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respects they also are scandalous; most difficult undertaking has sucthe same peril from fire exists, the cessfully coped with the problem fate of the inmates being practically of prison labor and its relation to sealed in case of a sudden conflagra- the character of the men and the tion. At Dannemora the building discipline of the prison. is better, the corridors are roomier, There is at Sing Sing and Danneand the light is better than at Sing mora practically no scientific classiSing or Auburn; but even there the fication of the prisoners, the classi. ventilation is extremely imperfect, fication being based chiefly on the the sanitary arrangements unsatis- number of convictions and not upon factory, and the fire protection in the character of the prisoners. adequate. We have put the report of The committee offers its contributhe committee as to these particulars tion to the vexed subject of prison mildly, but the actual conditions de labor in relation to the markets, and scribed are simply sickening, es quotes a number of verdicts of buyers pecially in Sing Sing.
of prison-made goods, the most of Beside the material conditions of which express dissatisfaction with the prisons the committee reports the quality of those goods. particularly on prison labor in rela In brief, the conclusion of the tion to discipline and classification, committee is that the prison buildand on the condemned and punish- ings are bad in almost every respect, ment cells. The labor conditions at highly unsanitary, badly ventilated, Sing Sing and Dannemora are worse and badly lighted; the discipline of than at Auburn. At Sing Sing, Sing Sing is decidedly lax, at Danneexcept in the stone shop, the men mora somewhat better, at Auburn do not work on the average more still better. In the matter of classithan four hours out of the eight, fication almost no regard is paid to and during that four hours the character of the convict, and the do
not accomplish more work discipline is calculated rather to than could be accomplished out crush out hope and ambition than side in three hours. Even to to reform and inspire the prisoners establish that average many of the to better living. The law requiring prisoners are entirely idle. In political division of the states to Auburn about six hours' labor are purchase the products of the prisons done daily, and with the exception is evaded, and at present the sysof 160 idle men in three idle com tem of prison labor does not panies all the men were working. furnish a sufficient amount of work The system of instruction of pris to keep one-third of the prisoners oners at Auburn, which is the work employed sufficient time to accusof Mr. Hall, the superintendent of tom them to habits of industry. industries, is commended, the com If the report of the committee mittee saying that he alone of could be summed up in a sentence all the men employed in this it might fairly be said that the prisons
of the state are engaged in the work have been taught simple principles of poisoning the bodies of the con of citizenship and ethics—commutavicts, and making them mentally and tion to be based partly upon promorally more criminal than when
gress in trade and in school. they enter.
The committee condemn the dark The committee suggests as ele- cell punishment, considering that it ments in legislation necessary to re conduces to disease, and that it has form the conditions:
no real reformatory effect; and they Bringing the inspection of prison 'believe that there are other and more buildings under the general state efficacious modes of punishment. and local laws for building in We understand Commissioner Colspection, and forbidding the prox lins replies that confinement in the imity of engine-rooms, kitchens, and dark cell is the only mode of other dangerous buildings to parts punishment allowed by law. of the prison occupied by prisoners. In the main both the superintend
Bringing the cells up to the re ent and the commission of prisons quirements of breathing space de
the committee, the manded for all other institutions, superintendent, however, differing and forbidding the occupancy of with respect to the system of classicells by more than one prisoner; fication of prisoners, and claiming also requiring a light for every prison for the system of labor now in vogue cell during the hours of daylight that it has not been tried for a suffiand certain hours of the night. ciently long time to ascertain fully
The abolition of the bucket sys its ultimate effects. tem, and the institution of a thor As to the principal evils in the sitough system of plumbing.
uation, in view of the large measure A fire department for every
of agreement of those concerned
it seems that remedy ought soon prison, with regular drill for officers
to be found. The chief responsibiland employés.
ity lies upon the legislature, and it Classification based on character is most urgently to be desired that and not on number of convictions. public opinion be thoroughly aroused A series of trade schools for every
and steadily held to the point until
the legislature shall be forced to proprison in which men shall be em
vide for a thorough renovation of ployed, and those instructed who
the prison plants, and for the introhave not sufficient knowledge of a duction of a system of management trade to enable them to get a living for all of the prisons of the state, at the expiration of their term of
which shall, at least, not work deimprisonment.
struction, but which shall do some
little to help the convicts to a better The establishment of schools in
life, and to fit them for self-maintethe prisons at which prisoners shall nance when they shall be discharged. be required to attend until they can write intelligibly, do ordinary sums The purpose of the Summer in arithmetic, and until they shall School in Philanthropic Work, to be
conducted by the Charity Organiza- ciety of Chicago, and the George tion Society in New York, June 18 Junior Republic. to July 28 (six weeks), is to give an It can not be expected that the introduction to social conditions in short period of six weeks during New York city, and to the methods which the school is in session will be undertaken to improve them. In sufficient to train new workers to be addition to speakers well known for fitted for charitable work. This their long experience here, others must come with practice and experifrom Boston, Philadelphia, Balti ence. It is the purpose of the school more, and Buffalo will take part, to to serve as a helpful introduction to emphasize certain phases of thought
such work, and persons who expect
to enter social and charitable work and effort, and to show how the
whether in paid positions or as volproblems elsewhere affect and are
unteer members of committees and affected by those in the metropolis. boards of direction.
The care and treatment of needy A registration fee of ten dollars families in their homes will be the
for the course is received, which may
be remitted in certain instances by leading topic of the course, with an
scholarships. introduction by Prof. Francis G. Peabody, of Harvard University.
The meeting of the National ConDuring the first week the school
ference of Charities and Correction will be in charge of Dr. Jeffrey R.
at Topeka last week was significant, Brackett, of Baltimore, president of
more particularly in its social influthe charities commissioners of that
ence. As a result indirectly of the city. Each student will be assigned
presence of the conference, state to special study of some particular conferences were organized in both portion of the social field, with the
Kansas and Missouri, and promise remedies available for its bad condi
to exert a helpful influence upon tions. Visits will be inade to some
the charitable work of those states. of the societies and institutions, such
The somewhat remote location of as the United Hebrew Charities, the
the conference this year doubtless Catholic Protectory, the city insti
prevented many of those who usututions on Blackwell's and Randall's
ally are present from attending. islands.
Still, a number came from the eastThe registrations to date include ern seaboard, including nine or ten graduate students from Harvard, from the state of New York, and Brown, Wellesly, Smith, Vassar,
the conference welcomed many new
faces from the west and far west. Iowa, and Stanford universities, with
The next meeting will be held at practical workers from the Asso- Washington, D. Č., with Mr. John ciated Charities of Boston, the Char M. Glenn, of Baltimore, as president. ity Organization societies of New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago, A legal decision has been handed the Children's Home and Aid So down by Judge Gildersleeve of the
Supreme Court which is likely to and loftier ideals. It has put men and have important consequences in women in touch with noble souls. future. The case is that of Miss It has brought beauty into many Helen D. Ward against the St. an humble home and has contrib Vincent's Hospital to recover
uted thus to the happiness of thous$30,000 damages for injuries received
ands." During the last season 1,850 while the patient was a private lectures were given in forty-eight paying patient. The operation done
different places, and were attended on her was completely successful; but before she had recovered from
by 538,000 people. the influence of the ether, the nurse
St. John's Hospital, at Atlantic burned her leg with the hot water
and Albany avenues, controlled by bag, and did not report the matter
the Church Charity Foundation of for several days, thinking she could take care of it herself. It is alleged
the Protestant Episcopal Diocese of in consequence of this injury that Long Island, will hereafter refuse Miss Ward was compelled to undergo
city patients. It has been found an operation to save the leg from impossible to continue the care of
city patients without the approamputation. In the original trial a verdict was rendered for the de- priation which the city has prefendant on the ground that the hos- viously made to the hospital. pital being a charitable institution
The corner-stone of the new Beth was not liable for the negligence of
Israel Hospital, at Jefferson and its employees. On appeal a new trial was ordered and a verdict of Cherry streets, was laid on Sunday
afternoon. The new building is to $10,000 damages awarded to the
accommodate about one hundred plaintiff.
Mr. William Foster, president of The Trained Nurses' United Aid the Associated Charities of New Society, which was incorporated by burgh,epitomized the spirit of charity special act of the last legislature, work recently in the following re held its first meeting recently at the mark: “ We are working not so office of the society, 15 West Fortymuch to save money as to prevent second street. The treasurer pauperism.'
ported a large balance on hand and
no outstanding obligations. The The experiment of giving free society's object is the relief of trained lectures as a part of the public sys
nurses who are detained from duty
on account of sickness or accident, tem of education has been during and the payment of a funeral benefit the last year remarkably successful. in case of death. Dr. Leipziger said in an address recently that the lecture course • has
The State Board of Charities has given to poor people larger visions been requested to approve the incor
poration of the Home Garden of house by a city magistrate. Mr. New York city, formed to provide Keller called the attention of the opportunity for work, study, and members of the jury to a much play, for the children of the poor.
needed reform with respect to the
practice of committing men to The Board of Estimate and Ap- penal institution who present them
selves as vagrants. portionment has appropriated $4,000 to erect two booths for dispensing sterilized milk, one in Central Park
The People's University Extenand the other in Tompkins Park.
sion Society is making an effort to The booths are to be fifteen feet
retain its women physicians throughhigh, thirty feet long, and fourteen
out the summer. It thinks that the feet wide, and to have tiled wain
services of physicians are perhaps scoting and cement floors, so that
more needed during the summer they can be washed out daily.
daily. than at any other season of the Appliances are to be provided for
year. One of the physicians found the cooling and proper preservation in a certain district which she visited of the milk. It is expected that by a condition that is probably duplithe time the warm weather comes
others. Here, she Mr. Straus will have milk booths in
says, the chief authority of the operation in nearly all the city parks quarter on children's ailments was a and on the recreation piers.
woman who proudly explained her
right to the office with the stateThe May Grand Jury paid a visit
ment, “Sure, mum, haven't I hed on May 23 to the institutions of the
thirteen children, and buried ivery Corrections and Charities depart
wan of thim excipt that boy there?"" ments, accompanied by Commissioners Keller and Lantry and other officials. They declared themselves
The Tenement-House Commisto be agreeably surprised at the good sion, after having worked for some condition and service they noted, time as a whole, visiting different agreeing, however, most heartily types of tenement houses, bad and. with Commissioner Keller's condem- good, in the boroughs of Manhattan nation of the Harlem Dispensary and Brooklyn, has
divided and Hospital. While they were on itself into sub-committees as folBlackwell's Island, a number of
lows: committed persons were being dis 1. A committee on tenementcharged from the steamer, Thomas house construction-under which S. Brennan. One man sank from ex are included all questions of sanihaustion, and it was found that he tation, protection against fire, was a self-committed man, having light and air, baths and water-closet given himself up as a vagrant, and arrangements, percentage of lot to had been committed to the work. be occupied, and other questions