The Oregon statesman. (Salem, Or.) 1916-1980, March 31, 1923, Page 10, Image 10

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Thinks Reparation Rather Than Punishment Is Purpose of Penal Institution 'Treat Them White" Motto of Oregon
State Prison Flax Industry Within Walls Broadened to Support Institution and Make Wage-earners of the Prisoners
Oregon Institution Does Great Work in Overcoming Handicap Placed on Many Bright Ghildren Educational Sub
jects Taught and Instruction in Useful Trades Imparted Many Graduates Attend College O. L. Mclntyre Supt.
S ; . ' '
A dozen years ago, the state of! hair's breadth. Is still a human
Idaho r had a really wonderful
stove foundry at its state prison
The work was done under the old
system thai believed that: once a
man ' was convicted or "a crime.
ljU time, his soul, was the pro
perty 'of the state; to be used, or
abused, 'or "battered or sold with
as tlear a right as if it were a
pound of soap, The' stove foun
dry. was a model of the older
thought; it was carried on by pri
son labor, and there was work for
everybody - but practically no
mpney, no Incentive to the indi
vidual. The state sold a certain
amount' of prison time to the eon
tractors, and delivered the work
ers to the factory; the contract
org owed only the contract price
for the labor, and nothing what
ever for humanity's sake.
Politics. ' and a growing t doubt
whether the state . had a moral
right to take all a man has mere
ly because he is found guilty of
a wrong, led to' the abolition of
the bid - contract factory. What
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being, surely the vote of one man
more on a Jury, could not right
fully remove the prisoner from
all human rights! A
What is actualy needed is not
punishment,' but reparation. A
careful mental investigation shows
that most of the prisoners are be
low normal, in education if not in
intelligence; they show the aver
age mental standing of boys less
than eight years of age. More of
them need mothers, and fathers,
and brothers, than ever need the
hangman's noose, of the dungeon;
and almost every one heeds a
friend. The state ought to be all
these, In one; it is the only power
with the right to take men and
even try to remake their lives. I
, Starting with the scientific fact
that most of these men are below
normal in their education and
hometraining and ideals, with the
certainty that most of them will
considered; a fair repayment of
the court expenses would not be
unjust, to be paid along with the
wages to go to family or to go
ing-out capital. All this payment
will have to depend on the out
come of the twine manufacture,
where the real money is.
There were 431 inmates at the
Oregon state prison, March 22nd.
This is not quite the largest num
ber in the institution's history,
but it is so near to it that the
present may be called the high tide
of Oregon's prison history.
That is not especialy creditable
to the state. After the profound
spiritual agitation of the great
war, when men were roused to
their best by the appeal to pat
riotism, courage, integrity, it
looks as if the prisons should be
emptied following the return of
peace. i 1
That they are not. i3 a condi
tion and not a theory. It needs
Warden f Oregon State
' ' Penitentiary r
, :f olio wed. however, was certainly
tar less moral, less , expedient ;
this was, absolute idleness. Hun
, dreds of tnen, shut , op for years;
without a thing to do in all that
- time but rot down in physical nd
moral idleness, and then return
ing to society after an average
length of term of .ojily one year
ana eight months that has: been
' the net result of the old penal
system.'. In Oregon there have
been two small industries, it, is
j true;; the woodworking and the
.!; but they were totally Inade
quate to do more than show how
.bad the rest of the system was.
' : The legislature this' winter ap
propriated . the same - amount of i
raoaey as was given two years ago
for penitentiary support; but the
new warden. Johnson Smith, : be
lieves, that out of this appropria
tion he can finance a great flax
Industry; that will furnish employ
ment, for several times - as many
employes as are now working in
the flax mill, and can. install and
. Pay for, and operate thy twine
spinning machinery that will go
, far towards making the peniten
tiary self-supporting. ,
If it does that, it will do Infin
itely more than merely ceasing to
be.'a '' money 4 tax. on the -,; 'state.
From the industry it Is expected
to, pay nominal,, wages; either to
the families of the men In prison,
wno now are the worst sufferers
In every conviction; op-wages' that
prisoner, can. save a working
capital when he gets out. This
, restores to a man his-self-respect;
he 1 is Imprisoned t for his crime,
but. his family can live, through
his t own efforts, the state is re
paid for the costs of his convic
tion and keep, and he has doate
the honest thing by paying his
debts to everybody. More men go
. back Into - crime the second time
because .J ot having no money to
s (art, on', than for any other jrea
soni to . remove these men, from
second-term convictions, by pay
ing .them a fair wage after. they
have paid their own keep, seems
only decent ' morality and good
.business.' ; - -':' -,: j '
Tbere are those who fear that
t prisons made so fine and
comfortable -that men will want
to- stay there, and will commit
crimes to stay within .the grey
wans. ir. - un(jer theV Present
pians, that should occur. It would
be a great stroke of- business on
the part of the state to encour
age men to come back; for their
labor would bV making the state
money they pile up a J4,OOOr06o
surplus in. the Minnesota prison,
and f 9.000.000 In Missouri, v
But normal men.' with normal,
wholesome minds, do not fear the
Influences of humane treatment
on any man. The difference be
tween a man convicted of mur
der, and one who goes free, may
be but one vote; the difference
between a man t nprison for many
other prison crimes and the man
who enjoyi himself ouUide. may
be only three votes out of a Jury
of 12; the difference between the
men who are not indicted for steer
ing so close to the limits of the
law, may be but one man In a
rn .Jury . lndktmcnf
If the
pan outside who escaped by aprison upkeep, will doubtless be
be back into the world inside of handling more from the spiritual
two years, certainly It must ap- than the vengeful! standpoint, for
poiio uuamesa, a muca as nu- something has happened to -j the
mantty, ror tne state to try to human consciousnenss that turns
glte them two years of training unselfish patriotism .toward the
in responsibility, in honesty, In in- prism doors. Warden I Smith
ousiry. i lodts on the prison as a workshop,
mis is a iong. iniroaucuon to a moral hospital, in which there
Warden Smith's short creed: are many human derelicts that
Treat them white and train them heed flxine: thev need intrfHnf
to go back to society better men doctoring and not brutal batter-
tfio whan (hav r v a ffM ( r - .
" uv-" "w lings,
What is happening out there is
best shown in a conversation that
occurred a few days after he took
office, in January. A' man called
on him, asking for a Job as guard.
He explained that he was a dead
shot, an experienced prison guard,
and that they'd never y get away
from HIM. The warden heard
him through and said: "I don't
want dead shots I want good
wniie- men ana not good gun
men!" s That tells a wonderful
story of the present point of view
Warden Smith believes that the
old-time stingy father was a thiel
who gave his boy a calf to keep
and then after the' boy had cared
for . the animal up to maturity,
the father- would sell it and keer
the money. He believes that the
father who makes, his home hate
full by brutality and insult, de
serves reprisals and hate in re
turn. He puts the state in the
place of the father, and the pri
soners In the place of the sons.
the sons have been bad boys; per
uays oecause tne lamer vu
stingy, or hmtal, or intolerant oi
careless perhaps because they had
gotten into bad company. But
they are Still his sons; he can't
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luew aua torget mem, or
exile them, or do anything other
than live with them for the yeirs
after they get out of the court'c
ciaicnes. What would be the
best business to goad them on
torfresh hate and reprisal, to in
dolence and to vlciousne88 so that
they shall go back to society poi
soned through and through with
criminality or j to ' try to teach
them something better? Warden
Smith knows which is the better
way: so does every man and worn
an in the world who is not self-
poisoned by egotism. u'
Every man who goea to prison
Is expected to pay the full right
eous penalty. He ought to pay.
But, h cannot' pay by Muttering
mere brutality;' he comfi pay in
finitely better by working and let
ting his labor reimburse the state
for ail his own expenses, and by
sending wages! to his suffering
family and by learning to support
himself when he goes back to
society. "I am cold-blooded on
the question of a man's paying his
debt to,, the state said Warden
Smith; he is as far from, mushy
sentimentally ; as one could be;
but : he does see how every pris
oner can repay and rebuild at the
same time. And be Is proceeding
to arry it out.
There is a little, furniture fac4
tory In the prison, that is having
a line sale for all its products. The
maple and oak-log3 are bought
and brought in to be worked up
In the prison mill. :s The wood Is
thoroughly seasoned, before be
ing worked up. The factory Is
not "modern" in its arrangement.
as it was frankly an experiment.
and the machinery placement not
good; but the work shows a fine
The flax industry has been car
ried on rather desultorily for
KOme years, with no marked en
thusiasm, and j with faint-praise
damnings. It has lived, however.
and the new warden believes that
it offers a chance to make the
penitentiary pay all its own way.
once the industry is fully estab
lished. The prison revolving fund
for handling the flax business.
which is actually made up from
the savings over the cost of oper
ating for the years Just past,
should finance' the business and
make it a success. It will not
employ all the men now in the
prison, but it will take a consider
able number. The flax grown in
the Willamette valley last sum
mer, is how being .worked op Into
fiber and tow;, the spinning ma
chinery that should make the big
money1 has not yet been bought.
The definite scale of payment
to the prisoners has not yet been
established. First of all will have
to come the upkeep of the busi
ness itself. After that, the total
business organization; , it talks
like a brpther-hood of men anx
ious to help in the regeneration of
their fellows. If ' it functions
throughout as it appears after its
first two months, it will be one of
the model prisons and mora! hos
pitals of the whole nation.
Continued frojn pagel)
first three groups are arranged in
a rectangle extending for several
city block3 and are surrounded
with landscape effects which are
striking and beautiful. Opposite
the capitol is the campus of Wil
lamette university, also heauitful
and kept in a manner befitting its
dignity and its calling. The en
semble effect of the whole is one
that will never be forgotten by the
person who has viewed it. '
Salem, therefore, is taking on
the activities of'large manufactur
ing and business enterprises and
at the same time preserving her
old Ideals of physical land- civic
cleanliness and culture, which
have made her an outstanding res
idential city for years and years.
For the person who loves beauty.
Salem contains a cornucopia of
charms; the man who is looking
for business investment U attract-,
Those who lose their hearing, brings many of the pupils up close
in middle or old age, may count
it only as an annoyance; some
times as even a 50-50 gain, for
they ace not obliged to hear the
annoying sounds that the normal
person can not escape.
But to start into lire without
the abiiity to hear, means to start
with a tej-rible handicap; for the
one , most understanding sense,
through which one receives so
many vivid - impressions, is lost.
One cannot speak for speech is
the result of study or sounds no
eye or finger-tip or taste can give
one the ability to either give or.
receive it negligent sound impres
sions. The fact that the deaf pu
pils are at leastfour years behind
th ,e average for their ages ,in
school development, even with
all the help that the state schoolst
can give them, is the tragic story
of what it means to start in life'
without the gift of. hearing.
Oregon has 124 pupils in the
state school for the deaf, here in
Salem. The school is filled to
the limit; and there are. a num
ber of others who have been re
ported in, who are deprived of
schooling because tnere is not
room for them. The school has
10 grade school teachers, and four
who liave industrial classes. As
all the pupils are taught by. the
grade teachers, this gives an av-
to the age of legal majority. The
pupils are taken' in as young as
six years of age. ami are kept un
til 21 years. of age, if they wish
The school has a farm of 40
acres, which is .worked and made
to partially support the school,
by student help. This offers a
training field for those . who are
to. stay; or until the eighth grade interested in farming and garden
course is completed. ng. A fine new gymnasium,
After completing fhe regular built a year ago, now gives a place
school course, however, a pupil is
fairly well prepared for continu
ing in many regular branches of
advanced education. Some go in
to various high schools and col
leges where despite their handi
caps they may succeed. Gallau
det college, at Washington, is the
great national college for the
higher education of the deaf. The
proportion of those who po here;
or elsewhere to schools of higher
learning, is not very large; not
np-arly so large as pf those of
normal hearing after finishing the
eighth grade.
An especial effort is made, how
ever, to teach industrialism. The
boys have training in carpentry,
printing, farming and gardening.
The girls learn housekeeping nd
domestic arts, as practical experts j
and not as mere adventurers into
a pleasing little game.- As the
school is an "institution" and
home, and not a mere day-school,
it has the opportunity to direct
the activities of its students Snost
carefully; sp these practical ave
nues to livelihood can be insisted
The school was established
Supcrint'cndejit of Oregon School
for the deaf
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for abundant physical training,
which is even more essential than
-for normal children; the deaf
children here learn to forget their
handicaps, and lose their self-con
sciousness. The school. needs
more room, even .for the pupils
now attending; and the unfortun
ates for whom there is no room
must waste their youth and event
nally their whole lives, because
of the shortage.
O. L. Mclntyre, the present su
perintendent, came here a year
ago from the Kentucky school for
the deaf; prior to that he was
principal in , the Oklahoma state
school." He is a graduate of Gal-
laudet col'ege, Washington, thru
special fellowship for those who
are training for teaching among
the deaf, and who show special
aptitude for the work. The school.
is making little public demonstra
tion, but its work is progressing
satisfactorily in. every wayr; It
has had exceptionally good health
this winter.
it ? J Vlller h Pierce has lived in Oregon for almost two score of yoars lie has l,ro
n crested in many things politics, education, business; b,rt always he has boon I farn or and stock
aiser. There is no title that he would rather have than that of "the best "farnfei - nd breeder ot
the county," It marks a striking difference between him and n.anv other men h Jul.Iic ife he H
essentially producer and of the soil that produces, while so many are only vendorVc r assemblers
of things that others have made., From the Pierce standpoint, Oregon must produce more andetlw
goods better boys -and girls, better, livestock, better crops, better laws. All ib lags "urt from- the
ground, under this philosophy, and all are controllable by the people themselves
Governor Pierce would have every person vitally interested in this great familv r.artnershin f
production His own "ihite faced calves" have become a. politic! proverb in OrvS m- he h f iroSaer"
of his stock farm, that helps to feed a hungry world. than of any investment that i?ay a irood nor
cent for a I tie dead money stuck into its bonds. or securitiek He is genuinely a i part of the -?aK
productive hfe; the way the people vored for Kim, regardless of political name? last faU shows
their opinion of his sympathetic interest ' Id" silows
His best friends haven't been able to sav-tiiaf hi -j .... ,., ; - -
slin into error, nr nVfr fn in hiu i..h--.o-. " " . V'u,u wrong. coma. not
- ' h " ' - jumiih (it L
ine suriace iney seem to be; the Pierce vii
detect the 'things that may be in his way,
Provides Beautiful Home
for Tending Sub-Mental
the surface they seem to be; the Pierce "vision may Stl, fTi to pieTV below the nce and
aetect ine tnmgs that may be in his wav. Rut ho'ii
mind and th nntirin.- nirit . - .kI ,' 'A ' . " 1 an" earnest
who determines Vo do rigKrwmo Vt V-goa ,o ine oest or h,s ability. And the man
Here's to Governor Walter Pierg'of Oregon
The governor says" that Smith
is to have his own, way. What
he outlines in the way of financial
ind moral rehabilitation appeals
to the tax-burdened man in the
street, a? a reasonable way. j
He la surrounding himself ; with
men in fnll accord with his aims
R. "E. Mantor. closely identified
with the American legion, is dep
uty warden. W. A. Mullins is
principal keeper; A. M. Dalrym
ple Is head of the commissary.
Some changes have been made in
the guard service, but a number
of the trustworthy old men have
been retained. It looks like a
ed by the great field of natural re
30urceu round about; and for the
me.nand women who wish to live
amid beautiful surroundings and
at the same time earn allivlihood.
he city offers inviting openings.
(And what of the city's future?
Perhaps this question is best an
swered - by referring to her ; tre
mendous growth of the- past dec
ade, during which her native re
sources have been scarcely tapped.!
Wthat she will be when she shall
have 'more nearly accomplished
the development of her natural ad
vantages will be measured bnly by
their wealth and extent. -
1 .- .1
erage of a little more thfn 12 pu
pils per teacher. ThU i3 believ
ed to be much too large 3 num
ber; one .teacher to every 10 pu
pils is given as a fair minimum
teaching force for any teaching
requiring such personal, individ
ual instruction-- The state has
not over-appropViaf ed for thes af
flicted ones, on this showing.
The .school v burse includes
only the eighth "grade as pre
scribed by the slate public school
course of.studi This does not
seem very high ;i but with three1 or
four, years handicap, even this
more than 50 years ago, and has
had more than 600 : students,
though not nearly all have grad
uated. The number of children
so afflicted is not Iarpe: the caus
es for deafness are nor very def
inite'y understood. It usually
happens that lhe children of even
two deaf-mute parents and there
are a good - many ' marriages
among, the graduates of the deaf
schools are as normal in their
hearing as any children; the de
frrt Is not usually transmitted.
There will be four or. five grad
uates this year.
Most people of Oregon Would
be shocked to know that there are
now in the Oregon school for the
feeble minded 730 inmates; 200
or more of them utterly incapable
of receiving any assistance in de
veloping mentality tpat is worse
than d. or hi ant is non-existent.
Not a too-large oronortion. Der-
haps, of the total state's popula
tion; but a staggering aggregate
of deficiency that is a never-ending
state burden.
Where do they come from?
Kvery where; from the proudest
homes as well as the humbly.
They come from booze, from either
father or mother, or both; they
come from homes where the black
Plague has entered, perhaps gen
erations back, but that will have
its deadly toll at length; they
come from homes where nothine
else could be afflicted under the
present marriage laws, from
homes where illness, or overwork;
or worry, has laid upon the gen
eration to-be-born the payment of
the parents' - debt: They come
fiom accidents In childhood oh.
they come from myriad sources,
each one a tragedy, each one a
near-immortality that has failed.
This is only in a limited sense
an educational institution; for it
Is, almost primarily, a hospital for
the unfortunates who mercifullv
jQO not know usually their misfor
tune. A school is maintained,
however,: and a very effective one;
with 250 or more1 students who
are making satisfactory progress
considering their limitations.
There are six teachers. Most of
the work Is within the elementary
grades, for the mental limitations
of those who belong there nre-
j elude much farther flight into ed
ucational realms.
There are few who ever come
o this home with criminal or at
least violent tendencies.' Sex
perversion because of lack of
mental balancers not rare. Be
cause of the known fecundity of
the feeble-minded, the demand for
mental standards before allowing
marriage is growing stronger all
over the civilized world; the
sterilization law passed in Oregon
wo years ago. seemed to provide
for . stopping all feeble-minded
marriages In the future: before
the law. wan declared -unconstitutional.
The new law. passed this
winter, seems to have no legal
loophole: it seems to offer the so
ution , for all nest-generation
weakHngs by making it Impossible
for those of unsound mind to
bome prnts. n should be
norert that -feehle-mlndedness is a
overcome. There never can be
a development of mentality where
the seeds of mentality themselves
have failed to. sprout and devel
op. To make impossible the per
petuation ot feeble mentality, is
to make impossible most of the
awful crop of incompetents now
in the Oregon institution.
There are some more who could
be considerably helped in school if
the quarters allowed; the institu
tion is much overcrowded. The
farm of 630 acres is worked by
the patients; it supplies much of
their living. There is no "school
year" for this unhappy . school;
tor the conditions that send them
there in the beginning, continue
without vacation. They will con
tinue on. until' death; and .that
blessed boon is usually a long
ways off, for the deficient may
outlive even the normal, because
of having no worries or cares. The
net result Is that the school at
tendance is cumulative; it would
necessarily be so. The death
rate is based on the same ages as
that pf all the people of the state.
There are some patients there, ot
extreme old age; there can be ho
other place for them, because
they' can never Improve, hevetj
graduate, and many can not ,even
hope for a merciful release. i
The biennial appropriation of
$315,000 takes care of the insti
tution, with the income from the
farm. There are some of . not
very great degree of sub-normality
who. can be tfsed in all the farm,
dairy and home work. It is a
plaintive and not a violent' place.
There Is none ' of the violent,
grotesque, sinister, homicidal
feeling of the insane; it is the
helplessness of infancy, that won
ders through its sluggish senses,
that does not. hate, or love, or
even suffer deeply. -There are
no noble intellects in ruins, no
strong souls In chains ot torment;
it is all a .pitiful weakness that
has no way out save as the state
lends Its helping hand. No end
but in oblivion! There Is not a
locked door on the place nobody
there but children against whom;
doors need not be locked!
Through the school, and thru
social entertainments, life is made
very -attractive to those who can
grasp the meaning of happiness. ,
Class dances are given, ,lwo a
week, to teach coordination of
mind and body. Some attractive
ittle playlets are given, one each
in June and December; some of
these compare creditably . with
similar work done in any school.
Music Is an attracton for many; .
and they haver, a motion picture
machine for which fPms are
brought in for a program once 3
week. It would be supremely de
lightful it if were for normakchJl
dren of the same physical age as
these are mentally ' from k!t
weeks up to four or five years.
Repently a feeble-minded moth
er was brought to the place, with
her babe six weeks old. A second
generation InevitabJy cursed with
vacutity, with no possible chance
for development; it may grow-In
physical size.- but "it must remain
weakling. These were the cases
that made the new eugenics law
seem a necessity. It did not
come in time to save this poor
little waif; but it will save many
others from a frightful life. The
feeble-minded school would not
be, possible in some of the hardy
heathen lands, where the weakl
ings are slain or lert to die. Civ
ilization has not been able to rec
oncile its conscience with such
slaughter but it Is rovldlnir
way to prevent the breeding ot
The Oregon school is reckoned
as a conspicuously efficient one
of its kind. The eUte hxs not a
larger proportions -of. these weak
lings, than other states nt hough
they, are more carefully located
and placed where they can be pro
perly cared for. It is a work hat
only a few gifted peopia could do
gifted in sympathy. In under
standing, Oregon has found
teachers and director. ,- .
the work, and they aro doing
It well
" . Continued from page 1)
"to supplement the water supply of
summer is the most urgent indus
trial need of the valley. It Isn't
altogether a question of climate
only that the climate provides the
big rains of winter and the
drought ot summer, and they
could be so beautifully equalized
by a rational ce-operatlon of man
with nature. The siimmer heat
could be made an ally instead of
an enemy; it makes crops grow in
watered soil, where it burns and
destroys the crops in uncared-for
soils. 'The Rainmakers." or Irri
gators have a chance to do marvels
in equalizing Oregon extreme.
and make them he!p each other4-"
instead of- fighting like Kilkenny
cats with their tails tied together
and their claws tearing'up clouds
of fur and fury.
People everywhere are invited,
to get in touch with the Salem
Chamber of Commerce for Infor-
conmant condition: it Is not mere matlon relating to the Greater Sa
lem District. They will find that
their Inquiries will receive prompt'
attention and that -th tnfn,m..
lack Of intellect that nn f..--!tion thfv rnroi- ,m t. a'
emporary larlc'f balance, caused
nT 8y stress that may be remov-
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h in h never- o-ne-remed-
r c
V fa
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- th
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' 'iin
is i
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