ON PRISON DISCIPLINE, &c.
THE difficulty of commanding time, to answer in detail numerous written and verbal inquiries respecting the result of four years personal study and observation of the Penitentiaries, Jails, and Alms-Houses, in the Northern and Middle States, with occasional visits to others adjacent, has induced me to put into this form some remarks illustrating the history and present condition of American prisons.
I owe this to the high standing and intelligence of those who have honored me by the expression of confidence in my judgment and impartiality; and sincerely regret that I have so little leisure to give to the illustration of these important subjects, upon which volumes might be written, showing the origin, progress, and prospects of a Reform so eminently affecting social order, and the Civil Institutions of our Republic.
Years of unintermitted labor and vigilance are necessary for producing practically beneficial results, through the influences of these disciplinary institutions.
Society, during the last hundred years, has been alternately perplexed and encouraged, respecting the two great questions-- how shall the criminal and pauper be disposed of, in order to reduce crime and reform the criminal on the one hand, and, on the other, to diminish pauperism and restore the pauper to useful citizenship? Though progress has been made, through the efforts of energetic and enlightened persons, directed to the attainment of these ends, all know that society is very far from realizing their accomplishment. We accord earnest and grateful praise to those who have procured the benefits at present possessed; and with careful zeal, we would endeavour to ad-