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As these inspections are made at frequent intervals, they afford a basis of comparison by which to determine the improvements which are made, as well as to show if any of the inmates of almshouses are improper cases. The regular census of inmates shows the exact condition, physical and mental, of each inmate, as well as the residential locality to which such inmate is properly chargeable. By thus carefully examining into the condition of the inmates, the Board is enabled to enforce the proper administration of our poor laws and do much for the benefit of those who are dependent upon public relief.
STATE, ALIEN AND INDIAN POOR.
Chapter 225 of the Laws of 1896 places all State, Alien and Indian Poor under the direct supervision and care of the Superintendent of State and Alien Poor. Such persons as have not resided for sixty days in any one county of the State of New York within one year of the date of their application for relief are designated as State poor, and as such the law provides that they shall be removed to and be maintained in one of the State almshouses. Pauper aliens as well as non-residents have been attracted to the State of New York. The great work of tunneling under the city of New York has drawn to it laborers from other states as well as Europe. In other parts of the State public improvements have attracted transients in hope of employment. Added to this industrial activity the Pan-American Exposition brought many persons into the State with neither means to support themselves here nor the funds required to pay for transportation to their homes.
The Department of State and Alien Poor during the past fiscal year has been compelled to return 977 persons to their homes, and its work has increased through the necessity for careful investigation of all applicants for relief under this law.
The deportation of aliens who have not resided within the United States for such period as serves to relieve the General Government of responsibility for their return has been carried on through the coöperation of the Department of State and Alien Poor and the Immigration Commissioners of the United States. The latter promptly responded to every request made by the State Board of Charities, and returned to their homes in foreign countries 12 persons from October 1, 1900, to the close of the fiscal year.
In addition to those whose transportation has been undertaken by the General Government, many aliens have become paupers after the period during which the General Government arranges for their deportation. All such persons have been returned by the Department of State and Alien Poor, whether the aliens were originally committed as poor persons to be supported by the State or as charges upon a particular county. In either case the fact that they were alien paupers has resulted in the return of 87 persons to their own country during the year ending September 30, 1901.
The relief of such Indians as may require assistance is a duty undertaken by the State of New York. There are a large number of Indians resident in this State, but comparatively few of these are now public charges. Many require temporary relief, but almost all contribute in some way to their own support. It is only when sickness disables them that they make application for removal to an almshouse or public hospital. The largest portion
of the Indian relief fund is disbursed in temporary assistance. Much good is done by the careful supervision of the Indians of the State. They are encouraged to depend upon themselves, and the knowledge that every application for relief is carefully investigated prevents the abuse of public charity. In consequence, many are compelled to self-support who under less rigorous super, vision would become members of the pauper class.
The extended report of this Board contains statistical tables appended hereto and to which attention is directed, showing the operations of the State Poor Law since it went into effect October 22, 1873, and until the close of the fiscal year September 30,
Financial Benefits Resulting from the Removal of State and Alien Poor.
The removal of State and Alien Poor is an economical plan to relieve the State from the burden of dependents for whose support the Commonwealth is in no way properly chargeable. From the nature of the case direct financial benefits result. The pay. ment of the cost of transportation is made in order that the State be relieved of the cost of support during a long period of years. It has been carefully estimated that the class of persons admitted to our almshouses survive for an average period of over fifteen years. As the cost of support per capita is $104 per year, each person committed as a permanent inmate of a State almshouse must cost the State over $1,500. It is readily seen therefore that the cost of transportation is very small when compared with the cost of support, and that the removal of non-resident poor is a wise and economical enforcement of law.
Besides the financial benefit which the removal of non-resident
paupers confers upon the State, it is also apparent that anything
which prevents the increase of the pauper class is a public benefit. Modern conditions are such that there must always be a certain proportion of incompetents and defectives who will have to be supported at public expense. The influence of pauperism is destructive. It assails the thrift, the morality and the intelli. gence of society; the more the number of paupers grows in any community, the more destructive this influence. The safety of society depends upon the encouragement of the wage-earners and taxpayers. No unnecessary burdens should be laid upon them. Everything possible should be done to decrease the number of voluntary dependents. All who have no just claims to public charity ought to be compelled to labor for their own support, and while the dependents of this State are entitled to help from the public, those who belong elsewhere should make their claim for relief in their own home localities.
During the past fiscal year the number of poor sent out of this State was 977, of whom 87 were returned as aliens to their homes in foreign countries and 890 were sent to other states. Some of those classed as State poor were returned to former homes in foreign lands.
In all cases of deportation an investigation was undertaken so as to make certain the fact that no injustice would be done by removal. More than twice the amount of the appropriation for the Department of State and Alien Poor would have been required had these persons who were removed from the State been permitted to remain in the State as public charges for a single year.
The whole number of removals since the State Poor act of 1873 and the Alien Poor act of 1880 went into effect has been 30,951. At the estimated term of fifteen years for each individual, the resulting expenditure, had these persons been permitted to
remain in our almshouses, might have reached the enormous sum of $48,283,560. From this it is evident that the money expended in the removal of non-resident poor is a true economy and the result a permanent benefit to the State.
On account of State poor..
1,794 82 1,883 13
DEPARTMENT OF INSPECTION.
All the institutions subject to visitation and inspection by the Board have not only been visited but thoroughly inspected during the past year.
In not a few instances, notably so in the case of hospitals, the last recorded general inspection was made in 1898. The reason why no inspection had since been made in such cases, is because so long as it was considered the duty of the Board to visit and inspect all charitable, eleemosynary, correctional and reformatory institutions in the State except such as were subject to the supervision of the State Commission in Lunacy and the State Commission of Prisons, the force of inspectors at the command of the department had been insufficient for the purpose. Under the recent decision of the Court of Appeals whereby the Board's jurisdiction was limited to institutions classed as charitable by the court, namely, institutions in receipt of public money for the support and maintenance of indigent persons, the number of inspectors has been found equal to the task of visiting each and every institution at least once during the year. In cases where an earlier inspection has revealed defects of a more or less serious