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the effects of imprisonment on crime, and how far the punish'ments inflicted are efficacious or otherwise, either as regards the

criminal himself, or the class from which he comes. All those particulars might be easily afforded, without inflicting much

additional trouble on Magistrates, by abolishing all unnecessary ' multiplication of returns, and by substituting for them one com

plete set of monthly records furnished to a single central office, r and these collated with the extreme care and attention necessary, to render criminal statistics of any value.”

Without some well devised and honestly worked plan of statistics, as regards the lives of former prisoners, the effects of Jail discipline, and especially of Jail industry, cannot be ascertained. It is so far satisfactory to know that the health of the convicts is not needlessly sacrificed, and that their cost is greatly reduced by placing them to occupations in-doors instead of on the roads, but as regards the after-effect of their industrial prison teaching, we are, under the present system, in most complete ignorance. We are anxious to know whether the various new or improved branches of manufacture, taught them during their imprisonment, are in their after-career made a means of obtaining an honest livelihood, or if the teaching be scattered to the winds, and they return to their former evil habits. This is certainly one of the most essential points to ascertain, and until we are enlightened on the subject of recommitments, we shall continue to be groping in the dark.

On the 30th April, 1855, there were in the various prisons under Dr. Mouat, 18,788 males and 568 females : of these, 1,146 were “life prisoners.'' The number of those sentenced to labor, was 16,048, of whom 3,367 were employed on roads, 6,076 engaged in manufactures, 3,595 otherwise occupied, and 3,005 inefficients for age or other causes. The principal employments under the head of manufactures, consist of gunny and clothweaving, paper-working and brick-making.

The gross financial results of the year were as follows :Value of articles sold in the bazar..

Rs, 1,65,999 2 4 Ditto consumed for public purposes

36,666 8 Ditto in Store at the end of the year

49,599 4 21

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....Rs. 2,52,264 14 64 Deducting from this, the value of articles in Store at the end of the year 1854-55

52,041 8 3

The earnings of the year will have been

.Rs. 2,00,223 6 2}

From which deducting the cost of raw materials and

sundry charges, there would be a nett profit of .....,Rs.

90,859 2 1

Against that of the previous year........

... Rs.

81,163 1 3

The table accompanying shews, at a glance, the progressive increase in the produce of Jail industry, since the first systematic introduction of in-door manufacture in the year 1843 :

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It must be observed here, that this statement includes the working of the Calcutta House of Correction, the receipts from which were excluded from the return previously analysed.

The earnings of the several Jails vary considerably : the difference arising from the better system pursued in some establishments, as well as from the more advantageous locality of their positions, in regard to the value of labor in the market.

The four Jails indicated below, stand at the head of the list in this respect, shewing against each name, the yearly earning of a single prisoner :

Hooghly, Earnings per prisoner


ditto Nuddea,

ditto Whilst far below these in the long list we find : Monghyr .....

0 0 Patna

8 0 0


53 0 0
27 0 0
26 0 0
22 0 0

..,Rs. 12

And this result was in spite of the superior quality of the article produced by them, so that it is, clearly, not the actual money value of the manufacture which yields the largest amount of profit. Some Jails, from their unfavorable position, do not realise above one rupee per prisoner; and for this, there would appear to be no remedy at present.

It appears that the total cost of each convict in the different


Jails, ranges from Rs. 30-3-3 per annum to Rs. 96-12-3, the bulk of them being between Rs. 31 and Rs. 41. Here again we must not place all this difference to the credit of economical management, though it does happen that the best managed Jails are those which cost least. A good deal of the extra costliness of many at the bottom of the list in the matter of expenditure, arises, beyond a doubt, from the dearness of the particular district, and not from the defective management of the establishment. The first result of the working of the year under review, is that the average annual cost of all the nineteen thousand prisoners confined in the fifty-five Jails of the Lower Provinces, amounts to Rs. 42-10-7, including all fixed and extra charges, whilst the average earning per man for the same period, was Rs. 5-11-10.

The four establishments already instanced, as shewing the highest returns in their manufacturing products, will be found as regard their cost and earnings, to stand thus :

For greatest earnings.
Alipore ...

For least cost.





In many of the Jails, the introduction of manufactures has been too recent to yield any favorable result, and in some of them, we find that the cost has slightly exceeded the value in the market of the articles produced. Time will however put all this right.

In the latter part of last year, an exhibition of articles of Jail manufacture was held in the Town Hall of Calcutta. It lasted for many days, and was attended by great numbers of all classes of the community. This was the first exhibition of the kind in British India. The articles shewn were such as ordinarily made in the Jails, and not specially manufactured for the purpose ; so that the exhibition may be said to have fairly enough represented the actual working proficiency of each Jail. Many of the articles shewn were not of a nature to interest Europeans, yet they were probably the most suitable manufactures for the districts in which they were produced, where the population is entirely native, and the cost of transporting a superior produce to Calcutta or elsewhere would doubtless have proved it a ruinous proceeding.

The exhibited articles comprised cloths of various descriptions in use amongst the native population of the various districts, table-covers, towelling, dusters, carpets, durrees, blankets, horse-clothing, saddlery, gunny bags, thread, tape, twine, paper, bamboo and rattan articles, carpentry, ironwork, bricks and tiles, pottery, shoes, oil, &c. &c.

SEPT., 1857.

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Of the above, many were of such a nature as scarcely to call for any notice from us. There were again other manufactures so good as to deserve especial mention. Whilst we can say nothing in commendation of the paper produced at the Jails, nor feel able to speak in especial terms of their gamlahs, thilias, bathing stools, roasting hooks or iron hinges, we can afford to pause and examine with much interest and pleasure, the door mats, baskets, blankets, towelling, cotton cloths, thread, gunny bags, and carpets.

It is quite possible that some of the articles most deserving of praise, are the least remunerative to the Jails; but this, although an element in the entire calculation, is after all not of primary importance. There can be no doubt, but that, as far as excellence in quality is concerned, a large number of the articles produced afford a good example to the non-convict workman. Whether the free work-people may find it to their advantage to imitate the excellence of the superior Jail manufactures, is a question that can only be solved by time. Probably in the more remote districts, the cost of the additional labor bestowed, would scarcely meet with a corresponding value, but this could hardly be the case in localities within reach of populous neighbourhoods, where quality has become of some moment in most articles of popular demand.

The articles which most especially attracted the attention of consumers of the commercial class, were the various gunny bags, which were as superior in every respect to the ordinary production of the village looms, as could well be imagined. Indeed they have long been known as the Jail bags of Bengal, and, under that name, are known in foreign markets, for their great strength and durability. We understood that on the first few days of the exhibition, more contracts were offered for this description of gunny bags, than could be taken by the Jails producing them, than could be executed during the current year. It would appear advisable that this branch of manufacture should be commenced in other Jails, whenever they were not at so great a distance from the market, as to render the transit charges on the bags too heavy. There seems to be no limit to the consumption of these articles in a trade which is yearly restricted only by the impossibility of enabling the supply to keep pace with the demand.

There can be no reasonable doubt as to the success of this introductory exhibition of Jail manufactures. Others will follow yearly, and the public will not only be thus enabled to mark the progress in the industry and skill of our convicts, but able to supply some of their wants to an extent, and with goods of a quality, which in this non-progressing country it would be elsewhere

impossible to do. Having thus considered this portion of the subject, we would desire to turn our attention to other points; but before offering the suggestions we have to make, we would say a few words upon the subject of the convicts themselves, their offences, and the degrees of punishment and probation called for in their several cases.

It is necessary that we do this before giving our opinion as to the quality and degree of labor, which we think, should be exacted from them.

In considering this part of our subject, there are four results to be kept in view, viz:—the proper amount of punishment to be inflicted on each prisoner for the offence committed by him : —the example to be made with a view of deterring from future offences in others :--the reformatory training of the convicts ;and lastly, the saving of some portion of our Jail outlay, by the labor of the prisoners. Of the latter object, we do not intend to say much, because we believe it of far less moment than any of the others, and too much regard to it might weaken the effect of the larger question. We must of course omit from this portion of our remarks, the life-prisoners, whose crimes and punishment do not bring them under the same considerations.

For our present purpose, we may safely and properly divide the whole of the remaining convicts into two great divisions, those who have committed simple misdemeanors, and those who have been found guilty of serious offences. According to our pre-conceived ideas on crimes and punishments, as gathered in Europe, and more especially in England, we should have been tempted to apply the ordinarily accepted rules to these cases, and to have said with all confidence in our western judgment, that the misdemeanors might be amply recompensed, and offended society satisfied by the lightest occupation, whilst the perpetrators of the heavier offences against our laws, should be placed at gang-work on the roads, at brick-making, or other heavy and laborious tasks proportionate to the serious nature of their offences.

In this we should have fallen into error. The state of native society, the habits of the natives, and the predisposing causes to crime amongst them, all differ most materially from the state of things in European countries. It is to be regretted that we possess so little in the shape of criminal statistics for any part of India. The labors of the Statist, at all times valuable, can hardly be over-estimated when brought to bear upon crime and its repression. In this country, too, where social defects and evils have such a widely different character from those in the west, we the more stand in need of correct data to guide us in our proceedings.

The Government will do well to lose no time in putting them

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