Puslapio vaizdai
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and starvation for the soul; secondly, the attempt to crush out the sense of individuality and the instinct to serve others; and, lastly, entire absence of trust, and government by fear. These characteristics are dominant enough to give the impression that they represent the guiding objects of the system, and they seem to stamp it as essentially deterrent and punitive, without the reformative elements that one would hope to find there.

As might be expected, the most obvious feature of prison is the disappearance of every kind of luxury and comfort, and the restriction of 'supplies' to those required to satisfy the most elementary needs of food, clothing, housing, and cleanliness. To the general principle of this the idealist can take little exception; and, though unpleasant and, in some respects, damaging to health, it need have no terrors to a man who is robust in body and determined in will. But, unfortunately, months of forced abstemiousness seem unable to kill a man's desire for self-indulgence. We found that the solitude and monotony, combined with other circumstances, led us to devour our food with a greed of which we should have been heartily ashamed elsewhere; and a typical inscription on doors or walls was: Roll on, another week, and then I'll have a good smoke outside.' The insistence upon the daily cleaning of cell and utensils tends, doubtless, towards good habits; but, to one accustomed to a daily bath, the hurried weekly prison bath, and the wearing of the same underclothing day and night for a fortnight, seemed a mockery reminiscent of 'whitewashed sepulchres' when associated with the requirement of a constant and scrupulous daily polish of the 'tins' which form the cell's chief furniture.

While, however, bodily needs are cared for up to a certain point, social and spiritual needs, so essential for the purposes of reformation, are almost completely neglected. To those of us who were registered as Quakers, our fortnightly half-hour of united worship, and our fortnightly ten minutes with our visiting minister, were brief glimpses of Heaven; and other prisoners who were Catholics or Nonconformists may have had advantages of a similar kind, though far too fragmentary to be of much avail. But the usual prisoner, nominally Church of England,' is supposed to subsist

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entirely, as far as his soul is concerned, on three or four 'chapels' a week, for the most part formal and unspiritual in character, together with occasional visits from the chaplain, who, it is to be feared, usually finds that the professional nature of his appearances erects insurmountable barriers between him and the occupant of the cell. I say this while rendering an admiring tribute to the efforts which I know some chaplains make to touch the souls of their imprisoned flock. But, in the main, the system neutralises their efforts; and, in all probability, few of them understand the psychology of the prisoner's mind.

The result of this neglect of the soul-and I have more to say which will emphasise this-is well described in a letter written from prison in December last by a friend of mine.

'Men,' he writes, ‘are animalised here. The Governor is responsible to the state for keeping the bodies of the men it sends him for the period stated. I have seen the book marked "Body Receipt Book." It took me some time to find a fitting comparison for this well-run machine, clean and regular, but it is that we are treated as bodies without souls. The reforming zeal of John Howard surely did not intend the solitary system to become (I cannot describe it better otherwise) a human dog-kennel.'

This treatment of a man as a dog, or, by an equally apt comparison, as a component part of a machine that needs little or no attention beyond watching and oiling at fixed intervals, leads on naturally to my second point. Nearly every feature of prison life seems deliberately arranged to destroy a man's sense of his own personality, his power of choice and initiative, his possessive instincts, his conception of himself as a being designed to love and to serve his fellow-man. His very name is blotted out, and he becomes a number; A.3.21 and D.2.65 were two of my designations. He and his fellows are elaborately counted, whenever moved about from one location to another, in the characteristic machine-like way:-'15 men, correct,' 38 men, correct;' so the warder has to report many times in the day. He is continually, of course, under lock and key, ignored

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except as an object for spying. When not locked up, he can hardly move a muscle except under orders. There is usually a fixed and unvarying monotony about the daily and weekly round. In default of other interests, one's soul dwells longingly on the few incidents like the weekly bath, the weekly change of socks and towel, the daily dinner and march round the exercisering that break the dullness of life. The scanty contents of one's cell must be arranged, subject to the daily inspection, in exact uniformity with the arrangement of every other cell. This does not, it is true, apply to the evening and night-time; and it is a real satisfaction to be able to choose on which portion of one's cement floor the bed board is to be laid down. There is an almost complete denudation of personal property, and of that sense of self-expression and choice in things which is its chief spiritual value. The only articles that I could call absolutely my own were my spectacles, my wife's letters, four small photographs, and two books— the Weymouth New Testament and Fellowship Hymnbook-which are allowed to Quakers. Otherwise everything is on loan, usually for short periods, until mending or washing is required or until one is shifted to another, but barely distinguishable cell.

Still more detrimental than this more than monastic suppression of self is the deliberate removal of all a man's opportunities to serve his fellow, to do him a good turn, to interchange thoughts and greetings with him. On a large printed card, which forms one of the chief features of the cell-landscape, there is written :-'Rule 1. Prisoners must observe silence. Rule 2. They must not communicate, or attempt to do so, with one another.' Two other keystones of the system, which appear lower down, read to the effect that no prisoner must leave his cell or other appointed location without permission; and that no prisoner may, without express authority, hand to, or receive from, another prisoner any article whatever.' Even apart from the specific mental injuries caused by the enforced silence, it is clear how completely these rules destroy the healthy, normal activities of human intercourse. Designed to prevent collusion and conspiracy among the prisoners, and to make it difficult for them to corrupt one another, they succeed in making

courtesy, friendliness, and acts of goodwill either an impossibility or a crime.

One instance, within my own experience, will give an idea of the monstrous folly of such regulations. Since April, 1917, the prison rations have been severely curtailed; and there is good evidence to show that many men are suffering seriously from underfeeding. Nearly all of us constantly knew what hunger means; and an extra crust of dry bread would be to most a great prize. A friend of mine was seen by one of the warders handing to another prisoner, who, as he doubtless supposed, needed it more than himself, a piece of bread. He was reported to the Governor for breaking the last rule quoted above. (To do warders justice, I believe most of them would wink at such an offence.) And for this crime my friend had all his 'privileges' suspended; his term of imprisonment was prolonged by a day or two; and he was awarded three days of solitary confinement in his cell on a diet of bread and water, the cell being absolutely stripped of every movable thing except his stool and his bible. The receiver of the bread suffered a similar punishment. What are we to think of a system which treats as crimes, requited by savage penalties, acts that, outside a prison, are among the most lovable and beautiful that human life can show?

It is needless to say that this prohibition of intercourse, this driving of a man back exclusively upon himself, his own defects, his own grievances, his own needs, promotes the habit of selfishness to a most grievous extent. I found myself that almost the only outlet for the altruistic instincts was praying for others; a fine art in which, it is to be feared, the majority of ordinary prisoners have not been taught any proficiency. And prayer without scope for action is woefully insufficient.

At the same time, the cruel contempt with which one appeared to be treated roused bitter and aggrieved feelings which it needed a great effort to suppress. Apart from actual brutality, harsh words sunk in deep. I remember one Sunday so foggy that my small window did not admit enough light for either sewing or reading. As it happened, we had no morning chapel, and there was nothing to do except pace mournfully round one's

chilly cell. On remonstrating in the evening with a friendly warder for not having given us some artificial light, he answered smilingly, 'You aren't worth it; it's not a work day.' And this rebuff chanced to come immediately after evening chapel, at which I allowed myself to get hopelessly self-conscious and irritable, because, while I was singing the Te Deum and looking round about me to get a sense of fellowship with the other faces, the warder's harsh voice broke in with 'Number Two Sixty-five, look to your front.' It is a hard struggle for men to keep back bitter thoughts, when almost the only breaks to the deadly monotony are such remarks as these.

There are, it is true, one or two redeeming features, which must be mentioned, so as not to exaggerate this aspect of my subject. Out of every thirty or forty men, one fortunate man, selected as 'cleaner,' has freedom to move about his landing and do small things for the various occupants of the cells, e.g. empty their slops and fill their water-tins, and assist the warder in the distribution of rations. There was one such man whom I was tempted to consider something of a materialist. His philosophy of life was 'to be honest with oneself.' But then he told me that by being honest with himself' he meant, e.g., not putting aside one of the larger pieces of bread for his own consumption, when handing them out at meal time, although hunger sorely tempted him to do so at the expense of some other prisoner. And there are a few, but very few, other privileged occupations in prison which afford opportunities for active goodwill.

Again, what I said above as to the absence of the power of choice and the sense of possession must be qualified in two or three ways. First there is a certain amount of choice allowed as regards the library and 'educational' books, which may be changed weekly. Then, some outlet for one's feelings is supplied by the possession of a slate on which inscriptions may be made and erased at one's pleasure; and-of much greater value-there are the monthly visits from the outside world, and the monthly letters in and out, which are allowed, under restrictions, after the first three months. The brightest ornaments of one's cell are one's little pile of books, the photographs of family and friends, of which

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