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Criminal Law

crime, penal, treatment, conditions, system, life, statistics and increase

CRIMINAL LAW.

Modern Treatment of the CriminaL The statistical method is very useful in crim inological research and is ancillary to all of the other criminological methods. It is of utility in the study and analysis of most of the causes and conditions of crime and has great value for measuring the effects of the different kinds of penal treatment. Unfortunately governments have not usually collected as many or as reliable criminal statistics as would be desirable. Especially true is this in the United States. In some of the States scarcely any of these statistics are gathered, while there is no adequate system of collecting and publishing statistics of crime as a national problem. So far as we can judge from the statistics available in the leading civilized nations there has been an increase of crime during the past few decades. It is, therefore, concluded by some per sons that civilization has had a harmful effect. However, this conclusion is not necessarily justified. Owing to the great increase in the complexity of human life dne to the progress of civilization, the category of criminal acts has been greatly extended so that it is possible to commit a much greater variety of crimes now than has been possible in the past. Further more, owing to the increase in the efficiency of government, many of the old criminal laws are enforced now much more rigidly than in the past. The apparent increase of crime in modern times in civilized countries is doubtless due in part to these two factors, and may be entirely due to them. The most drastic form of penal treatment is death. Capital punishment was much used in the past. It is little used to-day in civilized countries. Owing to the modern humanitarian movement, which has enhanced greatly the value of human life in the popular estimation, there is much opposition to the death penalty, and it will probably disappear entirely in course of time. Imprisonment is the character istic modern penalty. It very largely superseded transportation during the 18th century. At first prison life was usually congregate and no work was provided. The physical conditions were very unsanitary and the moral atmosphere very corrupting. During the 19th century the phys ical conditions were much improved. Cellular confinement was introduced and in many prisons was made solitary. Hard labor was usually imposed. But even after these changes were effected, prison life was far from bene ficial for the inmates on account of its rigid and artificial character. During the latter half of

the 19th century the idea of reformation be came prevalent in prison reform and resulted in the construction of reformatories and reform schools for the younger criminals in which these criminals could be educated and trained as well as punished. This idea is being extended more and more to other classes of criminals and is pervading the management of prisons in gen eral. The ideal of penal treatment now is to develop a system of penal institutions in which a suitable place will be provided for each type of criminal. Such a system will include recep tion and observation prisons, reformatories, in dustrial and farm colonies, asylums and peniten tiaries for incorrigibles. In this system the principle of the individualization of punish ment would be applied, and the data and scien tific principles of criminology would be fully utilized. Crime can never be entirely abolished, but it can be prevented to a certain extent. The program for the prevention of crime is included very largely in the program for the prevention of poverty and other social evils which give rise to crime. can aid greatly in the prevention of crime by revealing how these social evils give rise to crime.

Asehaffenburg, and its Repression) (Boston 1913) ; Baer, Ver brecher in anthropologischer Beziehung) ; Boies, The Science of ; Bonger, ity and Economic Conditions); Colajanni, (La sociologia criminate); Corre, criminels) ; Ferrero, (Criminal Man according to the Classification of Cesare ; Fornasari di Verce, criminalita e le vicende econo miche) ; Ellis, Havelock,