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preceding table. Taking all the low-license cities together an average of 567.7 arrests per 10,000, as against a ratio of 599.3 for the high-license cities. That is, the ratio was higher by 31.6 in the low-license cities, a difference so slight that it would be wiped out by the substitution of one or two other high-license cities in place of those given. These statistics, could they be taken as competent evidence of the relative extent of criminality, point to the untruth of the claim that crime becomes more prolific under low-license than under high. Whether drunkenness increases under low license is another story; drunkenness is not synonymous with crime. NUMBER OF ARRESTS DURING 1905 IN HIGH LICENSE CITIES FOR ALL OFFENSES AND NUMBER PER 10,000 of POPULATION.
NUMBER OF ARRESTS DURING 1905 IN LOW LICENSE CITIES FOR ALL OFFENSES AND NUMBER PER 10,000 OF POPULATION.
If the statistics of arrests for all offenses are of little avail in illuminating the relation between crime and the liquor habit, not much more can be said for prison statistics, except this: In the same manner as arrests for all offenses, they show that whatever the relation between drink and crime may be, this relation exists in the same degree in States under prohibition as in States under the same form of license.
The figures for the next table are drawn from the United States Census report on Prisoners and covers the year 1904. The sta
tistics show, by States, the commitments on a term sentence to all prisons during twelve months for these three classes of offenses: (1) against public policy; (2) against property, and (3) against the person. Statistics of the same kind for cities are not available and would not be so significant.
Drunkenness, disorderly conduct, and a host of minor offenses form the bulk of those designated as against public policy. In this class the commitments to prisons in States and territories (exclusive of the District of Columbia) range from 4.9 per 100,000 inhabitants in Arkansas to 377.2 in Massachusetts. Between these extremes are ratios in general so divergent that they only serve to show how standards of enforcements differ (the lack of abundance of repressive measures), and not the extent to which the population of States commit offenses against public policy.
Incidentally, significant comparisons can be made between States under prohibition and those under license. If prohibition is effective and crime is attributable to the liquor habit in the degree claimed by some, why do the prohibition States show such unfavorable ratios? Only seven of all the States and territories show a higher ratio of commitments for offenses against public policy than Maine. Kansas makes a better appearance, as twenty-four States. had higher ratios of commitments for this class of offenses. But North Dakota compares rather unfavorably with Kansas for only twenty-one States have larger ratios of commitments for offenses against public policy than North Dakota.
It must be conceded that in prohibition States, notably in Maine, a sterner effort which sometimes prevails to repress drunkenness and punish illegal selling would naturally tend to swell the commitments for offenses against public policy. A similar concession cannot be made, however, in regard to the remaining crime classes, namely, against property and against the person.
Criminal acts evidencing a criminal bent for the most part take the form of offenses against property, and commitments to prison of this class therefore have a peculiar significance as making the volume of crime.
There is a much smaller discrepancy in ratios of commitments for offenses against property exhibited by the various States; they run from 16.8 per 100,000 of population in Mississippi to 111.0 in Nevada. Maine, although largely an agricultural community, is only surpassed by 28 States, including, of course, most of those
NUMBER COMMITTED TO PRISON ON A TERM SENTENCE DURING 1904, AND NUMBER PER 100,000 OF POPULATION FOR STATES.
with larger urban centers, in the proportion of her citizens, who in the course of twelve months, are committed to prison for offenses against property. Even States like Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Iowa, not to mention most of the Southern States, present a more flattering crime picture.
Only eight States had a larger proportion of commitments for offenses against property than prohibition Kansas. Among them is not a single State in the middle West and South, and only one in New England, namely, Connecticut. The remaining seven belong to the western tier of States. Again it must be emphasized that these facts do not prove the comparative extent of crime against property in Kansas, but that, whatever deductions must be made. for the presence of a large federal prison, the prohibition law is wholly ineffective as a means of checking crime.
In the respect under consideration, North Dakota makes a much better showing as only seven States have a smaller proportion of commitments for offenses against property. But North Dakota is purely an agricultural State, sparsely settled, with hardly a city worthy of the name, and containing a foreign population which, if not particularly noted for sobriety, is remarkably law-abiding.
The only real light these statistics of commitments for offenses against property throw upon their relation to the liquor habit is that the proportion of such offenses do not diminish appreciably under sumptuary laws. Either such laws are inoperative or the liquor habit cannot be such a prolific source of crime as many believe.
One is led to the same conclusion by an examination of the commitments for offenses against the person. Here the ratios attributed to the various States exhibit a greater degree of uniformity and the showing for Maine appears rather favorable as only eight States (including the District of Columbia) have lower ratios.
The matter assumes a different aspect, however, upon further analysis. Homicide is easily the chief crime against the person and is frequently committed while under the influence of liquor. Now in the State of Maine, among the offenses against the person classed as such in the table were 44 commitments for homicide, equivalent to 6.2 per 100,000 of population. This is a higher ratio than for any of the other eight States in the North Atlantic division, except Connecticut. In other words, New Hampshire,