Publication information
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Source: Nation
Source type: magazine
Document type: book review
Document title: none
Author(s): anonymous
Date of publication: 26 December 1901
Volume number: 73
Issue number: 1904
Pagination: 500

Rev. of The Science of Penology, by Henry M. Boies. Nation 26 Dec. 1901 v73n1904: p. 500.
book reviews (The Science of Penology); McKinley assassination (public response: criticism); crime (dealing with).
Named persons
Henry M. Boies; William McKinley; Eugene Smith.


[untitled] [excerpt]

The Science of Penology. By Henry M. Boies. G. P. Putnam’s Sons. 1901.

     The murder of President McKinley has aroused passions and called forth opinions which indicate the importance of the subject here treated. The episode has indeed been a lesson in penology, not only because it has directed attention to the causes of crime, but also because it has revealed the criminal impulse in hosts of people who thought it a meritorious act to declare that the assassin should be put to death by the mob. It would be unfortunate were no improvement in the administration of justice to result from this conspicuous crime; and when the foolish outcry over “stamping out anarchy” has subsided, the timeliness of Mr. Boies’s book should be recognized. The anarchist murderer having been disposed of, the causes of crime, the laws defining it, and its prevention by the intelligent treatment of criminals and those who are likely to be criminals, are subjects demanding immediate consideration.
     Without going so far as to agree with Mr. Boies that there is a complete science of penology, we can at least maintain that knowledge is far in advance of practice. For years the county jail has been a shame and reproach, undefended and indefensible, but it is everywhere maintained. Here criminals, tramps, paupers, imbeciles, persons charged with crime, but who may be innocent, and witnesses charged with no crime, of all ages, are poured in and stirred together; a seething vat of moral and physical filth. As Mr. Eugene Smith has said, the prison turns out more direct results in the shape of confirmed criminals than any other agency “within the range of experience or devised by the folly of man.” Let those who are so hot to stamp out anarchy consider the responsibility of Government in this matter.



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