Posts Tagged ‘reformatory’

“I have again to express my opinion that, there is no sure prospect of these institutions being attended with the success they are capable of producing, so long as the courts continue
to send the boys to them for short periods. It neither holds to reason or to-experience,
that evil habits are to be eradicated of a sudden. If the evil lessons of the streets required
time for their acquisition and for their development, surely the lessons of the school-room
require still more. The lad who has seen by example, nothing but iniquity and has heard
no Ianguage but that of vice, has much to unlearn before the precepts of religion; and
morality can have room in his mind, and much to get rid of before they will influence his conduct. If the heathen adage “Nemo est repenti turpissismus,” strike one, as true
when enunciated, the truth of the converse of it must strike the mind with still greater
force. I hold that when the natural guardians of a boy have renounced the proper care
of him which they are bound by every obligation to take, and have abandoned him to be
a prey upon society, as evidenced by his condemnation in a court of justice, society has not only the right, but it is a duty forced upon it  to assume the obligations of the guardians and act as it sees best for the benefit of the boy.

With a boy of tender age, the consideration of punishment for the offence which brings him before the courts, ought not to enter into the sentence as an ingredient, so
much as a humane and enlightened consideration of the most effectual means of preventing a repetition of it in all time to come. ln weighing this, the Judge could do well not only to foresee, it strikes me, what is to be done with the little culprit  before him, when the sentence is about to be pronounced, but what he is to do with himself once his sentence expires, seeing that he has no protector to shield and guard him. There is now a boy of ten years of age undergoing a sentence of three years in the Reformatory;
he will, consequently, be thirteen years old when he is turned out into the highway again,
from the Reformatory gates. What is that boy to do at that age? In, three years he will
not have acquired sufficient knowledge of his trade to be master of it; and if he does, how
is he to search and struggle for an engagement? He has no experience of the world, or,
at any rate, the little he had, previous to his sentence, was all bad; and employers are not
likely to take a child of his age, on is own application, off the streets, with the further
recommendation; that he is just discharged from a Reformatory prison. We look for
steadiness of conduct in a man of mature judgment, who can reason on the right and the wrong of a course of conduct, and who can take into the effects on his after position of an
action he is to do in the.present. But is all that to be expected of a child of thirteen?

The fact is to be expected that the boy alluded to, unless a proper place, by some
happy accident, is found for him, must be driven by necessity to old companions, who will
not refuse to receive him, and to old haunts which will still be open for his shelter. ln
a short time, he will be, again face to face before the same judge, who probably will lecture
him on his hardened disposition, and send him for another three years to the Reformatory
again, or perhaps to the Penitentiary as an incorrigible, nor will it ever probably occur to
the judge that he is himself the man to blame for the boy’s backsliding. Had he placed the
child in the Reformatory for the period, at once, that he will most likely spend there under
any circumstances the boy would have had some chance of departing from it a young man of
good habits and principles, or, at all events, with judgment sufficiently matured to choose
his course. Had the court sent him, when then years of age, for five years (the limit permitted
by law, or better for eight if the law allowed it) to the Reformatory at first, it
would have dealt with the purest feeling of mercy to the child, and perhaps rescued from
perdition a good member of society. But by discharging him at thirteen, to throw him
back once more upon the streets, where all the good he may have imbibed at the Reformatory
is sure to be speedily taken out of him, and then, when again sufficiently depraved, to
order him to undergo a renewed course of discipline, with a diminished chance of profiting
by it, is to profit the boy nothing; it is rather to condemn him to a lie of crime And then
there is an outcry against Reformatory establishments, and such a case as the once alluded
to will be commented upon as the strongest evidence of the uselessness of the attempt to
reform vicious youth, and of the folly of wasting money upon it.

The fact, in place of being an argument against the reformatory, its system, and I
state it ‘with all becoming respect, or its efficiency, is the strongest argument against the
wisdom of the judge. If a boy of ten years of age is brought before a court, the judge knows that in three years more the child will be only still a child; and that, if it be necessary
to keep him off the streets or out of dens of infamy at ten, it is no less so at
thirteen. The judge keeps his own boy of ten years not only at school, until he
is thirteen, but at school and college until he is twenty, nor does he permit him, in an
that time, ta be from under his own careful eye. The Almighty has established naturally
no difference between the boys; but his Honor on the Bench intends his son, by
an appropriate education and training, to occupy the position of his father; the boy in question should be intended, by appropriate education and training, to earn his bread
by the cunning of his hands. But nature requires for each – time.  Let each have
the time, and there is every reason to expect that an equal result will be arrived at.
The judge’s son at 18 or 20 will be ready to enter on a course that will do honor to
his parent; the reformatory tradesman, on one that will do credit to society. 

There may seem to be a harshness in condemning a child of ten years of age to a reformatory
for eight years for stealing a dollar’s worth of stuff, but the real harshness is
in condemning him to less. If he steals at ten, he will steal more at thirteen, and more at
sixteen, less the desire to steal becomes eradicated. The question to look at is, whether
’tis more likely to become eradicated on; the streets of a large city, where he seeks a
opportunity for indulgence and finds it, or on the farm of a reformatory, where there
is no-opportunity, and if there ‘were, it cannot be taken advantage off. It really resolves
itself into this: shall a boy culprit receive one sentence at once, between the date of his appearance in the dock and the day that he is eighteen or twenty years old, or shall he receive two or three? If he receives the one, I think there is hope for his reformation;
if the two or three, I see none.

The system of short sentences and that of a juvenile Reformatory, are positively antagonistic.
The principle of a reformatory – a place where juveniles are to be reformed – cannot
be carried out, so long as boy human nature is what it is, unless with time extend unless that time extend beyond the boy period. It is of no consequence what age the
culprit may be when brought before the Court, so far as reformation is to be provided for;
the real age to be regarded is that at which the sentence is to expire. If a boy of sixteen
is sentenced to four years in the Reformatory, there is a prospect of god for him;if a boy
of twelve is sentenced for no more, there is much less.”

–  Inspector James Moir Ferres, “GENERAL REMARKS ON THE REFORMATORIES – 

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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“A Killer Winks at Gory Crime,” LIFE. August 16, 1948. Page 30.

Newsreel records a brutal tale

In the fortnight beginning July 10 two subnormal young men named Robert Daniels and John West murdered six people in the state of Ohio. West killed a Columbus saloonkeeper, a farmer and a truck driver. Daniels shot down the family of John C. Niebel, the farm superintendent of a reformatory where both Daniels and West had served sentences. When police finally intercepted the slayers, West was killed but Daniels surrended. A few days later Sheriff Roy Shaffer (left), who captured him, interviews Daniels for Movietone News. In the dramatic film sequence (below) Killer Daniels repeated his confession, and, winking at the audience, boasted that he got his ‘share’ of the victim.

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“What is the meaning of the amazing statistics which we gather
from reformatories? Out of 336 boys, for instance, in the Lyman
School, 110 were former peddlers on the street; 160 had been newsboys;
72 had been bootblacks, and 56 had been messengers. 

In the Parental School, another Massachusetts reformatory,
out of 336 boys, 89 had been newsboys, 52 peddlers, 22 bootblacks,
and 9 messengers; a number in total larger than the number of the
boys in the reformatory, because some of the boys had engaged in
more than one of the occupations. 

Is it the actual work? Does work lead to the reformatory?
It cannot be that. Every true advocate of child labor reform praises
good, honest, hard, tiring work as roundly as he denounces the toil
of those nine-year-old children who climb up on their dangerous
playthings in the cotton factories. 

No, it is not the hard, tiring work of the children that any child
labor reformer can contend against. It is the conditions under which
the work is done, which accompany the work, giving chance for
mischievous boyish tendencies to sprout into vicious tendencies. 

In the night messenger service the boys feel themselves above
the law. That is probably the service in which the most independence
has been cultivated. A little messenger boy walking along the

houses of ill fame, and kitchen bar-rooms. We asked him if he
was not afraid of the police. He pulled his cap off and showed
us his badge, saying: “De cops can’t touch us when we got dis
badge on.” And so it is the independence which gives them a chance
in the moments when they are not actively at work to cultivate the
vicious tendencies which lead to the reformatory. 

This independence is peculiar to the street trades. The mills
do not directly send people to the reformatories. They repress the
children, repress all the mischief, or tire it out so that there is not
much chance in the idle moments, while the child is working eleven
hours a day in the mill, for him to get on the path to the reformatory.
Indirectly, however, in Massachusetts at least, we find that the mills
do lead to the reformatory by ruining many boys at an early age,
making doffers of them when they have no education, no industrial
training. Without ability to progress to more skillful work in the
mill, boys are thrown upon the streets at sixteen or seventeen when
they become too old to doff. In the city of Lawrence, large numbers
of these boys are thrown upon the streets and become part of the
street gang. 

It is not the work of selling the newspaper or of carrying the
telegram that does the harm. Many boys-probably the larger
number-in the newspaper service at any rate, are benefited by the
actual work. A boy whom I met recently is one of the justices of
the Newsboys’ Court in Boston, just established. The judges are
the newsboys themselves. They act under the direction of the Juvenile
Court and sentence the boys themselves: self-government.
And this bright, fifteen-year-old boy, has been cared for in good
home surroundings and the hard work has benefited him. He is a
keen, intelligent lad. He is doing all he can to keep the younger
boys and his friends from going into the night messenger service,
and to get them work under good conditions. His one ambition
is to be a forester, and to get away from the city. 

And so it seems to me that the point of attack is not to stop
the work, but to regulate it, to put it under good conditions; and
where good conditions cannot be had, as in the late hours of the
night messenger service or the late work of street trading, then, as
the final resort, prohibit the work. 

There is another phase of the question of street trades and

reformatories – the question whether the reformatory is the proper
cure or remedy for the wayward street trader. Of course, in the
most depraved cases in the night messenger service, the boy must
land in the reformatory or in jail, thanks to the sad condition of
society which has allowed these evils to go on. But for the minor
offences, for violation of the license regulations, failing to wear the
badge displayed, and all those things, it would be foolish to send
the minor offender into the reformatory with the older and more
depraved offender. In this connection, the Newsboys’ Court that
has been established in Boston offers a most admirable suggestion.
One of the justices is a lawyer who has always taken a great interest
in children. The other two are newsboys. They manage their
court in a rather informal manner; but they judge each case fairly
after hearing the arguments. They take time to consider the
merits of the boy’s case, and understand better than do a great
many judges the difficulties with which the boy has had to contend,
and can suggest the proper punishment.”

– Richard K. Conant, “STREET TRADES AND REFORMATORIES.” The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 38, Issue 1, 1911.

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“Sent to Industrial School.” Kingston Daily Standard. July 17, 1912. Page 08.
In juvenile court this morning a 16 year old lad was sent to the Industrial School. He was found guilty of having stolen a fare box from the Street Railway Company. Another boy who was implicated in the theft was remanded. There were five in the crowd, and warrants are out for the other three.

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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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“Police Pick Up Two Lads; Notify Industrial School,” Toronto Globe. July 12, 1933. Page 02.

(Special Despatch to The Globe.)
Welland, July 11. – Welland police today were in communication with the authorities of the Mimico Industrial School relative to two lads picked up here late Monday. Rushing to Cook’s Mills after receiving a call from Mrs. Hall at that place. Police Chief Davies and Sergeant Anderson of the Welland force picked up William JOnes, aged 17, who hails from Thorold, and William McClelland, 17, Peterboro’.

The lads had called at Mrs. Hall’s home on Douglas Street asking for food, and thinking one of them might be the missing boys, immediately informed Welland police. On questioning the lads, police learned that McClelland had escaped from Mimico Industrial School on Saturday, and that Jones, who was formerly at Mimico, had made a getaway from his place of parole.

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“City and District,” Montreal Gazette. June 30, 1911. Page 03.

Newsies Celebrate President Pete Murphy’s Birthday With Drive Through City.


Young Incendiaries Sharply Dealt With by Judge Lanctot – Stiff Fine for Gamblers.

Yesterday was the fifty-seventh birthday of Pete Murphy, Montreal’s veteran newsboy, who has been selling papers in this city for over half a century, having commenced to sell copies of The Gazette in St. James street when he was six years of age. The Montreal Newsboys Protective Association, of which ‘Pete’ is president, celebrated the veteran’s birthday in a becoming manner. They enjoyed a drive around the city last night in two big busses, each drawn by four horses, with the president perched high on the front seat of the leading ‘bus, wearing his silk hat and the cane Sir Wilfred Laurier brought him from Ireland. The sides of the ‘busses were bulging out like watermelons with their loads of boisterous youngsters, each of whom carried a horn and tooted from the time the drive started early in the evening until the end came shortly before midnight. The newspaper offices were visited, and each was cheered in turn, but when The Gazette Office was reached at 11 o’clock, President Murphy made a speech, in the course of which he told the youngsters of having sold The Gazette in St. James street, 51 years ago, when the largest building on the thoroughfare was the Ottawa Hotel, which still stands on the south side of the street just east of McGill. At The Gazette building the veteran presented a bouquet to the editor.

The existence of a gang of juvenile incendiaries in the neighborhood of Point St. Charles around the Grand Trunk yards was the subject of severe comment by Judge Lanctot yesterday when hearing proceedings against three youths named John Collins, James Mailloy and Raymond Banford, charged with having set fire to piles of lumber, the property of Shearer, Brown & Wills, on the 22nd and 25th of May. Two other youth youths, Thos. Mitchell and John Currie, who are in the reformatory awaiting sentence on a similar charge, were brought out to give evidence against their supposed allies. Their testimony did not incriminate the trio, but rather showed that although Collins, Malloy and Banford had been present when the firing arrangements were made, they withdrew from the actual participation. The chief testimony against the lads was that of William Betts, of the Betts Detective Agency, who alleged certain admissions by the boys, but Mr. R. O. McMurtry, for the defence, argued that the boys had not been duly warned before making any statement.

Bail was refused when asked for in Banford’s case, the Judge ordering that the boys be sent to the reformatory until Tuesday next, on which date the two lads, Mitcchell and Currie, will come up for sentence. It was, said Judge Lanctot, a serious case, and the boys knew perfectly well what they were doing.

Respect to the court must be not only in attitude but in garb; so ruled Mr. Recorder Weir yesterday when two men, J. Bunnin and K. Lucas, were charged with violating traffic laws. The men appeared clad in blue overalls and with their hatbands well garnished with cigarette specimens of art. Ascertaining that these men had been out on bail, and that, therefore, they had chosen to appear in this way, the Recorder remanded the case for a day and informed them that they must reappear decently dressed. A friendly constable came to their aid, however, and in a few minutes they stepped into the court in normal coats and paid their small fine on the spot.

While hackmen must be over 18 years of age, a carter, said Mr. Recorder Weir yesterday, is not affected by this by-law. The result is that boys between ten and fifteen years drive vehicles through the city, and recently, added the Recorder, there had been brought before him quite a number of youths charged with infractions of traffic by-laws. Such boys not only were dangerous to citizens through their inexperience, but were in a school which was improper for a boy, as many carters were not fit associates for youth lads.

Forty dollars and costs was the sentence of Judge Choquet upon the two men, Omer Dufresne and Damase Daigneault, who pleaded guilty in the Court of Sessions yesterday to a charge of keeping a common gambling house on East Notre Dame street, opposite Dominion Park. At first the men had pleaded not guilty in the lower court, but when they appeared before Judge Lanctot yesterday they changed their minds and revised their plea. Thereupon they were sent up to the Court of Sessions for sentence with the result mentioned.

Eli Aubin, alias Eli Robillard, who was arrested in Ottawa last Saturday on charge of carrying a concealed weapons, is wanted here to answer to charges of burglary and forgery. Aubin is only 21 years of age, but Detective-Sergeant Charpentier, who went up to Ottawa to bring him back here, said yesterday he was one of the most daring young fellows the police have had to deal with. Four years ago he was sentenced to five years in the penitentiary for burglary, but after having served a couple of years was allowed out on ticket-of-leave.

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