There is no doubt that there is a wonderful change for the better in the treatment of crime. Although we cannot yet say that rational and satisfactory methods prevail, we find that year by year more intelligence and more humanity is infused into prison administration. It is now recognised that primitive measures alone are not corrective, and that the effective reformation of criminals can only be attained by making our prisons true schools and moral hospitals. A few years ago the ideals of Elmira were besmirched with abuse. Irresponsible smartness was facile in obvious criticism. The opinions entertained by Mr. Brockway—that youthful criminals should be accurately examined in every physical and mental relation; that their health and useful occupation should be primary considerations; that indeterminate sentences and liberation on parole should be adopted,—were hastily pushed aside as mere Yankee notions to be met by a cheap sneer and at once relegated to obscurity. But there are many signs that a little leaven is working, for the Prison Commissioners now report in favour of modern ideas—they can, in fact, no longer remain impervious to the scientific knowledge of the age.
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