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May 31, 1902


JAMA. 1902;XXXVIII(22):1447. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.02480220033014

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If there is any fact known as a certainty to alienists and penologists it is that rational employment of those whose condition will permit is conducive to mental health or improvement. Without it our prisons would become culture-beds of dementia and one of the most valuable therapeutic resources of our asylums would be wanting. Notwithstanding this fact it is sometimes a question how this means for good can be made available and the difficulty is increasing. In times past some of our state penitentiaries have been made self-supporting by the labor of the prisoners and the discipline and general welfare have been greatly facilitated and improved. Of late years, at least in many states, the demands of the labor leaders have seriously embarrassed the prison managements by inducing the enactment of laws against prison labor; indeed, it is only by makeshifts and sometimes possibly by evasions of such laws that

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