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Accounts, chargeable as follows, have been audited during tho year, and credited to Comptroller's Department:
bedding and clothing .....
omnibuses, barns, and forage..
brick yard ....
improvements an •' construction........
$13, 339 18
6,029 36 13, 123 83
4, 710 34
* Of the above $4, 417 77 was used in construction, but paid from general fund.
The number in prison during the year ending December 31, 1872, was 6,636, and their average imprisonment was 2244 days to each prisoner. The number received during the year ending December 31. 1873. was 6,445, and their average imprisonment was nearly 29 days. The table showing the terms
th, shows that, of the number of commitments, 199 only were for definite periods of time. Of those who were committed upon executions 2,480 were for amounts not ex. ceeding $6 50, and 3,551 for amounts not exceeding 811 50 each prisoner. As each dollar imposed as a fine represents an imprisonment of two days, it served, it will be seen that, for industrial purposes, the above number of our prisoners can have been of but little worth. Of those received under execu. tions for amounts from $50 to $100 each, very many were released by appeal, and others by payment of balances due upon their executions, or otherwise, prior to the expiration of the supposed duration of their sentence.
This is the city prison of a very populous commercial center, and is the asylum of a large nnjber of non-resident vagrants and paupers—probably greater than that of any other city outside of Now York, The criminal, the vagrant, and the destitute alike come here to obtain sustenance, and are support. ert by your citizens, either from criminal acts, by your charity, or at public expense, in your asylumns, hospitals, almshouses, or in your city prison; and as it requires much less effort to send them here than it does to commit them to any other institution, we receive numbers who should go elsewhere. Our prison was intended as a Honse of Correction-not as an insane asylum, nor yet as a home for the invalid. Under the prevailing system at our police courts little effort is made to determine as to a prisoner's mental or physical condition, and the arrest of any one who is so disorganized almost invariably results in a commitment to our walls. While bere they may receive at least as comfortable treatinent in regard to their physical necessities as they would elsewhere; still, this is not an institution designed for their rise, and their care should be a charge to other departments. The appointment of an intelligent physician to attend the police stations, and to examine all prisoners prior to their trial, might remedy this. The police justices of the city, if they do not now possess it, should be ciothed with power to suminarily commit to your county almshouses and hospitals, or send to their bomes, such violators of ordinances as are deemed by the physician, or by themselves, to be unfit subjects for prison discipline; and your honorable body should possess the power to transfer from this institution to such other institutions, whenever you find such persons in the prison, who are under con. viction for violations of city ordinances-the transferred prisoners to be detained only during the time they would otherwise have been imprisoned.
Of the pauper and vagrant classes, other cities and towns, with a view to their own relief, send to our city all such as they can; and until some more efficient system of prevention has been organized than that now in vogue, their numbers will continue to increase. The arrest, on arrival, of the va. grants and paupers who are sent to our city, and their immediate return to the places from whenco they came, would free our institutions from a very large annual outlay, and, in the end, deter our uncharitable neighbors from their now too frequent donations of their worst citizens.
Of the number of prisoners received 5,942 were for violations of city ordinances, and 140 for criminal acts. The latter were sentenced by the Criminal Court of Cook county.
Of social relations, 1,946 claim to be married, and 3.988 are singlo: 1.841 have father and mother, 423 bave father only, and 1,040 have mother only, living; while 2,630 have neither father por mother living.
Of those whose parents were born in the United States, 809 were white, and 276 were colored; the number remaining, or about five-sixths of all, were of foreign parents. Of those classed as natives of the United States, and whose parents were foreign born, nearly all were of minor age, and form our most nicions and criminally inclined class of prisoners. Inheriting constitutional tendencies toward evil, and surrounded by intluences toward criminal life from birth, until they reach our walls ; not furnished with employment, either for the mind or body, and left to find their own companions, and Dass their time in their own way, instead of being watched and cared for, or kept at school, or at some respectable ediployment, it is not singular that the number of this class of youthfuil offenders is so swollen as it is. The disposition on the part of manufacturers to employ only skilled labor, and the disinclination of mechanics to encourage the working of apprentices, have a tendepey also towards keeping in idleness the youth of our city of all nationalities. There would be much less juvenile depravity and crime if employment for our youth could be found and enforced.
It has been the endeavor of our superintendent to keep the expenses of the department at the low. est point consistent with its interests, and to accomplish as much, with the facilities afforded him, as possible. Whenever he has had insufficient employment at productive industries to keep his labor Ai ployed, he has devoted his attention to the improvement of the buildings and grounds of the insti. tution.
During the coming year, with the consent of your honorable Board, it is his wish to construct a substantial wall around the present buildings, leaving sufficient space for the erection of workshops on the grounds inclosed by the same. Without then we are neither secure from the escape of our inmates, por are we at all safe from the incursions of such dexperadoes as may wish to assist the escape of their fellows at night time. The facilities which we now have for brick-making will materially rednce the cost of construction, and should the City Board of Public Works give us a market for the sale of sewer brick, to the extent of our facilities for their manufacture, no better use can be made of our surplus brick than in the construction of all needed improvements.
The construction of a small pox hospital upon our grounds has consumed five acres, fronting on the miain avenne-Twenty-sixth street. While its location may not be dangerous to the health of the inmatre of the present building, it may seriously interfere with the selection of sites for other buildings more necessary than it. If the building is to be used for the purposes designed, a credit to our construction fund for the land taken from us should be made as it has been paid for from it. Prior to its nise, also, it shonld be separated from our grounds by a brick wall, of sufficient hight to prevent iugress or egress.
Our male prison is overcrowded- We have nearly twice as many prisoners as we have cells-making it imperative that we place two or more occupants in each. The injury following contact of vicious mind with vicious mind is so palpable that it is useless to disguise the fact; and a remedy should at once be inaugurated by the construction of a separate prison for females, appropriating the north wing now used by them for our male inmates. This will give me barely room for our present numbers. The only classification of prisoners which it is possible to make, with our present room, is by the division of the sexes, and by the selection of the companions in the cells of those whom we have to place to gether. A clothes room for each prison is also much beeied. We have inadequate room for the preservation of the clothing taken fruni our inmates when they enter the prison, and our male prison is without adequate bathing facilities. Unlike a convict prison, we are incessantly receiving or discharg. ing our inmates the average receipt, and consequent average discharge, is nineteen each, or thirtyeight persons to bathe and re-clothe, each week day, beside the usual weekly bathing of all our pris oners.
Should your honorable Board direct that the above work be done, and the honorable Common Coun. cil appropriate money for the purpose very much of the labor will be furnished from amonu the in. mates.
Frequently persons are arrested for criminal acts, and are tried for violations of city ordinances onlr. The policy is objectionable. If a crime has been committed, the guilty person should certainly be oonTicted of it, and punished as the law requires; but the otienne should not be so modified as to free the Tuilty party from the consequences of his crime. An assanlt upon an officer or citizen, or a larceny. or other crime against the laws of the State, if perpetrated, is of too serious a character to admit of its compromise by a judgment which can be easily set aside by appeal, or by a court upon a writ of habeas corpus. It is true, our police officers seldom make mistake in the selection of subjects which they carise to be convicted of vagrancy; but, with a little greater care, evidence might be found upon which the guilty parties could be sent where they would not, for longer periods of time, cause the authorities any annoyance.
During the year we have sent many wanderers to their homes; and the lady managers of the Erring Women's Home have taken from us many female prisoners, whose faces would otherwise bave become familiar by their repeated error, and it is hoped that the kind Christian influence which is ever being extended in that most nseful institution, will have its benign etfects, and that the erring ones may be lifted up by them, and saved from lives of shame. May God favor their good work.
Thanks to the many generous citizens who have furnished reading matter to our prisoners during the year. May the number of contributions be increased, and their liberality will reap its reward by the thankfulness shown by the recipients of their favors.
The health of our prisoners has been good. Witb proper care in keeping our prisons in cleanly con dition, our sewerage in thorough order, and our food of bealthy quality and well cooked, and care that the temperature of our dormitories is at proper degree, and that the atmosphere of one building does not become impregnated with noxious gases, epidemics or contagious diseases can get but slight foot. hold. The city physician, Dr. Guerin, has been attentive to the sick, and successful in the treatment of disease. He has never failed to answer any call which we have made for his services.
In the future, as in the past, in suggesting any changes or improvements, it will be the design of the superintendent to have an eye solely to the ultimate result to be obtained, wasting no money nor time unon works which are of temporary character. Should additional buildings be erected the coming year, they should be so located as to accommodate to the best advantage those thereafter to be con structed. Our gronnds are commodions, and, with proper arrangement of buildings, will present a feature highly ornamental to this part of our city.
Thanking you for the uniform courtesy wbich you have shown to me, and for the readiness with which you have assented to every matter which I have as yet had the honor of suggesting, I am your obedient servant,
CHARLES E. FELTON.
PHYSICIAN'S REPORT. To the Honorable the Bourd of Inspectors of the House of Correction :
GENTLEMEN : In making my annual report, as physician, in regard to the House of Correction, I am gratified to be able to state that the sanit: ry condition of the institution has been remarkably excellont during the year ending Dec. 31. 1873.
No epidemic has prevailed ; and, notwithstanding that seventeen hundred and sixty-six cases of small pox occurred in the city, only one case, which was promptly removed to the small-pox hospital occur. red in the prison.
At the time of the cholera, which prevailed to no great extent in our city last summer, there were a few cases of cholera morbus, and very many cases of an aggravated form of diarrhea in this institution, but under my treatment, assisted by a well-regulated and wholesome diet, they all recovered. The daily average number of prisoners during the year was fire hundred and eleven, and the average num. ber of persons for whom I prescribed at each otlicial visit was about thirty, which is a little less than six per cent. of all the inmates.
The diseases most prevalent during the summer season were diarrhea, dysentary and fevors, prin: cipally of a malarial character.
In the winter time the chiefly prevalent diseases were of a pulmonary character, such as pneumonia and consumption.
At all seasons of the year delirium tremeps and venereal diseases, in their various phases, have had their full share of unfortunate victims, both male and female.
Throughout the year I have treated about four hundred cases of alcoholism, and of that class of patients many were suffering from aggravated forms of delirium tremens; but I am happy to say that, aided by the muceasing co-operation of the prison otticials, my treatment of those thus afflicted was in every instance successful.
There were but three deaths during the year, and of those one resulted from inflammation of the brain, one from pneumonia, and the third died from general debility, resulting from previous habits of dissipation,
I would state bere that two of these deaths took place within a few days after the parties had been committed to the prison, and that their death, were caused by diseases which had been contracted and benit futal before being sent to the House of Correction.
Teem it proper, in connection with this report, to express my sincere thanks to the officials in the immediate charge of the prison, not only for the courtesy shown to myself, but also for the kind treatment which they have uniformly extended toward the unfortunate class of humanity committed to their care,
In concluding this report, I beg leave to say that there is considerable room for reformation in reganl to the indiscriminate manuer in which persons arrested and brought before the police courts of the cits are committed to this institution.
My own observation has led me to the conclusion that a great many persons committed as criminals are rather objects of mercy than of punishment, and I think it would be found, upon proper investigation, that the poor house, the hospital, or the insane asylumu would be a bitter place than a felon's cell for numbers of those sent here from the police courts.
It is repugnant to every idea of humanity, that poverty and insanity should be placed on a level with crime and punished with it, and, therefore, it seems to me that some means shonld be adopted whereby the young could be saved from the ruinous effects of contact with confirmed vice, and the poor and the insane from the poishment that belongs to crime. Respectfully submitteil,
City Physician. On motion of Mr. Jones, At 5:00 o'clock P. M. the House adjourned to 10 o'clock A. M., tomorTOW.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 22, 1874.
The House met, pursuant to adjournment.
Ou motion of Mr. Hollenback,
The House resumed the winished business of yesterday, being the consideration of the amendment subunitted to House bill, No. 138, for “Av act to define contempts of court and prescribe the punishment therefor."
Mr. McPherran moved to refer the bill and amendment to the committee on judiciary.
On motion of Mr. Harvey,