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While no extensive changes have been made in or additions to the buildings of this institution, during the past year, improvements of considerable importance to facility of administration and the welfare of the inmates have been accomplished.
Chapter 282 of the Laws of 1900, appropriated for an addition to and improvements in steam plant and electric service, the sum of $25,000; for reconstructing the sewerage of the boys' department, $8,500. These appropriations, with others, providing for additional bathing and toilet facilities, equipment of the gymnasium and repairs to the building, have added greatly to the conveniences of administration, as well as to the health and comfort of the inmates.
The efforts of the superintendent to secure improvements in methods of discipline and a higher standard of service on the part of officers and employes, have been in many respects successful. An improvement is noted in the military discipline and in the movements of the boys in drill exercises. This department, however, still falls below what should be achieved from the fact that the development of the military system is limited. The boys are furnished with no arms of any kind, a means of considerable importance in securing interest and efficiency in military drill. This committee recommends the furnishing of the institution for its military department, with guns, to be used by the boys in their military exercises. In reviewing the boys during the past summer, the member of this committee so occupied, called attention of the superintendent to the fact that, though their system aimed at a regimental organization, neither the American flag nor the State flag was present in any of the military evolutions then witnessed. On inquiry it was learned that no such flag was in the possession of the institution. The national flag is important as a means of impressing youth with lessons of patriotism, loyalty and a high ideal of the province of the State, and should be kept constantly in sight. The attention of the Comptroller of the State was called to this deficiency and a prompt response was received that such a deficiency would be met on a requisition from the institution for such a flag.
Again your committee calls attention to the importance of the removal of this institution into a rural section, and the separation of the girls from the boys through the transfer of the former to an institution for girls solely.
HOUSE OF REFUGE FOR WOMEN, HUDSON.
.Prof. Herbert E. Mills.
. Marcia C. Powell. .Thomas Wilson, M. D. Hortense V. Bruce, M. D.
This institution has been visited by the members of this Committee individually, and has been frequently inspected by the Board's inspector of State institutions during the past year.
The census on November 1, 1901, was 209 adults and 9 infants, who were distributed as follows:
For year ending October 31, 1901.
Inmates attending day schools...
Total number of inmates attending schools....
Inmates training for nurses in hospital........
Inmates who do general housework, kitchen and laundry work, knitting, sewing and mending..
Inmates who receive instruction in music two days each week....
The progress made in reorganizing the several departments of the House of Refuge for Women at Hudson, and the estab lishment of an entirely different system of discipline by the present administration, has manifested gratifying development during the past year. The effort to secure a high grade of
officers and attendants and to establish an entirely different spirit in the relations between the inmates and those under whose supervision they were placed, have been productive of notable improvement. In the cottages, in the prison and in every department of this institution, this departure from obsolete resources and vindictive methods of discipline is everywhere apparent. We feel that the managers have accomplished, in the face of doubt and coolness on the part of some who cling to old and discarded methods, a success in vindicating the correctness of newer views and methods. The steady disappearance of old traditions, of discontent and disorder, supports this conclusion, and the managers have given an added corroboration of the wisdom of substituting hopeful reformatory measures for abitrary and vindictive, punitive resorts.
WESTERN HOUSE OF REFUGE FOR WOMEN, ALBION.
William J. Sterritt.
Emily F. Swett, M. D. .. Mary K. Boyd.
A formal visitation of this institution by the members of this committee, individually, has been made during the past year. It has also been inspected at intervals by the inspector of State institutions of the State Board of Charities during the same period.
The census of inmates on November 1, 1901, was as follows: Population, 119, 6 of whom are infants.
While the number of inmates of this institution has slightly increased during the past year no important changes in its buildings or grounds have been made. The general condition of administration which has prevailed during the past three or four years continues. A quiet discipline and an atmosphere of content pervades the institution and no modification of the system previously followed has been considered necessary by its managers. While these statements may be made in general, regarding the system of discipline followed, this committee has considered it necessary in previous reports to call attention to the importance of keeping a more extended and accurate record of disciplinary measures. While in the main the superintendent considers the discipline of the institution not difficult, it is important that in this institution, as in no other similar institutions, an accurate daily record should be kept of all details of discipline and the disposal of such cases.
The addition of a farm house and stable has met a need which has proved embarrassing in the past.
A fuller development of technical instruction is desirable and an increase in the force of instructors in such departments is thought necessary. Some provision should be made by which the managers will be afforded facilities for the production of many articles used in the institution which can be made by the inmates with a reasonable amount of economy.