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Crime, Its Causes and Remedies. By CESARE LOMBROSO, M.D.
Translated by HENRY P. HORTON, M.A., with an introduction by MAURICE PARMELEE, Ph.D. Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1911.
For the general reader this is the most valuable work of the famous Italian student of criminals; and the American Institute of Criminal Law and Criminology has done an important service by causing it to be translated and published in English. Professor Parmelee's summary of the therories of Lombroso is sufficient to give a setting to this particular work in which the practical conclusions of the theories are argued with wealth of illustration. The recent work of Lombroso's daughter, Madame Ferrero, might well be read in connection with this volume.
The point of view is expressed in the title, and crime is regarded chiefly from the medical point of view as a disease requiring remedies. It would be unfair to press this point too far, for Lombroso in this work takes a very wide view of anti-social conduct and includes many social causes; but he constantly returns to the anatomical and physiological starting-point as the final explanation.
The eminent physician is generous in his appreciation of American institutions; perhaps if he had had the task of improving them he would have been less optimistic; we have troubles of our own. On every page one finds ideas which startle attention and challenge doubt; in many places antagonism is inevitable. But no one can read the book carefully without seeing that our criminal law, our procedure, and our systems of punishment are in great need of radical revision; and that the most promising measures for the prevention of crime are not found in the courts and jails, but in the profound changes which are made in conditions of health, education, recreation, and spiritual progress of the people.
CHARLES RICHMOND HENDERSON
The Criminal and the Community. By JAMES DEVO. London
and New York: John Lane, 1912. Pp. xxi+ 338.
A shrewd medical officer in a prison of Glasgow, familiar with the life and surroundings of the poor in Scotland and with the administration of poorhouses, hospitals for the insane, and prisons, a pugnacious and polemical man of the people with a lance in rest for hereditary privileges, has set down his observations, criticisms, and recommendations. They are well worth reading, and the constructive suggestions in the closing pages point out the way of the future. Most of the treatises on criminal law are written by men learned in constitutions and statutes and often ignorant of criminals. The prison officer does not always have the intimate knowledge of human motives which is gained by medical practice. We need more discussion by psychologists and teachers who have lived with offenders.
The doctor analyzes his subject in the order in which he would deal with a patient-diagnosis, treatment, possible prophylaxis for the future; the study of the criminal, etiology of crime, treatment of the criminal.
Lombroso's method is regarded as useless. The prison does not reform and it does not prevent crime, and so fails in respect to any rational purpose; for retribution does good to no one and tends to harden all. The only proper use of a prison is as a place of secure detention until the offender can be trusted with conditional liberty under control. The first duty is to study each case carefully and deal with it on its merits. In most cases a well-managed system of probation would make it unnecessary to confine the offender. If public safety requires incarceration for a time, the offender can still be encouraged to hope for release on parole if he proves that he can be trusted. No criminal should be left at any time to do as he pleases after serving a definite sentence, but each one should be kept under effective supervision until his associates and neighbors come to trust him. For neighbors and fellow-workmen are far better judges in such matters than courts, police, and prosecuting attorneys. Thus Dr. Devo, on the basis of a long experience in Scotland, has come by an independent route to the essential conclusions of the “American School,” conclusions which were approved by the Eighth International Prison Congress at Washington in 1910.
CHARLES RICHMOND HENDERSON
Fatigue and Efficiency. By JOSEPHINE GOLDMARK. Introduction
by FREDERIC S. LEE. New York: Charities Publication Committee, 1912. Pp. 591. $3.50.
The scientific character of the physiological teaching of this work is vouched for by competent authority. Indeed, a large part of the volume is given to exact citations of arguments and conclusions of renowned investigators of all civilized countries. The value of the collection to practical sociology is beyond calculation. It will be an armory for students of reform and of social legislation for many years to come. A A great part of the material has already been used by Mr. Brandeis and others in support of laws securing a shorter working-day for women. Courts of highest instance have been profoundly influenced in the consideration of cases brought under such laws. The famous epigram of an Illinois judge was inspired by this kind of appeal: “What I know as a man I cannot ignore as a judge."
The next step is to get this powerful book read by managers of industries. Senior and John Bright honestly believed that if the eleventh or twelfth hour were cut off from the working-day the manufacturer would be bankrupt. The day was reduced in spite of their prophecies of ruin to trade, and England advanced in riches. It now appears from recent laboratory and shop tests that a new mine of wealth is opened to the world, of which many managers are totally ignorant. This first mine of untouched riches is in the superior energy, accuracy, and regularity of working people who are protected from excessive strain, overtime, overwork, monotony, and given a chance to recuperate rhythmically from fatigue and its poisons by rest and refreshment. The publication of this book makes a great advance both in the improvement of the conditions of the operatives and also in larger productivity of machinery and in the intelligence, habits, and character of the people.
CHARLES RICHMOND HENDERSON
Fifty Years of Prison Service. By ZEBULON REED BROCKWAY.
New York: Charities Publication Committee, 1912.
It was well for the friends of Mr. Brockway to have exact information with which to defend his good name against cruel slander and misunderstanding; but his fame has always been secure since he established Elmira Reformatory. That institution has been both an experiment station and a demonstration for mankind. The autobiography of its distinguished founder throws much light on the evolution of the system in his own mind and in the institution, but very little on the historic movement of thought which preceded him and accompanied him. We can easily discover the points at which biblical criticism, the new laboratory methods of psychology, the manual-training and tradeschool ideas, and the social-ethical purpose of criminal procedure began to affect his method; but we are not often told exactly when these notions were suggested to his mind. This is not very important; for he worked upon a hint with entire independence of spirit.
One of the most instructive parts of a very instructive book is his explanation of the way in which he set direct moral persuasion into a secondary place and pushed forward the idea of formation of social habits through the daily routine of the reformatory. Here the authority of the psychologists is cited, but the method is his own. One is amazed at the persistence and industry of the man. He devoted his days to administrative duties and much of the night to personal interviews with the young men placed under his care. College presidents, deans, and teachers have much to learn from his procedure in this respect. It would be interesting to watch the trial of a secondary school or college, with trades taught, much in the same way as that in which Mr. Brockway conducted Elmira, the “college on the hill." Some of us would not object to see "spanking” tried on a certain number of spoiled boys who are impervious to any influence except that which gives a harmless but effective shock to the peripheral nerves. Most schools simply discharge such lads and do not care what becomes of them. Mr. Brockway could not expel his students and he was obliged to compel obedience. Between permitting a young man to go his own way to moral ruin without coercive discipline and the reasonable use of the paddle, Mr. Brockway chose the latter, fully aware that there would be a pseudo-philanthropic outcry against him for cruelty. The final official report of New York cleared him of all guilt; his managers and fellow-officers were loyal to him, and the acceptance of his doctrine of the "indeterminate sentence" by the last International Prison Congress of 1910 crowned his life with victory. These advanced ideas without his conscientious, protracted, devoted, and sagacious administration might long have struggled for recognition; their early triumph was due more to Z. R. Brockway than to any man who ever lived; and it is fortunate that he has lived long enough to know the outcome of his long and arduous labor to prove that a scientific method of re-forming habits is full of promise, and, in good hands, is sure of success.
Some matters connected with the methods of reformation are still in dispute, and universal agreement on all points of detail cannot be expected. For example, Mr. Brockway's mode of coercive “discipline,” which was mere “punishment,” is still discussed. His method of using the chief of police or sheriff as a parole officer is not accepted by all men of experience, and his reasons are not given. Perhaps other successful superintendents will make more of conscious co-operation with the pupil in the attainment of the educational end, and relatively less of a “strait-jacket of habit” imposed from without. But, no matter what the ultimate issue of the controversy, the methods actually employed were always chosen for a worthy purpose, with vast knowledge of criminal minds, and on the basis of carefully thought-out plans. If ever any of his positions are overthrown it will be in consequence of equal experience with offenders and never merely on the ground of speculative and imaginative theories.
CHARLES RICHMOND HENDERSON
The Philanthropic Work of Josephine Shaw Lowell. By WILLIAM
RHEINLANDER STEWART. New York: Macmillan, 1911. The Life and Work of William Roger Litchworth. Houghton
Mifflin Co., 1912.
The public is fortunate in having access to the story of two persons who were conspicuous and worthy representatives of American philanthropy, and also fortunate in having the stories told by two entirely trustworthy and competent biographers. The volumes will be classics in the libraries of students of the history of our country and of its spiritual achievements.
C. R. H.
A Report on Vocational Training in Chicago and Other Cities. Pp.
This is a report of a subcommittee of the City Club of Chicago, the membership of which was as follows: Chairman Professor George H. Mead, of the University of Chicago, William J. Bogan, Albert G. Lane Technical High School, and Mr. Ernest A. Wreidt, Fellow in Education in the University of Chicago. Two of the specific studies were made by other research students of the University.
The City Club of Chicago is an organization which has for its main purpose the promotion of constructive studies of important civic questions. The report is in general accord with the purpose of the club and has for its immediate object the extension of popular education in Chicago.
In the words of the report it presents "an analysis of the need for industrial and commercial training in Chicago, and a study of present