I. History of Imprisonment: In modern conditions care of prisoners coincides with care for those undergoing punishment, since now the withdrawal of liberty is the principal punishment for crime. This idea has developed only gradually. The history of prisons may be divided into three periods: (l) Until the fifteenth century the prison was not a means of punishment. "Prisons served not for punishment, only for surveillance." Penalties consisted of fines, proscriptions, and different forms of capital and corporal punishment. (2) During the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries imprisonment became a form of punishment. The number of cases in which capital punishment and chastisement were applied became so numerous that people asked whether capital punishment was right, and the idea of betterment through punishment gained adherents. But prison conditions were still horrible. (3) In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries imprisonment came to be regarded as a means of betterment, this coming about especially through the labors of John Howard and Elizabeth Fry (qq.v.). In Germany the old conditions perpetuated themselves longest. There was no division of classes in the prisons (not even always a separation of the sexes), no pastoral care, and neither instruction nor employment, while the personnel was inefficient and the buildings were defective. Theodor Fliedner (q.v.) gave the first impulse to a betterment of these conditions. But without the influence of Frederick William IV. such reforms would have been impossible. Another laborer in this field was Johann Heinrich Wichern (q.v.).
II. Theory of Treatment of Prisoners: Present conditions regarding the care of prisoners involve: (1) Care for the prisoners during the time of their confinement. An important factor here is the prison-pastor. Every large prison has one or more ministers; in smaller places the clergyman of the community has charge of these matters. Every Sunday church services are held at which the attendance of the prisoners is obligatory. But not less important is the teacher, who gives instruction in the elementary branches, criminals being generally without the simplest elements of knowledge. In charge of the teacher a library is found in each prison. The inspector is also a factor. In Germany the military have usually held these positions in spite of the fact that they often lack the necessary qualifications. Wichern tried to introduce specially trained men from his own charitable institution, but failed. Little has been done so far in the direction of training women to care for prisoners of their own sex. (2) The care of prisoners after their dismission is also a part of the system. For this purpose there exist protective associations. Neither the State nor individual cities nor churches have done much for this cause. Associations for this purpose are mostly voluntary. An important part of their duties is the care of the family of the prisoner. For the dismissed there is secured employment, if possible, and other aid and assistance are given him though there are only a few asylums for men for temporary lodging, while homes for women are more numerous. It is to be regretted, however, that there is little zeal developed in these protective associations and their success is small, but, of course, the field of labor is a difficult one.
Prison conditions regarding the care of prisoners involve (1): The care of prisoners during the time of their confinement. The purposes of the deprivation of liberty are (a) punishment, (b) deterrent effects, (c) reformative effects, (d) the protection of society. These factors are emphasized differently in different countries. In Europe, emphasis has been laid chiefly upon punishment and the protection of society. In the United States, probably more than in any other country, the protection of society and the reclamation of the offender are emphasized. Upon the distribution of emphasis depends the nature of the care of prisoners during their confinement. European conditions are in general more rigorous and less reformative in method than American prison conditions. Important factors during imprisonment in prisons generally are the warden and his associates, the prison physician, the prison chaplain, and the prison teacher. Every large prison has one or more chaplains; in smaller communities, correctional institutions are frequently visited by one or more of the clergymen of the community. In most prisons, if not in all, Sunday church services are held with obligatory attendance. Of great importance are prison teachers, giving instruction in the elementary branches of education. Offenders are in large measure lacking even in the simplest elements of knowledge. Libraries are found in most prisons. In some American prisons, the library is as large and as well selected as libraries in small American cities. The lesser prison officials, such as guards and keepers, are gradually becoming of a higher grade. Civil-service requirements are in effect in many American states. Physical exercise, military drill, and industrial training within the prison tend to reconstruct the abnormal man into a normal and useful member of society upon his release. Much attention is paid in the United States to sanitary conditions in prisons and penitentiaries. Lesser correctional institutions are frequently unsanitary and even filthy. The treatment of tuberculosis in prisons has received great impetus during the last decade, largely through the efforts of New York state in establishing in one of the state prisons a separate ward for prisoners afflicted with the "White Plague." The death rate from tuberculosis has been very materially reduced through such segregation.
(2) The care of prisoners after their release is also a part of the system of the treatment of prisoners. In many American states, a more or less effective parole system is carried out. Released prisoners are placed under the supervision of a parole agent for periods of from six months to the period of the maximum sentence. No conclusive statistics are available as to the percentage of permanent reformation of released prisoners. About twenty-five per cent of released prisoners become delinquent before the termination of their parole. The parole system is increasingly considered fully as necessary as the imprisonment of the offenders. The tendency is to place the parole work under the supervision of the State. In some states, private associations, such as prisoners' aid societies, conduct the parole work. In many states, no parole work is done. An important part of the duties of prisoners' aid societies is the care of the family of the prisoner during his imprisonment. For the released prisoner employment is secured, if possible, and other aid and assistance given him. There are a few homes for discharged prisoners in the United States, the Volunteers of America (q.v.) maintaining several "Hope Halls."
The released or discharged prisoner does not now find it so difficult as formerly to obtain work. The attitude of society toward the released prisoner is materially changing, the principle of the "square deal" making gratifying progress.
O. F. LEWIS.
III. Penology: The Greek word poine, denoting the satisfaction, pecuniary or otherwise, paid for an injury, passing through the Latin pna, "penalty," has become enlarged in later years to signify in "penology" the whole science of penal law, penal administration, the prevention of crime, and the correction of the offender. In each of these departments there is a new recognition of fundamental principles, some of them early discerned but tardily applied, and an infusion of new knowledge and of the humane sentiment. Jesus set aside the retaliatory features of the Jewish law. Modern penal law can hardly be said to have eradicated vindictive features entirely from its codes; but the modern tendency is to make such codes measures of social defense with deterrent rather than vindictive penalties. Fundamental principles of the new penology are the protection of society and the reformation of the offender. In Plato's social system there was a recognition of the duty of kindness and pity toward the prisoner; in the New Testament it has a distinct prominence in the teaching of Jesus. In modern times the most important point of departure from the old penal system dates from the publication of the work entitled Dei delitti e delle pene ("Crimes and Penalties ") in 1769 by Cesare Beccaria Bonesana, an Italian nobleman, and from the personal work of John Howard (q.v.), who began his visitations of prisons in England in 1773 and extended his work and inspections over the continent. Beccaria's influence was felt mainly in the abolition of torture and of capital punishment, and the reformation of criminal codes. Howard initiated reforms in the physical, moral, and industrial conditions of prison life. The duty of society to the offender was considered in all its aspects. Elizabeth Fry exerted great influence in the last century in Great Britain and Europe, also Mary Carpenter (q.v.), Matthew Davenport Hill, and others. Alexander Maconochie at Norfolk Island, and Sir Walter Crofton in Ireland, enlightened and progressive prison directors, demonstrated the possibility of making new moral and educational appeals to the prisoners with grades and privileges based on the merit system.
IV. The Modern System: The same principle with independent and original application has borne fruit in the reformatory system in the United States. Juvenile reformatories for boys and girls were established in the first half of the last century; but a new epoch marks the extension of the idea to institutions for those from sixteen to thirty years of age first established in Elmira, New York, in 1876 under Z. R. Brockway and since adopted in ten American states. A fundamental feature of the reformatory system is the indeterminate sentence. The prisoner is not committed for a definite time to the institution, but is obliged to secure his conditional release by his attainments in school, industry, and deportment. When he has earned his parole he is released tentatively, and after proving by some months of good conduct his ability to live an honest, law-abiding life receives his absolute discharge. If not corrigible, he can be detained for the maximum period fixed by the code as the penalty of the offense for which he was committed. The probation system of treating offenders without imprisonment was first adopted in Massachusetts in 1878 and afterward adopted in France, Belgium, and various American states. Another important American contribution is juvenile courts first established in Chicago in 1899 and soon after adopted in other states and also in Europe. The system of county jails in the United States still remains the worst feature of American prisons. The tendency is now toward state control of prisoners with better sanitation, an improvement in the personnel of prison officials, the introduction of common schools, trade-schools, libraries, prison journals, lectures, and the formation of various societies among the prisoners. In Europe the system of separate confinement is applied in a number of countries; in the United States the prevailing system is congregate labor by day and separate cells by night. Reduction of sentence is allowed for good behavior, and the parole system is now applied in some thirty states. The abolition of the lease system in Georgia and Louisiana marks a great advance in the South. Educative and productive labor is a fundamental necessity as a moral agent in prison. Other features of modern progress are a better standard of prison construction, the assignment to prisoners of a portion of their earnings; provision for the payment of fines by instalments on probation and the assignment of a portion of the prisoner's wages to his family; an improvement in prison dietaries; new and better principles of classification, the development by finger prints of a scientific method for the identification of prisoners, the separation of accidental from habitual criminals, the humane treatment of the criminal insane, with more effective organization for aid to the discharged prisoner. Under Cesare Lombroso, Enrico Ferri, and others a new impulse has been given to the study of the criminal, his environment, and history, though criminal anthropology has hardly attained yet the rank of a science. Prison associations for improving legislation and aiding prisoners exist in several states. The National (now "American") Prison Association in the United States was first formed in 1870, and immediately after, under the initiative of Dr. E. C. Wines, supported by the government of the United States, the International Prison Congress was formed, and has exercised great influence in Europe and the United States.
SAMUEL J. BARROWS.
The Eighth International Prison Congress was held in Washington, U. S. A., in October, 1910, and marked high-tide in the advocacy of modern principles of penology. The congress, composed of representatives of nearly two-score nations, went on record as advocating the principle of the indeterminate sentence, the theory of the reformation of the offender, the use of probation and parole, the development of colonies for tramps and vagrants and inebriates, the productive labor of prisoners and the support, when possible, of prisoners' families from the earnings of the prisoner, the development and extension of the juvenile court and other important modern principles.
O. F. LEWIS.