Page:Transportation and colonization.djvu/42

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.



species of punishment might affect its efficiency, and prove an encouragement to crime. At the same time, in a country, of whose population there are uniformly 50,000 souls and upwards in the state of convicts, either at penal settlements beyond seas, or in hulks, gaols, and penitentiaries at home, the subject of expense is not to be disregarded, especially in the present age of political economy. I maintain, therefore, that transportation, if at all rightly managed, is, of all possible modes of maintaining a convict during the period of his penal servitude, the most economical; besides presenting the additional advantage of permanently ridding the country of the irreclaimable portion of its culprit population.

In regard to the comparative expense of the penitentiary system, which Archbishop Whately proposes to substitute for transportation, the Report of the Parliamentary Committee on secondary punishments for the year 1832 contains the following information:—The great expense of maintaining the convicts has been urged against the penitentiary system: it appears, that since the opening of the prison in 1824, the cost per head has varied from £30. 3s. per annum to £57. 12s. 2d. The expense, however, incurred since 1824 does not give a fair view of the necessary cost. The greatest number of prisoners confined at one time