College News and Departmental Notes: The Elementary Club
by Departmental notes - 1916
The Elementary Club has been fortunate in its speakers. At its first general meeting the address was made by Dr. George W. Kirchwey, formerly dean of Columbia Law School and president of the Prison Reform League of America, and now warden of Sing Sing Prison. Dr. Kirchwey discussed the reform that is now being worked out at Sing Sing and justified his choice of subject by stating that if the problem of criminalogy is to be solved, its solution must be found largely in the school. Prison reform is a part of the problem of the suppression of crime. The speaker contrasted the old penal system and prison administration with the "new penology." Whereas the old system stood for determinate sentence, lack of incentive, degrading influences, repression and brutality, the new methods were for indeterminate sentence, encouragement, cooperation, self-government by the convicts, and human as well as humane treatment. The tendency of the old administration was to make the convict more criminal; that of the new, to enable him to become a useful, self-supporting and law-abiding citizen. Following the address, Dr. Hillegas gave his impression of the educational possibilities of the Sing Sing situation and led an interesting discussion of the application of Dr. Kirchwey's suggestions to discipline in our schools.
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