Posts Tagged ‘criminalizing vagrancy’

“If self-help became the fundamental principle by which the validity of relief would be measured, this was not only because it constituted the supreme objective of a successful intervention in working-class life, as per the philanthropic doctrine of welfare that had been well understood since the end of the eighteenth century, if not earlier. It is also because this principle came to serve as the main criterion used to distinguish autonomous families, who were entitled to short-term household assistance, from paupers, whose lot was to be confined within the workhouses of the Victorian era. This principle would henceforth serve to distinguish poverty from pauperism, to assign each a territory and a topical remedy. The authorities had swiftly learned to differentiate the two, of course, but they had often drawn the line at the boundary between classes rather than attempting to judge the extent of the pauper’s moral depravity. Pauperism was merely the extreme form of the working classes’ deep-seated inability to either adapt to economic laws, or (as conservatives hoped) to recreate bonds of dependency. In either case, the pauperized urban masses suggested a possible future for societies. Their existence offered evidence of congenital vice among the poor to all those Malthusians searching for it, just as it suggested to liberals the need for organized, large-scaled societal intervention in favour of all the poor, with private initiative and government collaboration on this work of social reconstruction.

But from the moment when personal and civil autonomy became the criterion used to classify poverty – when the urban industrial environment ceased to be a cause of poverty and instead became the dominant context for the manifestation of dependency – it became possible to image society as composed of two separate, coexisting worlds: that of ‘natural poverty’ the structural constraint inflecting the trajectory of all workers and peasants, and that of pauperism, an abject, immoral ghetto inhabited by those members of society who had failed the test of autonomy. Antoine-Elisée

Cherbuliez explained this separation, in 1853, as follows:

That which makes modern pauperism a blot on society, that which makes it frightening and dangerous, is its ordinary alliance with a state of mindlessness and depravity in the mass of individuals, an all-too natural effect of their agglomeration and their homogeneity. Instead of being disseminated throughout the population of a region, indigents form a separate ‘population unto themselves’; instead of a localized infection found in all station of society, they form a separate class, a whole body infirm…to destroy moral poverty would be the true means of driving physical poverty back within its normal bounds, and this is, in truth, all one may hope to obtain by the most energetic and continuous action of the most enlightened charity. When we have reached that point, we will have beaten pauperism; there will remain only a small sum of accidental misery, which would always be an evil, no doubt but would no longer constitute a scourge. There would still be plenty of individual suffering, many miserable lives; but society’s progress would no longer be halted, its economic development disrupted, its vital principle attacked by the scourge of collective poverty, which, by causing whole categories of workers to fall into savagery, gathers little by little, around the same hearths where civilization is being most actively developed, a people foreign to any civilization.

Two fundamental corollaries flow from this separation:

1. On the one hand, the isolation of pauperism as an easily discernible social ill, as a separate world populated by failed citizens, allows for the ‘rehabilitation’ of ordinary poverty as a normal or even legitimate social phenomenon. Poverty is the habitual condition of the working classes and constitutes a characteristic of their environment. It becomes unacceptable only when it reaches a degree of intensity that threatens the survival of the honest family. Poverty is an essentially human condition that renders human beings more vulnerable to life’s unfortunate circumstances. The discourse of liberalism had a last learned to reconcile progress with poverty. Progress was no longer the emergence of a free people from the Egypt of ancestral poverty and arbitrariness. Instead it had become the sum of small individual victories over adversity: poverty was at once the precondition, the environment, and the fertile soil in which the possibility of a better life for all could take root.

Thus, the kind of poverty literally constituted the condition for the existence of civil society. It was not a political issue, or even really a social problem. Fundamentally, it derived from the inherent dynamics of civil society and was to be confined thereto. This explains why private charity reigned supreme in the economy of welfare. Not only because state charity was clumsy and dangerous, a pretext for demands formulated in terms of rights, but quite simply and more fundamentally because ‘normal’ poverty, as a general rule, demands relief only in its accidental manifestations, on the surface of civil society. Honest workers and toiling peasants were members of the autonomous poor struggling to survive and, if possible, thrive in a hard world. The will was their driving force, the aspiration to a better life their sustenance. If an accident such as illness or temporary unemployment were to befall them, charity was there to fill the gap. However, an accident is but is nature unforeseeable, unique, circumstantial. Poverty, like accidents in general, was thus the concern of those most able to intervene at the right place and time – that is, neighbours, the community, or the local relief organization (itself staffed by neighbours). Private charity, whatever its forms – whether secular or religious, ethnically based or municipal, outdoor or indoor, occasional or long-term, and whether it dispensed goods or services – was the ineluctable horizon of this ‘normal’ poverty.

2. On the other hand, the mass of pauperized individuals was excluded from the ordinary poverty that continued, for the time being, to bedevil the still-imperfect liberal societies. This mass of people was the precise equivalent of the more or less irretrievable criminals found in the liberal prisons. Political economy, so loquacious on the conditions of production and consumption, professed its powerlessness in the face of this marginal population, which had to be recorded as a liability on the balance sheet of progress, as noted by 

Antoine-Elisée Cherbuliez in 1853:

On the question of pauperism, political economy affords little but negative insights. It rejects state intervention as always impotent and often dangerous; it likewise rejects any system of social organization founded on the negation of property or the family, or on the right to work, as promising nothing but universal misery and societal dissolution. But the full exposition of these economic doctrines, and the refutation of errors and utopias…in no way contain the solution to our problem. They teach us only that it remains unresolved, and prevent us from taking red herrings for solutions.

But if pauperism has no solution, at least in the short term it nonetheless demands a response. If it is not to be cured, it can be perhaps at least contained. As in the case of criminals, confinement begins to take on the hues of a segregation procedure in which the ideal of reform gives way to prophylactic isolation. Here again, the Foucauldian notion of disciplinary treatment is of no use in grasping the meaning of the institutions of confinement in the economy of relief. Workhouses were not instruments of disciplinary knowledge. The new hub and spokes structures were not panopticons and in their regimes disciplinary techniques played a blind, repressive role. Generally, official strategy did not positively aim to reform and remake individual paupers. The aim was negatively to repress pauperism by making indoor relief thoroughly unattractive and making outdoor relief unobtainable for able-bodied men.

Unlike the charitable aid dispensed by the private sector, which was sensitive to the specificities of each case, the confinement of ‘degraded’ elements of the working classes was a systematic procedure based on the notion that anyone who willingly applied for and submitted to it must surely be unable to meet his own needs. This was the primary, fundamental criterion making the workhouse, the house of industry, or the beggar’s prison, more an instrument of discrimination than a place of refuge or assistance. A general distinction among those interned was established on the basis of the treatment accorded them, between the obligate dependency of abandoned children, the infirm, the elderly, or the insane, on the one hand, and the morally condemnable dependency of unemployed but able adults, on the other. But the particular circumstances of dependency were ultimately secondary to the facts of desperation and self-selection that gave rise to the institutionalization of extreme poverty. 

Moreover, despite the extreme discourse of the hard-liners of political economy, the validity of state intervention in this area was seldom challenged. A population without any great hope for reform, dangerous to the mass of honest citizens, and burdensome to administer had to be excluded, and appeals for state intervention to accomplish this were inevitable, if only for lack of something better – as Lambert stated in 1873:

The very existence of a poor law, the very fact that there does exist a provision for all who cannot provide for themselves, is a direct incentive to pauperism, and to the neglect of social ties…Do not think that I wish to say hard things against it. I say that for the time being it is the best, the only method of dealing with a great evil…I look forward to a time when we shall return to the original principle of the poor law, and consider poverty a crime.

Lambert makes it clear that the ‘poverty’ at issue here is that of pauperism, that form of extreme poverty in which so many people perpetually subsist. The poverty of paupers is a social crime of sorts, a violation of the conditions of life in society. It may be largely set down to a lack of foresight an inability to provide for one’s dependents, an unfitness for stable employment. It is a crime by omission, and the elites have learned to distinguish it from ‘true’ crime of the deliberate, or premeditated variety, yet it still dictates confinement for the individuals in question. Whether managed by the public authorities or otherwise, the institutions in which paupers were confined gave them special visibility by virtue of their physical segregation from ordinary poverty. It now became possible, and indeed tempting, to ascribe specific characteristics, or even physical or psychological idiosyncrasies, to this population – to categorize paupers as ‘defective, dependent, and delinquent’ in Wines’ 1888 words. The people living in prisons, houses of industry, asylums, and even hospitals became symptomatic of a sui generis social pathology on the basis of which they could be isolated from all forms of solidarity and marked as counterexamples of social normality. In this way, the problem they represented could be reduced to a localized condition of an otherwise fundamentally healthy social body.”

– Jean-Marie Fecteau, The Pauper’s Freedom. Translated by Peter Feldstein. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s Press, 2017. French edition 2004. pp.176-181 

Image: W. H. Davenport, “Skulkers from work – 

Workhouse on Blackwell’s Island.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine,

No. CXCVIII, Vol. XXXIII, November 1866. p. 686. From the NYPL Collection, ID 810126

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“The extent, the thoughtlessness, the indiscriminate nature, of our benevolence, has called into existence a class—the most noxious that can infest a community—to whom charity is an ample, a regular, a luxurious livelihood; who can calculate with certainty upon this income–who subsist upon it, as upon any other occupation or profession. The same system not only maintains this class, it is perpetually recruiting and increasing it. It tempts into it all the more indolent, reckless, and poor of the labouring classes. It saps the virtues of energy and self-reliance in those yet uncontaminated, by holding out to them the demoralizing contrast between the eas comforts of those who beg, and the hard privations of those who toil. Wherever it plants its baneful footsteps, it spreads selfishness around it. It teaches men, ever ready to learn so luxurious a lesson, to rely on others rather than themselves. It soon teaches them to claim, as a right, sustenance from others, and to be discontented and malignant when it is withheld: it raises barricades almost insurmountable in the path of real philanthropy: it renders it almost impossible to do good among this class: it undermines the efficiency of the religions teacher, and actually poisons his ministrations. The ministers attached to the domestic missions, even while describing the most painful scenes of squalid misery, intimate that they found their power of giving pecuniary aid sadly interfered with their moral and religious influence. While money could be extracted or – hoped for, a deaf ear was too generally turned to other and more valuable species of assistance.”

– Anonymous, “Charity, Noxious and Beneficent. A Review of The Charities of London by Sampson Low.” Westminster Review, Volume 59, 1853. pp. 70-71.

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“Ce qui fait du moderne paupérisme une plaie sociale, ce qui le rend effrayant et dangereux, c’est son alliance ordinaire avec un état d’abrutissement et de dépravation chez la masse des individus, effet trop naturel de leur agglomération et de leur homogénéité. Au lieu d’être disséminés dans toute la population d’une contrée, les indigents forment a eux seuls une population à part;
an lieu d’être atteints çà et là dans tous les rangs, ils sont atteints en corps et forment une classe distincte: ce sont les laboureurs de telle localité on bien les ouvriers de telle industrie, habitant presque seuls certains cantons, certains villages dans les campagnes, certains quartiers ou fau bourgs dans les villes.

On comprend aisément l’influence déplorable que doit exercer cette circonstance sur les habitudes et les sentiments du pauvre. Une fois qu’il a commencé à déchoir de sa dignité d’homme libre et de travailleur honête, il ne se relève plus et descend toujours plus bas, parce qu’il vit au milieu d’êtres qui subissent la même dégradation, les mêmes privations, les mêmes humiliations, et qu’il envisage dès lors tous ces maux comme des choses inhérentes à sa condition, inséparables de son genre de vie et de la profession qu’il a embrassée. Il oublie peu à
peu tous les besoins intellectuels et moraux dont la satisfaction est incompatible avec son extrême pauvreté; il réduit ses besoins matériels eux-mêmes jusqu’à la dernière limite que le soutien de son existence physique puisse lui permettre de s’imposer; il tombe, en un mot, dans animalisme, et finit pas n’avoir plus la conscience de son abaissement d’hui plus, ni d’un de son million dénoûment. 

Tels sont aujourd’hui plus de un million et demi 

de paysans irlandaises; tels les ouvriers qui peuplent certains quartiers des villes de Londres, de Liverpool, de Manchester, de Leeds, etc., en Angleterre; de Lille, de Rouen, de Lyon, etc., en France. 

La concentration de la misère dans certaines localités et chez certaines catégories sociales, voilà, nous le répétons, le trait distinctif du moderne paupérisme. Le nombre total des indigents peut ne s’être point accru depuis un demi-siècle, ou n’avoir augmenté qu’en proportion de la popula tion entière de chaque pays ; mais le fléau, en se développant avec une intensité particulière sur des points déterminés et parmi des classes entie rs! d’individus, a formé des foyers de misère où la dégénération physique et morale de l’espèce humaine, favorisée par cette agglomération et cette homogénéité des populations-misérables, a
fait des progrès et pris des proportions dont il y
a en peu d’exemples dans les périodes antérieures.”

– Antoine Cherbuliez, “Paupérisme.” in Coquelin and Guillaumin, Dictionnaire de l’économie politique. Volume II. Paris: Guillaumin & Hachette, 1854. p. 337. 

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“Le devoir de la prévoyance, comme tous les de voirs, a besoin d’une sanction, et, dans l’ordre na turel des choses, cette sanction ne lui manque pas: c’est la responsabilité qui pèse sur chaque famille; c’est cet enchaînement de causes et d’effets qui condamne le travailleur imprévoyant à souffrir dans sa personne ou dans celle des membres de sa famille; c’est cette peine à la fois afflictive et infamante, la misère, dont la menace retentit sans cesse aux oreilles du nécessiteux, et qui est tou jours là, sur ses talons, prête à lui faire expier, par des privations et des souffrances physiques et morales, le moindre accès de paresse, la moindre
habitude vicieuse.”

– Antoine Cherbuliez, “Bienfaisance Publique.” in Coquelin and Guillaumin, Dictionnaire de l’économie politique. Volume 1. Paris: Guillaumin & Hachette, 1854. p. 167. 

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“…we are becoming foolishly soft, weakly tender, irrationally maudlin, unwisely and mischievously charitable. Under the specious mask of mercy to the criminal and benevolence to the wretched, we spare our own feelings at the cost of the most obvious principles of morality, the plainest dictates of prudence, the dearest interests of our country. We are kind to every one, except society. We find it easier and more agreeable to be generous than to be just. We shrink from painful subjects, painful scenes, painful necessities.

Under the old system of parochial administration, for example, mistaken kindness, a misty sense of duty, and bad political economy, had gone hand-in-hand in augmenting destitution, and demoralizing our peasantry, till the result of their joint efforts threatened absolute ruin to sociey, when the new Poor-law stepped in to arrest the evil. It did much: it would have done much more, had not blind charity-—debased this time by an admixture of the worst political passions—interfered to prevent the free and full action of those thoroughly sound, though stern principles of right and justice, on which it was founded. It was perceived by the authors of that admirable measure, that the only way of discouraging pauperism, and promoting energy and self-reliance, was by rendering the position of the pauper less comfortable and less desirable than that of the independent labourer.

It was shown—what it was a reproach to our national good sense to think required a proof—that this was demanded by every consideration of policy and justice. But since it was necessary that the poor-house should be a substantial and weather-proof building; since it was essential to health and propriety that it should be warm and clean; and since it was impossible to feed the inmates so wretchedly, or to cook their food so ill, as in the case of the honest and self-supporting peasant, it became indispensable to the object in view to compensate these advantages to the pauper with some counterbalancing désagrements, in the shape of confinement, labour, classification, privation of tobacco and other luxuries, &c. &c. It was at once seen, moreover, that paupers supported by the contributions of the industrious part of the community should not be allowed to propagate their leisure and their discretion. 

On those ill-regulated individuals whose charity is the mere dictate of a shallow vanity, or into Whose donations publicity enters as a large and necessary element, we need waste no words of condemnation. “I hate charity,” Lord Dudley is somewhere reresented as saying; “’tis such an ostentatious vice.” “We hate charity,” might as fairly be said; “’tis such a lazy vice.” In a vast proportion of cases, and among those who contribute most liberally and largely, charity is a clumsy and hollow compromise between indolence and kindness; the acting motive is the offspring of a half-awakened conscience, and a more than half triumphant sloth.”

– Anonymous, “Charity, Noxious and Beneficent. A Review of The Charities of London by Sampson Low.” Westminster Review, Volume 59, 1853. pp. 63-64, 78.  

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“Quels ont été, dans tous ces cas si nombreux
et si divers, les résultats de la bienfaisance pu
blique? A-t-elle fait cesser l’indigence, détruit la
misère, remédié au paupérisme? Non: partout,
au contraire, elle a dû augmenter des efforts et
des sacrifices dont l’insuffisance devenait évi
dente , et appeler à son secours la bienfaisance
privée- pour combler une lacune qui grandissait
d’année en année; partout l’accroissement du
nombre des indigents a été d’autant plus rapide,
que la charité, soit publique, soit privée, se mon
trait plus large et plus active; partout, en conséquence, où ce système imprudemment adopté
avait fait prendre à l’indigence un grand déve
loppement et des proportions alarmantes, il a
fallu, pour qu’il continuât d’être praticable, y in
troduire des restrictions qui ont rendu l’assistance
officielle presque aussi fâcheuse pour les indigents
que la misère et le dénùment dont elle devait
les préserver.

La bienfaisance publique tourne dans un cercle
vicieux dont il lui est impossible de sortir: elle
crée une attente qu’elle ne pourra pas satisfaire ;
puis elle s’efforce de la rendre illusoire pour di
minuer le fardeau dont elle s’est témérairement

– Antoine Cherbuliez, “Bienfaisance Publique.” in Coquelin and Guillaumin, Dictionnaire de l’économie politique. Volume 1. Paris: Guillaumin & Hachette, 1854. p. 170.

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“As soon as child poverty is problematized in this way [as the fault of the parent and the local society], it becomes possible to invoke the need for public intervention in a broader range of cases – not just for young offenders and abandoned children, but for children neglected by unfit parents. This is a remarkable, cascading development that sets the stage for the systematic implementation, throughout the West, of child welfare and correctional systems consisting of prisons and reformatories, farm or penitentiary colonies, reform and industrial schools, and so on. Foster placement went hand in hand with these 1840s developments, paralleled by the development of the penitentiary system. From the 1880s on, new child protection associations sprang up in an effort to systematize the offensive against ‘unfit’ or deficient families, a movement that would be supported, in countries such as France and Belgium, by legislation providing for the loss of parental rights in such cases.

In Quebec, this problem gained sporadic public attention starting in the 1830s. The debate around the implementation of public institutions truly got going, however, only after the Act of Union of 1840. This debate, where it touched on young offenders, pitted proponents of punishment against theorists of reform. In 1851, the reformers worn a resounding victory with the passage if a series of resolutions by the House of Assembly of United Canada [which created the legal framework for reform schools and tackling youth delinquency]. In 1858, Lower Canada got a ‘reformatory,’ or reform prison, at Ile-aux-Noix on the Richilieu River, built in a clumsy effort to imitate Mettray [in France]. The terrible condition of the facility and the frequent instances of children running away to the nearby United States led to its being moved to Saint-Vincent-de-Paul in 1862. Ile-aux-Noix housed youths sentenced for serious crimes. It was clear soon after its opening, however, that it would not suffice. It made no provision for the incarceration of the juvenile petty criminals who still languished in the jails, much less for the housing of street children or abandoned children. It was unclear what was to be done with these children.”

– Jean-Marie Fecteau, The Pauper’s Freedom. Translated by Peter Feldstein. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s Press, 2017. French edition 2004. pp.142-143.

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“In so far as education has proved successful, in repressing vagrancy, I would answer, (without intending disparagement of the benevolent intentions of the projectors of the
scheme, or the zeal of the officials employed in its administration) No! 

The children of the dissolute and careless remain, to a great extent, outside its influences; progressing to crime and vagrancy is expanding yearly into still more frightful
dimensions, presenting now too alarming an aspect not to call for prompt and grave consideration
in the proper quarter. 

In the neglect of the proffered advantages of education, the children are frequently
to blame; but the parents are more generally the guilty party. Had they the welfare of
their offspring at heart, they would compel their attendance at school, where the opportunities
were available; but, instead of doing so, they, too often, not only connive at their
truancy, but absolutely encourage it, and find for them, instead, occupations calculated to
make them idlers and rogues; the children thus growing up pests to society, shunning
alike industry and education. 

Those who have gardens within a city, know the aptitude of the vagrant boys to strip
them of everything worth carrying off; and the owners of’ house property are aware, to
their cost, of the sharp artillery practice of this class, when the destruction of the windowglass
of their untenanted houses has to be accomplished. 

The encouragement given to vice, through the random charity bestowed in the public
streets on the “please give me a copper” class of vagrants, is much greater than the
benevolent contributors are generally aware of. The quantity of poison, yelept whiskey;
bought in a week or month with the alms thus given, would make a frightful flood, if collected
in one reservoir. 

Not alone by the parents and their vile associates the baneful beverage thus obtained
is consumed. hie youthful mendicant through whose doleful whines it had been procured, is also a partaker of it, and the harrowing spectacle of the innocence of childhood degraded,
through the example of the parents, to the level of brutality, may be witnessed on walking
through the slums inhabited by this wretched class, in the vagrant of some seven or eight
summers, the tyro drunkard, proud of mimicking, in its little maudlin swagger and hiccup,
the daily action of the miserable parent. 

Should any imagine that the picture here is overdrawn, let them but refer to the police
authorities of our populous cities, and they will receive the saddening confirmation of it.
It is, perhaps, whilst his heart is filled with the courage inspired by the liquor, the
youthful beggar first attempts a higher part in the role of vagrant life. The fear of being
pounced on by some lynx-eyed police officer, is no longer before his fuddled vision.  In
strolling about lie comes across something which his infant intelligence tells him can be
turned into money; he sneaks off with it unseen, and reaches home with it, undetected, where, through the agency of a “receiver,” or the accommodating officers of the grogseller,
it is speedily converted into whiskey.

From thus picking up small waifs on the wharves and market places, carrying home
“stray ” sticks of cordwood, taking off keys carelessly left in doors and such small beginnings,
the vagrant acquires confidence by success, creeping up into the bigher walks of
pickpocket, burglar, counterfeiter, in short everything which an adept in his profession
may aspire to until filling a cell in the Penitentiary…or a felon’s grave. 

The end so shocking, what was the beginning? Too generally, Vagrancy!

If the vagrant is to be reclaimed and the public spared the injury and cost of his misdeeds, some organized agency for the purpose is requisite.

This must necessarily be a state institution. The support desirable from private
beneficence is to uncertain to base on it the maintenance of a permanent undertaking. 

While simply pointing out the necessity that exists for some salutary measure, I do
not intend to enter upon the details of its organization, these would necessarily follow on
the adoption of the principle. 

The plans devised in those older countries, where vagrancy has been a subject of
state legislation, would supply the best information that made valuable by experience. 

That mode of treatment would best succeed, which would be gentle and compassionate.
The proceedings of the tribunal before which the vagrant should be brought for
examination, should be different from those pursued towards adult prisoners, and divested
of the exposure consequent on actual crime. 

The detectives employed (men tender and considerate) should be a body distinct from
the civic police, not alone in the duties discharged, but in the externals of dress. 

The vagrant, when taken up, should not be confined in an apartment used by the
criminals or disorderly classes, nor examined at the same time, or at the same place, with
them. Every harsh and repulsive feature should be put aside, that could give the appearance
of criminal prosecution to this first movement of benevolence in behalf of the vagrant.
The case should be enquired into in the presence of the parents, if the vagrant have
any, and they could be found; and every information possible should be obtained, in the
meantime, touching their reputation and habits. 

As, with every other scheme proposed for public consideration, objection may be made
to this one, on the ground of its expense, there need be but little room for this objection,
I imagine. 

Thus officers, one of them holding rank over the others, and competent to keep the
records of the department, and an office in which to keep these, which would also answer
for the Court, would constitute the bulk oi the expense, and this simple arrangement
would, at least for the present, embrace the necessary machinery for working the system. 

There are benevolent institutions at present in operation in Toronto which, under
suitable arrangements, would be found adequate to give the experiment a trial, and at
very small cost, I would suppose.
In the “ Boys’ Home,” an institution founded by some benevolent ladies of that city, and which has already done much to check the evil which is the subject of these remarks, would probably be found at least for some time a refuge for those vagrants of the Protestant
faith, and in the Reformatory Farm School, established by His Lordship the Catholic
Bishop of Toronto, would, I have no doubt, be received, those belonging to the Catholic

The establishment of such a tribunal and its machinery would, I have little doubt, be
hailed by many a sorrow-stricken parent as a blessing.
For the refractory youth-so often spoiled by blind indulgence, who does truant shuns from school and the parental roof, and associates with none but the worst of companions, and over when the parents have lost all influence, yet whom they cannot bring themselves to place in a prisoner’s dock; this tribunal and its-sentence of committal to a
strange but benevolent home, would be a merciful recourse, and, in all probability, restore
many a repentant prodigal to welcoming parents.”

– Inspector Terence O’Neil, “SEPARATE REPORT FOR THE YEAR 1864,” Annual Report of the Board of Inspectors of Asylums, Prisons &c for the year 1864. Sessional Papers of the Province of Canada, Sessional Papers No. 14, 29 Victoria, A. 1865. pp. 79-82

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“On referring to the report of the Montreal Jail, it will be seen that the continued increase in the commitments forms a lamentable feature in it. In 1861 the commitments were 3,436; and in 1862, 3,974; an increase of 538, or 15.6 per cent. The same remark which is applied to Toronto is equally true of Montreal. There is a jail population in the latter city, as in the former, which circulates through the streets to the city courts, and from the city courts to the City prison, where it sojourns for a specified number of days, to issue again from the gates and make the usual circuit.of the streets and courts as before. Of the 3,974 committed, 1,526 were persons recommitted.

There has no record been kept here, unfortunately, of the re-commitments of the same person, except for 1862. I cannot, therefore, go back upon previous years, as I have been able to do with respect to the corresponding class in Toronto; but I have taken from the books a list of 649 individuals of those’recommitted during last year.

Those 649 persons had been consequently 2,146 times before the courts in 186 The keeper of the jail, Mr. McGinn, and his assistant, Mr. Laurie, were also kind enough to go over the books with me, and point out tome a list of 75 of the most notorious inhabitants of the prison, giving me the length of time for:which they have been regular frequenters of it, and the number of days generally intervening between their discharge and their re-commitment. Although those officer communicated the facts from memory only, there is not the slightest doubt of their general accuracy.

I confess that – until my duties led me to inquire into and reflect upon the state of crime, as shown by the Common Jail Returns – I had no idea of such results; and I only fear that I will fail in conveying to the minds of others the convictions now impressed upon my own with such force as to induce remedy. Truly do the officers of the prison, who are brought daily and hourly into contact with this moving mass of, crime, declare that prison reform is not to be looked for, so long as the remedy is not applied at its source. The present state of the law, and the custom of the Police and Recorder’s Courts, actually tend to foster crime, and to train up families of criminals to, the second and third generations, in the practice of their profession.

l order to show how the present system acts, I may give a few instances, as related by Mr. McGinn and his deputy, whose known reputation for accuracy and truth places the facts beyond a question.

Mary R., wife of Michael R., was committed, with a child at her breast, as a loose and disorderly person by the Recorder, on the 27th October last, for one month. When in prison she was visited by her husband and a son of about eleven years of age. On the 27th November she was discharged. On the following day, the whole family husband, wife, son and infant – were committed as vagrants, on their own confession, by the Recorder, for another month. On the 28th December they were discharged, and on the 12th January last they were all again re-committed.

John D. was first committed for larceny in 1840, and, frequently afterwards. After a few re-commitments of himself, his wife was committed along with him, having a child in her arms. D. at last was sent to the Penitentiary, and the wife made the jail her home by means of the short commitment system. The child became prostitute at eleven years of age, and the time that she is not now on the streets, she is in the prison.

J. D. and his family were committed as vagrants about eighteen years ago. Two daughters, being then more children, were reared up in jail.’ The parents are now dead, but the girls became prostitutes at thirteen years of age, and are still frequenters of the prison. One of them ‘has now a bastard in her arms, to be trained up in the same steps in which the grand-mother and mother had walked.

John F. became a vagrant about fifteen years ago; and his son has been reared principally in jail. He turned out an expert thief and is now in the Reformatory.

Thomas M. and Pierre L. became inmates of the jail, and had also each a son, who after training in jail, are now in the Reformatory.

In 1848, J. C. was sent to the Penitentiary, after being a regular inmate of the Montreal Jail for some years before. His Montreal Jail life was shared also by his wife and three children. The mother and two children left Montreal soon after the father had been sent to Kingston, but the oldest girl, about eleven years of age, was already a prostitute, and remained.

J. T., senr., was sent to the Penitentiary in September last, after being an inmate of the jail for some time. His son, 15 years old, was sent five years to the Reformatory, and his wife was sent five times to jail during the last year. There are two other children of. whom the oldest is eight years. They will, in all likelihood, follow in their parents’ stops.

Instances might be multiplied to any extent of the efficiency of the Montreal Jail as an academy for crime. A very considerable number of the criminals now about the city, as well as many in the Penitentiary, have spent terms of imprisonment in this jail, before they reached 12 years of age, some of them at first with one or both parents. At the present moment, there are about a dozen children in the prison with their mothers, who, ten years after this, will be thieves and prostitutes on the streets of the city. They will have acquired – all their education, at the government expense, in the school for crime established in this province.

What is the remedy for all this? The first step, undoubtedly, is to put an end to short commitments. If offenders make it clear, by their frequent appearance before a court, that they cannot keep out of jail, the law ought to take them according to their acts, and make a previous sentence a portion of the fresh crime, increasing the imprisonment every time to adults, and in the case of boys sending them to the Reformatory before a second crime is committed. It is not to be wondered at that the expense of the administration of justice reaches the figure which the public accounts exhibit from year to year. I have shewn from the books at Montreal, that 649 worthless vagrants have been tried 2146 times! These re-commitients proceed from the Recorder’s and the Police Courts, and if we reckon the expense of the police, the witnesses and the clerks, and assume them at the moderate rate of $5 for each arrest and trial, we have the sum of $16,560 expended in producing crime, instead of repressing it!

In connexion with the repression and punishment of crime is the employment of the prisoners in the common jails; and it is a question of no small importance to the public.

Under present circumstances, it may be said that the employment of male prisoners is next to nothing. At times, when the corporation of Toronto feels inclined to purchase broken stone from the jail, the prisoners are set to work, and so with respect to Montreal. At this moment, however, there have been about 3000 loads of stone in, the yard at the latter city for some time, which the corporation will not purchase, for some reason or another, as it has been suggested, connected with the letting of contracts by the Road Committee.

The females in the Toronto Jail are employed in sewing to an unlimited extent, and at Montreal they are also engaged in picking oakum. The total amount earned from all sources is stated at $500 for Toronto, and $850 for Montreal.

The county jails afford no employments any description for either males or females, with the exception of sawing wood for the stove; and the small towns in which they are situated seem to be as careful not to encourage work being-done in them, as tie corporations of the larger cities. The town council of Guelph, for instance, was offered the lab or of the prisoners at that jail in breaking stone, if they would pay for the transport’ it to and from the prison yard; but they have not yet acted upon the offer.

In a young country like Canada, where labor is of so much value and where the taxes are paid entirely by a class which does labor, it becomes a question of some moment to consider what is to be done with the mass of idleness which is housed, fed and clothed in our prisons. Setting aside the cases of first commitments, in which the sentences may probably be for short periods of imprisonment, and consequently beyond the reach of regular systematizing, there must be; according to my computation, from 1200 to 1500 vagrants and petty depredators, who come and go from the jails as from their home. and, it is to this class that, I think, the attention of the authorities ought to be at once directed. One would think, as all reason would suggest, that an evil so palpable, and of daily occurrence to so great an extent, in every part of the Province,would have forced itself upon the consideration of intelligent men, and compelled a remedy. On the contrary, however,the legislation of Parliament, and the practice of courts of justice have been directly exercised for producing and nursing it. For the class of habitués,the idea of a jail, instead of presenting an aspect of terror or discomfort, offers them one of a pleasing absence of work, and a certainty of warm lodgings, with abundant food. Every now and then, a paragraph may be seen to the effect, that parties named applied the Court to be committed to prison,and it is of frequent occurrence at the Montreal Jail that the vagrants are entrusted with, and alone carry to the prison, .in their own arms, the warrants under which they are committed.

The first stop, it appears obvious, that should be taken, is to make every recommittal itself a crime, as in Scotland it is a crime to be habit and repute thief. Even under the present system, this would afford relief, first, to the public, who suffer from the depredations of this class of offenders; 2nd, to the police force of the cities and-towns which they frequent, affording to the officers, more time for the duty of protecting the peace and preventing offences on their regular beats; besides diminishing the cause.of complaint. now so frequently brought against the police, that they are never to be found when wanted; 3rd, to the inferior Courts, the principal expense of which is rendered necessary by perpetually having to try the cases in which the class referred to are parties.

The next step is, to set these culprits to some description of work, by which the expenses they have thrown upon society may be lessened, if not reimbursed. This may be done, it appears to me, in two ways: either by the establishment of Central Jails (as already recommended by the Board of Inspectors and favorably entertained by the. late Administration), in which their labor may be systematised and rendered productive; or by employing them in the construction of public works.

The system of central jails could be the soonest established, as there are now jails nearly completed well adapted for the purpose. It would also be attended with less expense for supervision and security against escape than the other. But it would have this disadvantage, that only a few descriptions of occupations could be carried on within them, and a considerable time would necessarily elapse before expertness could be looked for, or consequent, profit.

In a central jails, trades might be carried on, in which males and females could be em ployed, as is now exemplified in tho Penitentiary. And with respect to females, especially I seec no reason why they should not be set to work by the Government, in making up clothing for the Volunteers and Militia, of whom there is every prospect now of there being a standing force in the country. It is only the other day that contracts were given out by the Government for 10,000 pairs of trousers for the Provincial troops, the expense of making which might have been readily saved to the public by collecting the females now scattered through the various prisons into one central jail, and giving them that work to do.

The other mode of employing male prisoners – that of constructing public works –  might be attended with ,perhaps, more expense, but, as I view it, with more direct and visible profit to, the community. From the nature of forced labor and-especially that’ criminals, it can be most advantageously carried on, both in respect to its efficiency, and the expenses of supervision, where a good deal is required within a small space. In the construction of harbors, in the building of locks, or in the excavation of heavy cuts, where a large number of hands can be kept under the eyes of a few overseers or guards, such labor can be employed to advantage.

The public have now to employ policemen to watch, to track, and to arrest them, jailers and turnkeys to guard them, and, under any circumstances, to house, to feed and to clothe them. What more would the Govérnment have to do for them, if it compelled them to do some labor in return? Nothing that I can see.

The whole Canadian shore of Lake Erie is destitute of harbours, to which the storm surprised commerce on its waters can flee for refuge: why not set to work a sufficient gang of the able-bodied men now wasting their own lives, and the hard-earned money of fhe industrious classes in the prisons, and keep them at work until, at every favorable point a harbour of refuge is constructed?

…I cannot bring myself to think that it is right that the criminal portion of the population should be the only one not only exempted from exertions, but supported in plenty at the public expense when the country requires the labor of every available man for opening up and improving its communications.”

–  Inspector James Moir Ferres, “SEPARATE REPORT for the year 1862,” from Annual Report of the Board of Inspectors of Asylums, Prisons &c for the year 1862. Sessional Papers of the Province of Canada, Sessional Papers No. 66, 26 Victoria, A. 1863.

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“The liberal logic of regulation effected an increasingly strict separation in the penal order between the necessity of punishment and the desirability of reform. In so doing, it made it possible to reconcile the principle of individual culpability with a modicum of respect for physical and mental integrity. The legitimacy of the penal order came to revolve around punishment of the deliberate act, which was to be governed by strict rules of due process and proportionate sentencing.

These principles of regulation entailed two important operational constraints. The first was that punishment was unequivocally predicated on the offender’s free will, so that persons defined as lacking this capacity – the insane, or children under a certain age, for example – were not subject to it. The second was that the principle of proportionality implied a gradation of punishment corresponding, at least in part, to the gravity of the offence. The worse the offence, the greater the legal power of detention (and hence the possibility of prolonged treatment). This led to a fundamental paradox: the conditions for the effectiveness of punishment (and the prisoner reform expected to flow from it) were in stark contradiction with the dictates of prevention. The latter, after all, necessitated prior intervention, before the irremediable occurred. Moreover, prevention is unable by definition to react ex post facto to tangible acts; its whole logic of operation consists of a focus on certain factors that define a social or human condition rather than a particular act. 

This demarcation between the right to punish and the need to prevent – blurred in the case of adults by the waning enthusiasm for the ideals of criminal reform – came fully into play in the case of children. Here, hopes of reform had remained alive and had indeed begun to take priority over the imperatives of punishment. The discourse of the development of child reform institutions depicts reform as inextricably linked to the notion of prevention.

The work is not cleanse the polluted stream after it has flowed on in its pestilential course, but to purify the fountain whence it draws its unfailing supply. What we have to do is devise and carry out such measures as shall take possession of all juveniles who may be placed in such circumstances as to be evidently precarious for a life of crime, or who may already have entered upon it, and keep hold of them until they have been trained in the knowledge of the right way and fairly started in a course of well-doing.

Where children were concerned, the liberal legal order was regarded as a constraint that need not be obeyed with any great strictness – in the words of Toqueville, “the children brought into into it without being convicted, were not the victims of persecution, but merely deprived of a fatal liberty.”

As it happened, the fraught relationship between the penal and the charitable developed, in the case of children, in two stages. In the first, continuing until the mid-19th century, the distinction between young offenders and abandoned children because increasingly clear, with the penal law applicable to the first giving the state the legal means to justify incarceration, while the tendency was for abandoned children to be entrusted to the care of private initiatives, subject to the rules governing parental responsibility and custody. In the second, the fate of children, runaways in particular, was to inspire state measures to provide for their welfare. There ensued a gradual enlargement of compulsory powers beyond the domain of criminal law. In this process, the power to remove children from their homes was extended to cases beyond the bounds of classical penal law. Thus, runaways and abandoned children who kept company with criminals, or whose parents were in prison, could be legally confined.”

– Jean-Marie Fecteau, The Pauper’s Freedom. Translated by Peter Feldstein. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s Press, 2017. French edition 2004. pp.146-47.

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“The history of the Pied-du-Courant prison in Montreal clearly reflects and illustrates the ongoing changes in liberal penalty while highlighting its practical advantages and limits. The discourse on punishment methods in the democratic era was not static or repetitive; it was, rather, quite responsive to the vagaries of the liberal worldview and the contradictions inherent in it, as well as to the challenges to liberalism that arose in the late nineteenth century. But just as the utopian ideal of reform through imprisonment ebbed back into a punitive reflex, turn-of-the-century hopes for the scientific treatment of crime would not have much effect on penal practice.

The reason was very simple: the liberal worldview was the only viable one in a society based on individual liberty. It alone acknowledged the primary purpose of penal justice (punishing crime) while satisfying the demands of basic humanism (not mistreating the prisoner), leaving reformist reveries to the penitentiary managers and philanthropists. Its agenda was simplicity itself: let the prison do what it does best. Let it lock up criminals under conditions suitable for their punishment, and thereby deter honest folk from taking the road to crime. 

Given this situation, a science-driven revolution in prison management was not to be expected. Once the West’s imposing penitentiary system was put in place after the 1830s, it remained only to manage  it in all good conscience, as the liberal philosophy of punishment required. The sombre confines of the modern prison remained impervious to challenges from the new science of criminology; penal formalism was not to be subordinated to case-by-case treatment. Only on the treatment of hardened criminals and recidivists did criminologists and prison authorities see eye to eye.The discourse of eugenics was invoked to justify the indefinite or permanent isolation of this group of people deemed beyond rehabilitation, incapable of life of society. Confinement became the end of the road, a dumping ground for these new wretched of the earth, for whom science had found no better solution than to lock them away in the darkness of the cell. In Canada, the penitentiaries had played this role since the mid-nineteenth century, with the workaday silence of the federal prison administration being periodically disturbed by the occasional prison riot and the commission of inquiry which inevitably followed.  

But what of the jailhouse? A revolving door for petty criminals, caught up in the busy administration of everyday violations and misdemeanor, it meted out a kind of haphazard mass punishment without enjoying the luxury of engaging in speculation about the possibility of reform. The Montreal prison is a particularly striking example of this dynamic.

Yet at its inception in 1836, in the heyday of utopian penality, it had been thought capable of rising to the highest challenges, and even one day serving as a penitentiary, following the lead of the one just opened at Kingston in the neighbouring colony. Its designer, the architect Henry Musgrave Blaiklock, seems to have been inspired by the Pennsylvanian model (twenty-four-hour solitary confinement) in his design for rather spacious cells arranged in wings looking onto a central corridor.

After 1843, however, when the Kingston penitentiary was assigned the role of housing Lower Canadian criminals sentenced to more than two years, the Montreal prison was confirmed in its role as a holding pen for petty criminals. Thus began a long history of lamentation, in which both prison managers and inspectors deplored the facility’s overpopulation, outdatedness, and inadequacy for purposes of rational treatment, as well as the structural impossibility of adopting an effective classification of its inmates. Solitary confinement at the facility came in for special condemnation.

And yet despite all these deficiencies, the Montreal prison did the impossible; it endured. From 1840 onward and throughout the whole period under study, it remained by far the largest penal institution in Quebec. Moreover, all things considered, it evinced a remarkable capacity for adaptation. In fact, all the issues of liberal penality discussed in this chapter can be found encapsulated in its history.

Consider, for example, the principle of functional specialization. Starting in earnest in the 1870s, specific institutions would be built for girls (1870), boys (1873), and women (1876), leading to the disappearance of these populations from Pied-du-Courant. Moreover, efforts were made to convert it into a more modern, cell-based facility. The 1897 inspectors’ report states that 227 individual cells had been built in this relatively modest buildings, along with 84 three-person cells and 4 ‘open quarters.’ Even the endless debate over penal labour (work as punishment or work as a means of improvement) was enacted within these old, overpopulated walls. Prisoners had initially been assigned to breaking rocks and beating hemp. In 1839, however, after an abortive project to put them to work under a contract with the City of Montreal, the new prison governor, Charles A.Vallée, commissioned a building in the prison yard to house new workshops. The implementation of these workshops attests to the transition from purely penal work to work designed to provide some form of training.

Obviously, the biggest obstacle to the ‘modernization’ of the Montreal prison related to its role as a local facility for a transient population of petty criminals. The prison inspectors’ inability to convince the provincial authorities to build an ‘intermediate’ prison to house ‘habitual criminals’ (vagrants and beggars who used the prison as a short-term asylum) for longer intervals gave way to a realization that the prison could be neither deterrent (in the liberal sense of the term) nor reformative. Even the prospect of early parole was a relatively meagre incentive for a person serving only a month or two in prison, as was the case for the large majority of the facility’s population.

It is hard to avoid that the impression that the Montreal prison, as outdated and inadequate as penal specialists argued it was, played its role of handling the day-to-day inflow and outflow of petty criminals quite well. It served its purpose as the punitive instrument of first resort. The time was long gone when the authorities were enthusiastically building great shrines to the ideal of reform, yet the prospect of a comprehensive therapeutic solution to crime sat somewhere off in an indistinct future. Only legal formalism remained: punishment in response to violation of the formal injunctions contained in the Criminal Code. Seen in this way, the Montreal prison and its history encapsulate rather well the limited ambitions of liberal penal philosophy. The fact that it also served as a refuge for the poorest citizens – a situation decried throughout the period – constitutes another important dimension of this institution…”

– Jean-Marie Fecteau, The Pauper’s Freedom. Translated by Peter Feldstein. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s Press, 2017. French edition 2004. pp.132-35.

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“Sudbury Police Court,” Sudbury Star. August 10, 1918. Page 05.

Magistrate Brodie intimated in Friday morning’s court that from now on he was going to fine all alien enemies for not carrying papers and Mich. Radomski and D. Mumylyk, hailing from Romford, paid ten dollars and costs for failing to have received permission to come to Sudbury.

Peter Yabokoski was found in an intoxicated condition at the C.P.R. depot Thursday night and when he was searched it was discovered that he had left his papers in a grip at Murray Mine where he had been working. It cost him $10 and costs his fount of joy, and five and costs for not having his papers.

Leon  Michiniowicz was charged with not being employed at a useful occupation on the 9th day of July. He stated that he had worked at the Mond smelter at Coniston but had left owing to ‘his work injuring his health.’ At the time of his arrest he was learning to run a jitney car and at the preent has a jitney. His worship in dismissing the case gave Michniowicz a chance, seeing that he had worked at the smelter five years.

Jules Chalifoux, who was arrested sometime ago for stealing a sum of money on the 3rd of July was allowed to go Friday, owing to the fact that the plaintiff in the charge cannot be located.

A Conistion party appeared Thursday morning to have a family quarrel straightened out. Peter Petryna claimed that Tomas Bilyj had trhown a bottle at him and struck him on the back as he was removing some cases which Bilyj had thrown on the defendant’s property. Much abusive language was exchanged reflecting on both families and the complaint was laid as a result. Magistrate Brodie told the parties interested that the affair was a small thing, expressing a hope that they would go back and live in harmony with one another, and try to patch up there differences. Bilyj was fined $1 and costs.

On Wednesday, Alex. Juval requested the court to let his charge of having liquor in other than a private dwelling stand over until Thursday morning, and after having slept over it, he pleaded guilty to the charge and paid $200 and costs.

The charge against E. Waugh of having more than fifteen days’ supply of flour on hand was dismissed on Thursday, as the court was convinced that he did not have an over supply of flour at one time. In fact, evidence was brought forward to the effect that it would only last him about fifteen days.

When Nathaniel James was told that he was charged with being drunk he pleaded guilty and told his Worship that he was drinking Three Star brandy. It cost Nat. $10 and costs, and he was told that if he didn’t leave the stars alone it would be a prison term next time.

Horace Chamberlain admitted that he was in a hurry and that he passed a standing street car while pasengers were alighting.

‘If you are willing to take those chance it will cost you $5 and costs,’ said his Worshhip.

Hilda Maki, Coniston, after having just been released from the reformatory, again appeared at the court Thursday. The magistrate did not read any charge against the woman, but remanded her to enable two physicians to examine her and ascertain the condition of her mental faculties.

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“Express Men Are Accused Of Theft,” Hamilton Spectator. July 21, 1919. Page 18.

Trio Remanded Until Tomorrow For Hearing

Alien Heavily Fined For Carrying Knife

Only One Crock Owner Roped in Since Saturday

In police court to-day, James Shuler, a husky brave from Hagersville, faced a charge of assaulting Mrs. George Oram, as she was waiting for a car in the Terminal station. James denied having assaulted anyone.

‘Are you an Indian?’ the magistrate asked.

‘Oh, I guess I’m a mongrel,’ replied Shuler with a grin.

‘Well, you are fine $10. You’ve got to learn that women must not be molested,’ the court pronounced.

Charles Burton, Sylvester Riddell and John Kivelle, three trainmen, were accused of stealing from the Canadian Express Company. The case was remanded for one day. All three young men come from Allandale.

On the request of his attorney, Alec. McFarlane, Thomas Finnigan, 100 Napier Street, was remanded for one week. He was charged by John Hodges with false pretences and by James Clancey with theft. Mr. McFarlane explained that the charges were not of a serious character and related to some differences between partners which he thought could be settled within a week’s time. Finnigan was allowed to go on his own recognizance.

Martin Phillips, who was arrested in New York several days ago on a charge of stealing money order blanks from the Dominion Express company, was granted one day’s remand by the magistrate. Phillips pleaded for time to consult a lawyer.

P. C. Roughead noticed Andrew Walaskan, 127 Cannon Street east, walking down the street and acting in a most suspicious manner. A search of Walashan’s person revealed a small bottle of alcohol and the shattered fragments of the O.T.A. tinkled on the sidewalk about him. Andrew admitted the breach. 

‘Fined $200,’ the magistrate decreed.

When Van Cabarich, 922 Burlington street east, was searched, the police found a long, keen, steel knife in his belt. Cabarick admitted carrying the weapon.

‘One hundred dollars or three months in jail,’ the magistrate promptly declared.

When P.C. Myers was wandering up Maple avenue he saw a group of boys standing in a circle.

‘They were going through the motions of shooting crap,’ he explained.

Three of the group, Fergus Fitzgerald, 166 Florence street; Gordon Weaver, 66 Locke street, and Frank Sheehan, 67 Inchbury street, swore that there had been no gambling going on, and the magistrate dismissed the case.

Juan Powzzy, an olive-skinned native of Mexico, was arrested by Detective Shirley yesterday on suspicion of vagrancy. He gave Toronto as his address and was remanded for one day to enable the police to investigate his past life.

Louis Louin, 95 Birmingham street, was drunk early this morning. He was assessed $20.

‘Were’s you drunk yesterday?’ the court asked George Blaicher, Mount Hamilton.

‘Yesterday?’ George faltered. ‘Why, I was sick.’

But the court didn’t believe it, and charged Blaicher $20.

S. B. Fuller, 170 Stanley avenue, allowed his car to be parked on the cab stand and was fined $2.

‘There’s nine cars parked on the cab stand now,’ remarked Fuller as he left the court.

H. E. Smye, 164 Duke street, succeeded in driving his motor-car 28 miles an hour on Main street east yesterday afternoon. He paid $10 for the little prank.

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“City Items,” Montreal Daily Witness, July 12, 1871. Page 03.

Mary Ann Sullivan, a girl of only 10 years of age, who recently escaped from the Reformatory, was arrested yesterday by Constables Armor and Martel, and to-day was sent back to the Reformatory.

Escaped. – Yesterday a boy named Louis Vian, aged 15 years, was arrested by the detectives on suspicion of being concerned in the Gault outrage. The circumstantial evidence against him was very strong, and a handkerchief which belonged to Mr. Gault was also found in his possession. After his arrest, he was put in the cell along with other prisoners to await examination at the Police Court to-day. During the night, however, Master Louis Vian managed to effect his escape by, it is believed, crawling through the ventilator in the cell door. The aperture in question is less than nine inches square, and Vian must have been very dexterous in getting through and afterwards clearing off from the building without being noticed. Three or four persons previously arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the Gault outrage, were to-day shown to Mr. Gault, but the latter failed to recognize any of them, and they were sent to jail as vagrants.

Attempted Imposition By A Carter. – Until cabmen are peremptorily and severly dealt with, their daily tricks and impositions on the public will never be put down. Charles Lapointe, 21, carter, who resides in Craig street, was charged at the Recorder’s Coourt to-day with refusing hire. It appears that on Tuesday morning Mr. Treasurer Black came off the Quebec boat and prisoner was one of several cabmen who solicited hire. Mr. Black hired Lapointe, who on second thoughts wanted to know where he was going, and if to a fire, and finally, with an oath, refused to drive him. Chief Penton gave Lapointe anything but a good character, and His Honor said that this system of carters bullying people and levying black mail must be stopped; and every case proven would be severely punished. Lapointe was fined $8 or one month in jail.

Loafing Vagrants. – At present there seems to be an unusually large number of loafing vagrants about the city. Louis Deschamp, 35, alias Leon Richer, laborer, from St. Urbain street; Michel Dubois, 34, laborer, St. Dominique steet; Xavier Beauvais, 27, carter, carter, Papineau Road, and a disreputable woman named Adeline Lefebvre, 29, were arrested at 5 o’clock this morning by sub-Constables McCormicck and Depatie, who had watched the gang for some two hours previous, when they were in a field off Sherbrooke street. At the Recorder’s Court to-day, it was stated that the prisoners are strongly suspected of being concerned in some recent robberies, and His Honor committed them each for two months; also Joseph Dupont, 20, vagrant, from Campeau street, against whom the detectives are working up a case of burglary.

Sarah Alcock, 44, an old vagrant, Mary Ann Lanigan, 29, and Elizabeth Dunn, 29, both found loitering on Champs de Mars, were each committed for a month; also Mary Ann McDonnell, 45, and Ann Meaney, 23, who were found in a drunken disgraceful state on Logan’s Farm. His Honor said that a law would soon be in force, by which vagrants for second offence may be committed for two years.

Alphonese Labreque, 24, laborer, and who, the police stated, was the ‘fancy man’ of the keeper of a brothel, was arrested along with Joseph St. Jean, 27, stone-cutter, loitering with a prostitute, and they were each fined $2.50 or 15 days in jail.

POLICE COURT – WEDNESDAY. – A woman who was arrested on a charge of breaking a pane of glass in the door of E. Costello, was discharged for lack of evidence.

Edmund Fegan 62, a vagrant from Common street, was arrested for stealing coal on the wharf and was committed as a vagrant for two months,

Eliza O’Brien, wife of James Mourney, of Colborne Avenue, was charged with using insulting language to Catherine Mullins, wife of James Mourney, Jr., and was fined $10.75, including costs, or fifteen days in all.

Damase Piebe, shoemaker for assaulting Augustin Guibord, was fine $7 including costs or 15 days.

George Clarke, Fil, alias Williamson, alias Henderson, charged with stealing four billiard balls belonging to Mr. Chadwick, St. James street, was remanded for examination. The balls were found in his possession, but Clarke says he brought them with him from the United States early in June last.

RECORDER’S COURT – Wednesday – This morning the sheet contained fifty cases, and nearly one-third of those were persons arrested in connection with a house of ill-fame in St. Elizabeth street, where the police made a raid last night. With such a programme before the Court it was no wonder that the place was thronged by those peculiar and miscellaneous personages, the largest proportion of whom are of a vicious character, who watch the rise and fall of the criminal barometer with an interest that is whetted and increasing in proportion as the details are disgusting.

Frederic Lafontaine, 32, agent, or manager of the Toronto House and Edward Rheaume, 24, shoemaker, who got quarrelling and attempted to fight at the door of the above tavern, were each fined $2.50 or 15 days in jail.

Fabien Beaudouin, 22, carter, drunk in Notre Dame street; Daniel Murphy, 40, agent from Quebec, drunk in St. Paul street; François Ganthier, 48, blacksmith, drunk in Panet street; Michael MccGeary, 36, laborer, drunk, in Commissioner street; J. Bte. Deslauriers, 52, laborer, drunk in St Paul street; J. Bte. Braurmter, 58, laborer, drunk in Perthius street; Jos. Power, 19, laborer, drunk in Manufacturer street, and Daniel Gibson, 34, a respectably dressed man, drunk in Cahboulez Square Fire Station, also a woman, were each fined in small sums for being drunk; while Richard McDonnell, 27, baker, drunk in the city cars, was fine $2 or 15 days.

George McNeil, 32, shoemaker, and George McNulty, 55, laborer, both drunk in Lacroi street, and insulting people, were each fined $2.50 or 15 days.

Joseph Howie, 26, shoemaker, was fined $5 or 30 days, for loitering in Campean street with a prostitute, named Adeline Lefebvre, 39, who was committed for a month.

Thomas Cleary, 29, mechanic, residing in Dorchester street, got drunk last night, and was smashing the furniture and threatened to throw his wife out of the window. As the wife failed to appear, Cleary was let off with a fine of $2.50 or 15 days in jail.

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“Sent To Bordeaux,” Montreal Gazette. June 28, 1915. Page 03.

Four young men who came before Judge St. Cyr on Saturday morning were sent to Bordeaux for terms ranging from eight days to six months. Narcisse Chartrand, twenty years of age, who pleaded guilty to a charge of vagrancy laid against him by his mother, was given six months and a severe lecture. Arthur Roland, twenty-six years of age was condemned to a fine of $15 or three months in prison for having assaulted his mother, who asked that he be sent down. Ernest Audette, found guilty of stealing oats, was sent to prison for fifteen days, while Robert Day, found guilty of a minor theft, was sent away for eight days.

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