Press enter after choosing selection

Island In Lake Michigan

Island In Lake Michigan image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

Prof. Bradley M. Thompson yesterday lectured on the "Tramp" question before the Business Men 's class, and advocated a new and novel method of dealmg with the pests. He said, in part: "The essence of all punishment is found in depriving a person of what he prizea, or in eompelling him to co something he heartily dislikes. The present methods of punishing the tramp by short terms of imprisonment is 110 punishment at all. What are a few days in the county jail to a tramp? It leaves uo stain upon his character. He comes out at the end of his term standing quite as high, if not higher in the good opinión of his associates as he did before. "The hobo hates labor as the devil hates holy water. It Í8 to avoid labor that he tramps. Por him to labor is to lose caste and fall from grace. The flrst great dogma in his creed is that the world owes him a living, and that his first great duty in life is to collect that debt. If we have made no mistake in the diagnosis of the disease which afflicts the hobo, he can becured effectually and permaüently by being put upon a w holesome and permanent diet of hard labor. "The first step I would euggest would be the euactment of a statute making the penalty for that offense severe - at least three years in prison at hard labor. The professional tramp, whois hale and hearty, and who gets a meal of victuals by saying tbat he can't get work, is getting goods under ialse pretenses, and that is a felony. There should be a separate prison for this class of offenders, and the entire objeot of its management should be directed to giving the inmates habits of patiënt and continuous industry. "He should not be put in the common prisons. He is in a class by himself. To have him associate with ordinary crimináis would make him more dangerous when he is discharged. It would be advisable, if possible, for the state to take possession of one of the islands in Lake Michigan for a place of three years' conBnement for the hobo. This would enable the superintendent of the prison to give the inmates greater freedom, and it would enable him to give the inmates a greater variety of labor. At the end of bis term of imprisonment the inmate should be given a smallsum of money, say $25, qo enable h'tn to pay bis necessary expenses prior to his obtaining employment. "The state sbould appoint a small constabulary force, whose sole duty it should be to see that this statute is eniorced, and to arrest and convict hobos. The members should be selected with care. They should be honest and fairminded men, who should see to it that only the sturdy beggar was punished, and not the man wbo is physically incapacitated for Work."