« AnteriorContinuar »
tion and the character of its rural people have prevented that large. development of public charities which New York and Massachusetts show. Its expenditure per capita is far less, and the increase in its insane population not so noticeable. Its State Board of Charities still reports on all the relations of crime, pauperism, and insanity; and it still maintains in vigor the local system of charity which has been partially superseded in New York and Massachusetts. Were the insane all reported as closely as they are in those two States, the number would probably be found greater than 10,000. All its State hospitals and asylums are crowded, and there are many in the county poorhouses. This state of things has led to the recommendation by influential persons of the Wisconsin system of State care in county buildings, but whether that is likely to be adopted your committee have not heard. The Pennsylvania prison system has been. sharply censured since we last met, but the result of an investigation seems to show that it is working as well as the crowded state of the prisons will permit.
NORTH ATLANTIC STATES.
The law establishing the Connecticut State Reformatory was repealed. The Connecticut State Board is authorized to issue paroles. A woman instead of a man has been appointed superintendent of the Girls' Industrial School in Maine. An unsuccessful effort was made to establish a women's reformatory in Maine.
Hon. Homer Goodhue of Vermont, a member of this Conference, who died in June, 1896, left a legacy to provide entertainments for insane patients at Brattleboro. Rhode Island is improving its methods of caring for the insane along modern lines. An insane ward is being built at the Connecticut State prison at a cost of $38,000. New York has 20,000 insane in State institutions.
The Home for Destitute Children at Burlington, Vt., places its children in homes as fast as possible. The Women's Christian Temperance Union of Maine finds homes for dependent children. A
bill passed the Maine legislature, prohibiting the sale of cigarettes to minors, similar to the Minnesota law. ·
NORTH CENTRAL STATES.
State Conferences and State Boards.
State Conferences of Charities now exist in all of the North Central States, except Iowa and the Dakotas; and State Boards of Charities or similar bodies exist in all, except Iowa and North Dakota, a State Board of Charities having been organized in Missouri during the past year.
The legislatures in 1895 established State reformatories in Indiana and Missouri, and the parole system was established in the State prisons of Indiana and Missouri. In Missouri the county judges exercise the parole power. Boards of pardon were established in Illinois and Minnesota. Matrons for jails or police stations were provided for in Illinois and Michigan. In Kansas the State prison and the State Reformatory were placed under one board. Prison labor contracts were abolished in Nebraska, and productive convict labor was abolished in Indiana; but efforts to interfere with legitimate prison labor in Minnesota failed.
A child labor law was enacted in Missouri, and the Illinois law was strengthened. Provision was made for taking children from cruel or immoral parents in Missouri, and the law governing county homes in Indiana was strengthened. Keeping children in county poor asylums was prohibited in Indiana. State agents were created to care for dependent children, and place them in homes. Institutions for the feeble-minded were opened in Michigan and Indiana. Custodial care of idiots is being vigorously advocated in Ohio, with probable success. Minnesota has provided for the care of 300 custodial cases. The new institution for the feeble-minded at Chippewa Falls, Wis., has been opened, with about 100 inmates. It has a capacity of 250. Indiana has 550 inmates in the State School for Feeble-minded Youth, and 880 of the same class in the county poor asylums. The epileptics are to be cared for in the Michigan Home
for the Feeble-minded. A bill for an epileptic colony failed to pass in Illinois.
The combined county and State system of caring for the insane continues in favor in Wisconsin, and is being advocated in Minnesota and Massachusetts. Wisconsin has adopted a new insane law, which is believed to be a good one. In Minnesota the building of a fourth hospital for insane has been indefinitely postponed, owing to the bitter competition between rival sites. A new hospital for the insane has been built at Cherokee, Ia. The hospital at Fulton, Mo., has been made a homoeopathic hospital. In Illinois a bill to place insane hospitals under a paid lunacy commission, similar to that in New York, was defeated; also one for the State care of the insane.
The Governor of Alabama has been authorized to grant paroles at pleasure. A bill for a State workhouse, hospital and reformatory in Delaware failed. A prison association has been organized in Louisiana. An effort to establish a State prison in Oklahoma was defeated. Rev. Louis Zinkhan, late agent of the Maryland Prison Association, has been appointed superintendent of the Baltimore almshouse, an admirable appointment.
A girls' industrial school has been established in West Virginia. A bill for a juvenile reformatory in Mississippi failed after passing both Houses, leaving 200 negro boys in the Penitentiary; and a similar bill failed in Arkansas. In North Carolina minors are prohibited from entering bar-rooms, bowling-alleys, etc. The placingout system is practised extensively in West Virginia. As a result of the New Orleans meeting of the National Conference, a free kindergarten association has been organized in New Orleans, and two free kindergartens have already been established.
In West Virginia the governor has exercised great care in selecting trustees. In Maryland State care system is being earnestly
pushed. A large farm has been purchased, on which a hospital is being erected on the cottage plan, which is expected to provide ultimately for 5,000 patients. North Carolina is making provision for the criminal insane on the ground of a State penitentiary.
A bill to improve the civil service was defeated in Colorado, but its friends are sanguine of its passage in the next legislature. A consistent humane county jail law, modelled by the Minnesota law, failed in the Colorado legislature; 58 convicts are out on parole from the Colorado State prison. In Wyoming provision was made for a special tax levy to complete the new State Penitentiary of Rawlins.
In Colorado the State public-school law was so amended as to admit children not physically perfect, and a night school for newsboys has been established in Pueblo. In Wyoming the juvenile delinquents and the deaf and blind people are still boarded out in the institutions of other States.
The Wyoming General Hospital was badly damaged by fire in January, 1897. In Colorado an effort was made to establish the Wisconsin system of county insane asylums. In Alaska there is no provision whatever for the care of the insane. There are several dangerous insane patients in the Territory; and the only provision that can be made for them is in the jail at Sitka, at the private expense of the United States marshal.
All of which is respectfully submitted,
H. H. HART,
F. B. SANBORN,
JOSEPH P. BYERS,
BY MISS JULIA S. TUTWILER, CORRESPONDING SECRETARY.
In Alabama there is an unfortunate distinction between State prisoners and county prisoners. All persons sentenced for less. than a term of two years are kept under the care of the county. All others are State prisoners. For ten years past, by a contract, the State prisoners have been hired to the Tennessee Coal and Iron Company. There has been great opposition to this disposition of the State convicts from two very different sources. The humane citizens of the State have protested against forcing convicts to engage. in an occupation abnormally dangerous to life and health. In one Alabama mining prison (not one, however, in the care of the Tennessee Coal and Iron Company) the death-rate has been 90 to the
The free miners affirm that a great injustice.is done to their calling by employing in this work such a large amount of compulsory labor. Mining contractors who have a thousand convicts under their control can scout with contempt the demands of strikers.
Careful selection of men fit for the work would diminish so much the number of convicts employed in the mines that it would do much toward satisfying the second class of objectors. Several years ago such dangerous riots took place through these objectors that it was determined to take all convicts away from the mining contractors, and employ them on farms belonging to the State, and in mines owned by the State University. Two large State farms are now in operation. At Speigner's a cotton-mill has been erected, in which all women and boys are to be employed during a part of the day. Several hours will be allowed them for instruction in school-rooms built for this purpose, under the care of suitable teachers. However, it has been found impracticable for the State as yet to take charge of all the convicts. I have it from the highest authority that no bid of any mining company will be considered unless it promises to provide two night schools at every prison,--one for the colored, and one for the white convicts, with a missionary teacher in charge of each.
Several bills looking to the amelioration of our convict system were before the legislature of 1896-97; but, as none was passed, the system remains the same. However, one most important bill