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The present legislature has passed a law intended to correct the tramp-nuisance, which has become such a terror and burden in the State. It defines a tramp to be "any person going about from place to place, begging, asking, or subsisting upon charity, and for the purpose of acquiring money or a living; and who shall have no fixed place of residence or lawful occupation in the county or city in which he shall be arrested. Such shall be taken and deemed to be a tramp, and guilty of a misdemeanor, and, on conviction, shall be sentenced to undergo an imprisonment by separate and solitary confinement, at labor, or in the county jail or workhouse, for not more than twelve months, in the discretion of the court," &c.

Mr. Milligan said the best way of getting any information regarding the Southern States was through Congressmen. None of these States had State boards of charities. Most of them let out their convicts in chain-gangs for working in mines, on railroads, and on farms. The labor was sold for a very small sum. In Alabama recommendations have been made to the State legislature which would have some influence in protecting prisoners from brutality. Maryland, though without a State board of charities, had a most intelligent warden of its Penitentiary, Mr. Wilkinson; and Mr. Griffith of Baltimore, had organized prison societies intended to look after prison management.



Dr. Byers said that the reports from gentlemen representing the North-west and Kansas had been so full in regard to recent legislation and administration that he had little to add; especially in view of the instructive papers that were soon to come before the Conference. Concerning Ohio, he would say that the General Assembly, at its session of 1877-78, re-organized all the public institutions of the State, benevolent, reformatory, and penal. The change, of course, was followed, as was designed, by a very general change in the administrative officers. The principal change in the laws relating to these institutions was one giving authority to boards of trustees to appoint the personnel, subordinates as well as the chief officers. The changes in law and administration, owing chiefly to this fact, have not been satisfactory.

In regard to Minnesota, the Hon. J. S. Irons, Secretary of State, reports that recent laws enacted in that State, relating to public charities, were "principally amendatory." The committee is indebted to the courtesy of Hon. Samuel J. Alexander, Secretary of State of Nebraska, for a complete copy of the laws of that State. A hurried glance at these shows the following enactments by the last General Assembly: 1. An Act setting apart a portion of the public domain of the State for the use of the State Hospital for the Insane; 2. Extending the lease of State-prison and convict labor; 3. To enlarge and improve the Insane Asylum; 4. Establishing a State Reform School; 5. Providing for industrial education in the Deaf and Dumb Institution; 6. An Act relating to Tramps, providing punishment for refusal to work when begging subsistence, and making a menace, or threat of violence, a felony.

As a general remark, it is proper to observe that the new States of the West, rapidly filling up from the intelligent and enterprising population of the older States, are keeping pace in the scope, organization, and administration of public benevolent, reformatory, and penal institutions, and in not a few instances have laid under tribute the experience of older States in securing an improved system in the new.


In the name of the General Committee on the Prevention of Pauperism, the Ohio Sub-Committee (Messrs. John W. Andrews, Robert W. Steele, and J. K. Rukenbrod) presented to the Conference the following Report, which was read by Dr. Byers:


The investigations and experience of the Board of State Charities of Ohio have led substantially to the following conclusions as to the prevention of pauperism :

1. There should be established by law, in every county, or district made up of smaller counties, a Children's Home for all dependent children, not one of whom should remain longer than is absolutely necessary in an infirmary or poorhouse. These Homes should have the constant supervision of women, and should be simply transitional and preparatory until homes can be found for the children in private families; and the finding of such homes, and

the supervision of the treatment of the children in them, should be the main business of the officers of such Children's Homes.

2. In cities and densely-populated districts there should be established by law Industrial Homes, where older neglected and dependent children, who are wandering about unprotected but not yet habitually vicious or criminal, may be detained and educated and set to work, and kept from bad influences until homes in private families can be provided for them.

3. Houses of Refuge for boys who are already vicious or criminal, or strongly inclined to be so, but are too young to come under the discipline of criminal law, should be established in or near all large cities, and should be accessible, when needed, by children from the country districts.

4. There should be established, under the care of the State, a Reform School for boys guilty of crime or thoroughly incorrigible, which shall have in view the principle of furnishing ultimately to each boy the safeguards of home influence and work, especially work on farms or in the country, cities being avoided for such homes.

5. There should be also, under State care, a Reform School for girls who are criminal or vicious, who should be educated and trained to habits of industry, and for whom homes in private families should be provided. The treatment and reformation of this class of offenders presents, perhaps, the most difficult problem with which we have to deal; but the sole hope for them, as for all the rest, must be found in the influences of home, daily work, and moral and religious teaching, by example as well as precept.

6. Reformatories should be established by the State for younger and less hardened offenders guilty of crimes of a high grade, of which the methods and discipline should be especially directed to the reformation of the criminal. The model reformatory of this character is at Elmira, in the State of New York; and the legislation of New York upon this subject is in advance of that of all the other States. Habits of labor, especially on farms, should be formed, and homes in the country obtained for such prisoners when discharged. The object should be to reform all who can be reformed.

7. Discharged prisoners should be aided in procuring work, or they will inevitably relapse into crime; and experience shows that this is a matter of serious difficulty, which demands the supervision of the State, as well as local sympathy and aid.

8. Habitual criminals, meaning thereby those who have been repeatedly convicted of crimes of a high grade, and sentenced to imprisonment therefor, should, on being discharged from prison, be under the supervision of the police, and if found to be without visible means of support, and neglecting or refusing to work, should be sent to a workhouse, and compelled to earn a living by their own labor. This would diminish crime and pauperism very perceptibly.

9. Every able-bodied criminal convicted and sentenced to imprisonment as a punishment for crime of any grade should be compelled to earn his living by labor, instead of being supported by the honest and industrious classes; and for this purpose workhouses should be provided by the State, with farms attached to some extent as may be found advisable. This would relieve both cities and agricultural districts, to a considerable extent, of vagrants and minor offenders.

10. In addition to the provisions very generally made, and which should be universal, for the care of lunatics, the deaf and dumb, and the blind, at the public expense, there should be State institutions for the permanent care of idiots, and also similar institutions for the care of epileptics. Both of these dependent classes could do something toward their own support; and the expense of their maintenance would be no more than at present, while they would be better cared for, and the infirmaries relieved of their worst elements, and made, as they should be, comfortable homes for the aged and infirm; and the terrible demoralization and propagation of these classes that is going on in our infirmaries would be, in a measure, checked and controlled.

11. A Board of State Charities, or something analogous to it, should have a general supervision of all the penal and charitable institutions of every State, whose duty it should be to examine into their condition, and report the same to the legislature with suggestions as to their improvement; and there should also be in every county a voluntary Charity Aid Association, working in sympathy with the central Board, that shall visit periodically and be in sympathy with the officers of all infirmaries, jails, cityprisons, and other penal institutions and local public charities, and shall aid discharged prisoners in finding work. Party politics should be absolutely unknown in all such boards and associations. Good men of all parties, and women, should be interested in them; but fitness alone, meaning thereby intelligence, experience, and

high character, and not politics, should be the qualification demanded of every officer and employee in all public institutions. The public should wake up to the unmitigated evil of politics and political influences in the management of preventive, reformatory, penal, and charitable institutions.

Such are some of the conclusions to which experience has brought the Ohio Board of State Charities as to the reformatories and public charities of the State, and the direct treatment of the vicious and criminal classes in reference to the prevention of pauperism. In all cases, the best methods are in the long-run the most economical; and there is no better test of the civilization of a people than its treatment of its helpless and dependent, its vicious and criminal classes.

This committee beg leave to add a few further suggestions that seem to have a bearing upon the problem presented, to wit, the prevention of pauperism.

1. City government is a municipal, not a political, organization. So far as it is political, it perverts its powers, and becomes an abuse. It should be no more political than the government of a bank or railroad. The fact that our cities have become to a great extent nests of partisan politics, and are governed largely for the benefit of professional politicians rather than the public good, has led to an increase of vice and crime and pauperism in our large cities, that is appalling. City government in the United States, at all events in our larger cities, is a failure; and city governments generally are in sympathy with the vicious and' lawbreaking classes, as far as they dare to be, for the sake of their votes. The statesman who can tell us how to govern large cities well, with universal suffrage, will render a service to his country that will rank with that of Washington who founded, and of Lincoln who saved it. If men shall fail to do the work, women may possibly be called in, as a necessity, to aid in purifying city governments. Cities are dominant in this government; and our most imminent danger now is from the vice and crime and pauperism to which their abominable misgovernment leads.

2. This is a great producing country, and if suffered to do so can supply with meat, breadstuffs, butter, cheese, iron, gold, silver, copper, cotton, petroleum, tobacco, and other products and their manufactures, the markets of half the world. What we need is access to these markets in our own vessels, in order to stimulate healthfully our agriculture, commerce, and manufactures. If, as

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