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Improperly Constructed

Improperly Constructed image
Parent Issue
Day
4
Month
November
Year
1898
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

Rev. Mr. Bradshaw io the course of his fierruon in the Congregatioual churob last Snnday took oooasion to say: "I wonder how rnany are aware that nnder the statutes of Michigan oonoty jails roay be inade plaoes of oonfinernent not only of hardened offenders, bnt for yonng boys guilty of their flrat offense, for persous held for trial, who may be as inuooeut of the crimes oharged against them as the angles in heaveu, and in soine instances for persons who bave not been oharged with crime but who srasiniply held asjwitnesses. In most jails all tbese olasses are hmlrilecl together iodisoriminately ; nothiug elae is poasible. Wbat oould be more inevitably fatal to the moráis of the community than to be housed day and night for weeks or mon,ths with tbose who have growu in vioe and crime? In the county jail of Wasbtenaw county there is a measure of seolusion possible for first offenders. For instance, in the opper ward there is an iron cage provided for the inoarceration of lunatics. Soaroely any oiroolation of air is possible, no window is aocessible to those oonfined in it. Under the rays of the summer san tbe iron plates whicb. span its sides and floor attain a heat wfaioh is alrnost intolerable, and in this stifling furnaoe it is possible to proteot (?) tbe moráis of the comparatively innocent from contamination of the thoroaghly vicions. 'Bnt' said one of the officials to me, 'that is an awful plaoe to pot anybody in hot weather. We oau make bad men beg vory qnickly by phntting them. in that cage.' Yet that is the utmost Washtenaw oonnty has done to binder its institution for tbe detention of all the olasses referred to from beooming a sohool of crime. No one can examine tbe constrnotion of the jail and be surprised that tbe offioial to whom I have spoken thonght it wonld be more humane to let the boys out where they could get a breath of air, at the risk of their moráis, than to keep them oonfined in that furnaoe. Surely the work of pnblio sentiment will not be wbolly aooomplished as long as sucb oonditions as these exist. "