We may also record that a very useful Summary of Points in the Training System, suitable to Reformatory and Ragged Schools, has been extracted from Stow's Training System, Longman, 10th Edition, 1854, and circulated; it is eminently calculated to advance education in the schools, and makes Emulation, or the "Sympathy of Numbers," the great source of improvement, and excludes all corporal punishment; the book of which it is a summary is too well known to require notice here.

A very important meeting, of the Justices of Peace of the West Riding of Yorkshire, was held in the Court House, Wakefield, on Wednesday, 15th November last-the following Justices attended :—

"Hon. E. Lascelles, M.P., chairman; the Right Honourable John Parker, Darrington Hall; Sir George Goodman, M.P.; Rev. J. A. Rhodes; E. Denison, Esq., M.P.; J. T. Wharton, Esq.; H. Thompson, Esq.; W. R. C. Stansfield, Esq.; H. C. Maxwell, Esq.; J. Ĥ. Whitehead, Esq.; W. H. Leatham, Esq; Edw. Tew, Esq.; John Rand, Esq.; E. B. Wheatley, Esq.; B.T. Woodd, Esq., M.P.; Joseph Starkey, Esq.; Joseph Holdsworth, Esq.; J. G. Smyth, Esq., M.P.; Col. Tempest; John Barff, Esq.; Charles Hardy, Esq.; J. B. Greenwood, Esq.; E. Akroyd, Esq.; J. C. D. Charlesworth, Esq.; John Gott, Esq.; John Waterhouse, Esq.; E. J. Jarratt, Esq.; F. Wormald, Esq.; J. Brigg, Esq.; W. Cheesebrough, Esq.; J. D. Dent, Esq., M.P.; T. B. Bosville, Esq.; J. T. Crompton, Esq."

From the statement of Mr. Rand, and from papers now before us, it that of 185 cases committed to the Wakefield appears House of Correction during the year 1848-49, one prisoner had been 13 times committed, two had been 12 times committed, and in many instances prisoners had been 8 or 9 times committed. The following observations of the Chairman are most interesting, and they convey the latest information upon the admirable "Children's Friend School," founded by Mr. Baker and Mr. Bengough, on Mr. Baker's estate at Hardwicke, near Gloucester:


For a detailed account of this School, see IRISH QUARTERLY REVIEW, Vol. IV. No. 15. p. 749; see also the "Journal of Progress," No. 3. p. 38.

"The Chairman, in opening the proceedings, explained the circumstances under which the meeting had been called. Under the act of parliament passed during last session there was no power given to magistrates to establish reformatory schools, but simply to commit to such institutions after they were established. It was for the magistrates or others to consider whether they would adopt any measures for the establishing of an institution under the sanction of government and subject to the inspection of one of her Majesty's Inspectors of Prisons, for the admission of persons committed for offences, and to confine them for two, three, or five years. In carry. ing out such an institution the government were willing to afford considerable assistance. It appeared from one of the clauses, that it shall be lawful for the commissioners of her Majesty's Treasury upon the representation of one of her Majesty's principal Secretaries of State, to defray, out of any funds which shall be provided by parlia ment for that purpose, either the whole cost of the care and maintenance of any juvenile offender so detained in any reformatory school as aforesaid, at such a rate per head as shall be determined by them, or such portion of such cost as shall not have been recovered from the parents or step-parents of such child, as herein provided, or such other portion as shall be recommended by the said Secretary of State.' Practically he understood this power to amount to this, that any magistrate, on the conviction of a juvenile offender, if he thought the parent was of ability to pay, would have the power to make a rate upon such parent, which would be recoverable by the same process as a rate laid under the poor law act. The extent of the government allowance was 5s. per week, and a grant would be made of any smaller sum necessary to make up the deficiency of the rate levied upon the parent. The probable cost of persons in those establishments was calculated at about £16 per head per annum, whilst the government allowance would be about £13, so that they might estimate a deficiency in carrying on institutions of this kind at about £3 per head per annum, exclusive of the original cost and furnishing of the building. In company with Mr. Wheatley he had just spent a few days with a Mr. Baker in the neighbourhood of Gloucester, who had established one of these institutions. They had looked over the establishment, and as far as he could ascertain the cost of the building, capable of accommodating say 30 boys, had been £420, and the furnishing £60. Mr. Baker commenced first with three, then he increased it to 12, afterwards to 20, and now he had 30. There were 30 acres of land attached to the building, 16 of which were under tillage, and the others in grass. Mr. Baker, who had had something like two years' experience, said that he was perfectly satisfied with the manner in which the establishment was going on he (Mr. Baker) had made improvements during that period, and it was now upon a better footing. By establishing small institutions of this kind for not more than 30 boys, as far as they could in different localities, there would be every probability of success, but that would not be so with a larger institution. The Red Hill institution had 300 acres, and they had found that it was not convenient, and were now proposing to divide it into smaller farms.

It was a matter requiring the greatest prudence and caution, for if they had a large establishment they must have a large staff, which would give to the institution the character of a gaol instead of a school. He was satisfied from what he saw that the greatest benefits would result where the institutions were small and under the superintendence of a gentleman who placed himself in personal and frequent intercourse with the inmates. Such a superintendence was far preferable to a large staff, which, though efficient perhaps as to discipline, failed to win the affection of the boys. He (the Chairman) threw out these suggestions for the consideration of the meeting, and they must take them for what they were worth, but his own impression was in accordanee with that of Mr. Baker, that more beneficial results would follow from a smaller institution than from a large one. Then as to the expense. Suppose the building cost £400, and that there was an annual loss of £100, he did not think if it was taken up that there would be any difficulty in raising it. He did not think it necessary to go to the county for subscriptions in the first instance unless they wanted a large establishment. If it was taken up in a small way it would be satisfactory. It would, he understood, be taken up by Mr. Wheatley, and he wished him every success. In conclusion he observed that the act gave no power to raise money-the institutions must be raised by voluntary subscription, and that being the case they would, to some extent, be under the superintendence of gentlemen subscribing.

Mr. Wheatley explained that if it should be the feeling of the magistrates that such a mode of trying the experiment was the best, he was ready to establish one, but if it was thought that a central establishment would be better he would do all he could to support it. He intended to take the institution of Mr. Baker as his model. In reply to Mr. Stansfield, he added that he had an unfinished building near his own house at Mirfield which he intended to appropriate.

Mr. Maxwell wished to know whether Mr. Wheatley proposed to allow ministers of all denominations to attend the school, and give to the inmates belonging to their respective denominations spiritual instruction?

Mr. Wheatley said he should have no objection."

These passages are taken from The Leeds Intelligencer, of Saturday, November 18th, and in the same number of the Journal we find the following summary of the result of the meeting:

"PROPOSED REFORMATORY SCHOOLS IN THE WEST RIDING.-An important and influential meeting of the magistracy of the West Riding was held at Wakefield on Wednesday, a lengthened report of which will be found in our 7th page. The subject excited considerable attention and discussion; and though a slight difference of opinion was manifest as to carrying out the provisions of the recent act of Parliament for the reformation of juvenile offenders, there was perfect unanimity as to the importance of reformatory institutions. Generally the magistracy expressed themselves favourable to the

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