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In a previous letter, I referred to various hygienic reforms in the Belgian penitentiary system. As a result of statistics published by the anthropologic service, which was established in 1907, the minister of justice has been prevailed upon to consider the immediate creation at Merxplas of a sanatorium for the tuberculous, a hospital for patients with venereal disease, and a home for epileptics. It is certainly the only logical course to take advantage of the time spent by a prisoner in a penitentiary to give him good medical care and improve his health in every way possible. The bacteria carrier who is not sterilized in prison will later resume his place in society. If he is returned to society in the same condition in which he arrived (or possibly in a worse state, for his contagiousness may have increased), he will be the cause of the spread of
BELGIUM. JAMA. 1923;80(3):197. doi:10.1001/jama.1923.02640300047024