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9 4 2 r * 


Its Causes and Remedies 


Professor of Psychiatry and Criminal Anthropology in the 
University of Turin 

Translated by 


Assistant Professor of Sociology in the University of Missouri 
Author of '* Principles of Crijuinal Anthropology," etc. 




copyhight, 1911, 
By Little, Brown, and Compant. 

All rights reserved 




At the National Conference of Criminal Law and Crim- 
inology, held in Chicago, at Northwestern University, in 
June, 1909, the American Institute of Criminal Law and 
Criminology was organized; and, as a part of its work, the 
following resolution was passed: 

" Whereas, it is exceedingly desirable that important 
treatises on criminology in foreign languages be made readily 
accessible in the English language, Resolved, that the presi- 
dent appoint a committee of five with power to select such 
treatises as in their judgment should be translated, and to 
arrange for their publication." 

The Committee appointed under this Resolution has made 
careful investigation of the literature of the subject, and has 
consulted by frequent correspondence. It has selected 
several works from among the mass of material. It has 
arranged with publisher, with authors, and with transla- 
tors, for the immediate undertaking and rapid progress of 
the task. It realizes the necessity of educating the profes- 
sions and the public by the wide diffusion of information on 
this subject. It desires here to explain the considerations 
which have moved it in seeking to select the treatises best 
adapted to the purpose. 

For the community at large, it is important to recognize 
that criminal science is a larger thing than criminal law. 
The legal profession in particular has a duty to familiarize 
itself with the principles of that science, as the sole means 
for intelligent and systematic improvement of the criminal 



Two centuries ago, while modern medical science was still 
young, medical practitioners proceeded upon two general 
assumptions: one as to the cause of disease, the other as to 
its treatment. As to the cause of disease, — disease was sent 
by the inscrutable will of God. No man could fathom that 
will, nor its arbitrary operation. As to the treatment of 
disease, there were believed to be a few remedial agents of 
universal eflBcacy. Calomel and blood-letting, for example, 
were two of the principal ones. A larger or smaller dose of 
calomel, a greater or less quantity of bloodletting, — this 
blindly indiscriminate mode of treatment was regarded as 
orthodox for all common varieties of ailment. And so his 
calomel pill and his bloodletting lancet were carried every- 
where with him by the doctor. 

Nowadays, all this is past, in medical science. As to the 
causes of disease, we know that they are facts of nature, 
— various, but distinguishable by diagnosis and research, 
and more or less capable of prevention or control or counter- 
action. As to the treatment, we now know that there are 
various specific modes of treatment for specific causes or 
symptoms, and that the treatment must be adapted to the 
cause. In short, the individualization of disease, in cause and 
in treatment, is the dominant truth of modem medical science. 

The same truth is now known about crime; but the under- 
standing and the application of it are just opening upon us. 
The old a nd still do minant thought is, as to cause, that a 
crime is caused by the inscrutable moral free will of the human 
being, doing or not doing the crime, just as it pleases; abso- 
lutely free in advance, at any moment of time, to choose or 
not to choose the criminal act, and therefore in itself the 
sole and ultimate cause of crime. As to treatment, j^ere^ 
still are just two traditional measures, used in varying doses 
for all Ends of crime and all kinds of persons, — jail, or a 
fine Cfor death is now employed in rare cases only). But 
modern science, here as in medicine, recognizes that crime 



also (li ke di sgasp) ^^^ nafnra.l-oangpg Jt need not be asserted 
for one moment that crime is a disease. But it does have 
natural causes, — that is, circumstances wliicli work to pro- 
Huce ifm a given case. ^Snd as to treatment, modern science 
recognizes that penal or remedial treatment cannot possibly 
be indiscriminate and machine-like, but must be adapted 
to the causes, and to the man as affected by those causes. 
Common sense and logic alike require, inevitably, that the 
moment we predicate a specific cause for an undesirable 
effect, the remedial treatment must be specifically adapted 
to that cause. 

Thus the great truth of the present and the future, for 
criminal science, is the individualization of penal treatment, 
— for that man, and for the cause of that man's crime. 

Now this truth opens up a vast field for re-examination. 

It means that we must study all the possible data that can 

^}^;.^ailSffft f^^ ^rina^'j — the man's heredity, the man's physi- 
cal ancT moral make-up, his emotional temperament, the 
surroundings of his youth, his present home, and other 
conditions, — all the influencing circumstances. And it 
•means that the effect of different methods of treatment, old 
or new, for different kinds of men and of causes, must be 
studied, experimented, and compared. Only in this way 
can accurate knowledge be reached, and new efficient meas- 
ures be adopted. 

All this has been going on in Europe for forty years past, 
and in limited fields in this country. All the branches of 
science that can help have been working, — anthropology, 
medicine, psychology, economics, sociology, philanthropy, 
penology. The law alone has abstained. The science of 
law is the one to be served by all this. But the public in gen- 
eral and the legal profession in particular have remained 
either ignorant of the entire subject or indifferent to the 
entire scientific movement. And this ignorance or indiffer- 
ence has blocked the way to progress in administration. 


The Institute therefore takes upon itself, as one of its aims, 
to inculcate the study of modern criminal science, as a press- 
ing duty for the legal profession and for the thoughtful 
community at large. One of its principal modes of stimulat- 
ing and aiding this study is to make available in the English 
language the most useful treatises now extant in the Con- 
tinental languages. Our country has started late. There 
is much to catch up with, in the results reached elsewhere. 
We shall, to be sure, profit by the long period of argument 
and theorizing and experimentation which European thinkers 
and workers have passed through. But to reap that profit, 
the results of their experience must be made accessible in 
the English language. 

The effort, in selecting this series of translations, has been 
to choose those works which best represent the various schools 
of thought in criminal science, the general results reached, 
the points of contact or of controversy, and the contrasts of 
method — having always in view that class of works which 
have a more than local value and could best be serviceable 
to criminal science in our country. As the science has vari- 
ous aspects and emphases — the anthropological, psychologi- 
cal, sociological, legal, statistical, economic, pathological — 
due regard was paid, in the selection, to a representation of 
all these aspects. And as the several Continental countries 
have contributed in different ways to these various aspects, — 
France, Germany, Italy, most abundantly, but the others 
each its share, — the effort was made also to recognize the 
different contributions as far as feasible. 

The selection made by the Committee, then, represents 
its judgment of the works that are most useful and most 
instructive for the purpose of translation. It is its conviction 
that this Series, when completed, will furnish the American 
student of criminal science a systematic and sufficient ac- 
quaintance with the controlling doctrines and methods 
that now hold the stage of thought in Continental Europe. 


Which of the various principles and methods will prove 
best adapted to help our problems can only be told after 
our students and workers have tested them in our own ex- 
perience. But it is certain that we must first acquaint our- 
selves with these results of a generation of European thought. 
In closing, the Committee thinks it desirable to refer the 
members of the Institute, for purposes of further investiga- 
tion of the literature, to the " Preliminary Bibliography of 
Modern Criminal Law and Criminology " (Bulletin No. 1 
of the Gary Library of Law of Northwestern University), 
already issued to members of the Conference. The Com- 
mittee believes that some of the Anglo-American works 
listed therein will be found useful. 


Chairman, John H. Wigmore, 

Professor of Law in Northwestern University, Chicago. 

Ernst Freund, 

Professor of Law in the University of Chicago. 

Maurice Parmelee, 

Professor of Sociology in the State University of 


RoscoE Pound, 

Professor of Law in Harvard University. 

Robert B. Scott, 

Formerly Professor of Political Science in the State 
University of Wisconsin. 

Wm. W. Smithers, 

Secretary of the Comparative Law Bureau of the 
American Bar Association, Philadelphia, Pa. 


THE treatment of the criminal up to the latter part of the 
nineteenth century was dominated by the theories of the 
classical school of criminology. This school was based upon 
the thought of the eighteenth century philosophers. Its chief 
founder was the distinguished Italian criminologist, Cesare 
Beccaria. In his great work entitled "Crimes and Punish- 
ments," published in 1764, he condemned the almost unlimited 
power which judges frequently had in determining the punish- 
ment of criminals. This power frequently led to inhuman and 
unjust treatment of the criminal. Filled with the humanitarian 
feeling and dominated by the democratic ideas of the time, 
Beccaria insisted that no punishment should be greater than 
the crime warranted, and that all men should be equal in the 
eyes of the law. Thus the fundamental principle of the classical 
school was that the treatment of a criminal should be determined 
by the character of the crime that he had committed. In each 
criminal case it was to be determined what crime had been com- 
mitted, and then the penalty designated by the penal code was 
to be applied regardless of the personality of the criminal. 

We can now discern many variations in the treatment of the 
criminal from the principle laid down by the classical school. 
Criminals guilty of the same crime are very frequently not sub- 
jected to the same penalty, and the variations in their treatment 
are not usually due to differences in their social standing as 
was frequently the case previous to the time of the classical 
school. The treatment of the criminal is being based more and 
more upon his own characteristics rather than upon the char- 
acter of the crime he has committed. How has this great change 
come about? The largest credit for it is undoubtedly due to the 
great Italian criminal anthropologist, Cesare Lombroso, who 


died in October, 1909, Few men have suffered the amount of 
criticism and abuse that Lombroso experienced during his Hfe- 
time. But if the degree of interest and difference of opinion 
aroused by his ideas, and the extensive literature devoted to 
the discussion of them, are any indications of his influence, 
Lombroso is certainly the most important figure in criminologi- 
cal science since Beccaria. Let us see what were the character- 
istics of his teachings which gave them so great an influence. 

Lombroso was one of the group of great thinkers of the nine- 
teenth century who had the courage and the wisdom to apply 
the positive, inductive method of modern science to the study 
of human and social phenomena. He was not the first one to 
search for the causes of human conduct in the physiological 
and mental characteristics of the individual, for others, such as 
Galenus, Gall, and Morel, had preceded him in this study. 
But no one of these had carried his analysis very far and the 
methods used were not always very scientific. Lombroso de- 
voted his whole Hfe to his study and used thoroughly inductive 
methods. His teachings immediately aroused great opposition; 
in the first place, because of the prejudice which existed against 
attributing human conduct to natural causes. But much of 
this opposition was also due to the fact that in his first writings 
he attributed criminal conduct almost entirely to the character- 
istics of the criminal himself. That, however, he recognized 
later on the social causes of crime is indicated by this book in 
which ample weight is given to these social causes. 

Lombroso commenced his studies by spending several years 
in studying the characteristics of the criminals in the Italian 
penitentiaries. In 1876 he published the first edition of his 
"L'Uomo Delinquente." In this book he set forth his theory 
that crime is caused almost entirely by the anthropological 
characteristics of the criminal. But in later editions of the same 
work he gave more and more weight to the social causes of crime, 
and ultimately published the work of which the present volume 
is a translation. While several of his less important books have 
been translated into English, neither of his two principal works 
have ever before been translated. Thus it is that the EngUsh- 
speaking world is acquainted with his theories largely through 


hearsay.^ The Committee on European Translations of the 
American Institute of Criminal Law and Criminology has chosen 
the second of his great works for translation in the belief that 
his theories should be better known in this country. The In- 
stitute is devoting itself to the work of applying science in the 
administration of the criminal law, and we are glad to know 
that Lombroso approved of its work in the following words 
written shortly before his death : ^ 

"I beg to express my satisfaction at learning of the call for 
the National Conference on Criminal Law and Criminology, to 
take place in Chicago. It will mark a new era in the progress 
of criminal law. If I could offer any suggestion to so competent 
a body of men, it would be to emphasize the importance of 
apportioning penalties, not according to the offense, but ac- 
cording to the offender. To this end the probation system, 
which it is the great credit of America to have introduced, 
should be extended so as to suit the offender's type and indi- 
viduality. It is futile to fix a term of imprisonment for the 
born criminal; but it is most necessary to shorten to the mini- 
mum the term for the emotional offender, and to modify it 
for the occasional offender, and to place* the latter under the ^ 
supervision of a judge, and not to let his fate be so fixed that 
it amounts merely to a modern form of slavery." 

The present volume discusses in the main the social causes 
of crime. It has seemed well to the Committee that in this in- 
troduction there should be given a critical summary of Lom- 
broso's theory as to the anthropological causes of crime as set 
forth in his great work on Criminal Man.^ 

^ A summary of bis "Criminal Man" is now published in America (by 
Messrs. Putnam's Sons), under the editorship of his daughter, Signora Gina 
Lombroso-Ferrero and Professor Ferrero. The present Introduction covers 
the ground of that Summary. 

2 Extract from a letter to Professor John H. Wigmore, first President 
of the American Institute of Criminal Law and Criminology, dated Turin, 
May 3, 1909. 

It is interesting to learn that Dr. Lombroso, in May, 1908, was visited by 
Mr. Wigmore with the purpose of tendering him the nomination as Harris 
Lecturer at Northwestern University in 1909-10, his subject to be "Modern 
Criminal Science," and that Dr. Lombroso expressed a deep interest but was 
prevented by his advanced age from making any engagements to leave Italy. 

Dr. Lombroso' s death occurred a few months after the above letter was 

^ The following summary is taken in the main from the writer's "Prin- 
ciples of Anthropology and Sociology in their Relations to Criminal 
Procedure," The Macmillan Company,' New York, 1908, pages 25-78. 


A quotation from Lombroso's opening speech at the Sixth 
Congress of Criminal Anthropology at Turin in April, 1906, 
will give the key to the first stage in the development of his 

"In 1870 I was carrying on for several months researches 
in the prisons and asylums of Pavia upon cadavers and living 
persons, in order to determine upon substantial differences 
between the insane and criminals, without succeeding very 
well. At last I found in the skull of a brigand a very long series 
of ata\'Tstic anomalies, above all an enormous middle occipital 
fossa and a hypertrophy of the vermis analogous to those that 
are found in inferior vertebrates. At the sight of these strange 
anomahes the problem of the nature and of the origin of the 
criminal seemed to me resolved; the characteristics of primi- 
tive men and of inferior animals must be reproduced in our 
times. Many facts seemed to confirm this hypothesis, above 
all the psychology'' of the criminal; the frequency of tattooing 
and of professional slang; the passions as much more fleeting 
as they are more violent, above all that of vengeance; the 
lack of foresight which resembles courage and courage which 
^alternates with cowardice, and idleness which alternates with 
^■Ax^ ^'^ythe passion for play and activity." ^ 

His first conception of the criminal, which was greatly modi- 
fied later on, was, then, that the criminal is an ataNnstic phenom- 
enon reproducing a tj-pe of the past. In order to find the origin 
of this ata\'istic phenomenon he goes back not only to savage 
man but also to animals and even to plants. Crime and crimi- 
nals are, strictly speaking, human phenomena and are, there- 
fore, not to be found outside of human society. But when a 
criminal displays a strong tendency towards crime which results 
from abnormal or pathological, physiological, and psychologi- 
cal characteristics it is necessary to search in the lower species 
for characteristics which correspond to those of the criminaL 
The acts which result from these characteristics Lombroso called 
the equivalents of crime. Among plants he finds such equiva- 
lents in the habits of the insectivorous plants. It is question- 
able, however, if the so-called "murders" of insects by these 
plants can be considered as equivalents of crime, since they are 

* In the "Archives d'anthropologie criminelle," Lyons, June, 1906. 


C0i...x^xtted by one species against another and belong in the 
same category with man's habit of eating animals and plants. 
But among animals are to be found veritable equivalents of 
crime in acts contrary to the general habits and welfare of a 
species by one of its members. Cannibalism, infanticide, and 
parricide frequently occur, while murder, maltreatment, and 
theft are used to procure food, to secure command, and for many 
other reasons. In the past the idea that crimes are committed 
by animals was so strong that in ancient times and in the Middle 
Ages animals were frequently condemned according to juridical 
forms for acts harmful to man. Various causes for these equiva- 
lents of crime among animals have been noted, as, for example, 
congenital anomalies of the brain. Veterinary surgeons rec- 
ognize these anomalies and give them as the causes for the 
misbehavior of horses. Other causes are antipathy causing 
murder, old age resulting in ill-temper, sudden anger, physical 
pain, etc. 

Not only the equivalents of crime but those of punishment, 
also, have been noted among the lower species. Many cases are 
on record of a group of animals having torn to pieces one of its 
members who had committed an act contrary to the weKare of 
the group or had failed in performing its duties towards the 
group. In this blind act of vengeance we see the embryo of the 
form of social reaction called punishment. 

There are, also, many habits of the lower species which, be- 
cause they are natural and normal, cannot be called the equiva- 
lents of crime, but which when reproduced among civilized men 
become criminal. The same is true of many habits of savages. 
For example, homicide is frequently practised under social 
sanction, such as infanticide, murder of the aged, of women, 
and of the sick, religious sacrifices, etc., while cannibalism is 
prevalent in many tribes. Theft also exists under social sanc- 
tion, though it is not so common, because the institution of 
private property is not highly developed among savages. The 
veritable crimes among savages are those against usage in which 
an established custom or religious rite is violated. 

In like manner, as among the savages, characteristics are to 
be found in the child in a normal fashion which would be crimi- 


naiinanadult, suchasangoi utrity, 

lack of foresight, etc. For the first year or more of its iite a child 
l^^.i. -._ I i.,- !.-_,i .... J its development is det* — '- ^ ' ■' ''y 

h. • are, furthermore, ti il 

chiJdren in whom a tendency to crime manifesto itself early. 

It was the consideration of these facts ^'.ilh regard to the 
lower species, savages, and children which led Lombroso to 
formulate his first theory that crime is atavistic in its origin. 
This theory, as we shall see, he modified greatly later on. He 
discusses the atavistic origin of crime in the first part of his 
work, and then proceeds to the study of the constitution which 
the criminal inherits. This we will now briefly summarize. 

The first series of the characteristics of the criminal is the 
anatomical. The study of 383 skulls of criminals gives him the 
results which he sums up in the following words: 

"On considering the results that these 383 skulls give us 
it is found that the lesions most frequent are: great promi- 
nence of the superciliary arches, 58.2 per cent; anomaly in the 
development of the wisdom teeth, 44.6 per cent; diminution 
of the capacity of the skull, 32.5 per cent; synostosis of the 
sutures, 28.9 per cent; retreating forehead, 28 per cent; hyper- 
ostosis of the bones, 28.9 per cent; plagiocephaly, 23.1 per 
cent; wormian bones, 22 per cent; simplicity of the sutures, 
18.4 per cent; prominence of the occipital protuberance, 16.6 
per cent; the middle occipital fossa, 16 per cent; symbolic 
sutures, 13.6 per cent; flattening of the occipital, 13.2 per 
cent; osteophytes of the clivus, 10.1 per cent; the Inca's or 
epactal bone, 10.5 per cent." ^ 

A union of many of these anomalies is to be found in the same 
skull in a proportion of 43 per cent, while 21 per cent have 
single anomalies. But these figures would have little value if 
not compared with corresponding figures for non-criminals. 
Such a comparison results in destroying the significance of some 
of these anomalies, since they prove to exist in about the same 
proportion among the latter. 

"But there are others, on the contrary, which are present 
in a double or triple proportion in the criminals. Such are, 

1 "Homme Criminel," Paris, 1895, I, 155. 


for example, sclerosis, the epactal bone, asymmetry, the re- 
treating forehead, exaggeration of the frontal sinus and the 
superciliary arches, oxycephaly, the open internasal suture, 
anomalous teeth, asymmetries of the face, and above all the 
middle occipital fossa among males, the fusion of the atlas 
and the anomalies of the occipital opening." ^ 

Comparison with the skulls of the insane shows that criminals 
surpass the insane in most of the cranial anomalies. Compari- 
son with savage and pre-historic skulls shows the atavistic 
character of some of these anomalies. 

"Atavism, however, does not permit us to explain either the 
frequent obliquity of the skull and of the face, or the fusion 
and welding of the atlas with the occipital, or the plagiocephaly, 
or the exaggerated sclerosis, anomalies which seem to be the 
result of an error in the development of the foetal skull, or a 
product of diseases which have slowly evolved in the nervous 
centers." 2 

As to the significance of the cranial anomalies, he says: 

"Is it possible that individuals afflicted with so great a 
number of alterations should have the same sentiments as men 
with a skull entirely normal? And note that these cranial 
alterations bear only upon the most visible modifications of 
the intellectual center, the alterations of volume and of form." ^ 

A study of the convolutions of the brains of criminals reveals 
many anomalies, of which he says: 

"It would be too rash to conclude that at last have been found 
with certainty anomalies peculiar to the cerebral circumvolu- 
tions of criminals; but it can very well be said already that in 
criminals these anomalies are abundant and are of two orders: 
some which are different from every normal type, even in- 
ferior, as the transverse grooves of the frontal lobe, found by 
Flesch in some cases, and so prominently that they do not 
allow the longitudinal grooves to be seen; others are deviations 
from the type, but recall the type of lower animals, as the 
separation of the calcarine fissure from the occipital, the fissure 
of Sylvius which remains open, the frequent formation of an 
operculum of the occipital lobe." * 

1 Op. cit., I, 161. » Op. ciL, I, 168. 

» Op. cit., I, 174. « Op. cit, I, 185. 


The histology of the criminal brain also shows many anomalies 
due in most cases to arrested development. Anomalies of the 
skeleton, heart, genital organs, and stomach are also noted. 

He then passes to the study of the anthropometry and 
physiognomy of 5907 criminals examined by himself and about 
a dozen other criminologists. In the anthropometric measure- 
ments it may be noted that the type usually reproduces the 
regional type, that the reach from finger tip to finger tip with 
the arms outstretched is usually superior to the height, frequent 
left-handedness, the prehensile foot in which the great toe is 
mobile and is removed an unusually long distance from the other 
toes, precocious wrinkles, absence of baldness, a low and narrow 
forehead, large jaws, etc. In the physiognomy he discusses 
peculiarities of the hair, iris, ears, nose, teeth, etc., noting difiFer- 
ences between different kinds of criminals. 

" In general, many criminals have outstanding ears, abun- 
dant hair, a sparse beard, enormous frontal sinuses and jaws, a 
square and projecting chin, broad cheekbones, frequent ges- 
tures, in fact a type resembling the Mongolian and sometimes 
the Negro." ^ 

In summarizing the anatomical study of the criminal he says: 

"The study of the living, in short, confirms, although less 
exactly and less constantly, this frequency of microcephalies, 
of asymmetries, of oblique orbits, of prognathisms, of frontal 
sinuses developed as the anatomical table has shown us. It 
shows new analogies between the insane, savages, and crim- 
inals. The prognathism, the hair abundant, black and friz- 
zled, the sparse beard, the skin very often brown, the oxyce- 
phaly, the oblique eyes; the small skull, the developed jaw 
and zygomas, the retreating forehead, the voluminous ears, 
the analogy between the two sexes, a greater reach, are new 
characteristics added to the characteristics observed in the 
dead which bring the European criminals nearer to the Aus- 
tralian and Mongolian type; while the strabism, the cranial 
asymmetries and the serious histological anomalies, the osteo- 
mates, the meningitic lesions, hepatic and cardiac, also show 
us in the criminal a man abnormal before his birth, by arrest 
of development or by disease acquired from different organs, 

1 Op. cit., I, 222. 


above all, from the nervous centers, as in the insane; and make 
him a person who is in truth chronically ill." ^ 

The study of the anatomical characteristics of the criminal 
enabled him to separate the born criminal from the criminal of 
habit, of passion, or of occasion who is born with very few or no 
abnormal characteristics. Leaving aside for the moment the 
latter classes of criminals he takes up the biological and psy- 
chological characteristics of the born criminals, the first being 
the psychological characteristic of tattooing. 

"One of the most characteristic traits of primitive man or 
of the savage is the facility with which he submits himself to 
this operation, surgical rather than aesthetic, and of which the 
name even has been furnished to us by an Oceanic idiom." ^ 

By means of the statistics of 13,566 individuals of which 
4,376 were honest, 6,347 criminal and 2,943 insane, he shows 
that tattooing is quite common in some of the inferior classes 
of society, but is most common among criminals. 

"It may be said that, for these last, it constitutes on ac- 
count of its frequency a specific and entirely new anatomico- 
legal characteristic."^ x 

He cites many causes for tattooing, such as religion, imita- ^ 

tion, carnal love, vengeance, idleness, vanity, and above all S 

atavism. ' 

"But the first, the principal cause which has spread this 
custom among us, is, in my opinion, atavism, or this other kind 
of historic atavism called tradition. Tattooing is in fact one 
of the essential characteristics of primitive man and of the man 
who is still Uving in a savage state." * 

After noting peculiarities of the molecular exchange as indi- 
cated in the temperature, pulse, and urine he discusses the 
general sensibilities of the criminal. 

"The special taste of criminals for a painful operation so 
long and so full of danger as tattooing, the large number of 
wounds their bodies present, have led me to suspect in them 

1 Op. cit., I, 262. 2 Op. cit., I, 266. 

» Op. cU., I, 266. * Op. cit., I, 295. 



a physical insensibility greater than amongst most men, an 
insensibility like that which is encountered in some insane 
persons and especially in violent lunatics."^ 

Numerous experiments have revealed obtuseness in the 
sensibility of many parts of the body. Peculiarities have been 
noted in the visual acuteness and visual field, in the smelling, 
the taste, and the hearing, in the motility, in the reaction to 
various external influences, and in the vaso-motor reflexes. 

"From all of these facts it could be deduced that nearly 
all the different kinds of sensibility, tactile, olfactory, and of 
the taste, are obtuse in the criminal ; even in the occasional crim- 
inal as compared with the normal man; while in the criminal 
as in the insane and hysterical the sensibility to metals, to the 
magnet, and to the atmosphere is exaggerated. Their physical 
insensibility recalls quite forcibly that of savage peoples, who 
can face, in the initiations to puberty, tortures which a man of 
the white race could never endure." ^ 

From this study showing the marked analgesia of the criminal 
he passes to his affective sensibility. 

"In general, in criminal man, the moral insensibility is as 
great as the physical insensibility; undoubtedly the one is the 
effect of the other. It is not that in him the voice of sentiment 
is entirely silent, as some literary men of inferior ability sup- 
pose; but it is certain that the passions which make the heart 
of the normal man beat with the greatest force are very feeble 
in him. The first sentiment which is extinguished in these 
beings is that of pity for the suffering of another, and this hap- 
pens just because they themselves are inseasible to suffering." ^ 

He then discusses various psychological characteristics of 
the criminal showing his instability, vanity, lasciviousness, 
laziness, lack of foresight, etc. He shows that his intelligence 
varies greatly among the different classes of criminals. He dis- 
cusses at some length the argot or professional slang of criminals. 

".Atavism contributes more to this than any other thing. 
They talk differently from us because they do not feel in the 
same way; they talk like savages because they are veritable 
savages in the midst of this brilliant European civilization." * 

1 Op. cU., I, 310. 2 Op. cit., I, 346. 

» Op. cU., I, 356. * Op. dt., I, 497. 


In a similar manner he studies the hieroglyphics, writing, and 
literature of criminals. 

In the first volume of this work Lombroso describes the char- 
acteristics of the born criminal who, as we shall see, he believes 
represents a distinct anthropological type. In the second vol- 
ume he takes up first certain analogies which he believes exist 
between the born criminal and certain other abnormal types, 
and then deals with the other classes of criminals. And first 
he deals with the analogy and indeed the identity which he 
believes exists between congenital criminality and moral 
insanity. "The characteristics of the born criminal that we 
have studied in the first volume are the same as those of the 
moral imbecile." ^ Under the name of moral imbecile psy- 
chiatrists have classified the insane, whose most prominent 
pathological characteristic is a complete or almost complete 
absence of moral feeling and of moral ideas. The famous Eng- 
lish alienist, Henry Maudsley, has described this class in the 
following words: 

"Notwithstanding prejudices to the contrary, there is a dis- 
order of the mind, in which, without illusion, delusion, or hal- 
lucination, the symptoms are mainly exhibited in a perversion 
of those mental faculties which are usually called the active 
and moral powers — the feeling, affection, propensities, tem- 
per, habits, and conduct. The affective fife of the individual 
is profoundly deranged, and his derangement shows itself in 
what he feels, desires, and does. He has no capacity of true 
moral feeling; all his impulses and desires, to which he yields 
without check, are egoistic; his conduct appears to be governed 
by immoral motives, which are cherished and obeyed without 
any evident desire to resist them. There is an amazing moral 
insensibility. The intelligence is often acute enough, being 
not affected otherwise than in being tainted by the morbid 
feeling under the influence of which the persons think and act; 
indeed they often display an extraordinary ingenuity in ex- 
plaining, excusing, or justifying their behaviour, exaggerating 
this, ignoring that, and so coloring the whole as to make them- 
selves appear the victims of misrepresentation and persecu- 
tion." 2 

1 Op. cit., II, 1. 

2 "Responsibility in Mental Disease," London, 1874, 171-172. 

Such a person may very easily become a criminal. 

"A person who has no moral sense is naturally well fitted to 
become a criminal, and if his intellect is not strong enough to 
convince him that crime will not in the end succeed, and that 
it is, therefore, on the lowest grounds a folly, he is very likely 
to become one." ^ 

Moral insanity may be caused by various abnormal or patho- 
logical mental characteristics, congenital or acquired in the 
individual. Whenever one of these characteristics destroys the 
capacity for moral feeling and for comprehending moral ideas 
the individual becomes a moral imbecile. Moral insanity, 
therefore, is not a morbid entity in the sense that it arises out 
of one pathological mental characteristic or state of mind. It 
is, on the contrary, as Baer has said, a symptom common to 
various cerebral diseases. Lombroso, however, apparently re- 
garded it as such an entity, for he frequently spoke of it as if 
it were a distinct disease, and, furthermore, he identified it 
with the born criminal whom he considered a distinct type. He 
cites a good deal of evidence in support of this identification. 

"One of the things which prove indirectly the identity of 
moral insanity and of crime, and which at the same time ex- 
plains to us the doubts with which the alienists have been pos- 
sessed up to this day, is the extreme rarity of the first in the 
insane asylums, and its great frequency, on the contrary, in 
the prisons." ^ 

After supporting this statement with statistics he demon- 
strates many likenesses between the moral imbecile and the 
born criminal, with regard to the weight, the skull, the physi- 
ognomy, the analgesia, tactile sensibility, tattooing, vascular 
reaction, affectibility, etc. By contending that there is an 
identity between the moral imbecile and the born criminal, he 
does not, however, mean that every moral imbecile is a criminal. 
For that matter not every person born with a criminal tempera- 
ment becomes a criminal, for external circumstances may resist 
and overcome the innate criminal tendencies. But he believes 

1 Maudsley, Op. dt., 58. • Op. cU., II, 3-4. 


that in physical constitution and mental characteristics the two 
are fundamentally aUke. 

This identity of the moral imbecile with the bom criminal 
is, he believes, still more conclusively proved by a similar like- 
ness which he finds between the criminal and the epileptic. 

"The objection has justly been made against this fusion 
that the cases of true moral insanity that I have been able to 
study are too restrictive in number. That is true; but it is 
after all very natural; for, precisely because moral imbeciles 
are born criminals, they are not found as frequently in the 
asylum as in the prison; and it is also for that reason that it is not 
easy to establish a comparison. But there exists in epilepsy 
a uniting bond much more important, much more comprehen- 
sible, which can be studied upon a great scale, that unites and 
bases the moral imbecile and the born criminal in the same 
natural family." ^ 

As in the case of the analogy between the moral imbecile and 
the born criminal he demonstrates many likenesses between the 
epileptic and the born criminal, in height, weight, the brain, 
the skull, the physiognomy, the flat and prehensile foot, the 
sensibility, the visual field, motility, tattooing, etc. 

"Criminality is therefore an atavistic phenonenon which is 
provoked by morbid causes of which the fundamental mani- 
festation is epilepsy. It is very true that criminality can be 
provoked by other diseases (hysteria, alchoholism, paralysis, 
insanity, phrenastenia, etc.), but it is epilepsy which gives to it, 
by its frequency, by its gravity, the most extended basis." ^ 

But while all born criminals are epileptics, according to 
Lombroso, not all epileptics are born criminals. In all three, 
congenital criminality, moral insanity, and epilepsy, we find the 
irresistible force which results in crime or similar irresponsible 

"The perversion of the affective sphere, the hate, exagger- 
ated and without motive, the absence or insufficiency of all 
restraint, the multiple hereditary tendencies, are the source of 
irresistible impulses in the moral imbecile as well as in the bom 
criminal and the epileptic."^ 

1 Op. cit., II, 49-50. * Op. cit., II, 120. » Op. cit., II, 125. 


These two analogies between the born criminal and the moral 
imbecile and the epileptic mark the second stage in the develop- 
ment of his theory. 

"The studies which form the first part of this volume accord 
admirably with those which have been developed in the second 
and third parts of the first volume to make us see in the crimi- 
nal a savage and at the same time a sick man." ^ 

In other words, he no longer sees in the born criminal 
only an atavistic return to the savage, but also arrested de- 
velopment and disease, thus making the born criminal both 
an atavistic and a degenerate phenomenon. 

He now passes to the treatment of the classes of criminals 
other than the bom criminal. The first of these is the criminal 
by passion. 

"Among the criminals there is a category which is distin- 
guished absolutely from all others; it is this of the criminals 
by passion, who ought rather to be called criminals by violence, 
because as we have seen, and as we shall see better still in their 
aetiology, all these crimes have for substratum the violence of 
some passion." 2 

These criminals are quite rare, are usually young, have few 
anomahes of the skull, a good physiognomy, honesty of char- 
acter, exaggerated affectibility as opposed to the apathy of the 
born criminal, and frequent repentance after the crime, some- 
times followed by suicide or reformation in prison. A larger 
percentage of them are women than among other criminals. 

"The passions which excite these criminals are not those 
which rise gradually in the organism, as avarice and ambition, 
but those which burst forth unexpectedly, as anger, platonic or 
filial love, offended honor; which are usually generous passions 
and often sublime. On the other hand, those which predom- 
inate in ordinary criminals are the most ignoble and the most 
ferocious, as vengeance, cupidity, carnal love, and drunken- 
ness." 3 

But in them as in ordinary criminals are found sometimes 
traces of epilepsy and impulsive insanity, shown by the impetu- 

1 Op. cit., II, 135. 2 Op. cit., II, 153. » Op. cit., II, 165-166. 


osity, suddenness, and ferocity of their crimes. The frequency 
of suicide among criminals by passion also indicates a patho- 
logical state of mind. 

A special kind of criminal by passion is the political criminal. 

"In nearly all political criminals by passion we have noticed 
an exaggerated sensibility, a veritable hyperesthesia, as in the 
ordinary criminals by passion; but a powerful intellect, a 
great altruism pushed them towards ends much higher than 
those of the latter: it is never wealth, vanity, the smile of 
woman (even though often eroticism is not lacking in them, as 
in Garibaldi, Mazzini, Cavour) which impel them, but rather 
the great patriotic, religious, scientific ideals." ^ 

Statistics show a much higher proportion than the average of 
insane persons among criminals, and therefore Lombroso deals 
next with insane criminals as a special class of criminals. 

"A study made upon one hundred insane criminals, chosen 
by preference from those who had become insane before the 
crime, with the exception of the epileptics, has shown to me 
the frequency of the criminal type (that is to say, the presence 
of five to six characteristics of degeneracy, and especially out- 
standing ears {oreilles a anse), frontal sinuses, a voluminous 
jaw and zygoma, a ferocious look or strabism, a thin upper lip) 
in the proportion of 44 per cent." ^ 

This fact, however, does not lead him to identify the insane 
criminal with the born criminal, but he finds numerous analogies 
between the two in the weight, height, skull, tattooing, etc., and 
also many psychological analogies in the manner of committing 
a crime. He connects certain kinds of crime with certain kinds 
of insanity. 

"I have just mentioned the existence of certain kinds of 
insanity which reproduce each of the sub-species of criminality, 
so that to the juridical figure of incendiarism, of homicide, can 
be opposed the psychiatric figure of pyromania, homicidal mo- 
nomania, paradoxical sexuality, etc." ^ 

Thus he opposes to the juridical figure of theft the psychiatric 
figure of kleptomania; to habitual drunkenness, dipsomania: 

1 Op. cit., II, 217. 2 Op. cit., II, 254 » Op. cU., II, 290. 


to rape and pederasty, sexual inversion; to crimes of lust, 
satyriasis and nymphomania; to idleness and vagabondage, 
neurasthenia. He then discusses the psychological differences 
between the born criminal and the insane criminal with respect 
to the different kinds of mental maladies, and to the differences 
in motives for crimes and in the manner of committing them. 
He finishes the study of the insane criminal with the study of 
three special kinds, — the alcoholic criminal, the hysterical 
criminal, and the criminal mattoid. 

The last part of his work is devoted to the occasional 
criminal. Of this study he says: 

" If I have been forced to delay for several years the publica- 
tion of this book, it has been on account of this part in particu- 
lar; for, although in possession of numerous documents, direct 
contact with the facts failed me in the measure that I was trying 
to approach myself to them. The abundance of the facts also, 
their excessive variety, constituted for me a cause of uncertainty 
which prevented me from reaching a conclusion." ^ 

The first group with which he deals is that of the pseudo- 
criminals. These criminals are those who commit crimes 
involuntarily, who commit acts which are not perverse or pre- 
judicial to society but which are called crimes by the law, who 
commit crimes under very extraordinary circumstances, such 
as in defense of the person, of honor, or for the sustenance of 
the family. These crimes are " rather juridical than real, because 
they are created by imperfections of the law rather than by 
those of men; they do not awaken any fear for the future, 
and they do not disturb the moral sense of the masses." ^ 

The next group is that of the criminaloids. "Here the acci- 
dent, the all-powerful occasion, draws only those who are already 
somewhat predisposed to evil." ^ The occasions out of which 
these crimes arise are the temptation to imitate, the constant 
opportunities offered by the commercial profession for fraud, 
abuse of confidence, etc., the associations of the prison, a passion 
less intense than in the criminal by passion which draws an 
honest man slowly to crime, the criminal couple, the stronger 

1 Op. cU., II, 463. 2 Op. cit., II, 484. » Op. dt., II, 485. 


member of which having evil tendencies perverts the weaker, 
epidemic allurement, etc. 

"These are individuals who constitute the gradations between 
the born criminal and the honest man, or, better still, a variety 
of born criminal who has indeed a special organic tendency 
but one which is less intense, who has therefore only a touch of 
degeneracy; that is why I will call them criminaloids. But it is 
natural that in them the importance of the occasion determining 
the crime should be decisive, while it is not so for the born 
criminal, for whom it is a circumstance with which he can dis- 
pense and with which he often does dispense, as, for example, 
in cases of brutal mischievousness." ^ 

This position of the criminaloid between the born criminal 
and the honest man is in harmony with all natural phenomena, 
"where the most striking phenomena are in continuity with a 
series of analogous phenomena less accentuated "; ^ just as in 
the moral sphere we have genius, talent, intelligence, etc., and 
in the pathology of degeneracy the cretin, the cretinous, the 
sub-cretin, the idiot, the mattoid, the imbecile, etc. 

The third group of occasional criminals is that of the habitual 

"The greatest number of these individuals is furnished by 
those who — normal from birth and without tendencies for 
a peculiar constitution for crime — not having found in the 
early education of parents, schools, etc., this force which pro- 
vokes, or, better said, facilitates the passage from this physio- 
logical criminality — which we have seen belongs properly to 
an early age — to a normal, honest life, fall continually lower 
into the primitive tendency towards evil."^ 

So that these individuals without an abnormal heredity are 
led not by one circumstance offering the occasion for crime, but 
by a group of circumstances conditioning their early life into a 
career of crime. 

Associations of criminals, such as those of brigands, mafia, and 
camorra in Italy, and the "black hand" in Spain, etc., contain 
many members drawn into crime by their associates. In the 
classes in which on account of wealth, power, etc., the condi- 

1 Op. cit., II, 512. 2 Op. cit., II, 513. ' Op. cit., II, 534. 


tions are against the commission of crime, the criminal tendencies 
of those born with such tendencies remain latent or manifest 
themselves in other ways. Finally, there is a class of epileptoids 
in whom there is a substratum of epilepsy which sometimes 
forms the basis for the development of criminal tendencies. 

In the first edition of his work Lombroso gave excessive 
weight to his anatomical and anthropometric data which was 
not very surprising, since they were the most obvious and the 
most easily obtainable. This excessive emphasis laid upon the 
anatomical characteristics of the criminal led him to distin- 
guish but one type, — the criminal as an atavistic phenomenon. 
This immediately called forth the charge of unilaterality. The 
idea still exists that Lombroso recognized but one type of 
criminal who is the result of a single cause, namely, atavism. 
But the brief summary of his work which I have so far given 
is sufficient to disprove this. We have seen that in addition to 
studying the anatomical characterictics of the criminal he makes 
a lengthy study of his biological and psychological characteristics 
as well. In the later editions of his work he rejected in part the 
atavistic theory of crime, no longer considering atavism as the 
only cause of crime, and adopted the theory of degeneracy as 
one of its causes. 

"In this edition I have demonstrated that in addition to the 
characteristics truly atavistic there are acquired and entirely 
pathological characteristics; facial asymmetry, for example, 
which does not exist in the savage, strabism, inequality of the 
ears, dischromatopsy, unilateral paresia, irresistible impulses, 
the need of doing evil for the sake of evil, etc., and this sinister 
gayety which is noticeable in the professional slang of criminals 
and which, alternating with a certain religiousness, is found so 
often in epileptics. There may be added meningitis and soften- 
ing of the brain, which certainly do not result from atavism." ^ 

In his studies of moral imbecility and epilepsy he has dem- 
onstrated the analogies between these two and congenital crim- 
inality. Though his identification of the moral imbecile with 
the born criminal and of the born criminal with the epileptic 
may be disproved, his demonstration of the pathological like- 

* Op. dt., I, xi-xii. 



nesses of the three to each other is incontestible. In his study 
of the insane criminal he has exposed the characteristics of 
another very abnormal criminal type. He has demonstrated 
the abnormality of certain of the criminals by passion. In the 
criminaloid he has shown a criminal partially abnormal, who, 
however, will not commit a crime until a good opportunity pre- 
sents itself. The habitual criminal, though born without criminal 
tendencies, has them developed in him by the circumstances of 
his early life. Finally, in some of the criminals by passion and 
in the pseudo-criminal we find entirely normal persons who 
have committed crimes under very exceptional circumstances. 
Thus we see how very synthetic is his study of the characteristics 
of the criminal, since it ranges from the most abnormal to the 
perfectly normal, and there borders upon the study of the social 
causes of crime, which he takes up at great length in the work of 
which the present volume is a translation. 

The theory which is most closely connected with the name 
of Lombroso is that of the criminal anthropological type, that 
is to say, his theory that there is an anthropological type 
which corresponds to habitual criminal conduct. This has been 
the most contested idea in criminal anthropology and the one 
that has received the largest amount of discussion in books, 
congresses, etc. Though this idea of a criminal type had been 
suggested several times in the past, it was fully developed for 
the first time by Lombroso. We have already summarized his 
conception of the born criminal who constitutes for him a dis- 
tinct criminal type. A quotation from his speech at the Congress 
of Criminal Anthropology at Turin in 1906 has shown that 
his early studies led him to regard the criminal as an atavis- 
tic type, as reproducing the characteristics of lower races and 
species. This theory, offered in his early works as an explana- 
tion of congenital criminal tendencies, was severely attacked on 
account of its unilaterality. These criticisms and his further 
researches led him, as we have seen, to modify his theory and 
to recognize degeneracy as the cause of congenital criminality. 
He even came to regard atavism as a form of degeneracy, as 
where he speaks of the criminal type as "the presence of five 

» Op. cU., II, 254. 


or six characteristics of degeneracy and especially: outstanding 
ears (oreilles a anse), frontal sinuses, jaw and zygomas volu- 
minous, a ferocious look or strabism, thin upper lip." ^ This 
recognition of degeneracy as a cause of crime has made Lom- 
broso's doctrine more catholic, so that it is much easier to con- 
nect the criminal with the social and physical conditions out 
of which he has evolved, but it is questionable, as we shall see, 
whether degeneracy can be regarded as a form of atavism. 

In order to make more distinct his conception of the criminal 
type he discusses the character of a type in general, as follows : 

"In my opinion, one should receive the type with the same 
reserve that one uses in estimating the value of averages in sta- 
tistics. When one says that the average life is thirty-two years 
and that the most fatal month is December, no one under- 
stands by that that everybody must die at thirty-two years and 
in the month of December." ^ 

The type is, therefore, an abstract conception including the 
characteristics which are most common in a certain group of 
individuals. But this does not mean that every individual in 
the group must have all these characteristics. As Isidore G. 
Saint-Hilaire has said: 

"The type is a sort of fixed point and common centre about 
which the differences presented are like so many deviations in 
different directions and oscillations varied almost indefinitely, 
about which nature seems to play, as the anatomists used to 

say." 2 

Applying this general conception of a type, it is evident that 
every criminal representing this type need not have all its 
characteristics. In fact, it is doubtful if any one criminal ever 
did have all these characteristics. 

Furthermore, he discusses what percentage of criminals rep- 
resent the criminal type. This number he places at about 40 
per cent. The objection has been made that it is impossible 
to talk about a criminal type when 60 per cent of the criminals 
do not represent it, to which he replies as follows: 

1 Op. cit., I, Lx. * Quoted in Lombroso, op. cit., I, 237. 


"But, in addition to the fact that the figure of 40 per cent 
is not to be disdained, the . . . insensible passage from one 
character to another manifests itself in all organic beings; it 
manifests itself even from one species to another; with more 
reason is it so in the anthropological field, where the individual 
variabihty, increasing in direct proportion to improvement and 
to civilization, seems to efface the complete type." ^ 

We can give no more space to this summary of Lombroso's 
theory, but must now make certain comments and criticisms. 
Strang e to say, Lombroso seems to have been s or"^^^^''^^ ^g^orff^t 
of biology, an d especially of the theory of heredity. This is 
indicated, for example, by the loose way IBi which lie uses the 
term "atavism." It is true that biologists recognize that 
atavism, or reversion , as they usually call it, takes place when 
there reappear in an individual of the present day character- 
istics of earlier types, if this reappearance is the result of he- 
reditary forces. That is to say, if earlier characteristics which 
have long remained dormant reassert themselves in the germ 
plasm at the time of conception there is a true case of reversion. 
But it is very evident that many of the criminal characteristics 
which Lombroso call s atavistic are not hereditary i n t heir or igin^ 
but are cases of arrested development either pefore orafter 

birth. This is the case when he speaks of degeneracy as a form 
of atavism, for it is very evident that most if not all the charr 
acteristics he has in mind are not congenital. The fact that the 
individual has them at birth does not indicate necessarily that 
they are congenital, for they may be the result of arrested devel- 
opment during the ante-natal period of the life of the individual. 
In other cases he calls characteristics atavistic which are simply 
habits which have been transmitted by social means. • For ex- 
ample, he seems to regard the habit of tattooing as an atavistic 
trait, but tattooing is no more than a habit, which could not 
possibly be transmitted by hereditary means. This indicates 
that Lombroso may have believed in the hereditary transmis- 
sion of acquired characteristics, though he nowhere explicitly 
states his opinion as to this point. But he again and again 
speaks as if habits or the effects of habits are transmitted by 

1 Op. cit., I, ix. 


hereditary means. The consensus of opinion of biologists 
to-day is that no acquired characteristics can be transmitted 
by hereditary means, therefore Lombroso was very much in 
error in this respect. 

Lombroso beheved that there is a criminal anthropological 
type, or rather that there are several such types which corre- 
spond to habitual modes of criminal conduct. Here again he 
seems to be holding the belief that acquired characteristics are 
inheritable, for otherwise it is inconceivable that any anthropo- 
logical type necessarily possesses certain habits. Such a type 
may possess congenital tendencies which make it more likely to 
acquire certain habits, but this is not necessarily the case^ It is 
true that Lombroso recognized that environmental forces might 
prevent the individual from expressing these inborn tendencies 
to certain kinds of action in acts. But he laid too much emphasis 
upon the extent to which the habits of a person are determined 
by hereditary forces. ^ 

But whatever may have been his faults, Lombroso was the 
great pioneer whose original and versatile genius and aggressive 
personality led in the great movement towards the application 
of the positive, inductive methods of modern science to the 
problem of crime, and who stimulated, more than any other 
man, the development of the new science of criminology^. The 
breadth of his treatment of the subject of crime is nowhere 
illustrated better than in the present volume, in which a large 
number of the complex causes of crime are discussed. It is 
therefore to be hoped that through this volume the English- 
speaking world will acquire an adequate idea of his genius 
and of the great services he rendered to the study and treat- 
ment of crime. ^ 

•Maurice Parmelee. 


To Max Nordau. 

TO you, as the ablest and best beloved of my brothers in 
arms, I dedicate this book. In it I attempt by means of 
facts to answer those who, not having read my "Criminal Man" 
(of which it is the necessary complement), nor the works of 
Pelmann, Kurella, Van Hamel, Salillas, Ellis, Bleuler, and 
others, accuse my school of having neglected the economic and 
social causes of crime, and of having confined itself to the study 
of the born criminal, thus teaching that the criminal is riveted 
irrevocably to his destiny, and that humanity has no escape 
from his atavistic ferocity. 

Now, if this charge were true, the unfortunate nature of the 
facts revealed could not be urged against the school which dis- 
covered them. But the truth is that, while the old jurists had 
nothing to propose for the prevention of crime more efficacious 
than the cruel and sterile empiricism of the prison and deporta- 
tion system, and while the most practical peoples have arrived 
at good results only sporadically and as the chance outcome of 
unsystematic gropings, my school has devised a new strategic 
method of proceeding against crime, based upon a study of its 
aetiology and nature. 

In the first place, the distinction which we have made be- 
tween the criminaloid, the occasional criminal, the criminal by 
passion, and the born criminal, as well as the study of the more 
important causes of crime, enables us to determine with precision 
the individuals to whom we can apply our curative processes, 
and the method appropriate to each case. 

With the born criminal, to be sure, only a palliative treatment 
is possible. This is what I have called "symbiosis," the attempt 
to utilize the criminal's evil propensities by diverting the course 
of the criminal instinct. The measures for the attainment of 
this object, however, can only be individual. 


But with criminaloids/ whose evil propensities are not so 
deep seated, we may often hope for better results. Here again 
it is necessary to commence the treatment in early youth by 
what I should call moral nurture, which would withdraw the 
young criminals from the influence of depraved parents and 
from that of the streets, and place them on farms and in the 

In this matter legislation and social influences are of great 
importance. Thus emigration from overpopulated countries 
toward those less thickly settled wards off one of the worst 
influences, that of a dense population; divorce prevents adul- 
teries, poisonings, etc.; while the war made upon drunkenness 
by religious associations and temperance societies, and through 
the enforcement of penalties, prevents much brawling and vio- 
lence. All this has been established by statistics. 

These directly preventive measures, it is true, do not always 
suflSce. Since it is a need of cerebral stimulation that leads 
men to drinlc, and since this need grows with the progress of 
civilization, it is necessary to get at the root of the evil, and 
satisfy this need by means less dangerous than drink, such as 
shows, coffee-rooms, etc. 

But here another difficulty arises; namely, that nearly all 
the physical and moral causes of crime present a double aspect, 
often contradictory. Thus there are crimes which are favored 
by density of population, like rebellion; and others, like brig- 
andage and homicide, which are occasioned by sparseness of 
population. So also while there are crimes caused by poverty, 
there are almost as many which are encouraged by extreme 
wealth. The same contradiction is observed when we pass from 
one country to another. Thus, while homicide decreases in 
Italy with the increase of population and wealth, in France this 
crime increases with the increase of these two factors, — a fact 
which is to be explained by the great influence of alcoholism 
and of foreign immigration.^ 

Religion, which among Protestants appears to prevent many 
crimes, in many Catholic countries multiplies them, or at least 

' See my "Homme Criminel," II, 485-539. 

* See sections 31, 54, and 60 of the present work. 


fails to prevent their increase. And if education appears to be 
useful in preventing homicide, theft, assault, etc., it very often, 
when too advanced, seems to encourage fraud, false testimony, 
and political crime.^ 

The difficulty is increased still more by the fact that, even if 
we find effective methods of combating the influence of environ- 
ment, it is not easy to apply them. It is possible, for example, 
to counteract the effect of heat upon the frequency of crimes 
of violence and immorality, by means of cold baths; but it is 
not easy to bring a whole section of the people to the bath- 
houses or to the sea, as was done in ancient Rome, and as the 
practice still is in Calabria. 

The statesman, then, who wishes to prevent crime ought to 
be eclectic and not limit himself to a single course of action. 
He must guard against the dangerous effects of wealth no less 
than against those of poverty, against the corrupting influence 
of education not less than against that of ignorance. In this 
labyrinth of contradictions the only safe guide is the study 
of the criminal combined with the study of the aetiology of 

From all this we can understand the uncertainty and embar- 
rassment to which these contradictions expose our public offi- 
cials, and can see why men whose trade is law-making find 
that their most obvious recourse is the modification of a few 
pages of the penal code. This is why the prison, the worst of 
all remedies (if we can call it a remedy at all, and not a poison), 
will always be applied as the simplest and most practical means 
of safety. It has antiquity and custom on its side, and these 
are points of great importance for the ordinary man, who finds 
it easier always to apply the same remedy than to find a num- 
ber of different remedies suited to differences of age, sex, and 

I have traced above only the outlines of the system of crimi- 
nal therapeutics which I intend to set forth in this book. But, 
to tell the truth, it is not a system that is entirely new. 

It has been stated that certain practical nations, less smoth- 

^ See sections 51, 52, and 160 of the present work. 


ered than our own under a too glorious past, and for that reason 
less infatuated with the ancient codes, have already here and 
there arrived empirically, without knowing a word of criminal 
anthropology, at several of the reforms that I shall suggest. 
The asylum for the criminal insane, the truant schools, the 
"ragged schools," the societies for the protection of children, 
and the asylums for alcoholics, are institutions which, without 
being a part of the criminal code, have been applied more or 
less completely in North America, England, and Switzerland. 
For these are happy countries, where religion is less a mass of 
dogmas and rites than an ardent war against crime, so that in 
these lands, and especially in London itself, where wealth, 
density, and immigration would naturally favor crime, the 
conquering march of criminality has been checked. 

These attempts, however, being partial, scattered, and with- 
out coordination, lack the effectiveness in the eyes of the world 
which proceeds from a complete demonstration, at once the- 
oretical and practical. Yet they have a great value, because 
partial applications always precede and prepare for a scientific 
codification; and also because, for timid spirits, they give to 
our reforms the most convincing sanction, — that of experience. 

What now lies before us is to complete and systematize these 
reforms in a final way, in accordance with the data of biology 
and sociology. It is this that I attempt to do in this book. 

c. lombroso. 
Turin, 1906. 


WHILE the present work is based upon Professor Lom- 
broso's French version, the German translation of Dr. 
Kurella and Dr. Jentsch has been found a valuable commen- 
tary upon certain passages, and has been followed in the 
omission of some few notes and other details interesting to 
Italians only. The French work was published in Paris in 
1899, and appears to have been embodied by the author in his 
" L'Uomo Delinquente " as the third volume in its latest Italian 
edition. The German translation was published in 1902. 

Henry P. Horton. 

Columbia, Missouri, 

November, 1910. 


General Intkoduction to the Modern Criminal Science Series . . v 

Introduction to the English Version xi 

The Author's Preface xxxiii 

Translator's Note xxrvii 


Chapter I. Meteorological and Climatic Influences — Months — 

High Temperatures 1-16 

§ 1. Meteorological and Climatic Influences 1 

§ 2. Extremes of Temperature 1 

§ 3. Influence of Moderate Temperature 3 

§ 4. Crimes and Seasons 4 

§ 5. Seasons 6 

§ 6. Hot Years 8 

§ 7. Criminal Calendars 8 

§ 8. Excessive Heat 12 

§ 9. Other Meteorological Influences 12 

§ 10. Crimes and Rebellions in Hot Countries 13 

Chapter II. Influence op Mountain Formation Upon Crime — 

Geology — Soils Producing Goitre, Malaria, Etc 17-20 

§ 11. Geology 17 

§ 12. Orography 17 

§ 13. Malaria 18 

§ 14. Goitrous Districts 19 

§ 15. Influence of the Mortality Rate 19 

Chapter III. Influence of Race — Virtuous Savages — Criminal 
Centers — Semitic Race — Greeks in Italy and in France — 
Cephalic Index — Color op Hair — Jews — Gypsies . . . 21-42 

§ 16. Influence of Race 21 

§ 17. Criminal Centers 23 

§ 18. Europe 26 



§ 19. Austria 26 

§20. Italy «6 

§ 21. Races in France 83 

§ 22. DoUchocephaly and Brachycephaly S4 

§ 23. Light and Dark Hair 35 

§24. Jews 36 

§25. Gypsies 39 

Chapter FV'. Cmijz.\TioN — B.^rb.vrism — Aggregatioxs of Popu- 

L.\Tiox — The Press — New Kxnds of Crime 43-58 

§ 26. Civiliration and Barbarism 4S 

§ 27. Congestion of Population 53 

§28. The Press , 54 

§ 29. New Crimes 57 

Chapter V. Dexsitt op Popuiatiox — Immigb-ktiox .vxd Emigratiox 

— Birth-Rate 59-75 

§ 30. Density of Population 59 

§ 31. Immigration and Emigration 63 

§ 32. Birth-rate and Immigration 69 

§ 33. City and Country 72 

Chapter VL. Scbsistexce (Famcte, Price op Bread) 76-87 

§ 34. Subsistence 76 

§ 35. Insurrections 85 

Chafteb Vn. Alcoholism 88-104 

§ 36. Alcoholism and Food Supply 88 

§ 37. Pernicious Effect of Alcohol 88 

§ 38. Pauperism 89 

§ 39. Alcoholism and Crime Statistics 90 

§ 40. Physiological Effects 93 

§ 41. Specific Criminality 96 

§ 42. Antagonism between Alcoholism and Crime in Civilized 

Countries 99 

§ 43. Political Disturbances 100 

§ 44. Alcoholism and Evolution 101 

§ 45. Tobacco 101 

§46. Hashish 103 

§ 47. Morphine 103 

§ 48. SpoUed Maize 104 

Chapter Vlll. Ix-fluexce op Edccatiox Upox Crime .... 105-118 

'' § 49. Illiteracy and Crime 105 

§ 50. Diffusion of Education. Its Advantages 108 



§ 51. Special Criminality of the Illiterate and of the Educated ... Ill 

"7 § 52. Education in the Prisons 114 

§ 53. Dangers of Education 114 


Chapter IX. Influence of Economic Condition — Wealth . 119-137 

§54 119 

§ 55. Taxes 119 

§ 56. Inheritance Taxes Hi 

§ 57. Lack of Employment 124 

§58. Days of Work 124 

§ 59. Savings Banks 126 

§ 60. Savings in France 128 

§ 61. Agriculture and Manufacturing 130 

"" f 62. Wealth as a Cause of Crime 132 

§ 63. Explanation 133 

§ 64. The Preponderance of Poor Criminals 135 

Chaptek X. Religion 138-144 

§ 65 138 

Chapter XI. EorcATiON — Illegitimate Children — Orphans 145-150 

§ 66. Illegitimate Children 145 

§ 67. Orphans 147 

§ 68. Vicious Parentage — Education 148 

Chapter XII. Hereditt 151-174 

§ 69. Statistics of Hereditary Influence 151 

§ 70. Clinical Proofs ..." 155 

§ 71. Elective Affinities 160 

§ 72. Ata\-istic Heredity in the Juke Family 161 

§ 73. Insanity of Parents 166 

§ 74. Epilepsy of Parents 168 

§ 75. Alcoholic Heredity 169 

§ 76. Age of Parents 170 

§77. Synthesis 172 

Chapter XIII. Age — Precocity 175-180 

§ 78. Age — Precocity 175 

§ 79. Supposed Scale of Crime 177 

§ 80. Criminality at Different Periods of Life 179 

Chapter XIV. Sex — Prostitution 181-192 

§81. Sex 181 

§ 82. Specific Criminality 183 



§83. Prostitution 185 

§84. Civilization 187 

§ 85. Recidivists 190 

Chapteb XV. Cnnii Status — Pbofession — Unemployment . 193-208 

§86. Civil Status 193 

§ 87. Professions 194 

§ 88. Soldiers 201 

§ 89. The Insane 203 

§ 90. Aversion to Work 205 

Chapter XVI. Prisons — Newspapers — Imitation — Leaders — 

Other Causes 209-211 

§91. Prisons 209 

§ 92. Sensation 210 

§ 93. Imitation 210 

Chapter XVII. Associations of Criminals and Their Causes . 212-225 

§ 94 212 

§ 95. Religion — Morals — Politics 213 

§ 96. Barbarism 215 

§ 97. Bad Government 216 

§ 98. Weapons 217 

§ 99. Idleness 218 

§ 100. Poverty 219 

§ 101. Hybrid Civilization 220 

§ 102. Wars and Insurrections 220 

§ 103. Leaders 221 

§ 104. Prisons 222 

§ 105. Influence of Race 223 

§ 106. Heredity 223* 

§ 107. Other Causes 224 

Chapter X\TII. Causes op Poutical Crimes 226-244 

§ 108 226 

§ 109. Orography 226 

§ 110. Points of Convergence 227 

§ 111. Density 227 

§112. Healthfulness — Genius 227 

§ 113. Races 228 

§114. Crossing of Races 228 

§ 115. Bad Government 229 

§116. Exclusive Predominance of One Class — Priests 231 

§ 117. Parties and Divisions 231 

§ 118. Imitation 233 

§ 119. Epidemic Ideals 233 



120. Historic Traditions 234 

121. Inappropriate Political Reforms 235 

122. Religion 236 

123. Economic Influences 237 

124. Taxes and Changes in the Currency 238 

125. Economic Crises 239 

126. Pauperism — Strikes 239 

127. Changes of Environment 241 

128. Occasional Causes 242 

129. War 243 


Ch.vpter I. Pexal Substittjtes — Climate — CmuzATiON — Dens- 
ity — Scientific Pouce — Photography — Identification 245-254 

§ 130 245 

§ 131. Climate and Race 246 

§ 132. Barbarism 248 

§ 133. Civilization 249 

§ 134. Modem Police System 250 

§ 135. Methods of Identification 251 

§ 136. The Press 253 

§ 137. Plethysmography 254 

Chapter II. Prevention op Sexual Crimes and of Fraud . . . 255-264 

§ 138 255 

§ 139. The Prevention of Sexual Excesses 255 

§ 140. Legislative and Administrative Measures 258 

§ 141. Fraud 261 

Chapter III. The Prevention of Alcoholism 265-274 

§ 142 265 

§ 143. Cure 272 

Chapter IV. Preventive Measures Against the Influence op 

Poverty and Wealth 275-291 

§ 144 275 

§ 145. CoSperation 278 

§ 146. Charity — Benevolence 278 

§ 147. London — Asylums, Refuges, Helps for the Poor 280 

§ 148. (1) Emigration Societies 280 

§ 149. (2) Em'ployment Societies 281 

§ 150. (3) Orphanages 281 

§ 151. (4) Institutions for Neglected Children 281 



§ 152. (5) Schools 281 

§153. (6) Care for Prisoners, Convicts, etc 281 

§ 154. (7) Mutual Aid Societies 282 

§ 155. Charity in Latin Countries 284 

§ 156. Don Bosco 285 

§ 157. Dr. Bamardo 286 

§ 158. The Ineffectiveness of Charity 288 

Chapter V. Religion 292-300 

§ 159 292 

Chapter VI. The Dangers of Instruction — Education — Reform 

Schools, Etc 301-324 

§ 160 301 

§ 161. Family Education 303 

§ 162. Application of Psychology to Reformation 305 

§ 163. Associations Among Children 307 

§ 164. Reform Schools 309 

§ 165. Educational Methods 314 

§ 166. Moral Training through Adoption 315 

§ 167. American Reforms — Placing in the Country 315 

§ 168. Day Reformatories for Children 318 

§169. "Ragged Schools" 319 

§ 170. Other English Measures for Children 320 

§ 171. Bamardo's Institutions 320 

§ 172. Medical Treatment 324 

Chapter VII. Prevention of Political Crime 325-330 

§ 173 325 

§ 174. Racial Affinity 325 

§ 175. Decentralization 326 

§ 176. Contest for Political Supremacy 326 

§ 177. Universal Suffrage 327 

§ 178. The Judiciary 327 

§ 179. Poor Man's Lawyer — Legal Aid Societies 327 

§ 180. Ability to Change the Laws 328 

§ 181. Conservatism 328 

§ 182. Referendum 329 

§ 183. Archaic Education 329 

§ 184. Economic Discontent 329 

Chapter VIII. Penal Institutions 331-352 

§185 331 

§ 186. Cellular Prisons 331 

§187. The Graded System 337 

§ 188. Wages and Savings 344 



§ 189. Homes, etc., for Released Convicts 344 

§ 190. Deportation 346 

§ 191. Surveillance 351 

Chaptek IX. Abstjbdities and Contradictions in Criminal Proced- 
ure 353-364 

§ 192 353 

§ 193. The Jury 353 

§ 194. Appeal 357 

§ 195. Pardon 358 

§ 196. Criminological Prejudices 359 

§ 197. Erroneous Theories 361 

§ 198. Causes of this State of Things 362 


Chapter I. Atavism and Epilepsy in Crime and in Punishment . 365-384 

§ 199 365 

§ 200. Atavism 365 " 

§ 201. Epilepsy 369 

§ 202. Combination of Morbid Anomalies with Atavism 373 

§ 203. The Criminaloid 373 

§ 204. Criminal Insane 375 

§ 205. Criminals by Passion 376 

§ 206. Occasional Criminals 376 

• § 207. Causes 376 

§ 208. Necessity of Crime 377 

§ 209. The Right to Punish 379 

Chapter II. Penalties According to Criminal Anthropology — 
Fines — Probation System — Insane Asylums — Institutions 

for the Incorrigible — Capital Punishment 385-405 

§210 385 

§ 211. Penalties other than Imprisonment 387 

§ 212. Corporal Punishment — Confinement at Home 388 

§ 213. Fines 389 

§ 214. Indemnity 389 

§ 215. Reprimand and Security 390 

§ 216. Probation System — Conditional Sentence 391 

§ 217. The Reformatory at Elmira 393 

§ 218. Asylums for the Criminal Insane 397 

Chapter III. Penalties Anthropologically Adapted to the Sex, 

Age, Etc., of the Criminal, and to the Nature of the Crime 406-428 

§ 219. Sex 406 

§220. Abortion 407 



§221. Infanticide 408 

§ 222. Age — Youth 410 

§223. Old Age 411 

§ 224. Criminals by Passion 412 

§ 225. Political Criminals 412 

§ 226. Occasional Criminals 414 

§ 227. Aid to Suicide 415 

§ 228. Defamation 416 

§ 229. The Duel 416 

§ 230. Adultery 417 

§231. Criminaloids 418 

§ 232. Homo-sexual OfiFenders 418 

§ 233. Other Minor Offenses 418 

§234. Complicity 419 

§ 235. Habitual Criminals 419 ^ 

§ 236. The Criminal Insane 420 

§ 237. Incorrigible Criminals 424 

§ 238. The Death Penalty 426 

Chapter IV. Practical Proofs of the Utility of these Reforms — 

England — Switzerland 429-433 

§ 239 429 

§240. Bom Criminals 432*^ 

Chapter V. Practical Application to the Criticism of Criminal 

Law, to Expert Testimont, Pedagogy, Art, and Science . 434-439 

§241 434 

§ 242. Political Crime 434 

§ 243. Application of Psychiatric Expert Testimony 435 

§ 244. Proof of Innocence 437 

§ 245. Pedagogy 438 

§ 246. Art — Letters 439 

Chapter VI. The Utilization of Crime — Symbiosis 440-451 

§247 440 

§ 248. Symbiosis 446 

Bibliography of the Writings of Cesare Lombroso on Criminal -^ 
Anthropology 453 

Index 465 



part ^nt 





§ I. Meteorological and Climatic Influences 

EVERY crime has its origin in a multiplicity of causes, 
often intertwined and confused, each of which we must, 
in obedience to the necessities of thought and speech, investi- 
gate singly. This multiplicity is generally the rule with human 
phenomena, to which one can almost never assign a single 
cause unrelated to others. Every one knows that cholera, 
typhus, and tuberculosis have specific causes, but no one would 
venture to maintain that meteorological, hygienic, and psychic 
factors have nothing to do with them. Indeed, the best observ- 
ers often remain undecided as to the true specific cause of any 
given phenomenon. 

§ 2. Extremes of Temperature 

Among the determining causes of all biological activity are 
reckoned meteorological phenomena, and among these is heat. 
Thus the leaves of Drosera rotundifolia, after having been 
immersed in water at 110° F., become inflected and more sen- 
sitive to the action of nitrogenous substances; ^ but at 130° F. 

1 Darwin, "Insectivorous Plants." 


they no longer show any inflection, and the tentacles are tem- 
porarily paralyzed, not regaining their mobility until immersed 
in cold water. 

Physiology and statistics show that most human functions 
are subject to the influence of heat.^ It is to be expected, then, 
that excessive heat will have its effect upon the human mind. 

History records no example of a tropical people that has 
not fallen into subjection. Great heat leads to overproduction, 
which in turn becomes the cause, first, of an unequal distribu- 
tion of wealth, and then, as a consequence, of great inequality 
in the distribution of political and social power. In the coun- 
tries subject to great heat the mass of the people count for 
nothing; they have neither voice nor influence in the govern- 
ment; and though revolutions may often occur, these are but 
palace-revolutions, never uprisings of the people, who attach 
no importance to them.^ Buckle, among other reasons, finds 
an explanation in the fact that the dwellers in hot countries 
need less food, clothing, and fuel, and hence do not possess the 
powers of resistance which dwellers in colder countries acquire 
in their contest with nature. On this account tropical peoples 
are more inclined to inertia, to the use of narcotics, to the 
passive meditation of the Yogi, and to the extravagant asceti- 
cism and self-torture of the fakir. The inertia brought on by 
the heat and the constant feeling of weakness that follows it, 
renders the constitution more liable to convulsions, and favors 
a tendency to vague dreaming, to exaggerated imagination, 
and, in consequence, to fanaticism at once religious and des- 
potic. From this condition of things flows naturally excessive 
licentiousness, alternating with excessive asceticism, as the 
most brutal absolutism alternates wath the most unrestrained 

In cold countries the power of resisting hardship is greater, 
owing to the expenditure of energj^ necessary in procuring food, 
clothing, and fuel; but just for that reason a visionary and un- 
stable character is less frequent, the excessive cold making the 
imagination inactive, the mind less irritable and less inconstant. 

1 Lombroso, "Pensiero e Meteore," Milan, 1878. 

2 Buckle, "Hist, of Civilization," I, 195-196. 


The contest vnth the cold consumes energy that would other- 
wise have been available for the social and personal activity of 
the individual. From this fact, and from the depressing effect 
which the cold exercises directly upon the nervous system, 
proceed the placidity and mildness of the inhabitants of the 
polar regions. Dr. Rink depicts certain Eskimo tribes as so 
pacific and placid that they have not even a word for "quarrel," 
their strongest reaction to an affront being merely silence. 
Larrey notices that on the retreat from Moscow the snows of 
Russia made weaklings and even cowards of soldiers whom, 
up to that time, neither danger, wounds, nor hunger had been 
able to shake. Bove relates that among the Chukchi at 40° 
below zero there are no quarrels, acts of violence, or crimes. 
Preyer, the bold polar traveler, notes how at the same tem- 
perature his will became paralyzed, his senses dulled, and his 
speech embarrassed.^ 

This explains why, not only despotic Russia, but also the 
liberal Scandinavian coiuitries, have rarely experienced rev- 

§ 3. Influence of Moderate Temperatures 

The influence wliich is most apt to produce a disposition 
toward rebellion and crime is that of a relatively moderate 
degree of heat. This is confirmed by a study of the psychology 
of the peoples of southern Europe, which shows us that they 
tend to be unstable, and to subordinate the interests of the com- 
munity and state to the individual. This is doubtless because 
heat excites the nervous centers as alcohol does, without, how- 
ever, arriving at the point of producing apathy; and further 
because the climate, without removing human needs entirely, 
reduces them by increasing the productivity of the soil and at 
the same time diminishing the necessity for food, clothing, and 
alcoholic drinks. In the dialect of Parma the sun is called the 
"Father of Ragamuffins." 

Daudet, who has written an entire novel ("Nouma Rou- 
mestan") to depict the great influence of the climate of southern 
Europe upon conduct, says: 

1 Petermann, " Mitteilungen," 1876. 


"The Southerner does not love strong drinks; he is intoxi- 
cated by nature. Sun and wind distil in him a terrible natural 
alcohol to whose influence every one born under this sky is sub- 
ject. Some have only the mild fever which sets their speech 
and gesture free, redoubles their audacity, makes everything 
seem rosy-hued, and drives them on to boasting; others live 
in a blind delirium. And what Southerner has not felt the 
sudden giving way, the exhaustion of his whole being, that 
follows an outburst of rage or enthusiasm.'*" 

Neri Taufucio ("Napoli a Colpo d'Occhio") remarks that 
inconstancy is a characteristic of the southern peoples. 

"One at first considers them naive, until suddenly one per- 
ceives that they are finished rascals. They are at the same time 
industrious and lazy, sober and intemperate; in short, their 
character, at least among the lower classes, has such different 
aspects and changes so rapidly, that it is impossible to fix it. 
The climate favors the loss of modesty. The people are prolific; 
the thought of the future of their children does not terrify them. 
The lazzarone steals when he has a chance, but never when 
there is any risk to be incurred. A boaster, he promises ten 
things, and performs one. If he falls into a quarrel, he shouts 
and gesticulates to arouse fear, although he is afraid himself; 
he tries to avoid actual fighting, but becomes wild if it comes 
to actual blows. Jealous, he slashes his wife's face if he doubts 
her. Independent, he can endure neither hospitals nor asylums. 
When he has work, he does it well. He feels a strong affection 
for his family, contents himself with little, and does not become 
intoxicated. Crafty, mendacious, and timid, his existence is a 
series of petty frauds, deceits, and acts of beggary. To get a 
few cents in alms he is capable of kissing your shoes without 
feeling himself humiliated thereby. His science is supersti- 
tion. Meeting a hunchback or a blind man conveys a quite 
definite augury. His ideas move in the small circle of God, 
devil, witches, evil eye. Holy Trinity, honor, knife, theft, orna- 
ments, and — Camorra. The masses fear this last, but re- 
spect it. For they feel that this despotic power protects them 
against the other despots. It is the only authority from which 
they can hope for anything that resembles justice." 

§ 4. Crimes and Seasons 

The influence of heat upon certain crimes is then quite 

It is brought out in Guerry's statistics that the crime of rape 


occurs in England and France oftenest in the hot months; and 
Curcio has observed the same thing in Italy. 

Rapes committed in 




January . 
March . 
April . . 
May . . 
June . . 
July . . 
August . 
October . 

Per cent 













Per cent 













Total number 

In England, according to Guerry, and in Italy, according to 
Curcio, the maximum number of murders falls in the hottest 
months. There occurred: 

July . . 
June . . 
August . 
May . . 
February . 
March . 


Poisoning also, according to Guerry, occurs oftenest in May. 
The same phenomenon is to be observed in the case of rebellions. 
In studying (as I have in my "Political Crime") the 836 up- 
risings that took place in the whole world in the period between 
1791 and 1880, one finds that in Asia and Africa the greatest 




number falls in July. In Europe and America the greater prev- 
alence of rebellions in the hot months could not be more 
clearly marked. In Europe the maximum proved to be in 
July, and in South America in January, which are respectively 
the two hottest months. The minimum falls in Europe in 
December and January, and in South America in May and 
June, which again correspond in temperature. 

If now we pass from the whole of Europe to the particular 
countries, we still find the greatest number of uprisings in the 
hot months. July leads in Italy, Spain, Portugal, and France; 
August, in Germany, Turkey, England, and (with March) in 
Greece. March leads in Ireland, Sweden, Norway, and Den- 
mark; January, in Switzerland; September, in Belgium and 
the Netherlands; April, in Russia and Poland; and ISIay, in 
Bosnia, Herzegovina, Servia, and Bulgaria. From this the 
influence of the hot months would seem to be greatest in the 
countries of the South. 

§ 5. Seasons 

Bringing together by seasons the data of uprisings in Europe 
during a hundred years, we get the following: 


c C 3 


Spring . 
Winter . 




9 6 







11 7 







5 3 







3 3 
















From this it appears that summer holds the first place in the 
case of five nations, among them all those of the South. In 
the case of four, including the most northerly, it is spring that 
leads; in one case (Austro-Hungary) it is autumn; and in one 
other (Switzerland) it is winter. We find, further, that five 
times, and principally in the hottest countries, the winter has 


more revolutions than the autumn; eight times it has fewer, and 
three times an equal number. 

If we consider America, especially South America (remember- 
ing that January there corresponds to our July, and February 
to our August) we shall find: 












We see, then, that in both hemispheres summer takes the 
first place, while spring always surpasses both autumn and win- 
ter, doubtless, as with crimes, because of the first heat, but also 
because of the diminution of the food supply. Autumn and 
winter, on the contrary, differ little in the number of revolu- 
tions, \\anter giving in America seven more than autumn, and 
in Europe two fewer. 

Witli regard to crimes, also, spring and summer stand plainly 
in the first rank. Guerry gives the following figures for the occur- 
rence of crimes against persons: 

In England 

In winter 
In spring . 
In summer 
In autumn 


In France 


Benoiston de Chateneuf points out that duels in the army 
are more frequent in the summer.^ 

I have proved that the same influence manifests itself in the 
case of men of genius.^ 

1 Corre, "Crimes et Suicides," 1891, 628. 

2 " Man of Genius," Part I. 



§ 6. Hot Years 

Ferri, in his "Crime in its Relation to Temperature," has 
proved from a study of the French criminal statistics from 
1825 to 1878 that one can deduce an almost complete parallel- 
ism between heat and criminality, not only for the different 
months, but also for years of different degrees of heat. The in- 
fluence of the temperature on crime from 1825 to 1848 appears 
to be very pronounced and constant, and is often even greater 
than that exercised by agricultural production. Since 1848, 
notwithstanding the more serious agricultural and political dis- 
turbances, the coincidence between temperature and criminality 
becomes from time to time plainly apparent, especially in the 
case of homicide and murder. This coincidence is to be noted 
especially in the years 1826, 1829, 1831-32, 1833, 1837, 1842-43, 
1844-45, 1846, 1858, 1865, 1867-68. 

The connection comes out much more plainly, however, in 
the statistics of rape and offenses against chastity, which follow 
to an even greater degree the annual variations in temperature. 
This may be seen from the following table: 



Cases of 

1830 . 

89° F. 



1832 . 
1848 . 



^ Homicide 

1850 . 




1848 . 




1852 . 
1871 . 








As regards crimes against property there is a marked increase 
in the winter (theft and forgery being most abundant in January), 
while the other seasons differ little from one another. Here the 
influence of the weather is entirely different. Needs increase, 
while the means of satisfying them diminishes. 

§ 7. Criminal Calendars 

Lacassagne, Chaussinaud, and Maury, in confirmation of this 
contention, have constructed, with the aid of the statistics of 


each individual crime, real criminal calendars upon the model of 
the botanists' calendars of flora. 

Among the crimes against persons, infanticide holds the first 
place in the months of January, February, March, and April 
(647, 750, 783, 662); which corresponds to the greater number 
of births taking place in the spring. This number falls off 
somewhat in May, and considerably in June and July, to in- 
crease again in November and December, through the influence 
of the Carnival. In the months named we find illegitimate 
births occurring with great frequency (1100, 1131, 1095, 1134), 
as well as abortions. Homicides and assaults ^ reach their max- 
imum in July (716). Parricides,^ on the contrary, are more 
numerous in January and October. 

June is the month in which appears the greatest influence of 
the temperature upon the number of rapes practiced upon 
children, May, July, and August coming after it (2671, 2175, 
2459, 2238). The minimum falls in December (993), followed 
by the other cold months; while the monthly average is 1684. 
Rapes upon adults do not follow the same course. Their maxi- 
mum is in June (1078), the minimum in November (534); they 
increase in December and January (584), apparently as a result 
of the Carnival; they remain stationary in February (616) and 
increase in March and May (904), while the monthly average 
is 698. 

Assaults are distributed irregularly because they are least 
influenced by the climate; they increase in February (931), 
decrease during the following months (840-467), to rise again in 
May (983), June (958), going down in July (919), rising once 
more in August (997) and September (993), to undergo a new 
decrease in November and December (886). 

In the case of crimes against property the variations are not 
so pronounced, though they are more numerous by 3000 cases 

^ To avoid awkwardness of expression the term assault will be used for 
assaults other than those peculiarly against women, the original being 
about equivalent to our "assault and battery." — Transl. 

2 The French parricide, like the Italian parriddio, includes the murder 
of near relatives other than antecedents. As the argument will not be 
affected, however, the English cognate will be used throughout this trans- 
lation. — Transl. 


in December and January (16,879 and 16,396) and in the cold 
season generally, than in April (13,491) and in the hot season. 
(The monthly average is 14,630.) Plainly it is not here a ques- 
tion of the direct effect of the cold, but rather of an increase of 
needs in winter and a diminution of the means of satisfying 
them, so that the motives for theft are more abundant. 

From the investigations of Maury,* it is possible to arrive at 
the following conclusions with regard to the individual months : 
In March infanticide holds the first place, accounting for 1193 
crimes out of 10,000; then come in order, rape (1115 cases), 
substitution of children and concealment of birth (1019), kid- 
napping (1054), and threatening letters (997). 

In May, vagrancy comes first (1257), then rapes and offenses 
against chastity (1150) ; then comes poisoning (1144), and finally 
rape of minors (1106). This last crime, under the influence of 
the heat, rises abruptly to the fourth place in May, having 
been only thirty -fifth in March and tenth in April, and reaches 
the second place in June, with 1303 cases. In June the first 
place is held by the analogous crime of rape upon adults (1313). 
The fourth place, also, belongs to a sexual offense, abortion 
(1080), while parricide occupies the third place (1151). 

In July, rape of minors rises to the first place (1330), and the 
other most numerous crimes are of a similar kind, — kidnapping 
(1118) and offenses against chastity (1093). In the third place 
come bodily injuries to blood relatives, with 1100 cases. In 
August, sexual crimes recede to the third place, yielding the 
first to crop-burning. This, however, is caused not so much by 
the temperature as by the opportunity; for at the harvest time 
it is easiest for the workman to revenge himself upon the land- 
lord. However, as Maury rightly observes, the heat is not with- 
out its responsibility for the appearance of this passionate 
tendency. These crimes may be responsible for the fact that 
perjury becomes rarer than subornation of minors. 

In September, brutal passions become less violent, sexual 
assaults upon children move to the fifteenth place, and those 
upon adults to the twenty-fifth; while theft and breach of trust 
take the fourth place. 

1 "Le Mouvement Moral de la Soci^t^," 1860. 


Embezzlement and bribery have the first place in September 
and October, for in those months rents fall due and accounts 
are settled. The numerous substitutions and concealments of 
new-born children correspond to the greater number of 

From October to January, murder, parricide, and highway 
robbery are more frequent, since the nights are long and the 
fields deserted. In November, business resumes its full activity, 
and, as a consequence, falsification of accounts and bribery 

In January, the passing of counterfeit money and the robbing 
of churches take the first place, apparently on account of the 
dark days. In February, infanticide and the concealment of 
birth break out again, corresponding to the increased birth-rate. 

Sexual crimes, having fallen in October to the twenty -eighth 
place, and rapes upon adults to the twenty -ninth, rise in Novem- 
ber to the twenty-fourth and twenty-sixth places respectively. 

There can be no doubt of the influence of heat upon crimes 
of passion. I have proved this in another way: first, by con- 
sulting the registers of five great Italian prisons, where the pun- 
ishments inflicted were for rioting, fighting, and violence against 
persons; and, secondly, from the observations made by Virgilio 
in the penal institution at Aversa during a period of five years. 
The following figures show that acts of violence are much 
more numerous in the hot months: 

May 346*" October 368 

June 52:2 November 364 

July 503 December 352 

August 433 January 362 

September 508 February 361 

One obtains similar figures in insane asylums by keeping ac- 
count of the acute attacks of the insane. 

1867 1868 

The maximum in September 460 191 

" June 452 207 

" July 451 298 

" minimum " November 206 206 

" " " February 205 121 

" " " December 245 87 

" January 222 139 


, § 8. Excessive Heat 

Excessive heat, on the contrary, especially when coupled 
with humidity, exercises a slighter influence. Corre observed 
with regard to the crimes of the Creoles in Guadaloupe that 
when the maximum temperature is reached (July 5th, 85°) there 
is the minimum of crime, especially against persons; while in 
March (with a temperature of 62°) there is the maximum num- 
ber of criminals. We have here, then, an inversion like that 
which too great heat produces in the case of revolutions, and 
this because moist heat, when excessive, acts as a depressant, 
while moderate cold, on the contrary, acts as a stimulant. 

There were: 

In the hot season In the cool season 

Crimes against property 51 53 

" " persons 23 48 

Corre observes also that the month of June furnishes the 
largest number of crimes against persons, and January the 

§ 9. Other Meteorological Influences 

Superintendents of prisons have generally observed that the 
inmates are more excited when storms are approaching, and 
during the first quarter of the moon. I myself have not suffi- 
cient data to prove this; but as the insane, who have numerous 
points of contact with criminals, are very sensitive to the influ- 
ence of temperature and respond quicldy to the variations of 
the barometer and of the moon, it is therefore very probable 
that the same is true of criminals,' 

One fact, however, has proved to me that organic influences 
are at work at the same time as meteorological. For several 
years I have noted day by day the criminals received into the 
jails of Turin, and have always found that upon corresponding 
days in different years there have entered a remarkable number 
of individuals (10 to 15) with the same bodily peculiarity, per- 
sons who had hernia, or were asymmetric, blonde or brunette, 

^ See "Pensiero e Meteore" (C. Lombroso, Milan, 1878). 


though often coming from different provinces. Entirely differ- 
ent groups were to be found within the days of the same week, 
when, therefore, there was no significant change in the influence 
of the temperature. 

In recent years economic and political influences have come 
to the front and have reduced meteorological causes to the 
second rank. Thus, in France, the effect of the mean annual 
temperature upon revolts, evident in the past, has decreased in 
the last few years; while northern Europe (Russia, Denmark), 
on the other hand, although under the same climatic condi- 
tions, has had several uprisings. But, nevertheless, the effect 
of the weather cannot be doubted. 

§ 10. Crimes and Rebellions in Hot Countries 

In all this the preponderant influence of temperature is plainly 
evident, even if it is not exclusive; and this may be seen still 
better from the geographical distribution of crimes and poli- 
tical rebellions. 

In the southern parts of Italy and France there occur many 
more crimes against persons than in the central and northern 
portions. We shall return to this fact again in speaking of 
brigandage and of the Camorra. Guerry has shown that crimes 
against persons are twice as numerous in southern France (4.9) 
as in central and northern France (2.7 and 2.9). Vice versa, 
crimes against property are more frequent in the north (4.9), 
than in the central and southern regions (2.3). 

In Italy there occur — 

For each 

100,000 Inhabitaxts 

for crime 

highway rob- 
beries with 


Northern Italy 

Central Italy 

Southern Italy 

Insular Italy 








Liguria, simply because of its warmer climate, shows a 
greater number of crimes against persons than the rest of north 
Italy. In the period from 1875-84 the maximum number of 
crimes was furnished by Latium, and the next highest number 
by the islands. The minimum occurred in the north, with 512 
crimes to the 100,000 inhabitants in Piedmont and 689 in 
Lombardy, while Latium showed 1537, Sardinia, 1293, and 
Calabria, 1287. We find the greatest number of homicides 
exclusively in the south, and upon the islands. In Russia, in- 
fanticide and stealing from churches are most numerous in 
the southeast, while homicide, and especially parricide, occurs 
with a frequency that increases as one goes from the northeast 
to the southwest (Anutschin) . Holtzendorff ^ estimates that 
murder is fifteen times as frequent in the southern States of 
North America as it is in the northern States; so in the north 
of England there is one homicide to 66,000 inliabitants, and in 
the south one homicide to from 4000 to 6000 inhabitants. In 
Texas, according to Redfield, in 15 years there were 7000 
homicides to 818,000 inhabitants. Even the school children 
were frequently provided with dangerous weapons. 

In studying the distribution of simple and aggravated homi- 
cides in Europe, we find the highest figures in Italy and the other 
southern countries, and the lowest in the more northerly regions, 
England, Denmark, Germany. The same can be said of polit- 
ical uprisings in all Europe.2 We see, in fact, that the number of 
crimes increases as we go from north to south, and in the same 
measure as the heat increases. W^e find the maximum in Greece, 
which, with a population of ten millions, shows ninetj'^-five revo- 
lutions; and the minimum in Russia, for which, on the basis of 
the same population, the number would be only .8. We note 
that the smallest number is to be found in the northern coun- 
tries, England and Scotland, Germany, Poland, Sweden, Nor- 
way, and Denmark; and the largest in the southern countries, 
Portugal, Spain, Turkey in Europe, and southern and central 
Italy; and intermediate numbers in the regions lying between. 
Grouping the figures in this way we find : 

' Das Verbrechen des Mordes und die Todesstrafe," Berlin, 1875. 
2 See the charts in my "Crime Politique," 1889. 


la northern Europe about 12 revolts to 10,000,000 inhabitants 

In central " " 25 " " 10,000,000 

In southern " " 56 " " 10,000,000 " 

Considering Italy separately we find: 

In northern Italy, 27 revolts to 10,000,000 inhabitants 
In central " 32 " " 10,000,000 " 

In southern " 33 " " 10,000,000 

(Including 17 in Corsica, Sardinia, and Sicily) ^ 

Arranging these crimes by degrees of latitude and figuring 
their ratio to the population we arrive at the following table: 

Spain Italy 
To 100,000 inhabitants 

Degrees of 

Number of crimes 

Number of indictments 
for crime 




of the law 


to officers 


From 36° to 37° 
" 37° " 38° 
" 38° " 39° 
" 39° " 40° 
" 40° " 41° 
" 41° " 42° 
" 42° " 43° 
" 43° " 44° 
" 44° " 45° 
" 45° " 46° 
" 46° " 47° 









37.8 (3) 

36.8 (4) 
















From this table the influence of the climate is plainly to be 
seen; it is modified only by the influence of the capital (1 and 
2) and other great cities (3 and 4). Aggravated theft occurs 
in Spain in the north (Santander, Leon), in the south, and 
in the center with nearly equal frequency; as often in Cadiz 

^ These facts as to homicides and revolts both are confirmed in the 
"Statistique Decennale de la Criminality en Italie," published by Bodio, 
and in the "Stat. Grim, de rAnnee,1884, pour I'Espagne," published by 
the Spanish minister of justice, Madrid, 1885. 


as in Badajos, Caceras, and Salamanca, because this crime de- 
pends less upon climate than upon opportunity. For the same 
reason infanticide and parricide are more numerous in the cen- 
tral provinces (where the capital is) and in the north. The same 
is true in France and Italy and in Europe generally. In Italy 
we see from the investigations of Ferri that in all southern Italy 
and the islands, with the exception of Sardinia, the influence 
of the heat is dominant in the number of simple homicides, and, 
with the added exception of Forli, in the case of aggravated 
homicides also. So, likewise, murders increase in southern Italy 
and the islands, with the exception of the regions colonized by 
the Greeks, the provinces of Apulia, Catania, Messina, etc. 
Assaults also vary according to the same law, except in the case 
of Sardinia, where they are less numerous than would be ex- 
pected, and of Liguria, where they are more so. Parricides 
follow a similar course. They are very numerous in southern 
and insular Italy, with the exception of the Greek portion, but 
very numerous also in the heart of Piedmont. Poisonings 
abound equally in the islands and in the heart of Calabria, but 
here the climate is plainly not responsible. Infanticide is like- 
wise very frequent in Calabria and Sardinia, but it rages also 
in Abruzzo and Piedmont, showing itself to a certain extent 
independent of the climate. Highway robbery accompanied by 
homicide is, for the same reasons, very abundant in upper 
Piedmont, in Massa and Port Maurice, as upon the extreme 
boundaries of Italy and in the islands. Aggravated theft, 
common in Sardinia and Calabria and at Rome, shows another 
maximum at Venice, Ferrara, Rovigo, Padua, and Bologna, 
and is accordingly almost independent of the climate.^ The 
same climatic principle holds in France, where murders and 
homicides are most prevalent in the south, with some excep- 
tions that may be explained by racial influence. Parricide and 
infanticide, on the contrary, are most numerous in scattered 
districts in north, center, and south alike, not from any climatic 
influence, but essentially because occasional causes are at work 
in these places. 

» Ferri, "Omicidio," 1895. 



§ II. Geology 

MY earlier investigations showed me that geological con- 
ditions have very little influence upon political crime, 
and that, accordingly, in France uprisings are equally frequent 
upon the different formations, aside from a slight divergence 
in the case of the Jurassic and Cretaceous. ^ 

The same remark applies to crimes against persons in France, 
where for a period of fifty -four years we find the following dis- 
tribution of these offenses, in departments predominantly 

Jurassic and Cretaceous 21% 

Granite 19% 

Clay 22% 

Alluvial 21% 

The same proportions, with almost no differences, hold for 
crimes against property. 

§ 12. Orography 

Upon investigating the relation of the general conformation 
of the country to frequency of crimes against persons, we find 

^ The material for the following chapter is drawn from the excellent 
"Criminal Statistics" of Bodio, and the remarkable topographical and 
statistical atlas in Ferri's "Omicidio" (Turin, 1895); also from the follow- 
ing: Reclus, "Geographic"; Dechassinaud, "fitude de la Statistique 
Criminelle de France," Lyons, 1881; De CoUignon, "Contribution a 
I'Etude Anthropologique de Population Frangaise," 1893; Id., "Indice 
Cephalique suivant le Crime en France," Arch. d'Anthrop. Crim., 1890; 
Topinard, "La Couleur des Yeux et Cheveux," 1879. — For Italy: Livi, 
"Saggio di Risultati Antropometrici," Rome, 1894; Id., "Sull' Indice 
Cefalico degli Italiani," Rome, 1890. — For the statistics of convictions: 
"Compte Criminelle de la Justice en France," 1882 (containing the num- 
ber of convictions for the period from 1826 to 1880); Socquet, "Contribu- 
tion k rfitude Statistique de la Criminality en France, de 1876 h 1880," 
Paris, 1884; Joly, "La France Criminelle," 1890. 

2 See "D^Ht Politique," p. 77. 


that during fifty-four years the minimum, 20%, occurred in the 
level country; the mean, 33%, in departments that were hilly, 
while the maximum, 35%, occurred in mountainous departments. 
This is without doubt due to the fact that the mountains offer 
more opportunity for ambuscades, and also breed a more active 
race. I have no doubt that there is an actual connection between 
criminality and a greater activity, for I have found the same 
distribution to hold true in France for genius and for revolu- 
tionary tendencies, both being more frequent in the moun- 
tainous departments and less so in the plains.^ Rape, while 
almost equally common in the mountains (35%) and among the 
hills (32%), is much more common in the level country (70%), 
certainly because of the greater and denser population result- 
ing from the large cities. The same may be said about crimes 
against property, and for the same cause; for these crimes re- 
verse the order of frequency given for crimes against persons, 
and while reaching 50% in the plains, show 47% in the hilly 
departments, and only 43% in the mountains. In Italy this 
orographic connection is less clear. We find the maximum of 
crimes against property (201 to 100,000 inhabitants) in the 
valley of the Po on the one hand, and in the mountain and coast 
districts of Calabria and Leghorn on the other. In Tonquin 
piracy is favored by the system of irrigation, which facilitates 
the operations of bandits on the sea coast. ^ 

§ 13. Malaria 

Of the districts of Italy that are most visited by malaria, where 
between five and eight to the thousand of the population die 
of it (Grosseto, Ferrara, Venice, Cremo, Vercelli, Novara, Lan- 
ciano, Vaste, San Severo, Catanzaro, Lecce, Foggia, Terracina, 
and Sardinia), five out of the thirteen, Grosseto, Ferrara, Sar- 
dinia, Lecce, and Terracina, show the maximum num^ber of 
crimes against property. On the other hand there seems to be 
no connection between the occurrence of malaria and of homi- 
cide. In southern Sardinia, where malaria is most frequent, 
there are fewer crimes of this character, and also fewer sexual 

1 See "Crime Politique," ch. iv. 2 Corre, "Ethnol. Crim.," 43. 


crimes, than in the northern part. The same is true of France, 
where those departments that are most scourged by malaria 
(Morbihan, Landes, Loire-et-Cher, Ain) show the smallest 
number of homicides and rapes. 

§ 14. Goitrous Districts 

The great districts of Italy in which goitre and cretinism 
are indigenous, and in which the soil has great influence on the 
health and intelligence of the inhabitants (like Sondrio, Aosta, 
Novarra, Cuneo, and Pa via), show no corresponding degree of 
criminality. All have less than the average number of homi- 
cides, of thefts, and (with the exception of Sondrio) of sexual 
offenses also. The same remark can be applied to the goitrous 
districts of France, of which the majority have only from 1.0 to 
5.7 homicides to a million inhabitants. Only in the departments 
of Basses and Hautes Alpes and Pyrenees Orientales is the 
number of homicides greater (9.76 to the million). For theft, 
also, the goitrous districts show very low figures, with the ex- 
ception of the departments of Doubs, Vosges, and Ardennes. 
It is worthy of note, however, that in almost all goitrous dis- 
tricts there is to be observed in the performance of crimes a 
greater degree of cruelty, mingled with lasciviousness. 

§ 15. Influence of the Mortality Rate 

Of the twenty -three French departments that show a mini- 
mum mortality rate,^ seven (30%) have more than the average 
number of murders. These are: Lot-et-Garonne, Aisne, Maine, 
Cote d'Or, Eure, Haute Saone, and Aube, giving an average of 
13.9%. Of eighteen departments with an intermediate mor- 
tality rate, six (33%) show a higher number of assassination 
than the average. They are Indre-et-Loire, Aube, Basses 
Pyrenees, Herault, Doubs, Seine-et-Oise, and Vosges. The 
eighteen departments have 15.4% of murders, that is to say, 
about as many as the first group. Of twenty-five departments 
having a maximum mortality rate, seven (28%) exceed the aver- 
age number of murders. They are: Basses Alpes, Haute Loire, 

1 Bertillon, "Demographie de la France," 1878. 


Seine, Seine Inferieure, Bouches du Rhone, Corsica, and Var, 
which give an average of 28%. If, however, the last two de- 
partments be omitted, as showing an abnormally high degree of 
criminality, the figure is only 20%, much nearer the other two. 
With regard to thefts, of twenty-four departments with a maxi- 
mum mortality fourteen exceed 90%, and the same is true of 
seventeen of the eighteen departments with an intermediate 
mortality rate. Of twenty-five departments having a minimum 
mortality eight pass 90%. 

To sum up, then, it may be said that there exists no relation 
between the mortality rate and the frequency of theft, while 
the frequency of murder increases as the mortality rises. In 
Italy this may be especially well seen in Sardinia, Sicily, and 
Basilicata. Revolts, likewise, are more common in districts 
where the mortality is greatest. Out of twenty-seven depart- 
ments in France with a minimum mortality, fifteen manifested 
republican tendencies under the Empire; but of twenty-seven 
departments with the highest mortality, twenty were republican. 




§ 1 6. Influence of Race 

WE have already seen — and it will become clearer as we 
proceed — that the notion of crime existing in the mind 
of the savage is so vague that we are often led to doubt its exist- 
ence in the primitive man altogether.^ However, many tribes 
seem to have a relative morality all their own, which they apply 
in their own fashion, and immediately we see crime arise among 
them. Among the Yuris in America the respect for property is 
so great that a thread is sufficient for a boundary line. The 
Koryaks and the Mbayas punish homicide committed within 
the tribe, although they do not regard it as a crime when com- 
mitted against outsiders. It is plain that without some such 
law the tribe could not hold together, but would soon 

There are, however, tribes to whom even this relative morality 
is repugnant. So in Caramansa in Africa, alongside of the hon- 
est and peaceful Bagnus, who practice rice culture, we find the 
Balantes, who live by hunting and robbery alone. These put 
to death any who steal in their own village, but nevertheless 
steal from other tribes themselves.^ The one who steals best 
is most esteemed among them, and is even paid to teach their 
children to steal as well as chosen to lead their marauding 
expeditions. Not unlike these are the Beni-Hassan of Morocco, 
whose chief business is theft. These are disciplined, and live 
under their own chiefs with rights recognized by the govern- 
ment, which makes use of their services in the recovery of stolen 

1 See my "Homme Criminel." * Revue d'Anthrop., 1874. 



goods. They are divided into oat-thieves, horse-thieves, village- 
thieves, and highwaymen. There are among them mounted 
robbers, who flee so quickly that pursuit is futile. They often 
slip into houses naked and covered with oil, or hide themselves 
under leaves in order not to frighten the horses. They begin to 
steal at the age of eight.^ In India there exists the tribe of the 
Zacka-IQiail, who hve by theft. WTien a boy is born to them 
they dedicate him to his future profession by passing him 
through a hole broken in a house-wall, and saying to him three 
times, "Be a thief." 

The Kurubars, on the other hand, are noted for their hon- 
esty. They never lie, and would rather starve than steal. They 
are therefore set to keep watch over the harvest.^ Spencer also 
notes certain peoples as inclined to honesty, such as the Todas, 
the Ainus, and the Bodos. These are in general peoples among 
whom war is held in slight esteem, and who are much engaged in 
trade. As a rule they do not contend among themselves, but 
leave their affairs to be regulated by the chiefs, and restore half 
of what is offered to them in their bartering if it appears to 
them to be too much. They do not apply the lex ialionis, are 
not guilty of cruelty, honor women, and nevertheless, strange 
to say, are not religious. Among the Arabs (Bedouins) there 
are honest and industrious tribes; but there are also many 
others who lead a parasitic life. These are noted for their spirit 
of adventure, their reckless courage, their need of continual 
change, their idleness, and their tendency toward theft. In 
Central Africa Stanley found some tribes distinguished for hon- 
esty, and others, like the Zeghes, showing a tendency toward 
robbery and homicide. Among the Kafirs and Hottentots there 
are individuals who are especially savage and incapable of 
working, and wander about living by the labor of others. These 
are called Fingas by the Kafirs, and Sonquas by the Hottentots. 
^ In our civilized world, to note the proof of the influence of 
I race upon crime is both easier and more certain. We know that 

^ De Amicis, "Maroc," p. 205. 

' Taylor, "Societes Primitives," Paris, 1874. 


a large number of the thieves of London are of Irish parentage, 
or are natives of Lancashire. In Russia, according to Anut- 
schin, Bessarabia and Kherson furnish all the thieves of the 
capital, and the number of convictions in proportion to the 
number of indictments in their case is unusually great. Crimi- 
nality is transmitted among them from family to family.^ In 
Germany, the districts in which there are colonies of gypsies 
are recognized as those where the women are most inclined to 

§ 17. Criminal Centers 

In every part of Italy, almost in every province, there exists 
some village renowned for having furnished an unbroken series 
of special delinquents. Thus, in Liguria, Lerice is proverbial 
for swindlers, Campofreddo and Masson for homicides, Pozzolo 
for highway robberies. In the province of Lucca, Capannori is 
noted for its assassinations, and Carde in Piedmont for its field 
thefts. In southern Italy, Soro, Melfi, and St. Fele have al- 
ways had their bandits since 1860, and the same is true of Par- 
tinico and Monreale in Sicily. 

This predominance of crime in certain countries is certainly A y 
due to race, as history clearly shows in the case of some of them. .^ 
Thus, Pergola near Pistoja was settled by gypsies, Masson by 
Portuguese outlaws, and Campofreddo by Corsican pirates. 
Even to-day the dialect in the latter place is half Corsican, half 
Ligurian. But the most famous of all is the village of Artena 
in the province of Rome, which Sighele describes thus : ^ 

"Situated on the summit of a hill, in the middle of a green 
and smiling plain, under a mild sky, this village, where misery 
is unknown, ought to be one of the happiest and most honest. 
But the reverse is the case, and its inhabitants have an evil 
celebrity throughout all the surrounding country as thieves, 
brigands, and assassins. This reputation is not a recent ac- 
quisition. In the Italian chronicles one often meets the name 
of Artena, and its history can be summed up as one long series 
of crimes. 

1 "Sitz. d. Geogr. Gesellsch.," 1868, St. Petersburg. 

2 "Arch, di Psichiatria ed Antrop.," XI, Turin, 1890. 




"The seriousness of the evil may be seen from the following 
statistical table: 

Annual Number op Crimes to 100,000 Inhabitants 






Homicides murders, and robberies, followed 
by homicide 






Highway robberies 

Thefts, simple and aggravated 


"Artena, then, is marked by a number of assaults, homicides, 
and murders six times as great as that of the average of Italy, 
and by a number of highway robberies thirty times as great. 
And yet these figures give only a very imperfect idea of the bold- 
ness and ferocity of the criminals of Artena. To have this prop- 
erly appreciated it would be necessary to describe all the crimes, 
to tell how they commit murders there in broad daylight in 
public places, how they strangle the witnesses who dare to tell 
the truth to the judges." 

The cause, according to Sighele, lies in the character of the 
inhabitants and the influence of earlier governments, which 
elsewhere gave rise to brigandage and the Camorra; further, in 
the inability of the authorities to punish the guilty, because the 
witnesses are bribed or intimidated into keeping silent; but 
above all, in the influence of heredity. In fact, in an investiga- 
tion of the proceedings instituted against inhabitants of Artena 
since 1852, Sighele came across the same names repeatedly, 
father, son, and nephew following one another at intervals as 
if driven by a fatal necessity. The name Montefortino, be- 
longing to an ancient family of Artena, was already celebrated 
for crime as early as 1555. Paul IV in 1557 was obliged 
to condemn to death all the inhabitants of this town, and au- 
thorized any one to kill them and destroy their castle, "that 
it might no longer furnish a nest and refuge for base thieves." 

It is to be noted that in Sicily brigandage is almost exclusively 
confined to that famous valley of the Conca d'Oro, where the 
robber tribes of Berbers and Semites had their first and most 


lasting places of refuge, and where the anatomical type, the 
customs, the political and moral ideals still retain the Arabian 
imprint, as the descriptions of Tommasi-Crudeles are sufficient 
to prove. ^ Moreover, here, as among the Arabs, cattle-stealing 
is the chief crime. With these facts we can easily be persuaded 
that the blood of this people, at once conquerors and robbers, 
hospitable and cruel, intelligent and superstitious, inconstant, 
restless, and impatient of restraint, must have its influence in 
Sicily in fomenting the sudden and implacable revolts and in 
perpetuating brigandage. This latter, it is to be noticed, is 
often mixed with politics, as it is in the case of the parent Ara- 
bian stock, and excites neither the horror nor the aversion dis- 
played by peoples less intelligent, indeed, but richer in Aryan 
blood, such as those of Catania and Messina in this same island 
of Sicily. A very different sort of community is that of Lar- 
derello in the province of Volterra, where for sixty years no 
homicide or theft or even misdemeanor has been committed. 
That race is a factor in the great criminality of the places men- 
tioned I am the more persuaded through having observed in 
the case of most of the inhabitants a taller stature than in the 
neighboring regions. 

In France, also, a race of criminals has been discovered by 
Fauvel in a row of villages along the border of the forest of 
Tierache, a continuation of the forest of Ardennes. ^ In every 
place where this race predominates there are continually violent 
brawls, to which the authorities most often have to shut their 
eyes. The stranger who ventures among these people exposes 
himself to the insults of the women as of the men. Even among 
the well-to-do the same brutality often shows itself through a 
certain polite varnish. This half-barbarous condition is aggra- 
vated by frequent alcoholism; and the people, scorning agri- 
cultural pursuits, betake themselves to work in the forests or in 

1 "They are sober, patient, and persevering; they are open to friendly 
approaches; they have an incUnation to gain their ends secretly and silently; 
they are at once hospitable and given to robbery. The lower classes are 
superstitious, the upper classes haughty. A man will say, ' I am a brigand, ' 
as if it meant no more than, ' I have blood in my veins.' To inform against 
a homicide is to transgress the code of honor." "La Sicilia," Florence, 

2 "Bulletin de la Soci4t6 d' Anthropologic," 189L 


the iron-works. Their real preference, however, is smuggling. 
They are a little below the average in height, but have powerful 
muscles, with broad, strong jaws, straight nose, pronounced 
eyebrows, and thick, dark hair. This last characteristic sepa- 
rates them at once from the blond-haired race who inhabit the 
villages near them, with whom they associate only rarely. 

§ i8. Europe 

In his "Homicide" Ferri shows clearly the influence of race 
upon the distribution of crime in Europe, Latin and Teuton 
occupying the opposite extremes of the scale, both for homicide 
in general, and also for aggravated homicide and infanticide. 
The same is true with regard to suicide and insanity, except that 
here the order is reversed and the Teuton shows the maximum 
in each case, and the Latin the minimum. 

§ 19. Austria 

Very often, however, it is not possible to arrive at an exact 
estimate of the influence of race from the figures furnished by 
criminal statistics, for we encounter a whole complexus of 
causes which prevents us from drawing a definite conclusion. 
For example, women show the minimum degree of criminality in 
Spain, Lombardy, Denmark, Slavonia, and Goritz, and the 
maximum in Austrian Silesia and in the Baltic provinces of 
Russia. But here the cultural influence is more in evidence than 
the racial. For where the women are educated like the men, as 
in Silesia and the Baltic provinces, or where they take part with 
the men in the struggle for existence, they approach men more 
nearly in the degree of criminality. The same thing may be said 
of the greater criminality to be observed in the Austrian empire 
chiefly among the youths, especially in Salzburg and Austria 
proper, as compared with the Slavs and Itahans of Goritz, 
Carinthia, and the Tyrol. 

§ 20. Italy 

The following table presents a summary of simple homicides 
(including assaults followed by death) and aggravated homi- 




cides (including highway robbery with homicide) for which 
indictments were brought in the different provinces of Italy in 
the years 1880-83 inclusive: 

Pro\Tnces of Italy with the 
population in 1881 

Number of indictments for 

homicide to the million 




Piedmont (3,070,250) .... 

Liguria (892,373) 

Lombardv (3,680,615) .... 

Venetia (2,814,173) 

Emilia (1,706,817) 

Romagna (476,874) 

Umbria (572,660) 

Marches (936,279) 

Tuscany (2,208,869) 

Latium (903,472) 

Abruzzo (751,781) 

Molise (365,434) 

Campania (289,577) 

Apulia (1,589,054) 

Basilicata (524,504) 

Calabria (1,257,883) 

Sicily (5,927,901) 

Sardinia (682,002) 





































It is apparent, then, that these crimes are most frequent in 
the provinces where the population is predominantly Semitic 
(Sicily, Sardinia, Calabria) or purely Latin (Latium, Abruzzo), 
as compared with those where the population is Teutonic, 
Ligurian, Celtic (Lombardy, Liguria, Piedmont), or Slavic 
(Venetia). Now beside the original inhabitants, the Ligurians 
in the north, the Umbrians and Etruscans in the center, the 
Oscans in the south, and the Siculi, of Ligurian origin, in Sicily, 
the principal social elements of the Italian population are the 
Teutons, Celts, and Slavs in the north, the Phenicians, Arabs, 
Albanians, and Greeks in the south and on the islands. It is, 
then, to the African and oriental elements (the Greeks excepted) 
that Italy owes the frequency of homicide in Calabria, Sicily, 
and Sardinia; while the occurrence of a smaller number, as 


in Lombardy, is due to the large Teutonic element in the 

The effect of race is clearly to be seen in certain localities 
whose inhabitants differ ethnically from the surrounding popu- 
lation, and where the relative frequency or infrequency of crime 
coincides with the racial difference. Thus we have a striking 
contrast in Tuscany, where Siena shows 39 homicides to the 
million, Florence 43, and Pisa 60; while Massacarrara shows 83, 
Grosseto 102, Lucca 119, Arezzo 134, and Leghorn 140. Now it 
is true that in Massacarrara the quarries, and in Grosseto the 
marshes, produce special living-conditions; but the ethnic in- 
fluence is incontestable in the province of Lucca, which is dif- 
ferentiated from the rest of Tuscany by the greater stature and 
dolichocephaly of its inhabitants (the latter characteristic being 
found in Massacarrara also), and the greater tendency to emi- 
gration. One may refer also to the effect of the Ligurian blood, 
calling to mind how often the ancient Ligurians revolted against 
the Roman rule. But in Leghorn the racial influence is especially 
evident, and the origin of this is well known. Leghorn, in the 
sixteenth century, was merely a marshy village, having 749 
inhabitants in 1551. Its first settlers were the Liburni, an 
lUyrian people, inventors of the Liburnian galley, and notorious 
pirates. To these were added Saracens, Jews, and Marseillais, 
and later adventurers and pirates invited by the Medici.^ 
Leghorn, which from 1879 to 1883 showed the greatest pro- 
portion of indictments for crime, furnished likewise, in compari- 
son with the whole of Tuscany (including Arezzo), the highest 
numbers for aggravated homicide, rebeUion, and aggravated 
theft. This state of affairs cannot be accounted for by the 
greater density of the population, for the density at Milan is 
the same (919 to the square mile), and that at Naples is much 
greater (3976). Neither is it due to a greater preponderance 
of the urban population, for the urban residents in Naples 
constitute 94% of the total population of the municipality, 
in Milan 92%, and in Leghorn only 80%; while nevertheless 
insurrections and aggravated thefts are much more frequent 

1 Lombroso, "Troppo Presto," 1889, 


Another very significant contrast is to be observed in the 
southern part of the peninsula. Here the summary of simple 
homicides shows certain localities in the provinces of Campo- 
basso, Avellino, Cosenza, and Catanzaro with a relatively 
high criminality, and localities in the provinces of Benevento, 
Salerno, Bari, and Lucca, where the frequency of homicide is 
small in comparison with the neighboring provinces of Aquila, 
Caserto, Potenza, Reggio, and especially Naples. In the last the 
social environment would naturally be expected to be provoca- 
tive of crime. Now it is difficult not to deduce a causal con- 
nection between the presence of Albanian colonies and the great 
number of crimes of violence in the provinces of Cosenza, Catan- 
zaro, and Campobasso. On the other hand, the less frequent 
occurence of simple homicide in Reggio, Naples, and especially 
in Apulia (Bari and Lecce) depends in great part upon the Greek 
element of the population. To understand the presence and 
extent of this element it is only necessary to recall the ancient 
Magna Grsecia, the later Greek colonies which arrived during 
and after the Byzantine supremacy, and the earlier migrations 
of the lapygo-Messapians. "Even to-day," says Nicolucci, 
"the physiognomy of the greater part of the natives of these 
provinces recalls this type, through which shines pacific sweet- 
ness of character." ^ To the effect of the Greek element must 
be added the ethnic influence of the Norman occupation. 

As regards the marked infrequency of simple homicide in Sa- 
lerno and in Benevento, it is impossible not to recall the Lom- 
bard element which was dominant in the duchy of Benevento 
and Salerno so long and to such an extent that it has been able 
to resist the assimilating power of the native Italians, and to 
preserve to this day the tall stature and blond hair, noticeable 
in the midst of the types indigenous to the peninsula. (Ferri). 
The quite different influence of the Albanian, Greek, and Lom- 
bard elements upon the criminality in these contrasted locali- 
ties is confirmed by the distribution of aggravated homicide, 
and highway robbery with homicide. Salerno and Reggio, 
indeed, form exceptions, having relatively high figures; but 
Naples, thanks to its Greek blood, shows, notwithstanding the 

1 "Etnografia dell' ItaUa," 1880. 


density and poverty of its population, a small number of homi- 
cides, matching the figures for Bari and Lecce, 

Sicily, also, offers a striking example of the influence of race 
upon homicide. The eastern provinces, Messina, Catania, and 
Syracuse, show a number of homicides much smaller than the 
provinces of Caltanisetta, Girgenti, Trapani, and Palermo. Now 
Sicily differs greatly in the character of its population from the 
neighboring part of the peninsula, partly because of the numer- 
ous northern peoples (Vandals, Normans, French) which have 
conquered and ruled the island. But on the eastern coast it is 
the Greek element that is predominant, and it is impossible not 
to refer to this fact the smaller number of homicides occurring 
there; nor, on the other hand, to see in the large admixture of 
Saracen and Albanian blood the reason for great frequency of 
homicides in the south and north. Reel us writes: 

"At the time of the siege of Palermo by the Normans (1071 
A. D.) there were five languages spoken in Sicily, — Arabic, He- 
brew, Greek, Latin, and the popular Sicilian. Arabic remained 
the dominant language even under the Normans. Later the 
French, the Germans, the Spaniards, and the Aragonese con- 
tributed to make of the Sicilians a people different from their 
Italian neighbors in dress, manners, customs, and national 
feeling. The differences existing within the Sicilian population 
itself are very great, since now one race now another gets the 
upper hand in the mixture. Thus the people of the Etna prov- 
inces, who are without doubt of Hellenic origin — being in 
fact the purest of the Greeks, since they have not been mixed 
with the Slavs — have an excellent reputation for deportment 
and amiability. The inhabitants of Palermo, on the contrary, 
among whom the Arab element is greater than anywhere else, 
have in general serious faces and dissolute manners." ^ 

The criminality of Sardinia is equally characteristic, whether 
one compares it with that of the continent, and even more with 
that of Sicily, or considers the almost constant contrast between 
the north (province of Sassari) and the south (province of 
Cagliari). Ethnically Sardinia is differentiated from Sicily be- 
cause the Phenician domination, begun in remote antiquity and 
renewed in Carthaginian times, was both more extensive and 

1 Ferri. 


of longer duration in Sardinia than in Sicily, so that even to-day 
the Sardinian skull may partly serve to illustrate the ancient 
Phenician dolichocephalic type. The Saracen elements in Sar- 
dinia are less significant, though there are two Saracen colonies, 
— Barbaricini in the province of Sassari, and Maureddi, near 
Iglesias, in the province of Cagliari.^ This racial difference 
certainly contributes to produce the higher average of crimes 
against persons in Sicily (notwithstanding the relatively small 
number in the eastern provinces), and, on the other hand, the 
higher average of crimes against property in Sardinia. For 
example, in comparing Sardinia with Sicily one sees a striking 
contrast in the number of simple homicides, which comes out 
still more strongly in the number of assaults. In the case of 
aggravated homicides, indeed, the figures for Sicily are lower 
on account of the small number in the eastern provinces, but 
the total of all crimes against persons, including homicide, 
simple and aggravated, and highway robbery accompanied by 
homicide, is much greater than in Sardinia. In crimes against 
property, on the contrary, Sardinia, on account of the prepond- 
erance of Semitic blood, goes far beyond Sicily, especially in 
aggravated thefts and in forgeries; whereas in violent crimes 
against property, such as highway robbery, extortion, and black- 
mail, Sicily again takes the lead somewhat. 

In Sardinia, moreover, a contrast is to be observed between 
the two provinces of Sassari and Cagliari in the very type of 
the inhabitants, and in their social and economic life. The north 
has agriculture and manufacturing more developed, while the 
south has its mines, near Cagliari, Iglesias, etc. Now it is well 
known that the province of Cagliari is more decidedly Phenician, 
whereas in the province of Sassari the Spanish element dom- 
inates, and this fact doubtless cooperates with the economic 
conditions to cause the greater frequency of forgery and aggra- 
vated theft in the province of Cagliari, and of homicide, and 
highway robbery with homicide, in the province of Sassari. 

Another example of the influence of race is found in the crim- 
inality of Corsica, which notoriously gives the maximum num- 
ber of homicides (infanticide and poisoning excepted) for the 

^ Nicolucci, "Etnografia dell' Italia." 




whole of France, but shows a very small number of thefts. By 
comparing the number of persons sentenced for homicide in 
Corsica from 1880 to 1883 with those sentenced in those parts 
of Italy that give the highest figures, the following data are 
obtained : 

Persons sentenced in 1880-83 

Yearly average 

to 100,000 inhabitants 








Simple homicides and as- 
saults resulting in death 

Murders and highway rob- 
beries with homicide . . 






This means that although Corsica belongs to France politically, 
it is Italian both in race and in the character of its crimes. 
Reclus remarks: 

"Of the two islands, Sardinia and Corsica, once united, it is 
Corsica, notwithstanding its political connection with France, 
that is by geographical position and by its historical traditions 
most Italian." 

Thus the marked differences between the criminality of Cor- 
sica and that of Sardinia are to be explained in great measure 
by racial causes, and this explanation is confirmed by the 
great resemblance existing between the criminality of Corsica 
and that of Sicily. The fact is that in Sicily the Saracen ele- 
ment came to dominate all the others, and this same stock, 
more fierce than covetous, exercised a great influence in Corsica. 
We know that 

"the ancient inhabitants (Ligurians and Iberians, or, as 
some think, Sicanians) were followed by the Phenicians and 
the Romans, but especially, up to the eleventh century, by the 
Saracens, and after these by the Italians and the French." ^ 

1 Nicolucci. 



It is, then, to their Saracen blood that Corsica, Sicily, and, 
in part, Calabria owe their intense homicidal criminality, 
together with their lower degree of criminality, as regards 

§ 21. Races in France 

A glance at the distribution of crimes in France shows that 
it is to the Ligurian and Gallic races that we owe the maximum 
of crimes of blood. This is proved in detail by the summary 
of the various crimes in the departments that furnish figures 
above the average. From such a summary we discover that the 
tendency toward murder increases as we pass from the depart- 
ments having a Cimbric population (1 out of the 18, or 5.5%, 
showing a number of murders above the average) to the Gallic 
departments (with 8 out of 32, or 25%, above the average), 
then to the Iberian (with 3 out of 8, or 373^2%) » and Belgian 
(6 out of 15, or 40%), and finally to the Ligurian departments, 
all of which (100%) show more than the average number of 
murders. The series for rape is sHghtly different: first, Iberian 
departments (2 out of 8, 25%), next Cimbric (6 out of 18, 33%), 
Belgian (6 out of 15, 40%), Gallic (13 out of 32, 41%), and 
finally, as before, the Ligurian (6 out of 9, 67%). In crimes 
against property, on the other hand, we see the Belgians, the 
most industrial of the races, lead, with 67% of their depart- 
ments above the average, followed closely by the Ligurians and 
Iberians, wdth 60% and 61% respectively, while the Cimbric 
and Gallic elements show only 30% and 39%. 

As I have showTi in my "Crime Politique," the dominant 
influence of the Ligurian and Gallic races is determined by their 
greater activity. The Ligurian peoples of France furnished the 
maximum of insurgents (all the departments, or 100%, being 
above the average), and the maximum number of men of genius 
(60% of the departments being above the average). The Gallic 
departments come next, with 82% for insurgents and 19% for 
men of genius; the Belgians, 62% and 33%; while the Cimbric 
departments showed only 38% for insurgents wdth scarcely 5% 
for men of genius; and the Iberians furnish the minimum, with 
14% and 5% for insurgents and men of genius respectively. 


§ 22. Dolichocephaly and Brachycephaly 

I have attempted to discover the relationship between crim- 
inahty on the one hand, and the cephaHc index and the color of 
the hair on the other, being convinced that more reliable indica- 
tions of the influence of race might be obtained in this way. 
In studying crime in Italy in relation to the cephalic index, I 
have seen from the plates of Livi that in 21 provinces having a 
preponderance of dolichocephaly (index from 77 to 80 inclusive), 
the average of homicides and assaults is 31%, while thfe general 
average in Italy is 17%. In all the dolichocephalic provinces, 
with the exception of Lucca and Lecce, that is to say, in 19 
out of 21, the proportion of homicides is above the average. 
The provinces where mesocephaly (index, 81 to 82) dominates 
fall below the dolichocephalic provinces in homicide, giving an 
average of 25%. But where brachycephaly (index, 83 to 88) is 
most abundant the figure is 8%, an average much below that 
for the country as a whole. 

It must be noted, however, that the dolichocephalic provinces 
are in the south, Tvath the exception of Lucca, which is also an 
exception to the parallelism of dolichocephaly and crime; that 
the brachycephalic provinces, with the exception of Abruzzo, 
are all in upper Italy; and that the ultrabrachy cephalic are to 
be found in the mountainous regions, which all have a smaller 
number of crimes of blood. As for the mesocephalic population, 
it is to be met in southern Italy, or in the warmer parts of upper 
Italy, like Leghorn and Genoa, so it nmst be conceded that the 
influence of climate enters here with that of race. In the case 
of theft the difference is much smaller. Though observable, it 
is far less marked than in the case of homicide, as may be seen 
from the fact that the dolichocephalic provinces have 460 thefts 
to the million inliabitants, the mesocephalic 400, and the bra- 
chycephalic 360. 

In France ^ the crimes against persons give an average of 18 
to the 100,000 in the brachycephalic departments, and of 36 in 
the dolichocephalic, including Corsica (Collignon) ; but without 
Corsica it gives an average of only 24, the average for the whole 

1 See "Compte Criminelle de la Justice en France." 


country ranging from 24 to 33 to the 100,000. If we follow the 
figures given by Ferri we find an even smaller difference. Ac- 
cording to him the crimes of blood among the dolichocephalic 
part of the population (without Corsica) amount to 13 to the 
100,000, and to 19 in the brachycephalic departments. From 
this it is evident how much greater influence climate has upon 
crimes of blood than has race; for in Italy, where the dolicho- 
cephalic part of the population is collected in the south, its 
preponderance in crime is enormous. But in France, where 
it is distributed everywhere, in the south, in the north (Pas- 
de-Calais, Nord, Aisne), and in the center (Haute Vienne, 
Charente), it furnishes no precise data, and sometimes even 
gives smaller figures than the brachycephalic population. In 
the case of crimes against property, however, the difference 
in France is remarkable. The long-heads show 44 crimes to 
the 100,000, and the round-heads only 23. 

In general, there is everywhere a preponderance of crime in 
the districts dominated by dolichocephaly. In France the long- 
heads have furnished the greatest number of revolutionists and 
geniuses; and it is among the dolichocephaHc Gauls and Liguri- 
ans that the princes and peoples have been found who offered 
most resistance to conquest. This is apparently in complete 
opposition to the teaching of criminal anthropology, according 
to which criminals are nearly always ultra-brachycephalic; but 
it is in reality of great value as enabling us to show the better 
that the exaggerated brachycephaly of criminals is a plain mark 
of degeneracy. 

§ 23. Light and Dark Hair 

In investigating the relation of the color of the hair to crim- 
inality in France, I have found that in the departments where 
dark hair predominates the figures for murder reach 12.6% (or 
9.2% without Corsica), while the light-haired departments give 
only 6.3%. It is to be noted, however, that dark hair is espe- 
cially abundant in hot districts. Vendee, Herault, Var, Gers, 
Landes, Corsica, Bouches-du-Rhone, Basses-Alpes, Gironde, etc. 
The influence of climate is perhaps, therefore, not to be excluded. 
Similarly blond hair (except in Vaucluse) is more frequent in 


the departments with a northern climate, Pas-de-Calais, Nord, 
Ardennes, Manche, Eure-et-Loire, which, as has been shown, 
have a smaller number of crimes of blood. 

In Italy the proportion of blonds in the whole of southern 
Italy is below the average of the kingdom,^ except in Benevento, 
where it reaches the average, and in Apulia, Naples, Campania, 
Trapani, and eastern Sicily, where it is only a little below the 
average. Now in all southern Italy crimes of blood are below the 
average, and in the province of Benevento they give a figure 
which, although rather high (27.1%), is nevertheless below that 
of the neighboring provinces. The same is true of Apulia, 
eastern Sicily, Syracuse, and Catania, which all show a low 
degree of criminality (Syracuse 15, Catania 28, Lecce 10). In 
these provinces the blond color of the hair is directly connected 
with the Lombard (Benevento) and Greek races (Sicily), and it 
is for this reason that they are less criminal. I have found no 
connection with race, however, in the blond oasis of Perugia, 
nor in the brunette oasis of Forli, in central Italy. 

The blond population inhabiting the neighborhood of the 
Alps is in direct connection with that of the mountains them- 
selves, and shows, as does the latter, only a slight criminality. 
But the cause here is merely orographic. 'On the other hand, 
the brunette oasis of Leghorn and Lucca coincides with a 
criminality greater, even in crimes of blood, than that of the 
neighboring parts of Tuscany, and, as here the color of the hair 
is accompanied by a special dolichocephaly without being ex- 
plicable by any orographic cause, it seems to me that we have 
a new proof of the influence of race upon crimes of blood. In 
the case of crimes against property there is no evident corre- 
spondence. For example, the province of Treviso, where the 
inhabitants are very blond, gives the maximum of criminality, 
and Ferrara, where the population is very dark, is nearly equal 
to it. 

§ 24. Jews 

The influence of race upon criminality becomes plainly evi- 
dent when we study the Jews and the gypsies, though very 

» See Livi, " Archivio d'Antrop.," 1894. 


differently manifested in the two races. The statistics of many 
countries show a lower degree of criminality for the Jews than 
for their Gentile fellow-citizens. This is the more remarkable 
since, because of their usual occupations, they should in fair- 
ness be compared, not with the population in general, but with 
the merchants and petty tradespeople, who have, as we shall 
see, a high record for criminality. In Bavaria one Jew is sen- 
tenced for every 315 of them in the population, and one Catholic 
for every 265. In Baden, Jewish criminality was 63.3% of the 
Christian criminality. In Lombardy, under the rule of Austria, 
there was during the space of seven years one Jew convicted for 
every 2,568 inhabitants. In Italy in 1855 there were only seven 
Jews in prison, five men and two women, a proportion much 
smaller than that prevailing among the Catholic population. 
Recent investigations made by Servi show that in 1869, out of 
a Jewish population of 17,800 there were only eight sentenced. 
In Prussia, Hausner has observed a slight difference to the dis- 
credit of the Jews, there being one Jew indicted to each 2600, 
while the Christians show one to 2800. This is in part confirmed 
by Kolb, according to whom the following were recorded: 

In Prussia in 1859, 

1 Jew indicted for each 2793 

1 Catholic " " " 2645 

1 Protestant " " " 2821 

From 1862 to 1865, however. 

In Bavaria, 

1 Jew indicted for each 2800 

1 Protestant " " " 3800 

1 Jew indicted for each 315 

1 Catholic " " " 265 

In France from 1850 to 1860, on the average, 

the Jews indicted were .0776% of the adults 
" Catholics " " .0584% " " 

" Jews " " .0111% " " total population 

" Catholics " " .0122% " " " 

In 1854 there were 166 Jewish criminals; in 1855, 118; in 
1856, 163; in 1858, 142; in 1860, 123; in 1861, 118 — a slight 
1 " Handb. der Vergleich. Statistik," 1875, p. 130. 

/tf (./G 


decrease in the later years. ^ In Austria, however, the number 
of Jews convicted was 3.74% in 1872, and 4.13% in 1873, 
figures higher by some fractions than those for the rest of the 

The fact of a special tj^pe of Jewish criminality is more cer- 
tain than a greater or less degree of criminality. Among the 
Jews as among the gypsies the hereditary form of crime pre- 
dominates, and in France they reckon whole generations of 
rogues and thieves among the Cerfbeers, Salomons, Levis, 
Blums, and Kleins. Those convicted of murder are rare, and, 
where they are found, they are captains of bands organized 
with rare skill, like those of Graft, Cerfbeer, Meyer, and De- 
champs. These master rogues had regular traveling agents, 
kept ledgers, and showed such a degree of cleverness, patience, 
and tenacity as made it possible for them to evade for many 
years the attempts to bring them to justice. 

Most of the Jewish criminals in France have their own special 
kinds of rascality, like the trick with the ring, when they pretend 
to have found an object of value; or the "morning call," which 
gives them an opportunity to rob the chambers of sleepers who 
have forgotten to lock their doors.^ 

The Russian Jews are principally usurers, counterfeiters, and 
smugglers, carrying this last pursuit to the extent of smuggling 
women, exporting them to Turkey. Smuggling is organized 
among them in semi-governmental fashion. Whole towns on 
the border, like Berdereff, are peopled almost entirely by Jewish 
smugglers. Often the government has the town surrounded by 
a cordon of soldiers, and upon making a search finds immense 
stores of smuggled goods. The smuggling is carried so far as 
even to be an obstacle to commercial treaties with Prussia. In 
Prussia there were formerly great numbers of Jews convicted 
for forgery and for defamation, but more frequently for bank- 
ruptcy and for receiving stolen goods, a crime which frequently 
eludes the clutches of the law. To the prevalence of this last 
crime among them is due the great number of Jewish words 

1 Servi, "Gli Israeliti in Europa," Turin, 1872. 

2 " Stat. Uebers. d. k. k. osterreichischen Strafanstalten," 1875. 
» "Vidocq," DuCamp, Paris, 1874. 


incorporated into the thieves' slang in Germany and England, 
since the thief looks upon the receiver of stolen goods as a master 
and guide, and in consequence easily adopts his language. Every 
great enterprise of the famous band of Mainz was planned by a 
kochener, or Jewish receiver of stolen goods. There was a time 
in France "when nearly all the leaders of the great bands had 
Jewesses for concubines." Many causes formerly impelled the 
Jews to these crimes, as also to the unlawful gains of usury: 
greed for gold, discouragement, desperation, exclusion from 
office and from all public assistance, and the natural reaction 
against the persecutions of the stronger races, from which they 
had no other means of defense. They were often merely shut- 
tlecocks between the armed brigands and the feudal lords, and 
were forced to be accomplices in order not to become victims. 
One need not be astonished, therefore, if their criminality ap- 
pears great; and it is fair to note that from the time when the 
Jews have been permitted to enter political life their tendency 
to special crime has diminished. We have forced upon us here 
anew the difficulty of coming to universally valid conclusions 
upon the basis of statistics alone. 

Even though the criminality of the Jews can be proved to 
be less than that of other races, a very different situation ap- 
pears when we turn to the question of insanity, in which they 
have an unfortunate leadership.^ Here, however, it is not so 
much a matter of race as of intellectual work, for among the 
Semitic races in general (Arabs, Bedouins) insanity is very rare. 

§ 25. Gypsies 

With the gypsies the case is quite different. They are the 
living example of a whole race of criminals, and have all the 
passions and all the vices of criminals. "They have a horror," 
says Grelmann,^ "of anything that requires the slightest ap- 

1 In Bavaria there is one insane person to each 908 Catholics, 967 
Protestants, 518 Jews; in Hanover, one insane person to each 527 Catholics, 
641 Protestants, 337 Jews; in Silesia, one insane person to each 1355 Cath- 
olics, 1264 Protestants, 604 Jews. In Denmark there are 5.8 insane Jews 
and only 3.4 insane Christians to the 1000 of each. (Oettingen.) 

"^ "Histoire des Bohemiens," Paris, 1837; Perdari, "Sugli Zingari," 
Milan, 1871; Pott, "Zigeuner," Halle, 1844; Colocci, "Gli Zmgari," 
Ancona, 1889. 



plication; they will endure hunger and misery rather than sub- 
mit to any continuous labor whatever; they work just enough 
to keep from dying of hunger; they are perjurers even among 
themselves, ungrateful, and at once cruel and cowardly, from 
which fact comes the Transylvanian proverb that fifty gypsies 
can be put to flight with a wet clout." Enlisted in the Austrian 
army they cut a sorry figure. They are revengeful to excess. 
One of them, to revenge himself upon his master, who had 
beaten him, dragged him to a cave, sewed him up in a skin, and 
fed him upon the most loathsome food till he died. With the 
intention of plundering Lograno they poisoned the sources of 
the Drave, and when they believed the inhabitants dead in- 
vaded the district in a body and were only frustrated through 
the discovery of the plot by one of the citizens. Gypsies have 
been known in a fit of rage to throw their own children at the 
head of their opponent like a stone from a sling. They are 
vain, like all delinquents, but they have no fear of shame. 
Everything they earn they spend for drink and ornaments. 
They may be seen barefooted, but with bright-colored or lace- 
bedecked clothing; without stockings, but with yellow shoes. 
They have the improvidence of the savage and that of the crim- 
inal as well. The story is told that once when a party of them 
had repulsed a body of troops from a trench, they called out, 
"Flee, flee, for if we had any lead left we would kill you all." 
The enemy, thus informed how the matter stood, turned back 
and massacred them. Without morals, they are nevertheless 
superstitious (Borrow), and would believe themselves to be 
damned or dishonored if they were to eat eels or squirrels, 
although they devour half -putrefied carrion. They are given to 
orgies, love a noise, and make a great outcry in the markets. 
They murder in cold blood in order to rob, and were formerly 
suspected of cannibalism. The women are very clever at steal- 
ing, and teach it to their children. They poison cattle with 
certain powders in order to get the credit of curing them, or 
perhaps to get their flesh at a low price. In Turkey they also 
practice prostitution. They all excel in some form of rascality, 
such as passing counterfeit money or selling sick horses for 
sound. As the name "Jew" with us is synonymous with 


usurer so in Spain gitano is synonymous with rascally cattle 
trader. In whatever condition the gypsy finds himself he al- 
ways maintains his impassivity, does not seem to concern him- 
self with the future, but lives from day to day, despising all 

"Authority, laws, rules, principles, precepts, duties, — these 
are notions and things insupportable to this strange race. To 
obey or to command is equally odious to them, it is a burden 
and a bore. They have no more conception of property than 
they have of duty; 'I have' is as foreign to them as 'I ought.' ^ 
Result, consequence, foresight, the connection between past and 
present, all are unknown to them." ^ 

Colocci believes that they have special routes, used also by 
refugees, thieves, and smugglers, which they indicate by special 
marks (the Zinken of the Germans). Of these the most fre- 
quently used is the patterau, formerly a trident, but now made 
in the shape of a Latin cross. These signs marked along the 
course of the highways, or drawn with charcoal on the walls of 
the houses, or cut into the bark of the trees, become a conven- 
tional means of saying to later bands, "This is the gypsy route." 
In the first patterau the direction is indicated by lateral lines, in 
the second by the longer arm of the cross. Stopping places are 
marked by the mysterious swastika, which is without doubt 
derived from the ancient East Indian symbol, possibly the orig- 
inal of our cross. "When they wish to leave the place where 
they are," wrote Pechon de Ruby in the sixteenth century, 
" they set out in the opposite direction from that which they 
are to travel, and after going half a league retrace their 

Like criminals and the pariahs from whom they are descended, 
they have a popular criminal literature which glorifies crime, as 
in the following dialogue between father and son: 

Father. "Holla, Basil, if you are to become great, by the 
cross of your father, you must steal." 

Son. "And afterward, father, if I am discovered.'*" 

1 The word ought does not exist in the gypsy language. The verb to 
have is almost forgotten by the European gypsies, and is unknovpn to the 
gy]3sies of Asia. 

2 Colocci. 


Father. "Then you must take to your heels, joy of your sire." 
Son. "To the devil with your cross, father! You do not 
teach me well." ^ 

It is to be noted that this race, so low morally and so inca- 
pable of cultural and intellectual development, a race that can 
never carry on any industry, and which in poetry has not got 
beyond the poorest lyrics, has created in Hungary a marvelous 
musical art — a new proof of the genius that, mixed with ata- 
vism, is to be found in the criminal.^ 

1 Colocci. 

2 See Lombroso, "Atavism and Evolution," in Contemporary Review, 
July, 1895. 




§ 26. Civilization and Barbarism 

AMONG the numerous social problems there is one espe- 
cially whose certain and complete solution concerns us 
greatly. It is that of the influence of civilization upon crime and 
insanity. If we judge by statistics alone we shall conclude that 
the problem is already solved, for in every country of Europe, 
except England, we find that crime and insanity are each year 
increasing out of proportion to the growth of the population.^ 

* In France from 1826 to 1837 there was one person indicted to each 
one hundred of the population; in 1868 the indictments had reached 
one to fifty-five. (Dufau, "Traite de Statisque," 1840; Block, "L'Eu- 
rope Politique," 1870.) From 1825 to 1838 the indictments (excluding 
political crimes and fiscal misdemeanors) rose from 57,470 to 80,920. In 
1838 the indictments increased from 237 (to the 100,000) to 375; m 1847 ' 
to 480; from 1854-55 to 1866 they sank to 389, to increase again to 517 
in 1874, and to 552 in 1889. There was, then, an increase of about 133% 
in 50 years. (Joly, "France Criminelle," p. 10.) 

In Austria there were: 

In 1856, 1 conviction to 1238 inhabitants, 1 indictment to 832 

" 1857, 1 " " 1191 " 1 " " 813 

" 1860, 1 " " 1261 " 1 " " 933 

" 1861, 1 " " 1178 " 1 " " 808 

" 1862, 1 " " 1082 " 1 " " 749 


In England and Wales there was: 

From 1811 to 1815 1 prisoner to each 1210 inhabitants 

" 1826 " 1830 1 " " " 568 

" 1826 " 1830 1 " " " 477 " 

" 1846 " 1848 1 " " " 455 " 

From 1805 to 1841 the population increased 49%, the crimes six times 
more than the population. In some counties, Monmouthshire for example, 


But Messedaglia rightly observes in this connection how easy 
it is to make a mistake in attempting to solve, on the basis of 
statistics alone, complex problems into which many factors 
enter at the same time. The continual increase of crime and 
insanity can, in fact, be explained by changes in the civil and 
penal laws, by a greater tendency to bring accusations, by the 
easier access to asylums for the insane, and by the greater ac- 
tivity of the police. 

(, One thing appears certain: civilization and barbarism alike 
possess crimes peculiar to them. Barbarism, by deadening the 
moral sensibilities, diminishes the horror of homicide, which is 
frequently admired as an heroic act. By making revenge a duty 
and confusing might with right, it increases crimes of blood and 
encourages associations of malefactors, just as among the insane 
it develops religious mania, demonomania, and imitative in- 
sanity. On the other hand, family ties are stronger, while sexual 
excitement and insane ambition are less frequent, and conse- 
quently parricide, infanticide, and theft are less frequent. 

The types of civiUzation which man has hitherto produced, 
according to Guglielmo Ferrero, are two : the type characterized 
by violence, and that characterized by fraud. They are distin- 
guished by the form which the struggle for existence takes. In 
the primitive civilization the struggle is carried on purely by 
force, and wealth and power are achieved by arms, at the ex- 
pense either of foreigners or of weaker fellow-citizens. Com- 
mercial competition between two peoples is carried on through 
armies and fleets, that is to say, by the violent expulsion of 
competitors from coveted markets. Judicial contests are de- 
cided by the duel. In the civilization characterized by fraud, 
on the other hand, the struggle for existence is carried on by 
cunning and deceit, and the wager of battle is replaced by legal 
chicanery; political power is obtained, no longer at the point of 

the population increased about 128%, crimes 720%. (Aberdeen, "Dis- 
corso," 1876.) 

In Italy there were: 

From 1850 to 1859, 16,173 indictments for serious crimes, and 7,535 

From 1860 to 1869, 23,854 indictments, and 10,701 convictions. 

From 1863 to 1869 crimes increased one-tenth, the population about 
one-twentieth (Curcio, op. cit.) 


the sword, but by money; money is extracted from the pockets 
of others by tricks and mysterious maneuvers, such as the 
operations of the stock-exchange. The commercial warfare is 
carried on through the perfection of the means of production, 
but still more through the perfection of the art of deceit, the 
skill acquired in giving the purchaser the impression that he is 
getting a good bargain.^ To the first type there belong Corsica, 
part of Sardinia, Montenegro, the Italian cities of the Middle 
Ages, and in general nearly all primitive civilizations. To the 
second type, on the other hand, belong all the modern civilized 
nations, that is to say, those among whom the capitalistic regime 
has reached its complete development. The distinction between 
the two types is not, however, so absolute in reality as it is in 
theory, for characteristics belonging to the two different types 
are often found mixed together in the same society. 

Now since pathologj', in the social field as in the physical, 
follows in the pathway of physiologj', we discover these same 
two means of contest in the criminal world. As a matter of 
fact, there are two forms of criminality manifesting themselves 
in our day side by side: atavistic criminality, which is a return 
on the part of certain individuals of morbid constitution to the 
violent means of the struggle for existence now suppressed by 
civilization, such as homicide, robbery, and rape; and "evolu- 
tive" criminality, which is no less perverted in intent but more 
civilized in the means employed, for in place of violence it uses 
trickery and deceit.^ Into the first class of criminals fall only a 
few individuals, fatally predisposed to crime; into the second 
any one may come who has not a character strong enough to 
resist the evil influences in his environment. 

Sighele rightly observes that the same division occurs in the 
two forms of "collective criminality," which are to be found, 
the one in the upper and the other in the lower ranks of society. 
On the one side are the rich or well-to-do, who in politics and 
business sell their votes and influence, and by the aid of intrigue, 
deceit, and speculation steal money from the public. On the 
other hand are the poor and ignorant, who, in anarchist plots, 

* Ferrero, "Violenti e Frodolenti in Romagna," in "II Mondo Criminale 
Italiano," Milan, 1894. 

2 Sighele, "DelinquenzaSettaria," Milan, 1898. 


in demonstrations, and in insurrections, attempt to revolt 
against the situation into which they are forced and the wicked- 
ness of those in high places. The first of these two forms is es- 
sentially modern and evolved, the second is atavistic, brutal, 
violent; the former is a thing of the brain, and proceeds by cun- 
ning device, like imposture, misappropriation, or forgery; the 
latter is a thing of the muscles, and works by violent means, 
like insurrection, bomb-throwing, or assassination. Italy in the 
last few years has offered only too frequently the sad spectacle 
of the simultaneous breaking out of both forms of criminality. 
On the one hand, we have had in Sicily brigandage and famine 
riots, to which a pious or interested lie has given another name 
and ascribed other causes, and at the same time we have seen at 
Rome, in connection with the bank scandals, the gross immo- 
rahty of the wealthy classes. 

I have given in my "Homme Criminel " examples of crimes 
of blood committed in the Middle Ages by special associations. 
But it may be asked, "Why, if in ancient times these criminal 
associations existed everywhere, have they persisted in certain 
countries only, disappearing from the others?" The answer is 
easy if we consider the partially civilized condition of the peoples, 
and especially the condition of the governments which maintain 
and foster this barbarism, the first and continual source of these 
perverted associations. "The more governments are organized 
as parties," says d'Azeglio very truly, "the more will parties 
organize themselves into governments." When the royal post- 
office violated the privacy of letters, and, bargaining with the 
thieves, allowed them full liberty for all their excesses in broth- 
els and prisons, the very necessities of the situation contributed 
to protect the Camorrist, for he was the one person who could 
carry a letter safely, protect one from assassination, ransom a 
stolen object at a fair price, or even pronounce, in minor matters, 
judgments doubtless as just as, and certainly quicker and less 
costly than, those offered by the regular tribunals. The Camorra 
was a kind of natural adaptation to the unhappy circumstances 
of a people rendered barbarous by bad government. 

Brigandage, in its turn, has often been a kind of wild justice 
against oppressors. In the period of serfdom in Russia, the 
moujiks, indifferent to life and embittered by constant suffering 


for which no one cared, were all ready to avenge themselves by 
homicide, as is proved to us by a song made public by Dixon. 
"There is no great Russian family," says the well-known author 
of the work on European prisons, "which does not include in its 
history the violent death of one of its members." The immo- 
bilization of capital and avarice drove the rich men of southern 
Italy to usury and unbelievable plundering of the poor peasants. 

"In Fondi," writes Jorioz, "many became brigands on ac- 
count of the extortions of the mayor, Amante. Coppa, Masini, 
and Tortora were driven to brigandage by the way their in- 
habitants were abused with impunity." "The peasants of 
southern Italy," said Govone to the investigating committee, 
"see in the brigand the avenger of the injustice with which 
society overwhelms them. The dissensions between rich and 
poor over the division of certain lands which formerly belonged 
to ancient barons but of which the title was now in doubt, or 
which had been promised to all, especially to the poor farmers; 
the hatred which divided the few representatives of the lesser 
nobility in the communes of southern Italy; and the acts of 
vengeance practiced against the clients of one or another — 
these were the principal causes of brigandage. Of 124 com- 
munes in Basilicata there were only 44 without a brigand, and 
these were the only ones where the administration was in the 
hands of honest mayors. Of the two communes, Bomba and 
Montazzoli, near Chieti, the first, where the poor were well 
treated, had no brigands, w^hile the second, where they were 
abused, had a great number of brigands." " In the small estates 
of southern Italy," observes Villari very truly, "the Middle 
Ages still exist in the midst of modern civilization, only in place 
of the ancient baron we have to-day the plebeian creditor." 
"We have in Sicily," writes Franchetti, "a class of peasants 
who are almost slaves of the soil; a second class, consisting of 
persons who consider themselves superior to the law; and a 
third, and this the most numerous, who regard the law as use- , 
less and have exalted to the dignity of a principle the custom 
of securing justice for themselves by their own efforts. And 
where the majesty of the law is misunderstood and despised, 
its representatives cannot be respected. The public official in 
Sicily is flattered and fawned upon so long as the originators 
of the abuses and tyrannies there hope to have him for an accom- 
plice, or at least as a silent spectator of their misdeeds; but as 
soon as a man is discovered who is faithful to his duty, he is de- 
tested, hunted, assailed, and opposed by every possible means." 

"After the abolition of feudalism," continues Franchetti in 



another place, "the external form of the social relationships 
had to change, even if the real nature of those relationships 
did not. The absolute power of the great had ceased to be a 
legal institution, together with the jurisdiction and police power 
of the nobility. The instrument which must now be employed 
to cover up abuses was the officer of the state or city. But 
bribery did not always suffice to secure his connivance; it was 
necessary to employ special artifice. Some device must be 
used to acquire or retain control over those whose economic 
condition did not directly reduce them to practical slavery. 
Brute force had to give place, in part, to trickery and cunning. 
. . . But for all that, violence was not done away with, at 
least in a large part of the island. Nothing had come to break 
up the ancient traditions, and the instruments for carrying them 
into effect had not ceased to exist. The former officers of the 
feudal barons, though thrust to one side, were still there, to say 
nothing of the men who had already committed some crime, 
or were ready to do so, and who could not fail to be numerous 
in a country where the opportunity for crime and the power- 
lessness of the law were traditional. But now the officers, like 
the criminals, plied their trade on their own account, and who- 
ever wanted their aid had to treat with them both." ^ 

"The word malandrino in Sicily loses its significance as a 
term of infamy and comes to be used among the people as a 
laudatory designation, proudly borne by many honorable per- 
sons. ' I am a brigand {malandrino) ' means for them that the 
speaker claims to be a brave man, afraid of nothing, especially 
not afraid of justice, which they confuse with the government, 
or, rather, with the police." ^ 

This false conception of morals, this lack of perception of the 
distance between honesty and double-dealing, explains how it 
is that the brigand finds accomplices among the peasants and 
even among the proprietors, with whom he lives and who re- 
gard crime as a new means of speculation. This state of things, 
according to the reports of the prefects, is the worst plague in 
Sicily, for while the real brigands who roam the country are few 
in number, at certain times they become legion, reinforced by 
their peasant auxiliaries. Further, the great proprietors them- 
selves make use of the brigands for the purpose of exacting ran- 
soms, annulling wills, and establishing their tyranny over their 

1 Franchetti, "Condizioni Politiche e Amministrative della Sicilia," 

2 Tomassi-Crudeli, op. cit. 


fellow-citizens. From this comes also their repugnance to laying 
information, which seems to them more immoral than murder 
itself, so that a dying man may conceal the name of his mur- 
derer to the last. It is not homicide that arouses their aversion, 
but the law. Accordingly, in the few cases in which accusation 
is brought, the crime still goes generally without punishment. 
Thus in the province of Naples, of 150 brigands taken with arms 
in their hands, 107 were acquitted by the jury, and only 7 con- 
victed.^ The situation is the same in the Romagna, as Alfred 
Comandini has shown us,^ and, according to Bourde and Bour- 
net, in Corsica also. 

"The cause of all our ills," writes Comandini, "is the abuse 
of wine, the wide-spread custom of carrying arms, and the 
political associations that have come down as a tradition from 
the despotic times when all classes took part in them even at the 
peril of their lives. Their aspirations were honorable, but very 
often they favored the escape of a prisoner, because, if arrested, 
he might betray them. These associations have no longer 
any political or educative aim, not even that of mutual assist- 
ance. They afford oftenest only an occasion for drinking to- 
gether, generally at the expense of the richer members, and this 
usually degenerates into fighting and brawling, in which from 
their traditional duty of aiding one another large numbers are 
frequently involved." 

But even more significant than the situation in the Romagna 
is the example which Corsica gives of an unconscious criminality, 
derived from social-historical conditions, as well as from the 
purely historical influences already pointed out. 

"The frequency of murders committed out of revenge," 
writes Bournet,^ " is known to all the world, but it is not so well 
known how trivial the causes often are. That a dog belonging 
to a Tafani was killed by a Rocchino caused the death of eleven 
members of the two families. In 1886 there were 135 attacks 
upon persons, or 1 to 200 inhabitants; that is to say, four times 
more than in the department of the Seine. Of these 135 at- 
tacks, 52 were made as a result of quarrels and brawls. No 
witness can be made to testify. In Palermo there were 60 
persons present at a crime, all of whom swore that they had 
seen nothing." 

» Jorioz, "II Brigantaggio," 1875, 

» "Le Romagne," Verona, 1881. 

3 Boumet, "Criminality en Corse," 1887, in "Archivio di Psich.," VIII. 


Bourde, following the reports of the constabulary, estimates 
the number of bandits at from 500 to 600. 

"It all comes back to this," he says, "that the peasants in 
remote villages, who are enemies to the chief of the clan, are per- 
suaded that there is no justice. The Corsicans are very proud, 
scorn physical labor, and till the soil only unwillingly. They 
are better endowed intellectually than morally, and have a way 
of their own of regarding good fortune and conscience. Their 
organization is very similar to the Roman patrician system. 
Fifteen or twenty families rule all the rest, some having control 
of only a hundred votes, others having thousands of electors 
to express their will. For two hundred years fifty families 
have been devoted to a single one. Independent life is impos- 
sible, for he who stands alone comes to nothing. The members 
of a family risk their lives with a sublime self-abnegation for 
the sake of one of their number. Two consciences struggle 
for supremacy in the island, the modern conscience, inspired 
by the principles of right and equity, and the ancient Corsican 
conscience, which cannot raise itself above the interests of the 
family association. The latter generally prevails, and the ef- 
fects of it were seen in the proceedings of the jury which valued 
the land condemned for the railways. The jury, presided over 
by Casablanca, the chief of the most powerful party in the 
island, made itself notorious by its partiality. Benedetti, an 
enemy of the party, received 2000 francs for a vineyard of 17 
ares, while a certain Virgitti, a follower of Casablanca's, re- 
ceived 13,000 francs for a vineyard of 19 ares, and so on. In 
Corsica even the victims thought these injustices natural, and 
would have practiced them themselves if they had had the 
power. The justices of the peace are all-powerful, but very 
partial and devoted to the interest of the party that has elected 
them. In making up the voting lists they do as they like, 
striking off the names of those who might injure them, and add- 
ing the names of those who may be useful; and this in spite of 
the courts of appeal and cassation. Serious crimes not infre- 
quently result. The artifices employed at elections are numerous 
and varied, and often have a tragic ending. At Palneca the 
mayor, Bartoli, three times postponed the voting, waiting for 
a favorable moment. The fourth time (Sept. 28, 1884) he and 
his partisans fortified themselves early in the morning in the 
town hall, and when their adversaries arrived they could not 
enter. These, exasperated, attempted to storm the place, but 
were repulsed with fire-arms. All day shots were exchanged 
from one house to the other, with deaths and wounds resulting. 
Bartoli's opponents told the prefect that they 'would rather 




die than endure such slavery.' In 1885 in all France there were 
42,523 misdemeanors in rural districts. Corsica alone had 
13,405 of them, nearly a third!" ^ 

The progress of civilization, by endlessly multiplying needs 
and desires, and by encouraging sensuality through the accu- 
mulation of wealth, brings a flood of alcoholics and general 
paralytics into the insane asylums, and crowds the prisons with 
offenders against property and against decency. Statistics 
show us, in fact, that most crimes of this character committed 
in the great cities among the cultivated classes are on the 
increase.^ Sighele shows us for his part that modern collective 
criminality has the same characteristics. 

1 Bourde, "En Corse," 1887. Arch, di Psich., VIII. 





Prussia, 1854 
" 1859 

8.9 % 




France : 

(Oettingen, op. cit.) 

From 1831 to 1835: 

Indecent assaults 















From 1856 to 1860: 








The ratio of burglaries and highway robberies in Corsica to 

those in France was as 0.38 to 

Of rapes 
" parricides and bankruptcies 

" extortions 

" rapes of young girls .... 
" homicides 

' 0.50 
' 0. 
' 3. 

(Robiquet, "Les Crimes en Corse," 1862.) 


Confronted by these two forms of collective criminality it is 
natural to ask ourselves, "Why does the criminality of the rich 
take the form of cunning, while that of the poor is based upon 
violence?" The answer is easy. The upper classes represent 
what is really modern, while the lower still belong in thought and 
feeling to a relatively distant past. It is, then, logical and natu- 
ral that the former should show the result of modern develop- 
ment in their collective criminality, and that the latter should 
remain, on the contrary, still \'iolent, not to say absolutely 

Bagehot has said: 

" In order to be persuaded that fineness of feeling diminishes 
in proportion as one descends the social scale, it is not necessary 
to visit savage peoples; it is enough to talk with the English 
poor, or even with one's own servants." ^ 

In the second place, if the criminality of the rich is a patho- 
logical phenomenon indicative of the defectiveness of the an- 
cient social organization that has come down to us, that of the 
lower class, on the contrary, may appear to be the premature 
announcement of a new era about to arise. It is for this reason 
that the former bears all the marks of senile cunning, while the 
latter has the reckless audacity of youthful strength. Finally, 
the rich constitute the majority, if not in number, at least in 
power and in the strength of their position. The poor, on the 
other hand, represent the minority. Now it is characteristic of 
all minorities to be bolder and more ^'iolent than the majority. 
They have to conquer, while the majority have only to keep what 
they have gained. More energy is called out by the chance to 
attain something, or reach a distant goal, than by the need of 
guarding a present possession. Victory softens and enervates, 
while the desire to conquer increases the courage a hundred- 
fold. ^ It is, in fact, with a minority as it is with a single indi- 
vidual who is attacked by a number of persons. Such a one 
shows a degree of strength which he would not at all manifest 
if others were at hand to aid him. Necessity increases the de- 

* Bagehot, "Lois Scientifiques du Developpement des Nations," Paris, 

* Sighele, op. cit. 


fensive power of those who stand alone and feel their weakness. 
The instinct of self-preservation, aroused by danger, gives to 
the organism the courage of despair. In the field of crime this 
natural law cannot fail to show itself among the lower classes, 
who have to contend against great odds and make up for their 
natural weakness by the boldness and violence of the means 
they employ. 

However painful it may be to admit that civilization has 
succeeded only in changing the kind of crimes, and perhaps in 
increasing their number, the fact itself is easy to understand, 
when one sees how much more advantageous the progress of 
education has been for attack than for defense. 

§ 27. Congestion of Population 

To the reasons which we have just enumerated must be added 
others of a different order. On account of railways, and govern- 
mental and commercial concentration, civilization tends con- 
tinually to make the great centers of population still larger and 
to overpopulate the principal cities. And, as is well known, it 
is in these that are found crowded together the greatest number 
of habitual criminals. This unfortunate concentration of crime 
is to be explained by the greater profits or the greater security 
which the large cities offer to criminals. But this, perhaps, is 
not the only reason, for if in the cities vigilance is more relaxed, 
prosecution is more active and systematic; and if temptations 
and inducements to crime are more numerous, so are the oppor- 
tunities for honest labor, I believe that there is another influ- 
ence at work which is more powerful still. The very congestion 
of population by itself gives an irresistible impulse toward crime 
and immorality. 

"There is," writes Bertillon, "a kind of violent and morbid 
tendency that moves us to reproduce the feelings and move- 
ments which we see around us. Many causes contribute to this: 
youth, femininity, and above all (as Sarcey says) the mutual 
contact of sentient persons, which gives added strength to 
the natural impressions that each one has by himself. The 
air is filled with the dominant opinion, and transmits it like a 


It has been observed that even the crowding together of 
horses develops the tendency to sodomy. All these causes, 
together with the parallelism that always exists between the 
development of the sexual organs and that of the brain, and 
also with better nutrition, partly explain for us the great in- 
crease of crimes of sensuality, a characteristic of modern crimin- 
ality harmonizing with the constant increase of prostitution so 
marked in the large cities. It is for this reason that women are 
more criminal in the more civilized countries. They are almost 
always drawn into crime by a false pride about their poverty, 
by a desire for luxury, and by masculine occupations and edu- 
cation, which give them the means and opportunity to commit 
crimes of the same character as the men, such as forgeries, 
crimes against the laws of the press, and swindling. Civiliza- 
tion increases the number of certain crimes, just as it increases 
certain forms of insanity ^ (paralysis, alcoholism), because it in- 
creases the use of stimulants, which, while almost unknown to 
savages, have become a veritable necessity to the civilized 
world. Thus we see to-day in England and America, that in 
addition to the abuse of alcohol and tobacco there is creeping in 
that of opium and even of ether; and that in France the con- 
sumption of brandy grew from eight liters in 1840 to thirty in 

§ 28. The Press 

Civilization, by favoring the creation and dissemination of 
newspapers, which are always a chronicle of vices and crimes, 
and often are nothing else, has furnished a new cause of crime by 

* Taking, for example, the statistics of the most advanced country in 
the world — the United States — we see in the valuable Census of the 
United States (Compendium of the Tenth Census (1880) of the United 
States, Pt. II, p. 1659) that the insane, who numbered 15,610 in 1850, 
24,042 in 1860, and 37,432 in 1870, had increased by 1880 to 91,997; while 
the population, which was 23,191,876 in 1850, reached 38,558,371 in 1870, 
and 50,155,783 in 1880. That is to say, while the population doubled 
itself in thirty years, the number of the insane increased six times; further, 
in the last ten years the population increased 30%, but the number of the 
insane 155%. — In England and Wales there were in 1859 18.6 insane 
persons to the 10,000; m 1885, 28.9; in 1893, 39. — In Italy ("Archivio 
Italiano per le Malattie Nervose," 1888, Verga) there were in 1874 51 of 
the insane to 100,000; in 1877, 54.1; in 1880, 61.25; in 1883, 67.7; in 
1885, 66.0; in 1888, 74. 


inciting criminals to emulation and imitation. It is sad to think 
that the crime of Troppmann brought the circulation of the 
Petit Journal up to 500,000 and that of the Figaro to 210,000, 
and it was doubtless for this reason that this crime was imitated 
almost immediately in Belgium and in Italy. Note the following 
strange crime. During the absence of the proprietor R. his 
strong box was forced. His assistant was immediately ar- 
rested and the exact sum taken was found upon him, — indeed, 
the assistant admitted of his own accord that he had taken the 
money, but without evil intent. He had, in fact, without the 
necessity of breaking into the safe, much larger sums under his 
control, and this with the consent of his employer, who had 
great confidence in him. He had committed the crime, he said, 
only in order to try a trick that he had read the day before in the 
newspaper. His employer, knowing him to be a constant reader 
of the papers, declared that he accepted this explanation, and as 
soon as the assistant had been acquitted reinstated him in his 
position. In Paris in 1873 one Grimal decided to commit a 
crime in order to get himself talked of, like certain great criminals 
of whose exploits he read in the newspapers. With this aim he 
committed arson, but notwithstanding his confession his guilt 
was not believed. He maltreated his wife with the result that 
she died, and avowed himself the cause of her death, but he 
came out of this affair also with the verdict of "not guilty.'* 
Then it was that the case of the widow Gras fell under his eye» 
and in order to imitate it he threw nitric acid into a friend's 
face, thereby killing him, and then went about telling everyone 
of his crime. The next day he first hastened to read the ac- 
count of the murder in the Petit Journal, and immediately 
afterwards went to give himself up as a prisoner. It was per- 
fectly obvious that reading criminal tales and various other 
reports in the papers suggested to him the idea of his crimes. 
The same may be said of those novels which deal almost ex- 
clusively with the acts of criminals, like those at present fash- 
ionable in France. Thus in 1866 two young men, Brouiller and 
Serreau, strangled a tradeswoman. When arrested they de- 
clared that the crime had been suggested to them by reading a 
novel by Delmons. "Some," says La Place very truly, "have 



received from nature an organism inclined to evil, but their in- 
clination is turned into action only by hearing or seeing the mis- 
deeds of others," Some years ago a package of ten stolen bonds 
was found done up in a paper, upon which the thief had written 
these gloomy lines taken from a novel by Bourrasque: "Con- 
science is a word invented to frighten fools and to make them 
submissive in their misery. Thrones and millions are only to 
be gained by violence and fraud." In the great cities many are 
incited to crime in the places where cheap lodgings may be 
obtained for the night. "Many," says Mayhew, "are brought 
to the lodging-house through being thrown out of work, and 
from the lodging-house are drawn into theft." 

The poUtical laws and the new forms of popular government 
imposed by modern civilization, and in part also by a pretended 
liberty, favor in every way the formation of societies, under 
the pretext of social amusements, administrative enterprises, or 
mutual aid. The example of Palermo, Leghorn, Ravenna, 
Bologna, the history of Luciani and Pagge, and that of Crispi 
and Nicotera, show us how short the distance is from such gener- 
ous enterprises to the most immoral violence and even to crime. 
In North America some societies have gone so far as to commit 
crime with impunity, and in two of the most flourishing cities 
(New York and San Francisco) even officially, and have almost 
succeeded in legitimizing their frauds. The political revolutions 
which are more frequent with these forms of government cause 
an increase of certain crimes, either because they bring together 
crowds of people or because they excite violent passions. " Spain 
is a prison," says an illustrious Spaniard, "where it is possible 
to commit any crime whatever with impunity, pro\nded one 
cries in favor of this or that, or gives to his crime a political 
appearance." The number of criminals acquitted there rose in 
five years to 4065, four times what they were in France.^ It is 
not astonishing, then, that in Spain crimes are proportionately 
more numerous than elsewhere. 

Wars, like revolutions, increase the number of crimes, be- 
cause of the increased massing and contact of men, — as was 
proved in Italy in 1866 (Curcio), and in North America during 
» Armengol, "Estudios Penitenciarios," 1873. 


and after the Civil War.^ Sexual crimes, which before the Revo- 
lution of 1848 in France were from 100 to 200, increased first to 
280 and then to 505, and with them illegitimate births increased 

After all this it is easy to comprehend, without the necessity 
of citing figures, how much crime is increased when the criminals 
are herded together in prisons, where, according to the avowal 
of the criminals themselves, the greatest wickedness is a title to 
glory, and virtue is a badge of shame. Civilization, by multi- 
plying great penitentiaries, gives by that same means a greater 
extension to crime. This is the more true since a blamable 
solicitude has introduced charitable and philanthropic institu- 
tions (reform schools, etc.) which suffice to undermine the 
character of respectable individuals, but not to soften the heart 
of a hardened culprit. We shall see how, after the introduction 
of the ticket-of -leave, there was noted in 1861-62 in England a 
great increase of delinquents, as had already occurred in 1834 
after the inauguration of the transportation system.^ The houses 
of correction, which seem inspired by a truly humanitarian feel- 
ing of charity, through the single fact of their bringing together 
a mass of depraved individuals exercise an influence quite other 
than salutary and almost always directly opposite to that for 
which they were instituted. It is worth noting here that the 
illustrious Olivecrona attributed the great number of Swedish 
recidivists to the vices of the penitentiary system and to the 
custom of submitting young ofiFenders to the same discipline as 
the adults.^ 

§ 29. New Crimes 

Civilization introduces every day new crimes, less atrocious 
perhaps than the old ones but none the less injurious. Thus in 
London the thief substitutes cunning for violence; in place of 
burglary he practices purloining by means of special apparatus; 

1 Corre, op. cit. p. 78. 

2 From 2649 in 1863-64, the criminals increased to 15,049 in 1873-74. 
In the colonies to which those convicted for crimes of violence were trans- 
ported, these crimes increased until they were half as numerous as all 
others, while in England they remained only one-eighth as numerous. 
(Beltrano-ScaUa, 1874.) 

2 "Des Causes ce la Rgcidivie," Stockholm, 1873. 


in place of porch-climbing he uses swindling and blackmail by 
the aid of the press. ^ Homicide with the aim of getting the 
benefit of life insurance is an example of a new form of crime 
committed by some physicians, and favored too often by new 
advances in scientific knowledge. Thus the knowledge that the 
symptoms of arsenic poisoning are similar to those of cholera 
suggested to two doctors, during the cholera epidemic in Mag- 
deburg and Monaco, the idea of first insuring and then poison- 
ing many of then- patients.^ In Vienna a new crime has been 
invented which consists in appropriating goods that have been 
ordered for an imaginary society.^ The anarchists have brought 
into fashion the use of dynamite against persons and buildings. 
Recently there has been introduced in Chicago the electric 
bludgeon, and also a small torpedo, which, being slipped into 
the intended victim's pocket, explodes and blows him to pieces. 
Civilization, by relaxing the bonds of the family, not only in- 
creases the number of foundling asylums, which are the nurseries 
of criminals, but also multipUes the desertions of adults, rapes, 
and infanticides. 

Notwithstanding these unhappy consequences, we must not 
allow ourselves to be led into an indiscriminate condemnation 
of the fruitful progress of civilization, since even in the matter 
of crime the change has not been altogether prejudicial, for, if 
for the time civilization has been the cause of the increase of 
crime, it has certainly mitigated its character. On the other 
hand, where progress has reached its height it has already found 
means of treating the diseases it has produced, with its asy- 
lums for the criminal insane, its system of separate confinement 
in the penitentiaries, its industrial institutions, its savings banks, 
and especially its societies for the protection of children, which 
prevent crime almost from the cradle. (See Part III.) 

» "Quart. Review," 1871. 

» Pettenkoffer, "Theorie der Cholera," 1871. 

» Rundschau, Vienna, 1876. 




§ 30. Density of Poptilation 

THE influence of civilization in reference to crime may be 
seen better by examining one by one its difiFerent factors, 
and in the first place that of density; for history teaches us that 
crime appears only when a certain density of population has 
been reached. 

Prostitution, assaults, thefts (as Reclus, Westermarck, and 
Krapotkin have rightly remarked), show themselves but rarely 
in primitive society ; as among the Veddahs, who assemble only 
at the rainy seasons, and among certain Australian aborigines, 
who meet only for the yam harvest. It is for the same reason 
that when animals are not associated together or domesticated 
the equivalent of crime rarely appears among them, because 
their brutal instincts lack the means of manifesting themselves. 
When circumstances change, and the formation of tribes and 
clans gives opportunity for it, crime, which has hitherto lain 
dormant, breaks out with violence. Even among the less com- 
pact barbarous societies crime is relatively rare, even if more 
ferocious; while in our more civilized society crime multiplies, 
and the five or six forms of crime prevalent among barbarians 
have become with us legion. 

A single glance at the thefts, homicides, and political upheav- 
als of Europe in reference to density of population shows us 
that (with the exception of some contradictions, the result of 
the effect of temperature, which increases homicides and insur- 
rections in the south and thefts in the north) theft increases 




with densitj', while homicide diminishes. We see, in fact, in the 
following table, that of seven countries having a low density, only 
two, Spain and Hungary, have very high figures for homicide; 
and of eight countries having a maximum density, Italy alone 
shows a great number of homicides. The reverse is true with 
regard to thefts. With regard to revolts we can come to no 
immediate conclusion; for we see in countries of equal density 
(Poland, Austria, Switzerland) the greatest differences in the 
number of revolutions, while revolutions are lacking in other 
countries wath great differences of density, like England, Russia, 
and Hungary. In the Middle Ages Corsica, with a very sparse 
population, had a great number of revolutions, forty-five in four 
centuries, according to Ferrari. 

Cbimes and Density en European Countbies 


Homicides ^ 

Thefts " to 

Insurrections * 

to the 


to 1,090,000 


to 10,000,000 

square mile 








Sweden and 









Spain * 










Austria * 



















France * 





Germany * 





Italy * 





England * 













The influence of density of population appears more clearly 
in our country, especially if one examines the various crimes in 

1 " Almanach de Gotha," 1886-87. 
* Fern, "Omicidio," 1895. 

I fe^?'^'"?D ^^^ Laschi, "Le Crime Politique," Turin, 1895. 
Uodio. 'Relazione dclla Commissione per la Statistica Giudiziaria," 189& 




detail with reference to the different degrees of density. In 
Italy for example, we find: ^ 

Number of Crimes to 100,000 Inhabitants 

Population to the 
sq. kilometer 



to police 



From 20 to 50 
50 " 100 
" 100 " 150 
" 150 " 200 
" 200 upwards 







We see, therefore, that homicide decreases as the density 
increases, especially in the great cities, so that Milan, Naples, 
Leghorn, and Genoa, with the most different races and climates 
(Greek, Celtic, Ligurian), give a like decrease in the number of 
homicides; and on the contrary we see the number regularly 
increase where the density is least, that is to say, in the hotter 
parts of the country, and in the islands, where society is more 
barbarous and criminal bands more common. 

Theft, rape, and resistance to the oflScers of the law also di- 
minish with the increase in density, to rise again rapidly, however, 
with the excessive density of the great cities (Padua, Naples, 
Milan, Venice). Swindling follows an irregular course, but 
nearly always in the direction opposite to the density, — a fact 
which arises from the strong participation of the islands, espe- 
cially Sardinia, in this crime, and also from the strong bias in 
favor of old racial customs in the provinces of Forli and Bologna, 
where swindling is widespread. The latter place is proverbial 
for swindling, and Dante in his Inferno makes Venedico say: 
"I am not the only Bolognese weeping here; this whole place is 
full of them." 2 

So also in the recent French statistics we find the following: * 

^ Bodio, "Annuario Statistico Italiano," 1894, Rome. 

* E non pur to qui piango Bolognese: 

Anzi n'e questo luogo tantq^pieno. 

» Fern, "Omicidio," 1895. 

Canto XVIII. 




Population to the square 

Number of crimes to 100,000 inhabitants 




20 to 40 

40 " 60 

60 " 80 

80 " 100 

100 and over 









We see that theft becomes more and more frequent as the 
density increases. Homicides and rapes, on the contrary, show 
the highest proportion with the minimum or the maximum of 
the density. This contradiction is explained by the fact that 
where the population is most compact occur the great indus- 
trial (Seine-Inferieure, 92) and political (Paris, 18) centers, and 
ports of immigration (Bo<iches-du-Rh6ne, 45), where the oppor- 
tunities for conflict are more frequent; and where there is the 
minimum of density (Corsica, 200); Lozere, 41; Hautes-Alpes, 
24) there is the maximum of barbarism, and we have seen that 
assaults and assassination are there often regarded more as 
necessities than as crimes. 

The same thing is true of political insurrections, as I have 
proved in my " Crime Politique. " A study of the revolutionary 
and of the ultra-conservative populations of the French depart- 
ments shows that the former are always more numerous in the 
districts where the density is greater. In studying the relation- 
ships of the density of population and the monarchical reaction 
in France, we find that in the departments with the denser popu- 
lation popular opinion is more inclined toward republican ideas. 
On the other hand, Basses-Alpes, Landes, Indre, Cher, and 
Lozere, which have no more than forty inhabitants to the square 
kilometer, in the elections of 1877-81-83 gave a high percentage 
of votes to the monarchical party. The same is true in Vendee, 
Nord, Hautes-Pyrenees, Gers, Lot, and Aveyron, which have 
not over sixty to the square kilometer; and a similar phenome- 
non has been noticed in the case of the plebiscites (Jacoby). 
When, on the contrary, the population reaches a high degree of 


density, as in the departments of the Rhone, the Loire, Seine-et- 
Oise, and Seine-Inferieure, we see the revolutionary spirit take 
on a great development, as Jacoby has already remarked {o'p. 
cit.). The greatest revolutionary tendency is found in the de- 
partments with a compact population, followed by those with a 
moderate density; while in the departments with a minimum 
density the conservatives prevail. 

It is easy to understand that where the urban population is 
densest political agitation is also most frequent. This is to 
be noticed especially in Paris, where, as VioUet-le-Duc writes,^ 
"the whole civilized world empties its scum, making a cos- 
mopolitan city where a mob without country, principles, or 
traditions presumptuously directs the elections, and takes ad- 
vantage of the misfortunes of the country to overturn the 
government and put itself in power." Thus it was that after 
the Commune, out of 36,809 individuals arrested, there were 
1725 foreigners and 25,648 provincials. 

"It is the failing of countries too thickly populated," con- 
cludes Maxime du Camp, " that in them the provincial life can 
be developed only imperfectly. 

"Great capitals are dangerous for the political peace. They 
are like a suction-pump: they draw everything in and let 
nothing out. France has too big a head, and like a hydroceph- 
alous patient is subject to real outbursts of maniacal fury. 
Such an outburst was the Commune." 

On the whole the influence of race and climate blots out that 
of density, but the influence of this latter is still to be detected, 
both in the number of thefts, which it increases, and of homi- 
cides, which it diminishes. 

§ 31. Immigration and Emigration 

It is an undeniable fact that there exists a striking contrast 
between Italy and France, a complete contradiction, which, 
as we shall see, applies to wealth as well as to crime. In Italy 
homicides decrease regularly with the increase in density of the 
population, while in France they increase extraordinarily when 
the maximum density is reached (though Paris, to be sure, in 

1 "M^moires sur la Defense de Paris," 1871. 


this regard falls below Seine-et-Oise, which surrounds it). The 
contradiction is, however, explicable. The situation in Italy is 
due to the increasing influence of civilization exercised by the 
great centers, which diminishes the traditional propensity to 
regard the taking of life in revenge as a duty or even as a right; 
and further it is due to the degree of what Ferri calls "criminal 
saturation," caused by the excessive number of crimes of blood, 
so great as to be incapable of further increase. The contrast 
offered by France, however, is due to the special condition there 
produced by a new element, namely, immigration, which is 
lacking in Italy. This increases the density of the population, 
it is true, but m a manner particularly fraught with conse- 
quences, since it introduces into the country more than 1,000,000 
foreigners at an age and under conditions which render them 
especially prone to crime, and further concentrates the process 
at certain points only. In fact, the maximum of homicides, 45, 
is given by Boftches-du-Rhone, a department which is one of 
the great centers of immigration, having 50,000 Italian resi- 
dents. If, however, we take Joly's graphic presentation of 
criminaUty by the native country of the criminal, thus elim- 
inating the factor of immigration, we find that Bofiches-du- 
Rhone goes down from the maximum degree, 86, to 62 ; Herault 
from 81 to 63, Alpes Maritimes from 83 to 45 ; without speaking 
of the department of the Seine, where out of 40,000 persons 
arrested only 13,000 were born in the department, for if Paris 
imports a great many rogues, she exports a great many also. 
Herault itself would have a good record, but one city (Cette) 
spoils everything. Of 10 persons indicted it furnishes nearly 
7; it supplies by itself half of the cases tried at the court in 
Montpellier, a fact due especially to the great number of recidi- 
vists, who throng here and sleep in the open, and to the for- 
eigners. In 1889 there were 21 foreigners indicted to 118 resi- 
dents; that is to say, while the proportion of natives was 2 to 
the 1000, that of foreigners was 19 to 1000. The same thing is 
true in Marseilles of the laborers working at the port. "It is 
these foreigners," writes Joly, "who furnish the strongest con- 
tingent to the thefts, assassinations, anarchistic riots, assaults, 


In 1881 there were 17 rapes to 1,000,000 French 
" " " " 60 " " " foreigners 

In 1872 " " 18 " " " French 
" " " " 46 " " " foreigners 

It was known already that the immigrants showed a high 
degree of criminality. 

From the recent statistics of the United States ^ it is seen 
that the States which receive the greatest number of immigrants, 
especially Irish and Italians, give the highest number of crimes. 

California 0.30 criminals to 1000 population, 33% immigrants 

Nevada 0.31 " " " " 41% 

Wyoming 0.35 " " " " 28% 

Montana 0.19 " " " " 29% 

Arizona 0.16 " " " " 39% 

New York 0.27 " " " " 23% 

On the other hand. 

New Mexico 0.03 " " " " 6.7% immigrants 

Pennsylvania 0.11 " " " " 13,0% 

This runs counter to the notion of the effect of density of 
population upon crime. Montana with 0.3 inhabitants to the 
square mile, Wyoming with 0.2, Nevada with 0.6, and Arizona 
with 0.4 have, notwithstanding their low density, an enormous 
contingent of crimes, on account of immigration; while New 
York, with 151 inhabitants to the square mile, and Pennsyl- 
vania, vnth 95 inhabitants to the square mile, where the density 
is very great, have a much lower criminality. The District of 
Columbia also, which contains 2960 inhabitants to the square 
mile, shows relatively low figures. 

Of 49,000 individuals arrested in New York 32,000 were 

Of 38,000 prisoners in North America, 20,000 were children 
of foreigners.^ 

In France it has already been observed that in 1886 

of 100,000 settled residents 8 came before the courts 

" " who had changed residence 29 " " " " 
" " foreigners 41 " " " " 

» "Compendium of the Tenth Census (1880) of the United States." 
Pt. II, p. 1659. 

* Brace, "The Dangerous Classes." 

* Bertrami-Scalia, op. dt. 


At present in France immigration has trebled; from 1851 to 
1886 it increased from 380,381 to 1,126,123. 

Joly ^ has rightly remarked that when the tide moving men 
to emigrate is weak it draws the stronger and more intelligent, 
but when it becomes too violent it sweeps along good and bad 
alike. In fact, the greater part of the criminaUty of the immi- 
grants is furnished by the border provinces, where emigration 
is easy. Thus in 1886 there were 4 convictions to 100,000 Swiss, 
18 among the same number of Spaniards, 23 Italians, and almost 
no English or Russians. In Paris, in the same way, in pro- 
portion to their numbers, the Belgian and Swiss colonies fur- 
nished three times as many of the persons arrested as did the 
English or Americans. The Italian colony, which is hardly four 
times as large as the Austrian, furnished 15 times as many 
arrests.2 On the other hand, the less stable the immigration is 
the more crimes it furnishes. The Belgians, who become nat- 
uralized Frenchmen, commit fewer crimes than the Spaniards, 
who are nearly always merely temporary residents. 

The situation is similar with reference to migrations within 
a country, especially migrations of a wandering sort, like that 
of pedlars. For example, in a study made at St. Gaudens, from 
which many of the French pedlars start out (about 7000 in a 
population of 36,000), it was found that they furnished a very 
high proportion of crimes, both of fraud and of violence. From 
41 in 1831-«9 these had increased to 200 and 290 in 1881; and 
the abandoned children, adulteries, and divorces were also very 

Sarthe is one of the best of the departments of France in 
point of criminality; but if we take account of crimes committed 
by natives who have emigrated it rises 34 degrees in the crim- 
inal scale. For analogous reasons the department of Creuze 
rises from the third to the eighteenth place, owing to its 45,000 
immigrants caused by the instability of labor. 

Many come to the great cities honest but with false ideas of 
the new situation that has enticed them, and are, in conse- 
quence, easUy led astray, and little by little become criminals. 
The young giri, ha\'ing yielded to seduction, becomes a prosti- 
' "France CrimineUe," 1890. » Joly, op. cU. 


tute; the workman, lacking work, falls into idleness, and, sur- 
rounded by companions who incite him to evil and tempted by 
the allurement of a thousand pleasures that he sees others en- 
joying, becomes a thief. There are repentant workmen who 
hope to make themselves forget and to redeem themselves by 
work, but they soon relapse, either through again running into 
temptation or through inability to cover up the past. Finally 
there are evil-doers who come to the city only to commit crime. 
In the small towns, as Joly very well says, it is necessary to 
seek opportunity for crime; in Paris the opportunity comes to 
you and draws you. High livers are themselves a cause of 
crime, especially crimes against public decency. In Paris such 
crimes may be committed with such clever shifts that they no 
longer appear to be criminal.^ 

"The full-blooded Parisian mingled in the excesses of the 
Commune only in a very moderate degree," writes Maxime 
du Camp. "The scum of the provinces fermented in Paris. 
The ruined men, the empty-headed, the envious, rushed to the 
city, puffed up with a sense of their own importance, and, be- 
cause they had become excited in the village wineshops, be- 
lieved themselves capable of ruling the world. Paris must 
realize their dream or perish; but Paris did not even know 
their names, and to expiate this grave offense it must fall." 

The emigrant in general (as I have already pointed out in 
the second edition of my "Homme Criminel") is that human 
product of society which has the greatest tendency toward asso- 
ciated crime. For emigrants are the most necessitous part of 
society, the least closely watched, have no feeling of shame, 
escape justice most easily, and make a great use of thieves' 
slang. Thieves are almost always nomads.^ Emigrants from 
Abruzzo formed the greatest contingent of the Mancini Band. 
(Jorioz). The small immigration of the Garfagnini to the quar- 
ries of Carrara produces crime even after the return of the work- 
men, for they come back drunkards, cynics, and members of 
secret societies. In centuries past these same migrations were 
already a cause of crime.^ The band of Fiordispini, for example, 

» Joly, op. dt. 2 Op. cit. Vol. I, Pt. 3, Chap. X. 

» De Stefani, "Dell' Emigrazione di Garfagnana," 1879, Milan. 


was originally composed entirely of tinkers, candle sellers, har- 
vesters, and pedlars, who were already too much noted for 
sporadic crime. Even emigrants who are migrating because of 
religious fanaticism, and hence ought to be farthest from crime, 
nevertheless contribute notably to the number of cases of asso- 
ciated crime. The word "mariulo" seems to be derived from 
the custom of crying in chorus, "Vive Maria!" prevalent among 
the pilgrims to Loretto and Assisi — a custom which did not 
prevent them, however, from committing rapes and robberies, 
believing these expiated by their pilgrimage.^ Pilgrimage was 
for them a convenient means of committing crime and a still 
more convenient means of doing penance for it. It was like 
the famous lance which first wounded, but immediately after- 
ward healed the wounds. I have found a proof of this in a 
decree of the king of France, dated September, 1732 (recalling 
other decrees of 1671 and 1686), in which pilgrimages were pro- 
hibited as a frequent cause of grave crimes.^ 

» Lozzi, "Deir Ozio in Italia," Florence, 1870. 

» It seems worth while to give the text of it here: "His Majesty, 
calling to mind the declarations of the late king, his great-grandfather, 
dated August, 1671, and January, 1686, which prohibit (under penalty of 
condemnation to the galleys for me, in the case of men, and in the case 
of women other penalties at the discretion of the judges) to any of his 
subjects to go on a pilgrimage to Santiago in Gaficia, to Our Lady of 
Loretto, and to other places outside the realm, without express pennis- 
sion of His Majesty, countersigned by one of his secretaries of state with 
the consent of the bishop of the diocese; 

"His Majesty being informed that, notwithstanding these orders, 
many of his subjects neglect to ask permission or abuse the permission in 
different ways when obtained, and under a specious pretext of devotion 
abandon their families, their parents, their masters, their professions, 
their trades, in order to be free to lead a wandering life, full of idleness 
and licentiousness, which often leads them into crime; 

"That others, leaving the realm in the hope of establishing themselves 
more advantageously, find in the end neither the advantages nor the help 
which good conduct in their native land would have brought them; and 
that the greater part of them die miserably upon the road, or run the 
risk of being enlisted, whether they will or not, in the armies of neighbor- 
ing powers; 

"That often it happens that soldiers in the service of His Majesty 
mingle with these vagabonds and on account of the great number of these 
have aji opportunity to desert; 

"His Majesty, judging it necessary for the good of the service and of 
the public to put an end to these disorders by suppressing the pretext that 
gives rise to them, expressly forbids any of his subjects, to whatever age, 
sex, or condition they may belong, to go on a pilgrimage to Santiago in 
Galicia, to Our Lady of Loretto and Monteferrato, and other places out- 
side of our realm, for any cause or pretext whatsoever, and this under 




This is doubtless the reason why places endowed with cele- 
brated shrines have generally the worst reputations, as d'Azeglio 
remarks in his "Recollections." 

The influence of emigration explains clearly why, in the rela- 
tion of homicides to densitj% Italy differs from France. In the 
latter country in the ten years, 1880 to 1890, there was a yearly 
average of only 11,163 emigrants, while in Italy the number in 
1892 reached 246,751, with the yearly average about 124,000.^ 

§ 32. Birth-rate and Immigration 

These investigations of emigration solve in great part another 
problem which seems to present a complete contradiction in 
Italy and France. Granting the influence of density of popu- 
lation upon certain crimes, it would appear that these crimes 
ought to follow the variations of the birth-rate, and that, for 
example, theft, which increases with the greater density, ought 
also to increase with a higher birth-rate. In France, however, 
we see rape and assassination increase with the maximum den- 
sity, but in inverse ratio to the birth-rate. Corre, and Joly 
after him (op. cit.), have observed in France the maximum 
criminality in the departments having the lowest birth-rate. 


against persons 









The fact is that in France the lower birth-rate stands in direct 
relation with the immigration of foreigners. This is the more 
easily explained, as Maurel observes,^ since where there is a 
lower birth-rate there is also a smaller number of men. Now 

penalty of being condemned to the galleys for life in the case of men, 
etc., etc. 

"Declaring null and void all permits previously granted." 

1 "Statistica dell' Emigrazione Italiana," Rome, 1894. 

2 " Revue Scientif .," Nov. 12, 1895. 


according to Joly's observations with regard to Cette and Mar- 
seilles, the deficiency of the population resulting from the falling 
off of the birth-rate is made up by foreign immigrants, Genoese 
and Calabrians especially, who bring about an enormous in- 
crease in the number of crimes. Another contradiction is fur- 
nished by the very prolific class of workmen, in contrast with 
the miserly, and consequently sterile, peasant class. Thus in 
districts where there are great numbers of workmen, as in 
Seine-Inferieure,Nord, and Pas-de-Calais, one sees, in compar- 
ison with the departments of Cher and Indre, a great number of 
crimes, notwithstanding the higher figure for births. 

But on the whole the antagonism between birth-rate and 
crime predominates. Thus Paris, a part of Champagne and 
Normandy, and aU the Mediterranean departments except 
Gard show a sharp decline of the birth-rate, and a no less sharp 
increase of the number of crimes. (Joly.) In Tarn-et-Garonne, 
a very poor department without resources or means of communi- 
cation, there is to be noted an increase in the population and a 
smaller number of crimes; while rich and fertile departments 
become stripped of their native population, and have more 
crimes and a larger foreign contingent. (Joly.) Brittany, on the 
other hand, Cher, Seine, Drome, Vienne, and Vendee have more 
legitimate births, fewer crimes, and more early marriages. All 
this has less connection with the birth-rate than with the immi- 
gration that makes up the deficit in the native population; and 
also, as we shall see, with the avarice that lies at the root of the 
whole matter. 

But the influence of immigration is demonstrated to us by 
the inversion of the rule regarding birth-rate and crime in Italy, 
where there is no immigration, but on the other hand an emi- 
gration amounting on the average to 193 to the 100,000 in- 
habitants yearly.i We find in the statistics of Coghlan that 
the increase in the number of immigrants to New South Wales 
(1884-86) was accompanied by an increase in the number of 
crimes, but on the other hand the increase in the number of 
emigrants leaving (1883-88) also corresponded with the increase 
in the number of crimes (1884-88). If we take advantage of 
» Del Vecchio, "SuU' Emigrazione," Rome, 1892. 


Bosco's new investigations ^ to study the influence of immigra- 
tion upon homicides in the United States in 1889, we find these 
facts: among those held for homicide, 95 to the million were 
born in the United States, while 138 to the milUon were for- 
eigners, distributed as follows: 

Denmark, Sweden, and Norway 5.8 to the 100,000 

England 10.4 * 

Ireland 17.5 ' 

Germany 9.7 ' 

Austria 12.2 " 

France 27.4 ' 

Italy 58.1 ' 

That is to say, there were twice as many in proportion to the 
population (except in the case of the French and Italians) as in 
the native country. This confirms the observation that here, 
as in France, immigration produces a disadvantageous selection, 
even allowing for the fact that the age of the immigrants corre- 
sponds to that which in Europe gives the largest number of 

In Italy it is nearly always the case that the maximum num- 
ber of births occurs in the districts which are most notorious 
for their criminality, as well as for their poverty. Thus from 
1876 to 1888 the annual average was 40 births to the 1000 
inhabitants in southern and insular Italy, and only 36 through- 
out the rest of the country. In the same way in Sicily, out of 
four provinces most given to homicide, Girgenti, Trapani, Cal- 
tanissetta, and Palermo, three have the maximum birth-rate.^ 
However, another factor comes into play here, the lack of self- 
restraint due to the excessive heat, which causes all Malthusian 
precautions to be forgotten in the act of procreation. 

However, the excess of births in southern Italy is neutralized 
by the high mortality rate and by emigration. For this reason, 
notwithstanding the greater birth-rate, the average family in 
1881 was 4.10 in Sicily, and 4.50 in Basilicata, as against 5.17 
in Venice, and 4.92 in Tuscany. 

Comparing next the countries of Europe having the maxi- 
mum birth-rate (1876-90) : 

1 "L'Omicidio negli Stati Uniti," 1895. 

2 Bodio, "Statistica penale," 1879-83. 




England 34,0 

lUiy 37.3 

Germany 31.1 

Hungary 44.0 

and those having the minimum birth-rate: 

France .... 24.6 Ireland . . . 24.9 Switzerland . . . 29.4 

we find a coincidence with homicides only in the case of Italy 
and Hungary, which are in complete contrast with England 
and Germany, these having a high birth-rate and few homicides. 
Among the nations with a minimum birth-rate Ireland alone 
has a low figure for homicide. And if in England and Germany 
a greater number of thefts corresponds to the greater birth-rate, 
this is not true of Hungary and Switzerland. It follows then 
that on the whole there is here no parallelism. 

§ 33- City and Country 

The influence of density is further shown by the effect in 
France of residence in the city or in the country. It is espe- 
cially to MM. Fayet, Cosquet, and Lacassagne that we owe 
the most diligent investigations of this subject. It is shown 
by their studies that from 1843 to 1856 the persons indicted in 
the country were more numerous, while since 1863 those in the 
city have been in the majority.^ 

Homicides to 

Births to 
















The emigration from the country to the cities is such that 
the rural emigrants constitute a fifth part of the urban popula- 

» See Lacassagne, in my "Archivio di Psichiatria ed Antropologia 
Cnminale III, p. 311. Fayet had already noted in France in 1830-46 
1 rural indictment to 405 inhabitants, and 1 city indictment to 165. ("Jour- 
nal des Econ.," 1847.) 


tion; and it is the better and more intelligent who emigrate, 
thus lowering the level of the country and in return bringing 
back to it the vices and customs of the city. 

To sum up, the indictments for crimes against property have 
diminished in the country about two-thirds, and in the cities 
one-half. Thus there were: 

In 1843 73% in the country, 64% in the city 
" 1878 27% " " " 36% " " " 

Indictments for crimes against the person were more numer- 
ous in the rural population from 1823 to 1878, but the number 
decreased after 1859 much more than in the cities. For crimes 
against the person in France the following statistics are given: 

In the country In the city 

In 1850 1819 830 

" 1851 1894 836 

" 1870 1180 732 

" 1871 1239 603 

As regards homicide, Socquet demonstrates that at an earlier 
period, 1846-50, the persons indicted in the country were three 
times as numerous as those in the cities, in the proportion of 
20 to 7.6; while at a more recent period, 1876-80, they were 
only twice as numerous, 63 to 31. From this it appears that 
criminality in the country diminished, and in the city increased 
nearly a third. Those indicted for murder were: 

Rural Urban 

1846-50 72% . 65% 

1876-80 26% 31% 

That is to say, there was a diminution in the latter period in 
both city and country, but much greater in the country. In 
indecent assaults upon adults the rural districts exceed the 
urban, doubtless because of the lack of houses of prostitution. 
Thus there were in the same periods: 

Rural Urban 

1846-50 74% 24% 

1876-80 67% 27% 

with a decrease in the country and a slight increase in the city. 
The number of indictments for indecent assaults upon children 


decUned in the country from 59% in 1846-50 to 53% in 1876-80; 
while in the cities during the same time it rose from 39% to 
45% (Socquet), favored by idleness, the abuse of alcoholic 
drinks, and especially by the satiety produced by over-refine- 
ment. That in abortions the city leads is unmistakable. There 
are twice, and latterly even three times, as many as in the 
country, while in infanticide the country leads. This is doubt- 
less due to the greater ease of securing accomplices for an abor- 
tion in the city, and the slighter fear of being discovered. 
Indictments for: 

Abortions in France.^ 

To the million inhabitants 



Abortions in France: 












The curve for crimes against property shows that economic 
crises are more deeply felt in the country than in the city.^ 
Revolutions and the vintage have a different effect upon the 
number of indictments in the city and in the country. In the 
country indictments increase in the years of the abundant 
vintages. Revolutions, on the other hand, make themselves 
but slightly felt in the country, and only in the years following 
political crises, while in the city they are felt at once and keenly 

The urban and the rural districts have each their own specific 
type of criminality. The crimes in the country are more bar- 
barous, having their origin in revenge, avarice, and brutal 
sensuality. In the city the criminality is characterized by lazi- 
ness, a more refined sensuality, and by forgery. This phenom- 

» Socquet, "Contribution k I'Etude de la Criminality en France," 

' Lacassagne, op. cit. 


enon of the increase of crimes against public decency in the 
cities, and the relative decrease of crimes of blood, is greatly 
accentuated when we study the very large urban centers. In 
France, for example, the department of the Seine has already 
reached a figure for homicide (19.9) lower than that of the 
departments which surround it; Seine-et-Oise giving 24.3, 
and Oise giving 25.8 (Ferri). The figures for infanticide are 
relatively even lower, while for rape upon children the figures 
are enormous. The number of thefts is also very high (244). 
In Italy, in the crimes against common honesty, the chief cities, 
Turin, Venice, Bologna, and Rome, have the predominance 
over the neighboring districts. The same is true with regard to 
crimes against public decency (Turin, Genoa, Venice, Bologna, 
Naples, Rome, and Palermo). In homicides Rome alone holds 
the first place (for causes of which we shall speak later), followed 
by Turin. In all the other principal cities homicides are de- 
creasing. Vienna has 10.6 homicides to the million inhabitants, 
while Austria as a whole has 25; but Vienna has 116 thefts to 
113 for the country at large. In Berlin the crimes against 
property, theft, fraud, and vagrancy really decreased from 
1818 to 1878, notwithstanding the great change of population; 
while, on the other hand, crimes against persons increased 
(except during the war of 1870).^ The number of homicides, 
however, is smaller than in the provinces, being 11.6 to the 
million inhabitants, while in Breslau it is 18.2, in Magdeburg 
12, and in Constance 16. In thefts, on the other hand, Berlin 
goes beyond all the provinces except one. In England the 
phenomenon is still plainer. There are at present to the 100,000 
in London 15 suspected persons at liberty, with 50 in the other 
English cities, and 60 in the country districts. Just so there 
are in London 3 to 4 suspected houses to the 100,000 popula- 
tion, 3.9 in the country, and 18 in the other cities. 

^ Starke, op. cit. 



§ 34. Subsistence 

ONE of the factors which compUcate the effects of climate 
and density, often to the point of their becoming inex- 
tricable, is that of the diflficulty or ease of obtaining subsistence. 
Following Oettingen's comparisons of the number of crimes 
in Prussia with the price of the necessary foods, we see that the 
food problem plays a part equal to, or even greater than, that 
of civilization. For with cheap food crimes against property 
(except arson) decrease, while those against persons, especially 
rape, increase. 



Cases of 

Crimes against 

Crimes against 

Price of grain, 




potatoes, etc. 





































In Prussia in 186-2, when the price of potatoes, etc., was very 
high, crimes against property were in the proportion of 44.38 
to 15.8 for those against persons. When the price of provisions 
fell, the former went down to 41, while the latter rose to 18. 
The famine of 1847 increased the crimes against persons 24%. ' 
We have still plainer proof in the statistics for Prussia from 
1854 to 1878, as given by Starcke.^ 

Years in which the price of wheat per 50 kilograms was : 

\ ^*PP*«^- "AUgemeine Bevolkerungs Statistik," 1861. 
Verbrechen und Verbrecher," 1884, Berlin. 





More than 
12 marks 

Less than 
10 marks 

Between 10 
and 12 marks 

Crimes in general 


1 to 172.9 





















Forest thefts 




Crimes against public order . 









We see here that, while the price of wheat partly influences 
crimes in general, it has a direct effect only upon forest thefts, 
of which the maximum corresponds to the maximum price of 
provisions. On the other hand, it is clear that the minimum 
price of wheat, corresponding to a maximum of well-being, 
coincides with a breaking out of assaults, homicides, and cases 
of arson. This may be explained by the fact that when the 
price of bread is low the abuse of alcohol is made possible. The 
medium price of grain corresponds with the greatest frequency 
of forgeries, bankruptcies, and crimes against pubUc order. 
In France, in Corre's graphic tables (Fig. 1) we see that 
from 1843 to 1883 the line for the frequency of misdemeanors 
(nearly all against property), as well as that for suicides, 
rises continually, and keeps nearly parallel with the line for 
the price of bread as far as 1865. At this point, however, 
while the line for misdemeanors continues to rise, that for the 
price of bread goes down, proving that other factors enter in 
here, reducing the cost of subsistence to the place of second 
importance. The line for crime proper shows no parallelism 
with the price of bread. Rossi comes to the same conclusions 
in a study of the criminality of Rome, Caghari, etc., with respect 
to heat and the price of grain for the period from 1875 to 1883.^ 

» " Archive de Psych, et Antrop. Crim.," 1884. 


The number of crimes against property (excluding aggravated 
theft and highway robbery) is affected at the same time by 

Fig. 1. 

"'o*s§88iS SSiii^^'°-^- 

o o 

8 8 8 Q 


o 8 ! 

O O 1 



o 0*0 3. 
f° o 3 2 

the winter temperature and the price of food. In Rome, in 
fact, during these nine years the highest number of crimes 


(70,738) was reached in 1830, when a very high price of wheat 
and a rigorous winter coincided; while in 1877, when the price 
of wheat was high but the winter particularly mild, the number 
of crimes reached only 61,498. In 1881, when the price of 
wheat decreased noticeably, and the mean winter temperature 
increased, there was also a notable decrease in the crimes against 
property. From 70,730 the number went down to 59,815, a 
diminution which continued through the years 1882 and 1883, 
while at the same time the price of grain and the rigor of the 
cold decreased also. The action of the temperature upon as- 
saults and other crimes against persons from 1875 to 1883 
amounted to nothing, while for each increase in the price of 
food there was a corresponding decrease in the number of these 
crimes, and vice versa. 

But of all studies of the influences at work in the different 
kinds of crime in Italy, the most conclusive is that of the hours of 
labor necessary to obtain the equivalent of a kilogram of wheat 
or bread. In this way the price of food is corrected for variations 
in wages. ^ We see here, in Figures 2 and 3: 1st, that all crimes 
against property (except where contradictory factors come too 
powerfully into play) run with great fidelity parallel to the curve 
of the hours of work necessary to procure the equivalent of a 
kilogram of bread or grain. Thefts increased from 137 to 153 
during the period 1875-77 with the increase of the hours of 
work, and decreased from 184 to 111 in the period 1879-88 
with the decrease in the number of hours. Commercial crimes, 
forgeries, etc., were not affected. 2nd. Crimes against moral- 
ity increase as the necessary hours of labor diminish. Thus 
from 1881 to 1888, a period in which the hours of work fell 
from 122 to 92, these crimes increased from 3.11 to 5.25. In 
England, Scotland, and Ireland the statistics for 50 years, 
which Fornasari di Verce has examined for me, show an anal- 
ogous relation between crime and the variations in the price of 
grain; that is to say, crimes against property without violence 
increase generally with the price of grain, as in 1846-47; while 
crimes with violence are almost wholly unaffected by food 

1 Fornasari di Verce, "La Criminalita e le Viconde Economiche in 
Italia," Turin, Bocca, 1895. 





9 »o CO 

00 00 

1— ( t-H 



O O -H c<l w ■* 
t^ 00 00 00 00 00 
00 00 00 00 00 00 

— ( 


^. 00 o 

g §8 8§ 

-H l-H rH 



i ^ 









- v. 








" 195 
- ion 





- 185 























155 43,0 
150 42,5 
145 42,0 
130 40,5 
125 40,0 
120 39,0 
115 1 








1 \l 

— r 



— r 















































) 00 

t 1-1 







1— 1 














prices. In 1842-45 and 1862-63 they fell with the fall of the 
price of grain, but rose in 1881-86 notwithstanding the cheap- 
ness of bread. Fraudulent crimes against property, forgery, 
counterfeiting, etc., and likewise crimes against persons, were 
not influenced by prices. For New South Wales similar con- 
clusions may be drawn from the investigations of Coghlan. 
(Fig. 4.) 

The effect of the price of provisions upon murder is uncertain 
or negligible, the latter being also true of assaults. The in- 
fluence upon theft is very great, as is also the inverse effect upon 
crimes against good morals, which increase with the falling off 
in the price of food. Famine lessens sexual vigor, and abundance 
excites it; and while the need of food drives men to theft, the 
abundance of it leads to sexual crimes. The same observations 
hold good for the scarcity of work and reduction of wages. It 
has been remarked that women and domestic servants are more 
apt than others to be drawn into crime by the scarcity of food, 
doubtless because they feel it more. Especially is this the case 
with domestic servants, who, because of intermittent periods 
of good living, lose the power of resistance to privation. But, 
admitting the action of scarcity of food upon the increase of 
thefts and of abundance upon the increase of homicides, as- 
saults, and debauchery, it is easy to understand its slight in- 
fluence upon the variation of criminality in general, if one group 
of crimes increases with a given state of the market, and another 
group decreases under the same conditions, and vice versa. 
Even when the price of food moves in a constant direction it 
does not modify essentially the proportion of certain crimes. 
For example, in Italy the effect of the rise in price of food upon 
aggravated thefts is very marked; yet the greatest difference 
is between 184 and lOo, that is to say, a variation of 79 to the 
100,000. Likewise, when the sexual crimes increase on account 
of the low price of food, the greatest difference is 2.14 to the 
100,000, — a fact easy to understand when one thinks of the 
greater influence of heredity, climate, and race. 

At times there arises a strange contradiction in the effect of 
high prices on homicide. Ordinarily when bread is dear, money 
is lacking to buy alcoholic drinks, and homicide and highway 




robberies diminish. But it happens sometimes that in order 
to procure drink men will commit these crimes in greater num- 
ber, as in New South Wales. Morbihan and Vendee, according 
to Joly, are the most moral departments,^ and wages there have 
increased little, while the necessaries of life have doubled in 

Fig. 3. 


Number of hours 

Cases before 

of work necessary 
to earn 


and em- 


One cwt. 














































































price; but there is less abuse of alcoholic drinks there. In 
Boaches-du-Rhone, on the other hand, wages have increased 
30% and provisions 15% ; in Herault wages have increased 
60% and provisions much less; yet these departments are 
^counted among the most immoral, just because of the greater 
abuse of alcohol there. 

One thing is certain, however, and that is that whUe famines 
are rare and steadily decrease in number, thefts are constant 
and always increasing.^ From all this it is easy to understand 
» " France CrimineUe," p. 353. « Joly, op. at., p. 358. 




why the part which lack of food and real poverty play in crime 
is smaller than is generally believed. In the statistics of Guerry 
the thefts of provisions form hardly 1% of the total number of 
thefts, and even with those hunger has less to do than gluttony. 
Of 43 classes of objects stolen in London, sausages, fowls, and 

Fig. 3. 


THE Courts (to 100,000 Inhabitants) 




to the 










































1882 . 











































game stood 13th; sugar, meat, and wine, 30th; and bread the 
last of all. Joly remarks that in the French statistics from 
1860 to 1890, while thefts of money and bank-notes were most 
numerous (396 : 100,000), thefts of meal, oats, domestic ani- 
mals, etc., were only 55 to the 100,000. Mare writes:^ 

"It is seldom that hunger leads to theft. Young men steal 
knives and cigars, and when provisions are stolen, the grown 
men take liquors, the women bonbons and chocolate." 

'■ Un Joli Monde." 



The same may be said of prostitution. 

"If hunger and destitution," says Locatelli, "are sufficient to 
drive a young girl to prostitution, it would be necessary to con- 
Fig. 4 

N. S. Wales 

fer Montyon prizes upon the myriads of virtuous daughters of 
the people who, notwithstanding the greatest privations and 
seductions of every kind, never sell themselves, but remain 
pure and chaste." 


It is not impossible that with time we may arrive at such a 
point as to be able to show how certain kinds of food favor 
certain crimes. We know that a vegetarian diet renders those 
who make use of it mild and tractable, while animal food makes 
men cruel and .violent. This is doubtless why the Lombard 
peasant patiently bears the evil treatment of his masters, while 
the Romagnol, addicted to a pork diet, revenges himself with 

§ 35. Insurrections 

The influence of hunger in insurrections also has been much 
exaggerated, as I have shown in my " Crime Politique." In 
Faraglia's valuable book, "Storia dei Prezzi in Napoli," which 
gives us the price of food year by year for nearly nine centuries, 
we find 46 great famines, in the years 1182, 1192, 1257, 1269, 
1342,1496-97, 1505, 1508, 1534, 1551, 1558, 1562-63, 1565, 1570, 
1580, 1586-87, 1591-92, 1595, 1597, 1603, 1621-22, 1623-25, 
1646, 1672, 1694-97, 1759-60, 1763, 1790-91, 1802, 1810, 1815- 
16, 1820-21. Now, these 46 years of famine coincide with in- 
surrections only six times, namely, in 1508, 1580, 1587, 1595, 
1621-22, 1820-21. In the celebrated insurrection of Masaniello 
(1647) many other causes were associated with the economic 
situation, such as the madness of Masaniello,^ the hot season, 
and the cruelty of the Spaniards. For if in 1646 there was a 
famine, in 1647 there was abundance, if not of grain, at least of 
fruits, meat, lard, and cheese. Moreover, there was no insurrec- 
tion during the terrible famine of 1182, which lasted five years, 
and in which men could scarcely find weeds for food. Neither 
was there any revolt during the famine of 1496-97, when so 
terrible an epidemic resulted that people of the cities had to 
flee to the country; nor during that of 1565, when the distress 
was so great that rotten cabbage leaves sold for the price that 
would normally have purchased fresh and good ones. Nor 
was there an insurrection in 1570, when "the poor left the 
provinces, and streamed toward Naples in crowds, famished, 
emaciated, sick, hoping to save their lives by flight, and filling 
the streets with their misery." Finally, there was no insur- 

^ C. Lombroso, "Tre Tribuni Studiati da un Alienista," 1887. 


rection during the famine of 1586. It is well to recall here that 
if there were revolts in France in 1827, 1832, 1847, running 
parallel with economic crises and dearths, there was also a very- 
high summer temperature; and that during those of 1834, 1864, 
and 1865 we find nothing clearly indicating either an economic 
or a meteorological cause. In Strasburg between the periods 
1451-1500 and 1601-25 the average price of beef rose 134% 
and that of pork 92%, while many years the wages of the work- 
men sank 10%, and yet there was no insurrection.^ In 1670, 
during the extreme famine in Madrid, the workmen organized 
themselves into bands and plundered the houses of the rich, 
killing the proprietors, and not a day passed that some one was 
not killed for the sake of bread; and yet there was no real in- 
surrection.2 In India it has been possible to follow the conse- 
quences of terrible famines step bystep. That of 1865-66 caused 
the loss of 25% of the population of Orissa, and of 35% of the 
population of Puri, and yet there was no insurrection there in 
those years. The most noted famines of the last hundred years, 
at least in Nelhore, one of the provinces which has suffered most 
through lack of rain and density of population, took place in 
the following years: 1769-70, 1780, 1784, 1790-92, 1802, 1806- 
07, 1812, 1824, 1829, 1830, 1833, 1836-38, 1866, 1876-78.^ 
In the famine of 1769-70 a third of the population died. In 
1877-78 it is estimated that, in addition to the normal number 
of deaths, more than 5 milhons out of a population of 197 mil- 
lions died by famine.^ Yet these famines gave rise to no insur- 
rection. The great Indian mutiny of 1857-58 was due ^ in great 
part to aversion to the innovations (railroads, telegraphs, etc.) 
introduced by civilization, to the conspiracies of the dethroned 
princes, and, according to Hunter, to the belief among the 
Sepoys that their cartridges were to be greased with pork fat.® 
Here, then, prolonged hunger was less powerful than super- 
stition. The other Indian rebellions which are known to us 

» Martini, "Preussiche Jahrbiicher," Nov., 1895. 

« Buckle, IV. 

» Hunter, "Imp. Gaz. of India," 1881. 

* Hunter, "The Indian Empire," 1882. 

* Hunter, op. cit. 

* Kaye, "History of the Sepoys," 1865. 


had no relation to the scarcity of provisions; neither the insur- 
rection of Bohilla in 1751, nor that of the Sikhs in the Punjab 
in 1710, nor that of the Sepoys in 1764; neither the little semi- 
dynastic insurrections among the Synts in 1843, nor of the 
Sikhs in 1848. It is worthy of note that the province of Orissa, 
which is that most tried by famines, has the smallest number 
of insurrections. 

All this is to be explained by the fact, already shown by our 
studies of the effect of tropical and polar climates, that when 
men's vitality is lowered they have not enough energy to resist. 
Thus, the excess of human misfortunes is rather less likely to 
produce revolutions than great prosperity. This is entirely 
in accord with what has been observed in criminal statistics, 
namely, that famine and great cold diminish in general all 
crimes against persons, especially rapes and homicides.^ 

1 Lombroso, "Crime Politique et Criminality," Paris, 1895; Id. 
"Pensiero e Meteore," Milan, 1875. 



§ 36. Alcoholism and Food Supply 

AS we have seen in the preceding chapter, the effect of food 
l\. supply cannot be separated from that of alcohol. Indeed, 
this latter is so powerful a factor in criminal aetiology that it 
absorbs the other almost completely. 

§ 37. Pernicious Effect of Alcohol 

It is a well-known fact that alcohol, so far from rendering 
extreme temperatures more tolerable, increases the danger 
from great heat and cold alike, so that in the polar regions and 
in India soldiers and sailors, thinking to acquire greater resist- 
ance to fatigue by the use of alcoholic beverages, simply ag- 
gravate their condition. It is doubtless for this reason that in 
the Russian campaign the northerners suffered more than the 
more temperate Latins. It has been proved in cholera epi- 
demics that drunkards, and even simple "drinkers," are afflicted 
in greater numbers than abstemious persons.^ Abortions are 
also more frequent among women who drink, and for this reason 
families of drinkers show a fecunditj'^ from 2 to 4 times less than 
that of temperate and sober couples. This fatal liquor can, 
then, stimulate carnal passion to the point of violence and 
crime without thereby increasing the birth-rate.^ Alcohol is one 
of the principal causes of the rejection of recruits in the Swedish 

1 Among abstainers cholera gave a mortality of 19.9%, aa against 
91% among drinkers. 

* Marriages of drinkers gave an average of 1.3 children, those of ab- 
stamers, 4.1. (Baer, "Alkoholismus," Berlin, 1878.) 

§ 38] ALCOHOLISM 89 

army for weakness or lack of development. These rejections 
rose to 32% in 1867, and fell to 28% in 1868 after the promul- 
gation of the liquor laws. In the French departments where, 
on account of the scarcity of wine, there is more use of spirits, 
as in Finistere, the exemption of conscripts from 72 rises to 
155 (Lunier). Alcohol influences the stature. The tall Woljaks, 
after having used brandy to excess, diminished in stature until 
they fell below middle height ; and we have seen that the beauti- 
ful women of the valley of Viu lose their beauty and stature after 
having taken to the use of brandy. There is no cause for sur- 
prise, then, at the diminution of the average duration of life 
caused by the use of alcoholic drinks. Brandy should be called 
not eau de vie, but eau de la mort. Neisson's calculations show 
that the mortality among drinkers is at least 3.25 times greater 
than that of abstainers.^ 

§ 38. Pauperism 

All this prepares us to understand that one of the most evident 
and serious effects of alcoholism is pauperism, The progeny 
of the alcoholic are blind, paralytic, impotent. Even if they 
begin life with wealth, they must necessarily become poor. If 
they are poor, they are incapable of working. 

It is true that with the increase in wages the number of drunk- 
ards grows disproportionately, and in consequence the number 
of misdemeanors also. When the wages of the miners in Lan- 
cashire increased from 4 shillings to 7 and 9, the mortality caused 
by drunkenness rose from 495 to 1304 and 2605, and crimes 
from 1335 to 3878 and 4402. But it is still worse when wages 
go down. Then alcohol is drunk to supply the place of clothing 
and food, that cold and hunger may be more easily borne; and 
alcohol in its turn makes the drinker constantly weaker and 
poorer, and keeps him always closely imprisoned in its fatal 
domain. It may be said, then, that alcoholism is the product 

1 A man of 20 addicted to drink has an expectancy of life of 16 years, 
an abstainer of the same age has an expectancy of 44 years. A beer 
drinker would have 21.7 years, a drinker of spirits, 16.7; a drinker of both 
beer and spirits, 16.1. Of 97 children of alcoholic parents only 14 were 
normal. (Baer, op. cit.) 


both of superfluity and of poverty. This was seen in Aix-la- 
Chapelle, where between 1850 and 1860 wages increased a 
fourth, and alcoholism increased also; but it increased still 
-more when, after the crisis in America, 80 factories closed and 
wages were cut down a third. The number of poor families 
rose from 1865 to 2255, and the wine-shops from 183 to 305; 
the prostitutes increased from 37 to 101, while the marriages 
decreased from 785 to 630. At the same time cases of theft and 
arson were multiplied.^ In the famine of 1860-61 it was noted 
in London that not one of the 7900 members of the temperance 
society had applied for aid.^ Huisch has observed that of each 
£100 received in alms £30 are spent for drink; and Bertrand 
and Lee have remarked that the most miserable municipalities 
are those where the use of alcohol has increased inordinately 
and the wine-shops have multiplied. A striking proof of the 
deleterious effects of alcohol is given by Upper Silesia. The 
misery was there so great that persons were dying of hunger, 
and at the same time alcoholism raged so frightfully that bridal 
couples reeled before the altar, and parents came intoxicated to 
the baptism of their new-bom children. A preacher of Silesia 
wrote: "Where intemperance reigns, misery and crime follow 
the body like its shadow." ' It has already been noted that 
drunkenness is one of the chief causes of separation and divorce 
in Germany; and furthermore it is known that the children of 
divorced parents and second marriages furnish a strong con- 
tingent to crime and prostitution. 

§ 39. Alcoholism and Crime Statistics 

From all this it is easy to see the connection between alcohol- 
ism and crime from a social as well as a pathological point of 
view. The first proof of this is to be found in the statistics 
which show a continual increase of crimes in civilized countries. 

» Thun, "Die Industrie am Niederrhein," 1890. 
t ' ^J^ J^?Li? ^^^^ *^^ almshouses of Philadelphia received yeariy 
irom 4UU0 to 5000 paupers who had been ruined by drink. Of 3000 indi- 
gent persons m Massachusetts about 2900 found themselves in the same 
condition. (Baer, op. cU., p. 582.) 

* Baer, op. ciU 

§ 39] ALCOHOLISM 91 

This increase can be justified by the growth of the population 
only to the extent of from 13% to 15%, but it is all too 
easily explained by the abuse of alcoholic drinks, the con- 
sumption of which increases at just the rate at which crime 

A further clear proof is to be found in Ferri's study of crim- 
inality in France,^ which brings into relief the parallelism of 
crime vnth the consumption of wine and spirits, at least in the 
years of exceptionally good vintages (1850, '58, '65, '69, '75), 
and of exceptionally poor ones (1851, '53, '54, '66, '67, '73). 
1870, the year of the war, is an exception, as in that year mili- 
tary statistics crowd out judicial ones; 1876 forms another ex- 
ception and one which I cannot explain, not having the statistics 
of the successive years before me; while in 1860-61 the vintage 
seems to have postponed its effect upon crime by one year. 
The parallelism is the stranger and more noteworthy because 
several authors pretend to attribute a fatal influence to spirits 
only and not to wine, so that, as we shall see, it is proposed to 
encourage the distribution of wine in the countries most inclined 
to crime. Now, from these statistics the relation of the con- 
sumption of alcohol to homicides and assaults is not so evident 
as that of wine, except in the years 1855 to 1868, and 1873 to 
1876. And this is easy to understand, for brawls are more 
easily started in the wine-shops than in the establishments of 
the brandy sellers, where the stay is too short for an oppor- 
tunity to be given for quarrels. 

Another proof of the relationshi^of drink and crime is to be 
found in the observed fact th^^^^ldays and months when 
crimes are most frequent are ji^^^H^e when alcoholic drinks 
are most abused. So Schroeter ^^^ts - that in Germany out 
of 2178 crimes 58% took place Saturday night, 3% Sunday, 
and 1% Monday; and that upon these same days sexual crimes, 
rebellion, and arson took the lead with a ratio of 82%. In Italy 
in 1870, the only^^- in which a record of this kind was kept, 
the same fact wai^^Bed.^ 

1 Lombroso, "HdHRe flp^WgyS95. 

' "Jahrbuch der^est^j^^^^Hpefangnisse," 1871. 

• In the official statis^^^^^^^Rie following percentages of the various 




Ferri discovered the surprising fact that in France, in the 
period from 1827 to 1869, while the crimes against persons in 
general fell off rapidly from August to December, the serious 
bodily assaults, on the contrary, showed a marked increase in 
November, when the new wine comes in. It is to be noted that 
it is a question of the infliction of grave injuries, such as come 
before the assizes, and not of the mere wine-shop brawls, such 
as are tried before the minor courts. Dixon has found a single 
place in America that has been exempt from crime for some 
years notwithstanding its large population of working men. 
This is St. Johnsbury, Vermont. But here there is absolute 
prohibition of the sale of fermented beverages, beer, wine, etc., 
which are furnished, like poisons, by the druggists upon the 
written demand of the consumer, with the consent of the mayor, 
who writes the name of the person concerned in a public register. 
In Belgium, it has been estimated alcoholism causes 25% to 
27% of the crime. In New York, of 49,423 persons ar- 
raigned, 30,509 were habitual drunkards. In 1890, in the whole 

crimes were committed on holidays (there being one holiday on the aver- 
age to five working days) : 

Resistance to the officers . . 

Rape , 

Parricide, uxoricide, infanticide 



Assault with fatal result 
Malicious assault . . 
Threats and vagrancy 

Highway robbery 

Theft . . . 

Exposure and substitution of infants 
Receiving and buying stolen goods , 
Misappropriation of pubUc funds . 


Calumny and false accusation . . . 
Highway robbery with homicide . . 
Bankruptcy . 

Accordingly all the crimes of vii 
lead on hohdays, as compared with 

! crimes of viSH^^^^against 
ompared with fr^^^^^^dprei 

























liagalnst ve 

rsons take the 


ditated crimes. 

§ 40] ALCOHOLISM 93 

United States, out of every 100 prisoners, 20 were drunkards, 
60 were moderate drinkers, and 20 were abstainers.^ In Hol- 
land, four-fifths of the crimes are attributed to the abuse of 
alcohol, seven-eighths of the brawls, three-fourths of the at- 
tacks upon persons, and one-fourth of the attacks upon prop- 
erty. Three-fourths of the crimes in Sweden are attributed 
to alcoholism. This applies especially to assassination and 
other crimes of blood, but thefts and frauds are largely due 
to an alcoholic heredity. In England, 10,000 out of 29,752 
convicted by the assizes, and 50,000 out of 90,903 convicted by 
the magistrates, had been drawn into crime by frequenting 
public houses.^ In France Guillemin estimates the criminals 
resulting from the abuse of alcohol at 50%, and Baer places 
those in Germany at 41%. The greatest proportion of drunk- 
ards is to be found in those departments where, on account of 
the small production of wine, a larger quantity of spirituous 
liquor is consumed. Of the criminals observed by Marro, 73% 
abused alcoholic drinks, and of these only 10% were normal. 
In my "Centuria di Criminali," Rossi found that drunkenness 
ran up as high as 81%, of which 23% was begun in infancy. 
There was a difference of only 10% in the frequency of alcohol- 
ism among youths and among adults. Of 100 criminals below 
20 years, 64% were already addicted to drink; from which we 
may see that this vice is very precocious. 

§ 40. Physiological Effects 

All substances which have the power of exciting the brain 
in an abnormal manner drive one more easily to crime and sui- 
cide, as well as to insanity, with which last the other two are 
often inextricably confused. This tendency has been observed 
among the Medjidubs and the Aissaonas, who, not having any 
narcotics, bring on intoxication by a prolonged oscillatory 
movement of the head. "They are dangerous people," says 
Berbrugger,^ "fierce, and inclined to theft." Opium-smokers, 

1 Bosco "L'Omicidio negli Stati Uniti d'America," 1897. 
* Baer, op. cit., p. 343. " 
Jg^rie," 1860. 

» "L^i 



also, are often seized with homicidal fury; and under the action 
of hashish Moreau felt himself impelled to steal. 

The effects of wine are still more pernicious, and worse still, 
spirits, which may be called wine with its harmful principle 
concentrated. But most harmful of all are such liquors as 
absinthe and vermouth, which, in addition to alcohol, contain 
drugs that poison the nervous centers.^ Neumann in 1876 
showed how alcohol alters the hemoglobin, diminishes by one- 
fourth the capacity of the blood corpuscles to take up oxygen, 
and produces congestion in the membrane and cortex of the 
brain. From this there results dilatation of the blood vessels, 
paralysis of the muscular fibers of the walls of the vessels, 
oedema, and finally fatty degeneration of the irritated nerve 
cells. Krapelin ^ showed that from 30 to 45 grams of absolute 
ethyl alcohol more or less checked and paralyzed all the mental 
functions. The stupor, which resembles physical fatigue in its 
effect, increases with the dose of alcohol absorbed, lasting for 
small quantities 40 or 50 minutes, and for larger quantities 1 or 
2 hours. In the smaller doses the paralysis of the mental 
functions is preceded by a period of activity or acceleration 
which laists 20 to 30 minutes at most. 

But this observer has further demonstrated that the effect 
of alcohol is not the same for all psychological functions; that 
while one may have a transitory acceleration of motor innerva- 
tion, the intellectual functions, such as apperception, concep- 
tion, association, are checked and almost arrested even by the 
smallest doses of alcohol. The same may be said with regard 
to sensation. It follows that the initial period of excitation 
produced by small quantities of alcohol, is only a kind of fire- 
works, due to several factors coming together, especially to the 
increase of external associations of ideas, associations of words, 
sensations, etc., to the detriment of internal associations, those 
more logical and profound. Under the influence of alcohol the 
over-excited motor centers give the drunkard an illusory power, 
impelling him to the most brutal acts. The association of ideas 

» "Revue Scientifique," 1897. 

* "Ueber die Beeinflussung einfacher physicher Vorgange durch einige 
Arzneimittel " (Jena, Fischer, 1892). 

§ 40] ALCOHOLISM 95 

is disturbed, and the drinker repeats without cessation the same 
barren platitudes, the same coarse jests. This Hkewise is to be 
explained by the initial acceleration of the psychomotor ac- 
tivities, by which painful mental inhibitions are intercepted. 
Alcohol, after it has once driven its unhappy victim into this 
evil path, holds him fast there, since, after a drunkard is once 
made, the noblest sentiments become paralyzed and the soundest 
brain diseased. This is a new experimental proof of the truth 
of the statement that crime is the effect of a morbid condition of 
the organism. Thus, with alcoholics, the schlerosis which affects 
the brain, spinal cord, and ganglia, as well as the liver and kid- 
neys, shows its effects in one set of cases, in dementia, uremia, 
or jaundice, according to the part affected, and in others by 

But unhappily crime is the commonest and most frequent 
consequence, a truth of which there is superabundant evidence. 
I met recently in prison a very remarkable thief, who, as they 
all do, boasted of being a thief, and did not know how to talk 
in anything but thieves' slang; and yet neither his education 
nor the shape of his head gave any indication of what impelled 
him to crime. I soon learned the cause, however, when he 
told me that both his father and he were drunkards. "You 
see," he said, " since I was a boy I have had a passion for brandy, 
and now I drink from forty to eighty small glasses of it, and 
the brandy drunkenness passes away after I have drunk two 
or three bottles of wine," ^ Habitual drinkers are not only 
immoral and beget children who are defective, delinquent, or 
precocious debauchees,^ as we shall show by the history of the 
Juke family, but intoxication itself is a direct cause of crime. 
Gall tells of a brigand named Petri, who felt himself impelled to 
homicide when he drank; and he mentions a woman in Berlin 
who, when intoxicated, was seized with sanguinary desires. 

Alcohol, then, is a cause of crime, first, because many commit 
crimes in order to obtain drink; further, because men sometimes 
seek in drink the courage necessary to commit crime, or an 
excuse for their misdeeds; again, because it is by the aid of 

1 "Archivio di Psichiatria e Scienze Penali," 1890. 

2 Ann. Med. Psich., 1877. 


drink that young men are drawn into crime; and because the 
drink-shop is the place for the meeting of accomplices, where 
they not only plan their crimes but also squander their gains. 
It has been estimated that in London in 1880 there were 4938 
public-houses which were the resorts of criminals and prostitutes 

Finally, alcohol has a direct relation to crime, or rather to the 
prison, since after his first imprisonment the liberated criminal, 
having lost his reputation and all connection with his family, 
seeks compensation and oblivion in drink. This is why we 
often find alcoholism among recidivists, and it also explains the 
fact observed by Mayhew, that in the afternoon nearly all the 
thieves of London are intoxicated, and generally die of drink 
between the ages of thirty and forty. The same thing is found 
among the transported convicts of Noumea, who drink not only 
from settled habit, but also to forget dishonor, separation from 
family and country, and the cruelties of the wardens and their 
companions; and perhaps also to drown remorse. Wine becomes 
among them a regular medium of exchange. A shirt is worth 
one liter, a coat or pair of trousers, two. There is nothing, even 
to the kiss of a woman, that may not be bought with wine.^ 

§ 41. Specific Criminality 

It will be useful here to observe what crimes are especially 
influenced by alcoholism. From Baer's statistics 2 of the pen- 
itentiaries and jails of Germany, shown on the opposite page, 
it appears that alcoholism occurred oftenest in the case of those 
charged with assaults, sexual offenses, and insurrections. Next 
came assassination and homicide; and in the last rank those 
imprisoned for arson and theft, that is to say, crimes against 
property. These, however, are more numerous than the others 
with habitual drunkards. The minimum occurs in the case of 
forgery and swindling, and with reason, for, as several swindlers 
have said to me, "it takes a clear head to carry out a shrewd 
scheme." According to Marambat,^ of 3000 convicted persons 

1 »^°°*^^^®';. "Souvenirs d'un D^port^," p. 376, Paris, 1880. 
. „;^er Alkohohsmus, seine Verbreitung, etc.," Beriin, 1878. 
» "Revue Scientifique," 1888. 




investigated by him, 78% were drunkards; vagrants and mendi- 
cants lead with a figure of 79%; murderers and incendiaries 
showed 50% and 57% respectively; and thieves, swindlers, etc., 
71%. In general, 88% of the crimes against persons were com- 
mitted by alcoholics, and 77% of the crimes against property. 
Marro, also, found that among drunkards highway robbers held 
the first place, 82% being addicted to drink; of brawlers, 77% 

I. In Penitentiakies 


Alcoholic Criminals 

In general 




Robbery and murder . 
Simple homicide . . . 
Sexual crimes .... 


Attempted homicide 


Premeditated homicide 


575 (75.5%) 
618 (68.8%) 
202 (63.2%) 
575 (60.2%) 
5212 (51.9%) 
128 (50.8%) 
383 (47.6%) 
237 (46.1%) 
157 (26.6%) 

418 (72.7%) 
353 (57.1%) 
129 (58.6%) 
352 (61.2%) 
2513 (48.2%) 

78 (60.9%) 
184 (48.0%) 
139 (58.6%) 

82 (52.2%) 

157 (27.3%) 

265 (42.9%) 

291 (41.4%) 

223 (38.8%) 

2699 (51.8%) 

50 (39.1%) 

199 (52.0%) 

98 (41.4%) 

75 (47.8%) 

II. In the Common Jails 

Sexual offenses . . . 
Resistance to officers 




Fraud, forgery, etc. . 






158 (77.3%) 
499 (76.5%) 
716 (63.4%) 
11 (48.0%) 
1016 (32.0%) 
194 (24.7%) 

113 (73.3%) 
445 (89.0%) 
581 (81.1%) 

666 (63.5%) 
111 (57.2%) 

41 (26.7%) 

54 (11.0%) 

135 (18.9%) 

382 (36.5%) 
83 (42.8%) 

were the same; of thieves, 78%; then swindlers with 66%, mur- 
derers with 62%, and ravishers with 61%. Vetault found that 
of 40 alcoholic criminals, 15 were homicides, 8 thieves, 5 swind- 
lers, 6 sexual criminals, 4 brawlers, 2 vagrants. We may say, 
in general, that the serious offenses, especially the infliction of 
bodily injuries and crimes against property (simple theft and 
robbery), are those in which the influence of alcoholism makes 
itself more decidedly felt, but that its action is less evident in 
the latter class of cases than in the former. 


In studying the influence of alcohol upon the criminality of 
Great Britain and Ireland, there are to be found, according to 
Fomasari di Verce, some strange differences. (1) With the 
increase of the consumption of alcohol crimes against property 
without violence frequently decrease, though irregularly; i and 
with the falling off of the use of alcohol crimes increase. There 
are, however, some exceptions. Thus, in 1875-76 they increased 
with the increased consumption, but in 1877-78 increased also, 
notwithstanding a diminution in the use of alcohol. (2) Upon 
violent crimes against property the consumption of alcohol has 
no certain influence. (3) Fraudulent crimes against property 
mostly decrease with the greater consumption of alcohol. From 
1870 to 1875, and from 1863 to 1865, as the consumption rose, 
these crimes descended from 276 to 260, and from 519 to 238. 
From 1848 to 1855, however, the two increased together. Con- 
sequently, independent of the consumption of alcohol, there is 
now an increase, now a diminution, of these crimes. Thus while 
the use of alcohol went on diminishing from 1875 to 1884, 
fraudulent theft sometimes increased, sometimes decreased. 
(4) Forgery and counterfeiting also decreased up to 1884 with 
the lowering of the price of wine, but after that increased not- 
withstanding the lower price. (5) Crimes against persons seem 
to follow the fluctuations of the consumption of alcoholic bev- 
erages, increasing gradually with the rise in the price of alcohol, 
as in the period 1848 to 1857. They do not, however, decrease 
with the lowering of the price in the period 1873 to 1889.^ 
(6) The other crimes have no very clear relation with the con- 
sumption of alcohol; but misdemeanors and violations of police 
regulations decrease with the diminution in consumption,^ 

Finally, it may be remarked that although a very important 
factor, in England, where it makes itself felt with most intensity, 

* That the increase or diminution of the consumption of alcohol exer- 
cises no great influence upon the crimes against property without violence 
may be seen, for example, from the fact that these crimes increased from 
20,035 to 23,571 in 1847, and from 21,545 to 23,017 in 1854, paraUeling 
an increase m the consumption of alcohol. But, on the other hand, they 
i^^ in 1864 and 1871 from 14,075 to 13,202, and from 12,294 to 
}}a^ ' 110*^ withstanding the noticeable increase in consumption, from 
0.85 to 0.90, and from 1.23 to 1.27. 

* Fomasari di Verce, op. dt., p. 198. 

» Fomasari di Verce, op. dt., chaps. 62-68. 




alcoholism enters as a cause into no more than 77% of the cases. 
In New South Wales there is no correspondence to be found be- 
tween alcohol and crime, except in the case of theft and arson. ^ 

§ 42. Antagonism between Alcoholism and Crime in Civilized Countries 

It is a remarkable fact that in civilized countries, where 
alcohol is most abused, as in New South Wales and England, 
its influence becomes weaker and weaker, and Bosco shows that 
in the United States, only 20% of the homicides are addicted 
to drunkenness, while 70% on the contrary are sober {op. cit.). 
This fact has already been explained by Colajanni and Zer- 
boglio.^ It is not, according to them, that alcohol has any less 
terrible effect upon individuals, but that the abuse of it occurs 
where civilization is already very far advanced and protects the 
individual from great crimes by increased inhibitory power and 
a greater psychic activity. This is why England, Belgium, 
Norway, and Germany, which are the countries where the 
maximum quantity of alcohol is consumed but civilization is 
most advanced, furnish a smaller contingent of homicides than 
Spain and Italy, where less is consumed.^ 

Here is a recent table of alcoholism in Europe : ^ 

Austria .... 


Germany . . . 
Italy ..... 
United Kingdom 
Belgium .... 
France .... 

Consumption of 

pure alcohol 

per capita 

(in gallons) 


to 100.000 




This explains, as Colajanni very truly remarks,^ why in France 
the serious crimes caused by alcoholism, which were from 7% to 

1 Coghlan, op. cit. 2 "L'Alcoolisme," Turin,"1893. 

' Coghlan, "The Wealth and Progress, etc.," Sydney, 1893. 
* ".\rch. diPsich.,"VIL 


11% in the period from 1826 to 1840, descended to 5% and 3% 
in the period from 1861 to 1880. Alcoholism continues and even 
increases, but at the same time the inhibitory power given by- 
civilization also increases. It is for this reason that crimes di- 
minish notwithstanding the influence of alcohol. We must add 
that in the north the effect of the cold plays a large part; and 
although, on the one hand, it induces men to drink, on the other 
hand it lessens their impulsiveness and hence their tendency to 

§ 43. Political Disturbances 

Alcohol is a powerful factor in insurrections. This fact has 
not escaped the attention of leaders of rebellions, who have 
often taken advantage of it to attain their ends. Thus in Argen- 
tina Don Juan Manuel, himself an alcoholic, found a powerful 
aid to his political schemes in the explosions of popular rage 
produced by drink. For the same reason alcohol was a political 
weapon in the hands of Quiroga, Franco, Artigas, and their wild 
followers, of whom several, like Blacito and Ortoguex, became 
themselves the victims of delirium tremens (Ramos-Mejia).^ 

The abuse of spirituous liquors in Buenos Ayres in 1834 is 
unbelievable. In that year there was consumed, besides hun- 
dreds of hogsheads of brandy, 3836 frasqueras, 263 hogsheads, 
and 2182 demijohns of gin, 2246 hogsheads of wine, 346 barrels 
of beer, as well as cognac and port. During the French Revo- 
lution it was alcohol that inflamed the bloody instincts of the 
crowd and the representatives of the revolutionary govern- 
ment. Among the latter we may recall Monastier, who, being 
intoxicated, had Lassalle guillotined, and the next day did not 
remember the order he had given. The envoys from Vendee 
in three months emptied 1974 bottles of wine (Taine), and in- 
cluded in their number Vacheron, who violated and then shot 
down women who resisted his alcohol-inflamed desires. It has 
been asserted that during the coup d'etat of the second of Decem- 
ber, enormous quantities of wine were distributed to the troops. 
Certainly alcoholism was no stranger to the disturbances of 
1846, among the chiefs of which, according to Chenu,^ there 

I Lombroso and Laschi, "Le Crime Politique et les Revolutions." 
Les Conspu-ateurs," 1849; Lombroso, "Le Crime Pol., etc." 

§ 44, 45] ALCOHOLISM 101 

were two drunkards, Caussidiere and Grandmesnil. It is also 
certain that alcoholism played a great part in the Commune, 
thanks to the great quantity of wine and spirits to be found in 
the besieged city. Despine ^ notes in this connection that dip- 
somania recruited the greatest number of the soldiers of the 
Commune, who were drawn by the hope of gratifying their un- 
fortunate appetite by pay and pillage, and whom alcoholism 
made indifferent to danger and wounds. The Communist 
general, Cluseret, himself in his Memoires does not attempt to 
conceal the fact. 

"Never," he says, "have the wine-sellers made so much 
money as at that period." [He himself often had to have heads 
of battalions arrested for intoxication, not only between night 
and morning, but also between morning and night.] "When 
things began to look black for the besieged insurgents, when 
the Versailles troops were threatening Fort dTssy at close 
range, what did the defenders do? The taverns and wine-shops 
of the village were crowded with customers stupefied by drink. 
At Asnieres, on the very eve of the capitulation, the National 
Guard, following its laudable custom, smoked, slept, ate, and 

§ 44. Alcoholism and Evolution 

In the "Man of Genius" I have shown that a number of men 
of genius, and certain of their parents, were alcoholics (Beetho- 
ven, Byron, Avicenna, Alexander, Murger); but one may say 
that this is rather an effect and complication of genius than a 
cause, for these great and powerful brains need ever some new 
stimulant. Parallel to this is the fact that the more civilized 
peoples more easily fall a prey to alcoholism, as a necessary con- 
sequence of their greater cortical excitability. 

§ 45. Tobacco 

According to Venturi,^ criminals show a greater number of 
users of snuff, not only than normal persons, but also than the 
insane (criminals, 45.8%; insane, 25.88%; normal persons, 
14.32%); and among the criminals themselves those guilty of 

1 " De la Folie," etc., Paris, 1875. 

2 Venturi, "Archivio di Psich.," VII, 630. 


crimes of blood show a higher percentage (48%) than do thieves 
and forgers (43%). Criminals and lunatics form this habit very 
early, which is not the case with the normal man; but while the 
habit grows upon the insane in the asylums, with criminals it is 
not similarly increased by detention in prison.^ The prostitutes 
of Verona and Capua nearly all take snuff, and those who do 
not, smoke. Mararabat ^ asserts that the passion of a minor for 
tobacco leads to idleness, drunkenness, and finally crime. Of 
603 dehnquent children from 8 to 15 years of age, 51% had the 
habit of using tobacco before their detention; of 103 young men 
between 16 and 20 the proportion of tobacco users was 84%; of 
850 mature men 78% had contracted this habit before the age of 
20. Of these, 516, or 57%, had been imprisoned for the first 
time before the age of 20, while of those who had never made 
use of tobacco the proportion of those imprisoned so young was 
only 17%. Of vagrants, beggars, thieves, swindlers, etc., 89% 
are tobacco users. Among convicts who are drunkards 74% use 
tobacco, among the others only 43%. The number of recidi- 
vists among those who smoke is 79%, and only 55% among 
those who do not. Temperate prisoners show 18% of recidivists 
among those who do not smoke, and 82% among those who do. 
It is clearly to be seen, then, that there is a causal connection 
between tobacco and crime, like that which exists in the case of 
alcohol. But, as in the case of alcohol, it is a curious fact that 
the countries where the consumption of tobacco is greatest 
have a lower criminality.^ This contradiction is frequently met 
in our researches; but it soon disappears, because the abuse of 
these stimulating substances, as in the case of alcohol, takes 
place especially among civilized people, who learn to control 

» Venturi, op. cit. » "Archiv. di Psich.," V, 378. 

' Consumption of tobacco in pounds per capita: 

HoUand . . . 6.92 Germany .... 3.00 Spain 1.70 

Austria . . . 3.77 France 2.05 Italy 1.34 

penmark . . 3.70 Switzerland . . .1.87 Russia 1.23 

Belgium . . .3.15 

(Coghlan, "Wealth of New South Wales," 1895.) 

§ 46, 47] ALCOHOLISM 103 

§ 46. Hashish 

Stanley found in Africa a kind of brigands, called Riiga-Ruga, 
who were the only natives who used hashish to excess. Accord- 
ing to a tradition of Uganda, crime appeared among the sons of 
Kinto after they had taken up beer-drinking. 

§ 47. Morphine 

To the foregoing intoxicants many more may be added. The 
Malay running amuck is impelled to his homicidal mania by 
the intoxication of opium. The Chinese opium-eater is at once 
apathetic, impulsive, and inclined to suicide and murder. Many 
female swindlers have both the morphine habit and a tendency 
to hysteria; and those addicted to the use of morphine generally 
have the moral sense largely obliterated, and are in consequence 
the more inclined toward swindling, and sometimes toward 
homicide and sexual offenses.^ The slave to morphine loses 
little by little the power of resisting impulsive tendencies, to 
such an extent that he equals or surpasses the smoker of hashish, 
with whom criminal tendencies are common. A Chinaman, in 
order to get money for opium-smoking, staked even his own 
fingers, which he cut off, joint by joint, as he lost. Dr. Lamson^ 
a morphine user, poisoned his brother-in-law with morphine, 
without comprehending the gravity of the act. When slaves to 
morphine are undergoing a forced abstinence they show rage, 
melancholy, and a tendency to suicide and homicide, but espe- 
cially toward theft for the purpose of procuring the desired drug 
(Guimbail). Marandon de Montijel reports the case of an advo- 
cate who, being refused morphine on board ship, broke into the 
ship's stores to procure it, A woman suffered so from being 
deprived of morphine that she ended by prostituting herself in 
order to obtain it. Another, addicted to the use of morphine, 
murdered her granddaughter, and maintained that the drug 
drove her to acts of violence.^ An hysterical woman, 28 years 
old, committed a fraud by getting goods to the value of 120 
francs under a false name, but, with a strange improvidence, 

1 Charcot, op. cU. 

2 Guimbail, "Annales d 'Hygiene Publique," 1891. 


returned to the store a few days after and returned part of the 
goods, saying that she was not satisfied with them. She had 
sold the rest to buy morphine, for she owed the druggist 1600 
francs, and when he refused her further credit she committed 
her offense. 

§ 48. Spoiled Maize 

Indian com that has become spoiled must be regarded as a 
cause of crime. Experimental observations have shown that 
hens and good-natured dogs, fed upon spoiled maize, become 
fierce after a time. I have already in my "Etudes Cliniques 
sur la Pellagre" (1872), and in ray "Traite sur la Pellagre" 
(Turin, 1890), told stories of criminals, where the original factor 
was pellagra, that is to say, the use of spoiled Indian corn. Thus 
a man afflicted with pellagra out of avarice starved his children, 
and killed one of them for having stolen a few potatoes out of his 
field to appease his hunger. A woman threw her new-born child 
into a well almost publicly. Another stole to satisfy an insatia- 
ble appetite, and said, "I should be capable of eating a man." 
All three had acquired moral insanity at an advanced age 
through being poisoned by maize. 



§ 49. Illiteracy and Crime 

THE absolute parallelism between education and crime, 
which many maintained several years ago, is to-day 
rightly regarded as an error. Marro found that of 500 crimi- 
nals and 500 honest men in Turin there were: 

Criminal Honest 

Illiterate • • • 1*% 6% 

Knowing how to read and write . . 75% 67% 

Educated 12% 27% 

with, it is true, a larger proportion of criminals among the 
illiterates, but also among those who could read and write.^ 

Morano proved in 1878 in Palermo that of 53 crimes com- 
mitted in the school, 34 came from the pupils and 19 from the 
teachers, who certainly did not lack for education.^ Curcio 
found one convict in Italy to 284 of the illiterate population, 
and one to 292 of the educated, — figures which, with a slight in- 
crease of literates among the criminals, would balance one 
another. These very slight differences become in certain cate- 
gories of crime still less marked. Three-sevenths of the con- 
victs had received elementary instruction; one-half of those 
guilty of sexual offenses, one-half of the minor offenders, and 
ten twenty-fifths of the criminals against persons and property 
had received some instruction (Curcio, op. cit.). And while 
criminals in general give an average of from 50% to 75% of 
illiterates, criminals who are still minors average only 42%, 
and in some provinces still lower. In Lombardy, for example, 
only 5% of the juvenile offenders are illiterate, and in Piedmont 

1 " Caratterie dei Criminali," 1886, Turin. 

2 Lombroso, "L'Incremento del Delitto," p. 80. 




17%. As early as 1872 it had been estimated that to 453 
illiterates there were 51 who could read, 368 who could read 
and write, 401 who could read, write, and count, and 5 who 
had received a higher education.^ According to Joly, the de- 
partment of Herault, which in 1866 gave the minimum of 
iUiterates (1%) among the conscripts, at that time held the 
lowest place in the scale of criminality; whereas now that it 
has a great number of schools it has mounted to the highest; 
and a similar statement may be made of Doubs and Rhone 
(op. cit.). On the other hand. Deux Sevres, Vendee, and Lot 
with 12, Vienne with 14, Indre with 17, C6tes-du-Xord with 
24, and Morbihan with 35 illiterates furnish the minimum 
degree of criminality (id.). Levasseur calculates that of 100 
persons indicted in France there were: 





1875 I 1878 

Knowing how to read 
Ha\Tng higher education 








Thus in less than 30 years criminals with more or less education 
doubled in number. Tocqueville shows that in Connecticut 
criminality has increased with the increase in instruction. In the 
United States the maximum figures for criminality (0.35, 0.30, 
and 0.37 to the 1000) were noted in Wyoming, California, and 
Nevada, which gave the minimum number of illiterates (3.4, 
7.7, and 8.0%) ; and the minimum figures for criminality were 
found in New Mexico (0.03), South Carolina (0.06), Alabama, 
Mississippi, Georgia, and Louisiana, which had the highest 
number of illiterates. Nebraska, Iowa, Maine, and Dakota 
were exceptional, having a small number of criminals and illit- 
erates both, as a result of other causes which we shall see pres- 
ently. In England the counties of Surrey, Kent, Gloucester, and 
Middlesex, where there is a higher degree of education, gave the 
maximum degree of criminality, while the minimum was shown 

1 Cardon, "Statist. Carceraria," Rome, 1872. 


by the more iEiterate districts, North Wales, Essex, and Corn- 
wall.^ In Russia, where education is much less common, Oet- 
tingen (3d ed,, p. 597) calculates that 2o% of the convicts know 
how to read and write, and even 29% of the men, while of the 
population at large only 8% can read and write. "Examine," 
says Lauvergne, " the records of the courts, and you will see that 
the most unreformable criminals are all educated" ("Les For- 
mats," p. 207). But Coghlan gives us a still better proof in his 
"Wealth of New South Wales" (Sydney, 1895). There the 
percentage of illiteracy among the general population in 1880 was 
12 ; the illiterate prisoners were 5.5% of the illiterate population, 



Knowing how to 


Read and write 

Against persons 

Against property 

with violence 

Against property 

without violence .... 
Rioting, drunkenness . . . 

















and the more or less educated prisoners 6.2% of the educated 
population. In 1891 the general percentage of illiteracy was 
7%, the illiterates imprisoned 4.1%, and the educated persons 
imprisoned 4.7%. That is to say, absolutely as well as rela- 
tively, that persons who had received instruction committed 

1 May hew, op. cit. : 

Convicts to 
10,000 inhab. 

Percentage of 








North Wales 





more crimes than the illiterate. From 1881 to 1891 pupils in 
the schools increased from 197,412 to 252,940, and the persons 
arrested from 39,758 to 44,851. For each 10 new schools opened 
there were 5 more arrests; and this was true in all the diflPerent 
branches of crime. 

§ so. Dififusion of Education — Its Advantages 

However, an impartial examination of the figures for these 
last years brings the comforting assurance that education is not 
so fatal as it appears at first to be. It favors crime only up to a 
certain point, after which its influence is the other way. Where 
education is widely diffused the list of educated criminals in- 
creases, but the list of illiterate criminals increases still more, 
which shows that the criminality of the class with a moderate 
amount of education is decreasing. Thus in New York, while the 
whole population showed 6.08% of illiteracy, and the immigrants 
who furnish the greatest proportion of criminals only 1.83%, 
the criminal class showed an illiteracy of 31%.^ Of the homi- 
cides recently convicted in the United States,^ 33% were com- 
pletely illiterate, 64% could read and write, and 3% had a higher 
education, while the illiteracy of the population at large was only 
10%. In Austria, while the young and moral population of Salz- 
burg and the Tyrol have no illiterates, the criminal population 
show an illiteracy of from 16% to 20% (Messedaglia). In the 
recent statistics of Joly (op. cit.) we find that in France, to the 
100,000 inhabitants: 

6 departments had 7 to 10 illiterates to 9 indictments 
13 " " 10 " 20 " " 9 

3 " " 20 " 50 " " 9 

11 " " 50 " 61 " " 9 

Here crime increased with a moderate education, and decreased 
with a higher education. In France also the following percent- 
ages of illiteracy were found: ^ 

» Brace, "The Dangerous Classes of New York," 1871. 
' Bosco, "L'Omicidio negU Stati Uniti," 1897. 
» Oettmgen, 3d ed., p. 597. 


Among soldiers 

Among criminals 






























The illiterates in each of the two categories diminish each year, 
then, but much more slowly among the criminals; and we may 
add that the criminals under 21 years of age decreased from 
1828 to 1863 by 4152 individuals. The facts appear still more 
clearly if we study the number of pupils in Europe, following 
Lavasseur,^ and the proportion of pupils in the public and private 
schools to the population, following Bodio,^ together with the 
statistics of homicides and thefts given by Ferri, and those of 
revolutions given in my " Crime Politique." We shall find the 
following data: 

Pupils to 
100 inhab- 

to 100,000 

Thefts to 

to 10,000.000 
















Netherlands ^ . . . . 



Sweden ' 













Belgium ' 


















^ "Bulletin de la Soci^t6 de Statistique," 1895. 

2 "Di Alcuni Indici Misuratori de Movimento Economico," 1891. 

' Public schools only. 




From this we see that the number of homicides decreases with 
the increase in the number of pupils, except in the case of 
Russia (with only 14 homicides, notwithstanding the minimum 
number in the schools, 2.4), and of Switzerland, which has high 
figures for both pupils and homicides. Thefts follow the oppo- 
site course. They rise in England, Belgium, and Prussia with 
the greater number of pupils in the schools, and fall in Spain 
with the smaller number. Revolutionary tendencies give con- 
tradictory results. This relation is maintained to a certain point 
everywhere if we study the nations severally. In Italy the 
parallelism between homicide, rape, and ignorance is complete, 
the minimum, mean, and maximum of ignorance corresponding 
with those of the two crimes mentioned, as seen in the following 

NuJiBEB OP Crimes to the 100,000 Inhabitants 





Homicides ^ 

Rapes 1 










10 2 





We have seen in France and England that crimes of blood are 
becoming more and more rare in the large cities, where they are 
nearly always committed by peasants and mountaineers; while 
crimes against property, on the other hand, are on the increase. 
A similar situation prevails in Italy with regard to recidivists, 
just because they are more educated. In Belgium great crimes 
have decreased each year since 1832, falling from 1 to 83,573 of 
the population, which was the figure for the year mentioned, 
down to 1 for each 90,220 in 1855. In Switzerland great crimes 
have decreased 40% since 1852. In France the more serious 


' Bodio, "Relazione alia Commissione di Statistica Giudiziaria," 
» Fern, "Omicidio" (Atlas), 1895. 


crimes, those passed upon by the assizes, had fallen from 40 to 
the 100,000, which was the figure in 1825, to 11 to the 100,000 
in 1881; while the offenses which came before the magistrates 
rose from 48,000 to 205,000. There is, it is true, an augmenta- 
tion of crime amounting to 133%; but crimes of blood have 
diminished, while sexual crimes have been on the increase. From 
1826 to 1880 thefts increased 238%, frauds 323%, breach of 
trust 630%, and sexual crimes 700%. Vagrancy is four times 
greater, and offenses against officials five times. Bankruptcies 
have risen from 2000 up to 8000, and while the number of mer- 
chants has increased, of course, this increase has not been in the 
same proportion. These differences express the influence of 
education. But this influence has been more remarkable as well 
as more favorable in England,^ where from 1868 to 1892 the 
number of prisoners fell from 87,000 to 50,000, and the number 
of adult criminals from 31,295 to 29,825. Yet the population 
increased in the same time 12%, and now it is calculated that 
there are but 21 illiterates out of every 100 indicted. This 
diminution occurs especially in London, where schools are more 
numerous and widely diffused. 

§ 5z. Special Criminality of the Illiterate and of the Educated 

All this explains a phenomenon which appears at first com- 
pletely self-contradictory, namely, that education now in- 
creases crime and now decreases it. When education is not 
yet diffused in a country and has not yet reached its full devel- 
opment, it at first increases all crimes except homicide. But 
when it is widely disseminated it diminishes all the violent 
crimes, except, as we shall see, the less serious crimes, the 
political crimes, or the commercial or sexual crimes, because 
these increase naturally with the increase of human inter- 
course, business, and cerebral activity. But education has an 
indisputable influence upon crime in changing its character and 
making it less savage. Fayet and Lacassagne show that in 

» "English Judicial Statistics," 1895; Joly, "Revue de Paris," No. 
21, 1895. 


France: (1) Among illiterates the crimes which lead are infanti- 
cide, abortion, theft, formation of criminal bands, robbery, and 
arson; (2) among those who can read] and write imperfectly, 
extortion, threatening letters, blackmail, robbery, injury to 
property, and assaults predominate; (3) among those who 
have received a moderate education, bribery, forgery, and 
threatening letters prevail; (4) among the well educated the 
predominant crimes are forgeries of commercial papers, official 
crimes, forgery and abstraction of public documents, and politi- 
cal crimes (op. cit.). The minimum of forgeries and the 
maximum of infanticides are found among the illiterate. With 
the convicts of a higher education the prevailing crime is for- 
gery of public documents, breach of trust, and swindling. In- 
fanticides and violent crimes are lacking. 

Accordingly there is a type of crime for the illiterate, namely, 
the savage type; and one for the educated, the milder, but 
more cunning type. In the same way, according to the most 
recent studies of Socquet ^ we see that in France the illiterate 
criminals gradually diminished in the period 1876-80 in com- 
parison with the period 1831-35. Homicides and murders 
have decreased among them by half, infanticides and abortions 
by a third, and sexual crimes nearly a half. The violent crimes 
of educated criminals are, on the whole, diminishing, while 
their other crimes are nearly at a standstill. As to political 
crimes, these increase constantly among the educated. History 
teaches us that it has been the highly civilized states (Athens, 
Genoa, Florence) which furnished the maximum number of 
revolutions; and it is certainly not among the illiterate that 
the nihilists and anarchists get their recruits, but among the 
more highly educated. Of this I have given abundant proof 
in my " Crime Politique." In Austria the crimes which pre- 
vail among the illiterate are robberies, abductions, infanticides, 
abortions, murders, bigamy, homicides, malicious injury to 
property, and assaults. In Italy, following the remarkable 
study of Amati,2 we find: 

» "Contribution k I'fitude de la Criminality en France." 
' Istruzione e Delinquenza in Italia," 1886. 


Crimes, 1881-83 


Able to read 
and write 

More highly 

Political crimes 








10.0 % 
7.0 % 
1-7 % 



8.0 % 

3.1 % 

Among 500 individuals who had a higher education there were 
in 1881-83 the following number of the crimes specified (the 
second figure giving the number to the 1000) : 

Forgeries 76-152 

Homicides 44- 88 

Thefts 40-80 

Frauds 57-114 

Extortions 38-76 

Highway robberies .... 22- 44 

Sexual crimes 34- 68 

Bankruptcies 33-66 

Perjuries 2-4 

Assaults 13-26 

Parricides 2-4 

Political crimes 14-28 

Crimes against religion . 
Destruction of property 


Instigation to crime . . 

1- 2 
4- 8 
1- 2 

That is to say, the figures are higher for forgery, fraud, sexual 
crime, bankruptcy, theft, extortion, and homicide; and lower 
for assault, highway robbery, parricide, and arson. Accord- 
ingly, while the illiterate lead in homicide and theft, the fully 
and partly educated together show a high figure for political 
crimes, and an absolute majority of the rapes and frauds. 

But it should be observed here that the above statistics belong 
to a period when thought was completely free in Italy, and 
when, therefore, the comparatively few political uprisings did 
not draw into their ranks the better part of the population; 
hence the relatively large number of illiterates. Now, however, 
those condemned for political crimes belong to the more highly 
educated strata of the nation. The same thing is triie of Russia, 
where the greatest number of political offenders is furnished by 
the educated class. Thus from 1827 to 1846 the nobles exiled 
to Siberia for political causes were 120 times as numerous as 
the peasants. Of 100 women condemned for political crimes 


in Russia, 75 were well educated, 12 could read and write, and 
7 were illiterate.^ 

It cannot be said, then, that education always acts as a 
preventive of crime, nor, on the other hand, that it always 
impels toward crime. When it is really difiFused among all 
classes, it has a beneficial effect, diminishing the number of 
crimes among those moderately educated, and making the char- 
acter of them milder. 

§ 52. Education in the Prisons 

However, if education is valuable for the population in gen- 
eral, it nevertheless ought not to be extended to the inmates of 
prisons, unless it is accompanied by a special training designed 
to correct the passions and instincts rather than to develop the 
intellect. Elementary education is positively harmful as ap- 
plied to the ordinary criminal; it places in his hands an addi- 
tional weapon for carrying on his crimes, and makes a recidivist 
of him. The introduction of schools into the prisons, at once 
bringing bad men into contact with each other and developing 
their intelligence and power, explains, to my mind, the great 
number of educated recidivists. For statistics show us that 
of crimes against property, made easier by education, recidi- 
vists committed over twice as many (67.4%) as non-recidivists 
(28.47%), while their crimes against persons were relatively 
much fewer. It is doubtless the elementary instruction given 
in the prisons of France, Saxony, and Sweden that accounts 
for the large number of forgeries committed by recidivists. 
The pickpocket and cut-throat learn in prison, at the expense 
of the state, to make false keys, to make counterfeit money, 
to engrave banknotes, and to commit burglaries. 

§ S3. Dangers of Education 

"Knowledge," says Seymour, "is power, not virtue. It may 
be the servant of good, but it may also be the servant of evil." 
To put the same truth in other words, the simple sensory knowl- 
edge of the form of the letters or the sound which indicates an 

* E. N. Tamowski, "Juridicesky Vestnik," 1889. 


object, or the knowledge even of the great technical and sci- 
entific advances which have been made, does not raise the 
moral plane in the least degree. Indeed, it may become, on 
the contrary, a powerful instrument for evil, by creating new 
crimes that more easily escape the clutches of the law. Thus 
the advancement of science may enable criminals to use the 
railroad, as was the case with Tiebert in 1845 ; or dynamite, as 
with Thomas; or the telegraph and cipher messages, as in the 
case of the Venetian, Fangin, who used this means to indicate to 
his accomplices the courier who was to be robbed. Caruso, the 
bandit, was accustomed to say that if he had known the alpha- 
bet he would have conquered the world; and the murderer 
Delpero declared at the foot of the gallows that the cause of 
his ruin was the education which his parents had procured 
for him, since it had made him prefer idleness to poorly paid 
labor. Finally, all criminals learn, by reading the accounts of 
trials, of which they are very fond, to put into practice the arts 
of their predecessors. Thus, among 150 vagrants, Mayhew 
found 50 who had read "Jack Sheppard" and other stories of 
criminals, and who declared that this reading had inspired 
their first steps in a life of crime. 

From the lowest education to the highest among us Latins, 
with whom crime is continually increasing, there is no teaching 
given that does not open the wound rather than heal it; and 
especially is this the case with political crimes. We live in a 
stirring time when the days are years and the years centuries, 
and we would have our young people live in an atmosphere 
thousands of years old. The best intelligence has not time 
enough to take in that part of knowledge that is necessary to 
all (like natural history, hygiene, modern languages, and eco- 
nomics), and we would have the youth spend his precious hours 
in learning to babble dead languages and dead sciences, and 
all this to make him a man of good taste. It seems ridiculous 
to waste ten or twelve years on flowers and musical scales. 
The mighty torrent of modern life, laden with facts, passes 
before us and we do not see it. How it will make our descend- 
ants smile to think that thousands and thousands of men have 
seriously believed that some reluctantly learned and quickly 


forgotten fragment of the classics, or, worse still, the dry rules 
of ancient grammar, were the best means of developing the 
mind and forming the character of a young man, better means 
than the exposition of the most important facts, better means 
than study of the causes of those facts. In the meanwhile 
we are creating generation after generation whose brains are 
crammed with study of the form only, and not of the substance; 
and, worse than this (since the form may be transmitted in some 
masterpiece), with an adoration of the form which amounts to 
fetichism, and is the more false, blind, and sterile the longer 
it has been profitlessly employed. 

It is from this sort of education that has come the adoration 
of violence that has been the starting point of all our rebels, 
from Cola di Rienzi to Robespierre. What is the whole classical 
education but a continual glorification of violence in all its forms.'* 
In this matter all political parties are alike, so deep-seated is 
evil. The clericals cry Hurrah! at the dagger- thrust of Ravaillac, 
and the conservatives do likewise at the wholesale execution 
of the Communists in 1871. What wonder, then, that in a 
society saturated with violence, violence breaks out from time 
to time on all sides in storm and lightning? It is not possible 
to declare with impunity that violence is holy, with the proviso 
that it is to be used only in a certain way, for sooner or later 
some one will come to transfer the gospel of force from one 
political creed to another. 

I am glad that my illustrious master Taine has preceded 
me in this line of thought. In his last pages he has given an 
almost posthumous admonition to us poor Latins, so vain- 
glorious, and so obstinately attached to that which is our ruin. 

"The true learning, the true education," writes Taine,i "is 
acquired by contact with things, by innumerable sense-impres- 
sions which a man receives all day in the laboratory, the work- 
shop, the court-room, or the hospital, impressions which enter 
by the ears, the eyes, the nose, to be consciously or uncon- 
scously assimilated by him, and which sooner or later suggest 
to him a new combination, a simplification, an economy, an 
improvement, an invention. Of these invaluable contacts, of 

* "Revue Philosoph.," 1894-95. 


all these assimilable and indispensable elements of mental life, 
the French youth is deprived just at the most fruitful age. For 
seven or eight years he is shut up in school, cut off from the per- 
sonal experience that would give him a correct and vivid idea 
of things, of men, and of the way to equip himself for life. 

"It is too much to demand of young people that upon a set 
day they shall present themselves in the examination-room in 
the possession of all knowledge. As a matter of fact two months 
after the examination they have forgotten everything; but in 
the meantime their mental vigor declines, freshness and fer- 
tility disappear. The accomplished man, or rather the man 
who is no longer capable of any change, becomes ticketed, 
resigned to a life of routine, perpetually turning the same 

"On the other hand, the Anglo-Saxons [the only race in 
Europe, as we shall see, among whom criminality is declining] 
have not our innumerable special schools. Among them in- 
struction is given not by the book, but through the object 
itself. The engineer, for example, is educated not in the school 
but in the workshop, a thing which permits each man to reach 
the grade suited to his intelligence: workman or builder, if he 
can rise no higher, engineer, if his talents permit. With us, on 
the other hand, with the three grades of instruction, for child- 
hood, youth, and young manhood, with the theoretic and scho- 
lastic instruction imparted by means of benches and books, the 
mental tension is simply increased and prolonged by the pros- 
pect of examinations, diplomas, degrees, and commissions; 
while our schools do not give the indispensable equipment, 
namely, a sound and firm understanding, will, and nerves. So 
the entrance of the student into the world and his first steps in 
the field of practical action are oftenest but a succession of un- 
fortunate falls, from which he emerges bruised even if not crip- 
pled. It is a rough and dangerous experiment. His mental poise 
is disturbed, and is in danger of not being reestablished. The 
disillusioning is too rude and too violent." 

Finally, education often incites to evil by creating new needs 
and aspirations without giving the power to gratify them. Es- 
pecially is this brought about by the mingling of good and bad 
elements in the school, an influence the more dangerous when 
the teacher himself inclines to evil, particularly in sexual rela- 
tions, as has been observed in Italy and Germany. ^ 

In this matter I am much of Dante's opinion: 
1 Oettingen, op. cU. 


"Che dove rargomento della mente 
S'aggiunge al mal voler ed alia possa, 
Nessun riparo vi puo far la gente." ^ 

"You reckon," says Joly, "upon the school's supplying the 
place of the parents, who are kept occupied at their work, or 
who lack the knowledge or ability to do their duty by their 
children; and you count, on the other hand, on the family to 
supply the deficiency of the moral training of the school. But 
while each waits for the other, they unite in accomplishing 

' "Where intelligence is united with power and wickedness, the efforts 
of men are vain." ("Inferno," XXXI.) 



THE influence of wealth is a factor much more disputed 
than that of education, and the most impartial examination 
of the facts fails to give a complete solution; for the investigator 
fails to secure a suflBcient number of 'decisive proofs. Bodio 
himself in his classic work, "Di Alcuni Indici Numeratori del 
Movimento Economico in Italia " (1890), shows that it is im- 
possible to give an answer to the question. What is the actual 
wealth of Italy? It is impossible to place a valuation upon all 
the agricultural and mineral wealth, because we have no exact 
statistics of mining and agriculture. A statement of all indi- 
vidual properties is impossible for lack of a simultaneous ap- 
praisal of all real and personal property. It is necessary, there- 
fore, to rely upon private statements as found in deeds-of-gift 
and wills. The average wage must be arrived at hypothetically 
upon the basis of the minimum necessary for living, which itself, 
in turn, is based upon conjectural data. To estimate wealth 
on the basis of taxes alone is seen plainly to be impossible when 
one reflects that the errors of the assessors by themselves would 
be sufficient to overthrow all calculations, without considering 
the numbers of business men, bankers, and even professional 
men who escape taxation more or less completely. This is 
why the results in this division of the subject, however one 
may attack it, hardly succeed in establishing an exact relation 
between wealth and the more important crimes. 

§55. Taxes 

The following tables present a comparison of the number of 
the principal crimes compared with the sum total of all taxes 
paid by the inhabitants of the various provinces, including 



taxes upon consumption (internal revenue, tobacco, salt, etc.), 
direct taxes (farm property, real estate generally, personal 
property, etc.), and taxes upon business. 

Maximtth Wealth 

Average tax 

paid per 
capita, in 





Homicides ^ 














































































Mean Wealth 

^'.i J^il 








Port Maurice 











































































1 The data are all from Bodio (1879-83), except the thefts, which are from 
Ferri. The taxes are taken from the "Annuario del Ministero della Finanze, 
Statistica Fin." (1886-87). 


Minimum Wealth 


















































Reggio Calabria 

































The next table is formed by arranging these figures in groups, 
and adding to them the data for the years 1890-93 furnished 
by Bodio, in which he includes, besides the thefts tried at the 
assizes, those coming before the minor courts: 

Wealth, 1885-86 

Wealth, 1890-93 (Bodio) 







Fraud . . . . 
Sexual crimes . 
Thefts .... 
Homicides . . 

^ Bodio incli 





ides rural th 


















419.05 » 


From which it appears that fraudulent crimes increase 
positively with the increase of wealth, and the same is true of 
thefts, but if we add rural thefts we get the maximum where 
wealth is least; and this last is always true of homicides. This 
shows more clearly the influence of mere poverty upon the 
minor crimes. We have already shown in the chapter on sub- 


sistence that, in Germany, while thefts in general became less 
frequent in the years when the price of grain was lowest, and 
increased when the price was very high, thefts from the forests, 
on the other hand, pursued the contrary course. But these 
thefts, which still recall the ancient time when land and pasture 
were common property, are bound up with old tradition, and 
only exceptionally represent the immorality of a country. The 
results for sexual crimes are more unexpected. They show 
their minimum in Italy where wealth is moderate, and their 
maximum where there is the minimum of wealth. Italy thus 
presents an exception, as the usual course of sexual crimes is 
to increase with the increase of wealth. An examination of 
the figures shows, likewise, that there are individual provinces 
which give figures very far from the average of their several 

§ 56. Inheritance Taxes 

De Foville believes that it is possible to estimate private 
wealth upon the basis of the declarations in wills; ^ but if we 
study Pantaleoni's * very valuable statistics for Italy, we shall 
see with what difficulty we shall arrive at any idea of the 
relation of crime to wealth. In fact, in studying the table 
given on the following page, we draw the conclusion that the 
richest districts. Piedmont, Liguria, Lombardy, and Tuscany, 
have a proportion of crimes against property less than the 
average of the kingdom; the same is true of the districts 
which in wealth come nearest the average, Venice and 
Emilia. The poorest regions, Sardinia, Sicily, and Naples, 
have a high criminality; but Umbria and the Marches, which 
are also poor, show a very low figure for crime. Thefts are 
very rare in Tuscany, Lombardy, Emilia, Piedmont, and 
Liguria, which are the richest districts, and also in one of the 
poorest, the Marches. In Sicily they are moderately numerous, 
and in Venice a little more so, a fact to be explained by the 

J De Foville, "La France ficonomique," 1870. 
«l u^n^"^ -IPf^ Regiona d 'Italia in Ordine aUe loro Ricchezze ed 
fifi ?S V •^"''"*Y',*? (Giomale degU Economisti, 1891); Id.. "L'En- 
(G?om EcSr 1890) ^^chezza Privata in Italia dal 1872 al 1888" 




intense misery of the agricultural population of the latter dis- 
trict. The richest district, Latium, and the poorest, Sardinia, 
have the greatest number of thefts; so that here there is no 
evident parallelism with wealth. Bodio observes that in the 
ease of Latium it is necessary to take account of the disturbing 
influence of the capital upon both crime and wealth. The in- 
heritance taxes are in this case an unreliable measure of the 
wealth of the locality, since there is capital concentrated here 
which belongs to other districts. Besides this, there is at Rome, 
on account of special conditions of rural property and the sys- 
tem of cultivation in use, a very Umited number of persons 
who have immense properties, a fact which has a disproportion- 
ate effect upon the inheritance taxes. The smallest number 
of frauds is found in Umbria and the Marches; then come 
Tuscany, Emilia, Venice, Piedmont, Liguria, and Lombardy, 
which are the richer districts. The district of Naples furnishes 
fewer frauds by a great deal than it would seem it should 
because of its comparative poverty. 

Indictments. (Average to 100,000 Population, 1887-89) 







Latium . . . 







Piedmont ) 
Liguria ) ■ 







Lombardy . . 







Tuscany . . 







Venice . . . 







Reggie . . . 







Emilia . . . 







Sicily .... 







Naples . . . 







Marches ) 
Umbria ) ' ' 







Sardinia . . 






The minimum number of highway robberies is shown by 
Venice and Lombardy (rich) and by Umbria and the Marches 
(poor); the medium number by Tuscany, Emilia, Naples, 


Piedmont, and Liguria. Sardinia and Sicily, which are poor, 
are joined with the wealthy district of Latium in giving the 
maximum. The great contradictions are very apparent. 

§ 57. Lack of Employment 

One would be tempted to believe at once that unemploy- 
ment must exercise a perceptible influence upon criminality. 
It is, however, of Uttle importance. In New South Wales ^ 
the effect of periods of idleness upon the workmen is almost 
nothing. Wright ^ maintains that at the time of industrial 
depressions all crimes are increased, but he presents no proof. 
When he says that of 220 convicts in Massachusetts, 147 were 
without regular work, and that 68% of criminals have no occu- 
pation, he only bears witness that criminals do not like to 
work, a fact that is very well known. In the United States 
82% of the murderers about whom the facts were ascertain- 
able were occupied when they committed their crime, and only 
18% were without work.' It seems, then, that unemployment 
is not a cause of crimes of violence.^ The fact that the majority 
of criminals have almost never a settled trade does not contra- 
dict this. They never had an occupation and never wanted 
to have one, while the real unemployed are those who have 
had work and lost it through circumstances beyond their con- 
trol, or practically so, allowing for strikes. 

§58. Days of Work 

A surer criterion for this question is to be found in the 
number of days' wages equivalent to the annual price of 
food for one individual. (See Table.^) This approaches 

* Coghlan, op. cit. 

* Wright, "The Relations of Economic Conditions to the Causes of 
Crime," Philadelphia, 1891. 

» B08C0, "L'Omicidio negli Stati Uniti d'America," 1895. 

! Su™^*'^ Fornasari di Verce, op. cit., chaps. 32-33, 44-48. 
*u- ifi ^°'"P*'"80M of criminality on the different nations set forth in 
this table must be received with some caution because of the different 
moral and legislative conditions in the different countries — a thing to be 
especially noted, as Bodio observes, with reference to sexual crimes. It 
IS an unportant fact, however, that the figures for homicides given in the 
latest statistics (Bodil, "Sul Movimento della Delinquenza nel 1893," p. 51) 
do not change the relative position of the countries, except that England 
takes the first place and Scotland the second. 






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closely to the study which we have already made of the cost 
of subsistence. 

We see here (1) that excess of labor in connection with a 
minimum wage, that is to say, with a lack of proper nourish- 
ment, has a certain correspondence with homicide. In fact, 
Scotland, England, and Ireland, which have the minimum 
number of days' work, have also the minimum of homicides, 
0.51, 0.56, 1.05; and Spain and Italy, which have the maximum, 
have the maximum of homicides, 8.25, 9.53. (2) Further, 
there is a certain correspondence in the case of assaults. Eng- 
land, Ireland, and Scotland, which have the minimum necessary 
days of work, 127, have also the minimum number of assaults, 
2.67, 6.24, 11.59; Austria and Italy have a maximum number 
of days of work, 152 and 163, vnth. the maximum of assaults 
likewise, 155, 230. But there is at the same time an exception 
in the case of Spain, which has a small number of assaults, with 
a large number of days, and also in the case of Belgium, which 
shows a large number of assaults, 175.34, with only 136 days 
of work, a fact certainly to be traced to the influence of alcohol- 
ism. (3) The influence is reversed in the case of sexual offences. 
Of these one frequently observes the lower numbers where 
the number of days' work required is highest. Thus Spain, 
where 154 days are required, has but 1.03 sexual crimes; while 
Belgium, which has next to the smallest number of days of 
work, 130, has next to the highest number of these offenses. 
The United Kingdom, however, which shows the minimum 
number of days, has the second lowest number of sexual crimes. 
(4) The number of thefts is apparently in no way affected, 
for we see all degrees of this crime in countries with both high 
and low figures as to days of work, as in Spain, Belgium, France, 
Italy, etc. 

§ 59. Savings Banks 

I have thought that the number of the depositors in the sav- 
ings banks would give more reliable data for the real wealth of 
a country, because this would give the measure of the principal 
source of wealth, — foresight and economy, — and hence meas- 
ure how prevalent among the people are the forces that inhibit 




vice and crime. As a matter of fact, we have already seen that 
in France wealth is in direct relation to the lower birth-rate, 
which at bottom corresponds to greater foresight and to greater 
inhibitive power. 

According to Coghlan (op. cit.) we find in Europe: 

Persons to each 



Crimes to 100,000 inhabitants 



Switzerland .... 




















These figures show how homicides decrease as the number of 
bank books increases, while the contrary is true of thefts. In 
Italy, it is true, from the very limited data that we have, we 
see that the greatest number of savings-bank books, while cor- 
responding, as elsewhere, with the smallest number of homicides, 
corresponds also with the smallest number of thefts.^ The aver- 
age of the different crimes in the 20 Italian provinces that have 
the greatest number of savings-bank books (1 to from 3 to 6 
inhabitants), in the 20 with the smallest number (1 to from 15 
to 24), and in the 20 that have a medium number (1 to from 
8 to 13), is as follows: 

Average number of crimes in 20 provinces in which number 
of books is — 




Fraudulent crimes . 
Sexual crimes . . . 


Homicides .... 








^ "Annuario Statistico Italiano," 1892. 


As we have seen in the case of taxes in Italy, so it is here; 
where there is less foresight and saving, as evidenced by the 
number of savings-bank books, there are more crimes of blood, 
thefts, and rapes, but less swindling, while these relations are 
just reversed for the maximum and moderate degrees of wealth. 
This simply means that a country still barbarous is more in- 
cUned to violence than to cunning. But the same peculiarity 
with regard to Italy that we noted in connection with the taxes 
is again apparent here, namely, that rapes, which elsewhere 
increase with wealth, here are most common in the poorest 

However, where race and climate already impel to evil, 
wealth, as I have already said, can do nothing. Thus we find a 
high number of homicides in the richest provinces, hke Palermo 
with 42, Rome with 27, Naples with 26, and Leghorn with 21. 
These apparent exceptions are explained by the geographical 
position of Palermo and Naples, by race at Leghorn, and in 
Rome by race, abuse of alcohol, and political conditions. The 
contrary is true of the poorer provinces in which geographical 
position, climate, and race exaggerate the influence of poverty; 
for the highest figures are to be found in the southern and in- 
sular provinces. In the case of sexual crimes also there are 
analogous exceptions and explanations, since a large number 
are to be found in the rich provinces of Leghorn (26) and Rome 
(22), while among the poor provinces a very small number is 
shown by Reggio, Emilia, Vicenza (4), Belluno and Rovigo 
(5), Udine (7), etc. Here again the explanation is evidently 
ethnic and geographic. This proves indirectly that the high 
figures shown by the poorer provinces in southern Italy and 
the islands are connected not with economic peculiarities, but 
with race and climate. 

§ 6o. Savings in France 

As regards France, by estimating the wealth in the several 
departments on the basis of the number of savings-bank books 
to 1000 inhabitants, we find that crimes invariably increase 
directly as wealth increases. Thus: 


Departments where the degree of wealth is — 

Average number of 











29 2 

1 Minimum wealth, to 100 books to the 1000 inhabitants (Corsica 20, Ar- 
deche, 97). 

Medium wealth, 100 to 200 books (Lot 101, Loire-et-Cher, 190). 
Maximum wealth, 200 to 406 books (Seine 201, Sarthe 406). 

2 "Annuaire d'Economie Politique," Paris, 1886. 

The striking difference of the influence of savings in France 
and in Italy is explained, up to a certain point, in the same 
way that we have explained the difference that we found be- 
tween the two countries in the influence of density (see Chap- 
ter V); namely, that it is to the richest districts of France, 
where manufacturing is most developed, that the emigrants flow; 
and these commit, in general, four times as many crimes as the 
French. Now from 1851 to 1886 the number of immigrants 
into France tripled, and the quality of the immigrants deteri- 
orated as their numbers increased; for in the beginning it is the 
better elements that come in, but later, when the current that 
carries men from one country to another becomes too strong 
it carries the worst elements with it (Joly). The department of 
Nord has four times more foreigners than Boiiches-du-Rhone, 
and 19 times more than Herault; but it has 9 times more natu- 
ralizations than the former, and 75 times more than the latter. 
That is to say, the foreign element in Nord is much more stable 
and assimilable, being largely Belgian, while Herault is much 
frequented by Spaniards. Immigrants are also drawn into 
France by the low birth-rate and by the frequency of strikes, 
which give them hope of finding work.^ 

In southern Italy climatic and ethnic factors come into col- 

^ Joly, "France Criminelle." 


lision with the economic factor. We have already seen that in 
consequence of the joint effect of the Semitic element in the 
population, and the hot climate, all crimes against persons, and 
in part those against property, are abnormally increased. But 
it would be a great mistake to suppose that these explanations 
are sufficient. We have still to look for a graver cause. If we 
compare certain districts of Italy, like Piedmont and Lombardy, 
with parts of France that are similar in race and climate, we 
shall see that under nearly identical conditions opposite phe- 
nomena occur. In Italy the greater savings correspond with 
the smaller number of crimes, while in France the contrary 
happens. Here we must see the cause in the fact that in France 
the maximum wealth is enormously greater than in Italy, at 
least four times as great, in fact. This is the more important 
since in many places in France this wealth, being too quickly 
acquired, drives its possessors to the greatest debauchery, so 
that, as Joly well puts it, to amuse oneself and to debauch one- 
self become synonymous. We find a direct proof of this in the 
fact that in Italy moderate and maximum wealth both lead to 
the same results, just because there is so much resemblance 
between them; while in France, on the contrary, the maximum 
degree of wealth differs enormously from moderate means, and 
in consequence produces contrary results. In Italy the increase 
of savings is an effect of economy rather than of positive wealth, 
while in France, at least in the manufacturing districts, espe- 
cially in Herault and Boiiches-du-Rhone, savings accounts are 
an indication of a wealth so great that it too often degenerates 
into an occasion for wild speculation. Hence it is that we find 
all the advantages of wealth in one countrj^ and all the disad- 
vantages in the other. Moderate wealth, slowly accumulated, 
restrains from crime; inordinate wealth is no longer a rein, but 
a spur and an incentive to crime. 

§ 6i. Agriculture and Manufacturing 

In fact, where manufacturing crowds agriculture hard, and 
still more where it displaces it entirely, we see the number of 
crimes increase immediately. Indeed, if we divide France (as 
in the study "Sur la Criminalite pendant 50 Ans" above) into 




agricultural, mixed, and manufacturing districts, we see that 
crime nearly always increases as we pass from the first named 
to the last. Of 42 agricultural departments only 11, or 26%, go 
beyond the average number of assassinations in France; while 
the average is exceeded by 10 out of the 26 departments of 
mixed industry, or 38%, and by 7 out of 17 manufacturing 
departments, or 41%. Rapes upon adults and crimes against 
persons show similar results. 

Percentage of departments exceeding the average of all 
France in: 


Crimes against 

Agricultural Departments (42) . . . 
Mixed (26) 




Manufacturing (17) 


These figures are certainly to be explained by aggregations 
of population and the coming in of immigrants. 

"In the department of Herault," writes Joly, "fraud came in 
permanently with wealth. Never were there more attempts at 
bribery, whether of the local oflScials or of the highest represent- 
atives of the central administration. ... A case has been cited 
to me in which the entire municipal council fraudulently evaded 
the payment of their own taxes. This evil was the greater for 
going unpunished, the jury having brought in an acquittal. . . . 

"Was not this general demoralization produced, or hastened 
and aggravated in any case, by the crisis in wine-growing, which 
has permitted these people since 1874 to make enormous gains 
with their wines? As a matter of fact, it was in 1874 that 
Herault passed from the 5th place as regards criminality, up 
to the 61st, and in 1884 it went on to the 81st." ^ 

"From the day," wT-ites Joly again, "when the peasants, 
hitherto poor, could change their uncultivated land into vine- 
yards, from the day when, thanks to the railroads, their prod- 
ucts increased enormously in value before their eyes . . . from 
that day they became greedy. . . . The man who has gambled 
and won in the stock exchange dreams only of stocks and bonds, 
and of cornering the market. Now all wealth gained without 

^ Joly, "La France Criminelle," p. 112. 


effort resembles a little money won by gambling, and has the 
same effect upon the mind. 'It is good fortune,' said the com- 
missioner of Cette, 'that has ruined this country.'" 

When Bocage was poor it was honest. "Now those who 
steal have possessions themselves, and the well-to-do peasants 
commit more crimes than the vagrants" (Joly). In the east in 
the department of Eure, and in the west in Calvados, manu- 
facturing and agriculture are backward, and there is little crim- 
inality. In Vire the inhabitants Uve by working the ground 
and crime is almost unknown. 

§ 6a. Wealth as a Cause of Crime 

Those, consequently, who affirm that criminality is always 
an effect of poverty, have not considered the other side of the 
question, and observed the cases where crime is the effect of 
wealth. Rapidly acquired wealth, which is not balanced by a 
high character or by a lofty religious or political idealism, is 
harmful rather than helpful. Spencer also has said of wealth, 
that according as the fundamental character of a people is good 
or bad, it leads to virtue or vice; and especially is the latter 
the effect of excessive wealth, which, like excessive power or 
excessive education, is a natural instrument of despotism, of all 
sorts of sexual and alcoholic abuses and, in consequence, of 
crime. Accordingly, wealth is now a check, now a spur to crime, 
just as we have seen is the case with education, civilization, and 
density of population, and as we shall see to be true of rehgion. 

Here is the criterion which must especially be kept in mind 
in the aetiology of crime. For according to our character and 
stage of development the same cause now destroys and now 
saves us. Thus we shall see apparent contradictions disappear 
and even contribute toward a full explanation. Thus in the 
United States, those states which have the highest criminality 
have now the maximum and now the minimum of wealth (as 
shown by the data obtained directly from individuals in taking 
the census).! We see there that the richest states have a low 
criminality. Rhode Island, for example ($183 per capita), has 
a criminal figure of 0.11; Massachusetts, with nearly the same 
» Scribner's "Statistical Atlas of the United States," 1880. 


degree of wealth ($178), has nearly twice the criminality, 0.20, 
almost the same as the District of Columbia, 0.21, which has a 
moderate degree of wealth ($112), as has also Wyoming, which, 
however, shows nearly twice the criminality, 0.35. Some poor 
states like Dakota ($30 per capita), Alabama ($19), and New 
Mexico ($19), give the lowest criminal statistics, from 0.04 to 
0.03; but here we encounter a contradiction, for Delaware, 
with a criminality figure of only 0.05, has a moderate amount 
of wealth ($82). We have seen above how in France and Italy 
criminality in general increases, only changing its character; 
we have seen that Artena furnishes the maximum of crime for 
Italy, and yet that there no one, according to Sighele, is really 
poor, all being small land-holders, etc. This does not prevent 
the fact that, when a state of barbarism prevails, as in Corsica, 
crimes against persons increase, as simple thefts do, in the years 
and in the districts in which there is extreme poverty. 

§ 63. Explanation "^ 

The cause of all this is only too clear. On the one side pov- 
erty and the lack of absolute necessities impel toward the theft 
of indispensable things for the satisfaction of the individual's 
own needs. ^ This is the first cord binding poverty and assaults 
upon property. On the other hand, poverty makes men im- 
pulsive through the cortical irritation following the abuse of 
wine and alcohol, that terrible poison to which so many of the 
poor resort to still the pangs of hunger. Account must be taken 
also of the degeneration produced by scurvy, scrofula, anemia, 
and alcoholism in the parents, which often transforms itself 
into epilepsy and moral insanity. Poverty also drives men to 
commit brutal eliminations of individuals who are an unwelcome 
burden upon the family, recalling the parricides and infanti- 
cides committed by savages under similar circumstances. Pov- 
erty is indirectly a cause of sexual crimes, on account of the 
difficulty which the poor have of obtaining satisfaction through 
prostitution; on account of precocious promiscuity in factories 
and mines; and also because of the frequency of infantilism or 

1 Mayr, "Die Gesetzmassigkeit in Gesellschaftleben," Miinchen, 1877; 
Fomasari, op. dt. 


feminism among the boys.^ On the other hand, when a slight 
temptation toward evil is presented to an individual in com- 
fortable circumstances, he is rendered physically and morally 
stronger by sufficient nutrition and a sounder moral training, 
and is less pressed by need, so that while he feels the impulsion 
to do evil, he can more easily resist it. 

But wealth, in its turn, is a source of degeneration from other 
causes, such as syphilis, exhaustion, etc. It drives men to 
crime through vanity, in order to surpass others, and from a 
fatal ambition to cut a figure in the world, which, as we have 
seen, is one of the greatest causes of crimes against property. 
Also, as Fornasari has very truly remarked, where wealth is 
absolutely the greatest it is always accumulated in the hands 
of a few, so that at the same time there is alwaj^s great poverty, 
more keenly felt because of the contrast. This favors the ten- 
dency toward crime on the one hand, and on the other furnishes 
better opportunities for it. Besides, it should be noted ^ that 
where wealth is least, the crowding in of population is least, 
especially of dangerous indi\"iduals, who gather in the richer 
districts to carry on their criminal practices more easily, as, for 
example, in France, at Cette. 

If it is true, on the other hand, that urgent need drives the 
poor to wrongdoing, it is only to a very limited number of 
crimes, although these are the more violent ones; while the 
artificial wants of the rich, although less urgent, are more nu- 
merous, and the kinds of crime among them are infinitely more 
numerous also, as well as the means of escaping punishment, 
encouraged by the example of persons high in politics. Thus 
we see, in Italy, ministers guilty of crimes against the public 
who remain in power, in spite of the discovery of their crime, 
and even use it as a means of fortifying their position. It is 
only in France and England that the people refuse to be gov- 
erned by criminals. 

As for sexual and alcoholic crimes, the first satisfaction made 
possible by wealth never sufficiently appeases the blase, but 

' See my "Homme Criminel," Vol. I. 

„* ^.^?"^' "^^ Sostitutivi Pcnali," in Arch, di Psich., I, p. 88; "Studi 
Bulla Cnmmahta in Francia," in "AnnaU di Stati," s. 2a, v. XXI, p. 183; 
Fomaaan, op. cit. 




drives them on to seek new excitements, such as rapes upon 
children,^ sodomy, the misuse of morphine, cocaine, etc. Too 
great wealth, then, instead of being a preventive, is often a 
spur to new crimes. 

"There are many," says Joly, "who have nothing and want 
nothing, and many who have too much and are always ambitious 
to possess more; and besides, just as in war killing en masse 
and at long range seems remote from the idea of homicide, so, 
in great cities, to ruin at a distance by fraud or bankruptcy 
an enormous number of people, does not seem reaUy a crime, 
even to many timid people." 

The born criminal finds, on the whole, more opportunities 
for crime in wealth than in poverty, but the case is still worse 
with the occasional criminal.^ It is only necessary to study the 
physiognomy of Baihaut, De Z , Tanlongo, etc., to be con- 
vinced that these were not congenital criminals, and, without 
politics, would never have become criminals. 

§ 64. The Preponderance of Poor Criminals 

But why, some one may object, are those convicted almost 
always poor? We see, for example, in the "Statistica Penale" 
for 1889, that 100 Italians indicted, of whom it was possible to 
know the economic condition, were divided as follows in the 
years given: 





Having only the necessaries of 








Fairiy comfortable 

Well-to-do or rich 


1 See above. While educated persons furnish 5% to 6% of all criminals, 
they furnish 12% of those guilty of rapes upon children; that is to say, 
while there is one criminal in twenty belonging to the hberal professions, 
in these crimes there is one in eight (Starkenburg, "Daa Sexuelle Elend 
der Gebildeten," 1895). 

* Criminel par occasion (elsewhere d' occasion). Lombroso uses this ex- 
pression usually to indicate one who is a criminal by force of external cir- 
cumstances, as distinct from the bom criminal; but he sometimes employs 
it for the man of one crime as distinguished from the habitual criminal. 
— Transl- 


These figures agree with those published by Guillaume, Stevens, 
and Marro,^ in showing us an enormous disproportion of crimes 
among the poor. 

But before we let ourselves be led away by these figures, 
which appear to be flatly contrary to our conclusions as to the 
evil effect of wealth, it is necessary to remember that the con- 
viction of rich men is very rare, and that, when they violate 
the laws, as Marro very truly says, they are not put into prison 
so easily as the poor. The rich man has in his favor the influ- 
ence of his fortune, his family, his social relations, and his 
intelligence. This is often enough to save him from prison, 
and always gives him able defenders. In the private asylums, 
which are used only by the rich, the morally insane are very 
numerous, though there are but few in the public asylums and 
the prisons; which means that wealth helps to clear up the 
pathology of the born criminal, while poverty obscures it. 
Fiu*ther, in the contest between classes, the courts are used as 
a means of dominating the poor, who are already, a priori, con- 
victed as such. The upper classes are accustomed to say, 
"Poor as a thief," and, alas! what is worse, to turn the proverb 

"If," as Colajanni says, "some of the delinquencies of the 
poor remain concealed, whether because the moral sense is 
deficient among them and for this reason no information is 
laid, as in the case of sexual crimes, or because the offenses take 
place under such conditions that they are not discovered, as in 
the case of field thefts, does it always happen that all the crimes 
of the rich come to light? Is there an army corps set aside to 
discover the crimes of the rich, as there is for the offences com- 
mitted in the fields and forests?" 

And have there not been cases of parliamentary and political 
immunity, flagrant or secret, — a kind of right of asylum, 
enormously extended to take in all delinquents having political 
power, ministers, deputies, great electors, journalists? A great 

»T* Gumaume, "fitat de la Question des Prisons en Sufede": Stevens, 
quSti " Krin 1887^^ ^° Belgique"; Marro, "I Caratteri dei Delin- 


poet has told us that rags allow crime to be seen at once through 
their rents, while gold conceals and defends it.^ 

To sum up: the economic factor has a great influence upon 
crime, not, however, that poverty is the principal cause of it, 
for excessive wealth, or money too quickly acquired, plays a 
large part as well; and poverty and wealth are frequently 
neutralized by the effect of race and cUmate. 

1 "Through tatter 'd clothes small vices do appear; 

Robes and furred gowns hide all. Plate sin with gold, 
And the strong lance of justice hurtless breaks; 
Arm it in rags, a pigmy's straw does pierce it." 

(Shakespeare, "King Lear," Act iv, Sc. vi.) 



THE influence of religion also is complex, even more so than 
that of civilization or wealth. We have seen that there 
are criminals who are very religious (especially in the country, 
and in relatively unciviUzed localities), and also criminals who 
are irreUgious, even atheistic.^ We have seen that among church- 
goers, criminals and honest men are almost equally numerous,^ 
and often the criminals are in the majority .^ Of 700 criminals 
examined by Ferri 1 alone was an atheist, 1 was indifferent, 
and 7 were devout and even found in religion an excuse for their 
crime. One of these said, " It is God who gives us the instinct to 
steal"; another, "Crimes are not sins, for the priests also com- 
mit them"; and still another, "I have sinned, it is true, but the 
priest pardoned me at confession," The greater number were 
as careless of punishment in the hereafter as they were of human 
punishment. Thus a murderer, when Ferri asked him whether 
he did not fear the wrath of God, answered, "But God has never 
punished me yet." "But you will go to heU." "Oh, I may 
go, and I may not." And a third: "We shall see whether we 
shall be punished, when we are dead." 

If we rely upon the somewhat limited statistics available in 
this matter, we shall find that there are fewer criminals where 
atheists abound, than where, under equal conditions, either 
Catholics or Protestants dominate. This fact may proceed 
from their greater degree of education, the more so as in Europe 

» See my "Homme Criminel," Vol. I. 

* Maxime Du Camp, while examining 33 convicts during mass noted 
that 3 were reading the mass, 1 sat with head covered and eyes fixed upon 
the altar, 1 knelt, 1 pretended to be reading the mass but really read the 
"Magasin Pittoresque," 1 was weeping, while 26 sat at table reading or 

* See my "Homme Criminel," Vol. I. 


§ 65] RELIGION 139 

atheists are especially numerous among the more highly edu- 
cated. A certain amount of energy is necessary to separate 
oneself in religious feeling from the general and conventional 
modes of thought. The same power of inhibition which enables 
one to resist the imitative instinct makes it possible also to re- 
sist the impulse toward crime. 

Joly, who nevertheless insists upon the ennobling influence 
of the external practices of religion, cites Normandy as an ex- 
ample of a district where the respect for ritual religion is very 
great, and yet at the same time there is a high degree of crim- 
inality. This is expressed in a proverb which he quotes as being 
in use among the inhabitants of Lozere: "Lozerian, rosary in 
one hand and knife in the other." He further illustrates his 
point by the following occurrence, which happened in Ardeche: 
Two groups of men had fallen into a quarrel at the market, and 
had already raised their great iron-shod sticks when sud- 
y the Angelus sounded. The two hostile parties immediately 
sred their clubs, uncovered, made the sign of the cross, and 
ted the Angelus. . . . But the prayer finished, they seized 
ir weapons again, and the fight began anew. Joly observes 
t although in France the girls are more carefully instructed 
religion than the boys, nevertheless the number of female 
enile offenders has not diminished; and if, on the whole, 
re is a decrease in juvenile crime, this is among the boys. Re- 
clus ^ writes that there is a chapel at Treynier where they go to 
invoke the "Madonna of Hatred" to procure the death of some 
detested person. In speaking of Sicily the advocate Locatelli 

"It is impossible to conceive the corrupting influence which 
must have been exercised upon the poorer classes by these 
thousands of priests, possessed of wealth and influence, idle, 
but endowed with the spirit and sensuality of all southern 
people. For them seduction, adultery, and incest itself were 
pardonable sins. The murderer who revealed his crime and 
excused himself on the ground that he had been provoked or 
injured, or even merely that he was in great poverty, was not 
only absolved, but also released from the necessity of satisfying 

1 "Geographie Universelle," II, 618. 




THE influence of religion also is complex, even more so than 
that of civilization or wealth. We have seen that there 
are criminals who are very rehgious (especially in the country, 
and in relatively uncivilized localities), and also criminals who 
are irreUgious, even atheistic.^ We have seen that among church- 
goers, criminals and honest men are almost equally numerous,^ 
and often the criminals are in the majority .^ Of 700 criminals 
examined by Ferri 1 alone was an atheist, 1 was indifferent, 
and 7 were devout and even found in religion an excuse for ^^fhj>f>. 
crime. One of these said, " It is God who gives us the instinc f "^ ^'. ^' 
steal"; another, "Crimes are not sins, for the priests also C( 
mit them"; and still another, "I have sinned, it is true, but 
priest pardoned me at confession." The greater number ^ 
as careless of punishment in the hereafter as they were of hun aais 

punishment. Thus a murderer, when Ferri asked him whet <noH c 
he did not fear the wrath of God, answered, " But God has ne UHli 
punished me yet." "But you will go to hell." "Oh, I may 
go, and I may not." And a third: "We shall see whether we 
shall be punished, when we are dead." 

If we rely upon the somewhat limited statistics available in 
this matter, we shall find that there are fewer criminals where 
atheists abound, than where, under equal conditions, either 
Catholics or Protestants dominate. This fact may proceed 
from their greater degree of education, the more so as in Europe 

» See my "Homme Criminel," Vol. I. 

* Maxime Du Camp, while examining 33 convicts during mass noted 
that 3 were reading the mass, 1 sat with head covered and eyes fixed upon 
the altar, 1 knelt, 1 pretended to be reading the mass but really read the 
"Magasin Pittoresque," 1 was weeping, while 26 sat at table reading or 

* See my "Homme Criminel," Vol. I. 

§ 65] RELIGION 139 

atheists are especially numerous among the more highly edu- 
cated. A certain amount of energy is necessary to separate 
oneself in religious feeling from the general and conventional 
modes of thought. The same power of inhibition which enables 
one to resist the imitative instinct makes it possible also to re- 
sist the impulse toward crime. 

Joly, who nevertheless insists upon the ennobling influence 
of the external practices of religion, cites Normandy as an ex- 
ample of a district where the respect for ritual religion is very 
great, and yet at the same time there is a high degree of crim- 
inality. This is expressed in a proverb which he quotes as being 
in use among the inhabitants of Lozere: "Lozerian, rosary in 
one hand and knife in the other." He further illustrates his 
point by the following occurrence, which happened in Ardeche: 
Two groups of men had fallen into a quarrel at the market, and 
they had already raised their great iron-shod sticks when sud- 
denly the Angelus sounded. The two hostile parties immediately 
lowered their clubs, uncovered, made the sign of the cross, and 
recited the Angelus. . . . But the prayer finished, they seized 
their weapons again, and the fight began anew. Joly observes 
that although in France the girls are more carefully instructed 
in religion than the boys, nevertheless the number of female 
juvenile offenders has not diminished; and if, on the whole, 
there is a decrease in juvenile crime, this is among the boys. Re- 
clus ^ writes that there is a chapel at Treynier where they go to 
invoke the " Madonna of Hatred " to procure the death of some 
detested person. In speaking of Sicily the advocate Locatelli 

"It is impossible to conceive the corrupting influence which 
must have been exercised upon the poorer classes by these 
thousands of priests, possessed of wealth and influence, idle, 
but endowed with the spirit and sensuality of all southern 
people. For them seduction, adultery, and incest itself were 
pardonable sins. The murderer who revealed his crime and 
excused himself on the ground that he had been provoked or 
injured, or even merely that he was in great poverty, was not 
only absolved, but also released from the necessity of satisfying 

» "Geographie Universelle," II, 618. 


the secular court, even where an innocent man had been arrested 
in his place. The witness who hid the truth from the judge 
in order to escape danger, or to avoid compromising a neighbor, 
was equally certain of reconciliation with God through the 
mediation of the confessor. The rich man, who secluded his 
own women with a truly Turkish jealousy, was treated with 
consideration if he attempted the honor of a daughter of the 
people. From smaller transgressions, such as forgery, a man 
could purge his conscience by paying the Church 32 francs and 
80 centimes." 

It is still only a few centuries since the great vicars-general of 
the richest cities granted permission to commit adultery for a 
whole year. In other cities the right to commit fornication with 
impunity for a lifetime could be obtained by the payment of a 
quarter cask of wine to the bishop's officer, who drew this privi- 
lege from the canon De Dilectissimis, in the decretals of the 
pope. One man even had the audacity to present to Pope 
Sixtus IV a petition for permission to commit this sin during 
the dog-days. In our own time there was a papal bull in force 
in Palermo until annulled in 1868, by which there was granted 
dispensation from the necessity of repaying unlawfully acquired 
money, by whatever crime obtained, upon payment of certain 
sums to the Church.^ Dupin de Saint-Andre republished in 
1879 "Les Taxes de la Penitencerie Apostolique," ^ in which 
crimes are taxed according to tariffs established by Pope John 
XII and Pope Leo X. Thus, a layman who had killed a 
priest was absolved upon payment of 7 gros, and only 5 if he 
had killed another layman. 

"If an ecclesiastic committed fornication with a nun, whether 
in or out of the monastery, or with one of his cousins or god- 
daughters, he was absolved only upon payment of 67 francs, 11 
sous. If the act was against nature, 219 francs and 14 sous. 
A nun who had committed fornication with a number of men, 
whether in or out of the convent, 131 francs, 14 sous. Adultery 
was absolved for 87 francs and 3 sous. A layman might be 
absolved for adultery, however, for only 4 francs; but for adul- 

T. \- HV°,^^"L^"^1 ^° ^^^ second edition of my "Incremento del Delitto in 
Italia," 1879, Tunn. 

* Published by Toussain Denis in 1520 and in Rome in 1741. 

§ 65] RELIGION 141 

tery and incest, for 10 francs. Under John XII incest with 
sisters or mother cost 40 sous." ^ 

Who does not know the maxims of the Jesuits of the last cen- 
tury? Lacroix, for example, says: "Although the natural law 
forbids lying and murder, under certain circumstances they are 
permitted." So Buzenbraun declares: "An extremely poor 
man may take what he needs, and may even kill anyone who 
tries to prevent him from taking what is necessary." In the 
same way Maiorca authorized regicide; and Pere Longuet says: 
"A man does not sin against justice, and is not obliged to return 
the money that has been given him for killing or wounding " 
(op. cit.). 

However, one thing seems clear to me, namely, that the 
younger religions are, the greater is their moral power, because 
the letter has not yet encroached upon the spirit, because the 
enthusiasm for new ideas occupies the mind and draws it away 
from crime, and, finally, because, whatever be its origin, the 
organism is then more free from symbols and formulas that 
clog its activity. This fact has been observed with us with 
regard to Savonarola and the Vaudois, and may still be noticed 
among the negroes in the United States, who, when they are 
converted to Methodism, renounce their idleness and practice of 
infanticide, so that in the districts where conversions abound the 
population increases noticeably. And it is a curious phenome- 
non that even the new religious sects created by pure paranoiacs, 
like the Lazarettists in Italy and the Quakers in England, 
brought about an immediate diminution in crime. Even the 
Skopzi, who castrate one another as a part of their religion, are 
renowned for their honesty. In northern Russia the Bialoriztzi ^ 
do not drink alcohol nor smoke: they wear white clothing woven 
by their own hands, and lead a virtuous life. The same is true 
of the Soutasevtzy, who reject priests, images, and military 
service, and as a consequence often suffer martyrdom. The 
"Sons of God" believe that each one is his own god, and that it 
is suflScient to address prayers to any neighbor. They unite 

^ Virginio Polidoro, "Delia Invenzione delle Cose": Bianchi-Giovini, 
f'Storia dei Papi," Vol. XXI, 1864. 
2 "Revue des Revues," Oct. 15, 1895. 


in wild dances in honor of God, continuing until they fall ex- 
hausted to the floor. And with all this they are very honest. 
The Veriginski or Tolstoians drink only tea, and allow them- 
selves to be maltreated without resistance, saying nothing 
more than "God help me," until their persecutor falls down 
in admiration at their feet. These new sects are veritable epi- 
demics of virtue and saintliness. 

It is a strange fact that the South-Russian sects, which are 
known for their sanguinary character (doubtless the effect of 
the hot climate, which, as we know, produces an inclination to 
homicide), nevertheless inspire a high morality. Thus the 
Doukobors kill all the children abnormal in body or mind, out of 
respect for the divine spirit that ought to dwell in them. One of 
their chiefs, Kapoustine, had all traitors to the dogmas of the 
sect buried ahve, and in an action that was brought against him 
it was found that he had committed twenty -one religious homi- 
cides. All this appears to us more than criminal. Yet this sect 
is opposed to war, and preaches that the Czar reigns only over 
rogues and criminals, while honest men, the true Doukobors, 
have nothing to do with his laws or his authority. It is from 
this sect that the Molokani arose, drinkers of milk, enemies of 
priests, ornaments, and useless ceremonies. All educated and 
very honest, these people help one another, have no poor, and, 
to whatever place they are deported, turn the most inhospitable 
locality into a garden. The Mormons of America, also, were 
famous for their industry and probity. 

On the whole, the contradiction of the influence of religion, 
now great and now totally lacking, disappears when one grasps 
the significance of the facts. Religion is useful when it is based 
absolutely upon morals and abandons all rites and formularies. 
This is a condition that can be realized only in the new religions; 
because while all in the beginning are moral, afterwards, little 
by little, they become crystalUzed, and ritual practices submerge 
the moral prmciple, which is less easily conceived and retained by 
the crowd. All members of new sects are men of one idea, which 
protects them, like a vaccine, agamst ignoble passions. It is 
for similar reasons that certain Protestant cities which have a 
more ardent religious fervor, like Geneva and London, are the 

§65] RELIGION 143 

only ones where crime is decreasing, notwithstanding the prog- 
ress of civiHzation and the dense population (London alone 
having more people than an entire ItaUan province). Here it is 
not inhibition that comes into play, but a great religious pas- 
sion, which neutralizes ignoble instincts, and combats vices 
and immoral tendencies with such vigor that it ends by 
conquering them. 

"In England religion recruits thousands of fanatics, who, 
under the most diverse names and theories, work themselves 
into a fever over saving men's souls. They extend their ac- 
tivity over an immense field, organizing services, preachings, 
processions, pious works, etc. 

"In the Latin countries, on the other hand, where the Cath- 
olic Church extends its domination, religion can only rarely 
be a preservative from vice; and this not so much because of 
the irreligion or scepticism of the people (a smaller factor than 
is generally believed, even in the country of Voltaire), but 
because of the very organization of the Church itself. The 
Catholic Church is a great disciplinary institution; it is almost 
an army, founded on obedience and subordination, in which 
each man has his place and prescribed course of action, laid down 
by immutable laws. Active, fanatical natures, like Dr. Bar- 
nardo, who are naturally independent and inclined to revolt, 
find themselves ill at ease in the Church, except in missions, 
which is the only department that grants individual autonomy. 
On the other hand they find themselves much at home in the 
Protestant sects, which are as free and autonomous as little 
clans or barbarous tribes, as is the case with the Baptists, for 
example, or the Salvation Army.^ 

"Further, fanaticism finds in the Germanic nations, and 
especially in England, a great field for its development in phi- 
lanthropy, something which is almost always lacking in Latin 

"London is the principal city of these fanatics of philanthropy. 
Here are men and women of all classes and social positions, rich 
and poor, educated or ignorant, sane or mad, who have taken 
it into their heads to cure the diseases of society or to extirpate 
some special form of misfortune or sorrow. One has taken to 
heart the cruelties practiced upon children by their parents; 
another is concerned for blind old men; a third is concerned 
for the insane maltreated in the asylums; a fourth is interested 
in liberated convicts. And all work without ceasing, publish 

^ Ferrero, in the "Riforma Sociale," 1895. 


journals, organize societies, make speeches, and sometimes 
succeed in bringing about great social epidemics and move- 
ments of popular opinion intense enough to result in some im- 
portant humanitarian reform. This kind of activity may be 
an excellent substitute for political fanaticism, which results 
in dynamite outrages. 

"But in the Latin countries such agitations would come to 
nothing. The tradition of the administration of charity by the 
public authorities or by the church is so deeply rooted that no 
one wants to concern himself personally with social miseries. 
If children are often maltreated in the great cities and the 
papers protest vigorously and stir up public opinion a little, 
public opinion will simply demand the enactment of a law by 
the state and then rest content, though the law will never be 
enforced. No one would think of founding private societies, 
such as they have in England, which watch cruel parents and 
at times come and snatch their little victims out of their 

This is natural. In the religions which have survived for 
many centuries the moral element disappears, because it con- 
forms less to the sentiment of the masses, while only the cere- 
monial remains and superabounds. Of seventy-three principal 
articles of the Order of St. Benedict, only nine pertain to morals. 
In the Order of St. Columbanus one year of penance is decreed 
for anyone who loses a piece of the host (sacred bread), and six 
months for one who lets two pieces be eaten at once. 

Theonly religions, then, which can prevent crime are those that 
are fanatical, passionately moral, or just arising. The others 
are no more effective than atheism, and perhaps less so. 



§ 66. niegitimate Children 

THE influence of education upon crime is shown indirectly 
by the continually increasing proportion of criminals of 
illegitimate birth in the most civilized countries. In Prussia 
the illegitimate delinquents, who constitute 3% of the whole in 
1859, rose by 1873 to 6%, and the women from 5% to 8%. In 
France, of the 800 minors arrested in 1864, 60% were orphaned 
or illegitimate, and 38% were the sons of prostitutes or delin- 
quents. In Austria in 1873 10% of all the male criminals were 
illegitimate, and 21% of all the female.^ In Hamburg 30% of 
the prostitutes were illegitimate (Hugel), and in Paris a fifth of 
the Parisian born prostitutes and an eighth of the country 
women.2 jn i}^q prisons of Wiirtemberg in 1884-85 14.3% of 
the inmates were illegitimate; in 1885-86, 16.7%; in 1886- 
87, 15.3%; while the illegitimate individuals in the non-criminal 
population rose to 8.76%. Sichert ^ found among 3181 whom 
he examined in these same prisons, 27% of illegitimate crimi- 
nals, or nearly double the other figures. These were divided 
as follows: 

Percentage of illegitimacy 

Thieves 32.4 

Pickpockets 32.1 

Sexual criminals 21.0 

Perjurers 13.0 

Incendiaries 12.9 

Of the habitual criminals he found 30.6% illegitimate, and 
17.5%, a little more than half as many, of the accidental crimi- 
nals. He found also the following: 

^ Oettingen, op. cit. 

* "Parent-du-Chatelet," op. cit. 

3 Liszt, "Archiv. f. Strafrecht," 1890. 


Averse to work Beggars Vagrants 

Of 1248 legitimate thieves there were 52.0% 32% 42% 

Of 600 illegitimate thieves there were 52.3% 39% 49% 

In Italy the statistics of the prisons show 3% to 5% among the 
male minors, and 7% to 9% among the females.^ We may add 
that 36% of the recidivists in Italy are either natural children 
or foundlings. To comprehend the greater importance of these 
figures it is necessary to recall that a great proportion of all 
illegitimate children — at least 60%, and often 80% ^ — die in 
the first eighteen months or two years. Marbeau can then say 
without exaggeration that of four foundlings three die before 
they are twelve years old, and the fourth is doomed to a life 
of crime. To get at the significance of these figures more exactly 
I have made researches with regard to 3787 entries, nearly all 
adults, in the asylums of Imola (Dr. LoUi), of Padua (Prof. 
Tebaldi), and of Pa via, and also with regard to 1059 entries in 
the city hospital of Pa via in 1871, and I found that there were 
1.5% of foundlings in the asylums and 2.7% in the city hospital; 
and nevertheless the mortality is less among the illegitimate in 
Pa via than in many other places.^ Age and conditions being, 
equal, foundlings furnish 20 times more delinquents than insane 
persons. We may aflSrm, then, with the greatest certainty, that 
the greater part of the foundlings that escape death abandon 
themselves to crime. Doubtless heredity enters largely into this 
result. Most of these children are the fruit of sin; they have no 
name to uphold, no rein to stop them when spurred by passion, 
no mother who, by her assiduous care, affection, and sacrifices, 
aids in developing noble instincts and suppressing tendencies 
to evil; they find an honest living hard to get and are inevi- 
tably drawn toward evil. If they have no perverse tendencies 
they acquire them by imitation. On the other hand, philan- 

» "Statistica deUe Carceri," Rome, 1873, CXXVIII. 

* Of 1000 foundlings in Bordeaux in the course of 10 years 729 died. 
In 94 years 367,988 infants entered the foundling asylum, of whom 288,554 
died m infancy, that is to say, 79%. (Angel, "Vortrag. ub. Mortal der 
Kmder," 1865.) 

» 25% in the year after entrance. 

§67] EDUCATION 147' 

thropic institutions, like orphan and foundling asylums, have 
also an evil influence, for, as we have seen, a multiplicity of con- 
tacts always fosters criminality. 

§ 67. Orphans 

That abandonment and the lack of education play a great 
part in producing criminality is demonstrated by the great num- 
ber of orphans and step-children found in the prisons. In Italy 
among the juvenile delinquents in 1871-72 there were from 8% 
to 13% of step-children. Brace tells that in New York 1542 
orphans and 504 step-children were arrested for various offenses. 
He adds that 55% of the criminals in the penitentiaries were 
without father and mother; and 60% of the children arrested 
had lost one parent, or their parents were separated. According 
to Marbeau, of 100 juvenile prisoners 15 had been abandoned 
by their mothers. In Italy during ten years we had an average 
of 33% to 35% of orphans among the delinquents; out of 580 
insane adults in my clinic orphans furnished 47%, and the 
number of orphans reached 78% among the 1059 entering the 
hospital of Pavia. But it is certainly a still more important 
fact that we find an average of 18% to 20% of orphans among 
the juvenile criminals, for the proportion of orphans in the gen- 
eral population is lower than this. The same is true of half- 
orphans, who furnish 18% of the general juvenile population, but 
23% to 30% of the juvenile delinquents. The Italian statistics 
show 26% of the delinquents to be fatherless and 23% to be 
motherless, while among the insane 51% have lost their fathers 
and 10% their mothers. 

It is certain, on the other hand, that the female sex predomi- 
nates among orphans who are criminals, and even more so in the 
case of foundlings. This is true even leaving out of account 
prostitution, which is a sort of minor criminality. So Oettingen 
arrives at the strange result, that while for each five male delin- 
quents there is one female, in the case of foundlings there are 
three females to one male. This is, however, quite natural, for 
a woman being weaker and more passionate than a man, has 


more need of the support and restraint of the family to keep her 
in the right way, from which she is more easily turned than a 
man, on account of the slippery path of prostitution that is 
always open to her. Here the hereditary influence is very power- 
ful, and women who have sprung from a sexual transgression 
are easily led into the same error, and from this to graver 

The great number of foundlings among delinquents explains 
also the predominance of juvenile delinquents in the urban pop- 
ulation (Cardon), and gives us the measure of the harm done by 
defective education and by abandonment. 

§ 68. Vicious Parentage — Education 

It is entirely natural that evil education should have a still 
more deplorably criminal effect than even abandonment. We 
may recall here the large proportion of criminals who are sprung 
from unsound parents. Sichart finds the proportion of patho- 
logical inheritance to be 36%, while Marro makes it 90%. 
6.7% have epileptic parents, 4.3% are descended from suicides, 
6.7% from insane persons; while in the case of those guilty of 
grave crimes, Penta finds an alcoholic heredity of 37%, and 
Marro of 41%. How can an unfortunate child protect himself 
from evil when it is presented to him in the most attractive 
colors, or, worse still, when it is imposed upon him by the au- 
thority and example of his parents, or those who are charged 
with his education? We shall comprehend the situation best 
from actual examples: V., a sister of thieves, was brought up 
by her parents as a boy. Clothed as a boy, she took on a mas- 
culine air, and wielded her knife vigorously. One day while on 
a journey she stole a cloak, and, being arrested, accused her 
parents of the theft. The Cornu family was composed of thieves 
and murderers, habituated to crime from their tenderest in- 
fancy. Of five brothers and sisters only one, the youngest, had 
shown a strong aversion to crime. Her parents found a means 
of overcoming her repugnance, making her carry the head of 
one of their victims in her apron for two leagues. In a little 

§68] EDUCATION 149 

while she was so stripped of all remorse that she became the 
fiercest of the band and wanted to practice the most horrible 
cruelties upon their victims. The murderer Crocco, who at the 
age of three used to hit his comrades with stones and pluck 
birds alive, had often been left by his father entirely alone in the 
forest as late as his nineteenth year, Fregier tells of the son of 
a thief who was his father's pride because he was able at the age 
of three to take an impression of a key in wax. The wives of 
assassins, according to Vidocq, are more dangerous than their 
husbands, for they accustom their children to crime, and give 
them a present for every murder they commit. 

We have seen, and shall see still more clearly in the next 
chapter, how numerous the criminals are who have immoral 
parents or families, in which case vicious education and vicious 
heredity work together. Here also, as in the case of abandon- 
ment, and for the same reasons, namely, prostitution and the 
greater persistency of the woman in crime, the number of 
women subject to these influences is greater than the number 
of men. To many readers the influence of education, as shown 
by these figures, will appear of little importance. But aside 
from the fact that we must add the figures for foundlings already 
cited, we must also recall the fact that many crimes have an 
autochthonous origin, and that many individuals are born 
perverse and remain perverse, notwithstanding the desperate 
efforts of their parents to correct them. Among the juvenile 
delinquents of the year 1871-72 i 84% of the boys and 60% of 
the girls belonged to moral families. This is to be explained 
by weakness shown by the parents early in the child's training, 
which later renders unavailing their most strenuous efforts to 
obtain obedience. Noel, Vidocq, Donon, Demarsilly, Lacenaire, 
Abbado, Hessel, Fra Diavolo, Cartouche, Trossarello, Tropp- 
mann, Anzalone, and Demme all belonged to honest families. 
Rosati told me that after his first thefts he had many times 
been beaten by his father and seen his mother weeping bitter 
tears over him, and he had promised them each time to restore 
the things stolen, naturally without keeping his promise. On 

I Beltrami-Scalia, op. cU. 


the other hand it has often been observed, and the investiga- 
tions of Parent du Chdtelet and Mayhew confirm the ob- 
servation, that thieves and prostitutes who have become 
rich do their best to bring up their children to lead virtuous 




§ 69. Statistics of Hereditary Influence 

MONG 104 criminals whose heredity I have examined I 
have found the following facts: 

71 showed some hereditary influence, 
20 had alcoholic fathers, 
11 " alcoholic mothers, 
8 " criminal fathers, 

2 " criminal mothers, 

5 " fathers who were insane or had had meningitis, 

5 " insane or epileptic mothers, 

3 " mothers who were prostitutes, 

6 " insane brothers and sisters, 
14 " criminal brothers and sisters, 

4 " epileptic brothers and sisters, 

2 " brothers and sisters who were suicides, 
10 " sisters who were prostitutes. 

Dr. Virgilio, who pursued his investigations under more favor- 
able conditions, found crime among the parents of criminals 
in 26.80% of the cases, almost always, as with alcoholism 
(present in the heredity of 21.77% of the cases), on the father's 
side. Aside from this, with 6% of the criminals crime appeared 
in collateral lines.^ 

Penta,^ also, found among 184 born criminals at St. Stefano 
the following : 

Advanced age of parents 

in 29 cases, or 16.0% 

Drunkenness " " 

" 50 " " 27.0% 


" 17 " " 9.2% 

Cerebral apoplexy of parents 

" 20 " " 11.0% 

Pellagra " " 

" 3 " " 1.6% 

Insanity " " 

" 12 " " 6.5% 

Insanity in ancestors or collateral lines in 27 cases, or 14.5% 

Hysteria " 

" " 25 " " 13.5% 

Epilepsy " 

" " 17 " " 9.2% 

Headache " 

" " 17 " " 9.2% 

» Virgilio, "Saggio di Ricerche sulla Natura Morbosa del Delitto. 
» "Archivio di Psichiatria," XII, 1891. 




In 4% to 5% only were the parents perfectly sound. Later 
he has given us a new table of statistics of morbid heredity, 
embracing 447 cases arranged in two series: 

Criminality of parents .... 



Other nerve diseases 



Pulmonary tuberculosis . . . 
Advanced age of parents . . . 

Cerebral apoplexy 

Predisposition to grave disease 
Chronic malaria 

First series. 

Second series. 

232 cases 

215 cases 























Marro investigated the causes of death of 230 parents of 
criminals and of 100 parents of honest men, and found the 

In the case of the 




















Cerebro-spinal disease . . . 

Heart disease 



Nervous shock, worry, etc. . 



If, in place of examining each group separately, we add to- 
gether the deaths caused by alcoholism, suicide, insanity, and 
cerebral diseases, we find that among the 230 parents of crim- 
inals these causes constitute 32.1%, while in the case of the 

§ 69] HEREDITY 153 

parents of normal persons they are only 16.1%, almost exactly 
half. The number who have delinquent brothers is especially 
great. Out of 500 criminals Marro found 68 who had one or 
more delinquent brothers, and the following parentage: 

Insane 17 

Epileptic 4 

Delinquent 6 

Alcoholic 34 (in 4 cases mother as well as father) 

Already old 33 (in 4 cases both parents were old) 

In studying the still living parents of 500 criminals, Marro 
found in 40% of the cases alcoholism of the father, and in 5% 
alcoholism of the mother, while with 500 normal persons there 
was alcoholism in only 16% of the cases, on the father's side. 
Insanity of progenitors or in collateral lines occurred in 42.6% 
of the criminals (16% of the normal cases); epilepsy in 5.3% 
(2% of the normal cases); and immoral and violent character 
in 33.6%. In looking into the question of parents who were 
insane, apoplectic, alcoholic, epileptic, hysterical, and delin- 
quent, including also cases where there were anomalies of age 
and character, he found a morbid heredity in the case of from 
77% to 90% of the prisoners {op. cit.). Sichart studied 3881 
subjects imprisoned in Wurtemberg for theft, rape, and fraud. 
In comparison with the general population he found that 
anomalies or crimes in the case of parents of the various classes 
in the following proportions: 

Thieves 32.0% 

Incendiaries 36.8% 

Sexual offenders 38.7% 

Perjurers 20.5% 

Swindlers 23.6% 

with the higher numbers then, in the case of thieves and incen- 
diaries.^ Taking account simply of alcoholism, epilepsy, and 
suicide in the direct line, he found a morbid heredity in 71% 
of the incendiaries, in 55% of the thieves, in 43% of the ravish- 
ers, and in 37% of the swindlers. 

With regard to suicide of the parents Sichart and Marro found: 

* Both the French and the German versions give the figure for sexual 
o£fendera as above; but I suspect it should be 28.7%. — Transl. 




Suicide of parents of: 

Thieves .... 
Incendiaries . . 
Sexual offenders 
Perjurers . . . 
Swindlers . . . 
Homicides . . 






Total, 4.3%, 

Comparing the proportion of vicious parents of the 3000 
criminals given by Sichart with those reported by Marro, we 
find them so divided: 

Vicious parents 









Sexual offenders 



We have here very high figures for thieves, not so high for 
swindlers, and lowest for incendiaries and perjurers. Of 3580 
juvenile crimmals of Mettray, 707 were children of convicts 
and 308 of parents living in concubinage.^ Of the inmates 
of the Elmira reformatory, there were 13.7% whose parents 
were insane or epileptic; 38% whose parents were drunkards. 
Thompson, out of 109 convicts, found 50 who were related to 
one another, 3 of them being members of one family and de- 
scended from a recidivist. He noted also 2 sisters and 3 
brothers, all thieves, whose father, uncles, aunts, and cousins 
were murderers. In one family of 15 members, of whom 
14 were counterfeiters, the fifteenth appeared honest, till one 
day he set fire to his house, after having insured it four times 

» Brace, op. cU. 




The influence of heredity may be observed among the female 
offenders and prostitutes studied by Mme. Tarnowski, Marro,^ 
etc., and by Parent-du-Chdtelet. Of 5583 prostitutes Parent- 
du-Chatelet found 252 who were sisters, 13 mothers and daugh- 
ters, 32 cousins, 4 aunts and nieces. One cannot read without 
a feeling of repugnance the speech that was made to Lacour by 
one of these unfortunates: "My father is in prison, and my 
mother is living with the man who seduced me. She has had 
a child by him, whom I and my brother are bringing up." 

§ 70. Clinical Proofs 

I have studied a child in the prison at Pavia who had very 
exaggerated prognathism, tufted hair, feminine physiognomy, 
and strabismus. He had been guilty of murder at 12 years of 
age, and had been besides con\4cted of theft 6 times; 2 of his 
brothers were thieves, 2 sisters prostitutes, and his mother was 
a receiver of stolen goods. Five brothers and a brother-in-law 
of the Fossay family were convicted for participation in a 
robbery. Their grandfather and their father had both been 
hanged; two uncles and a nephew were in prison. A more 
noteworthy proof of hereditary influence is offered by Dr. 
Harris, who, noticing in a certain county on the upper Hud- 
son the great number of crimes committed by persons of the 
same name, consulted the registers and discovered that a 
great part of the inhabitants were descended from a cer- 
tain Margaret, a woman of evil life, who had lived there 
two centuries before, among whose descendants there were 

Father alcoholic 
Father insane . . . 
Parents old .... 
Parents epileptic . 
Parents tuberculous 
Parents delinquent 

























200 delinquents and 200 more who were either insane or 


Despine has given us another proof in the genealogy of the 
Lemaitre and Cretien families, which I have here arranged 
in tabular form that it may be taken in at a glance. 



condemned for 



A. F. 

thief and assassin 

died in galleys 




thief and 
uncle of Lemaitre 

A. Tanre 


J. B. 

I . 

married to 

P. Tanre, a young 

girl of evil life 

M. Rose 

11 times 

(by first 

thief murderer thief thief murderer thief 
(by second marriage with Rose Cretien) 

C. Lemaitre 

A. Francis 



S. F., tWef 

C, thief 
died in prison 

Marie, thief 

Benoit, thief 

died in 


Victor, thief 
died in 

Vict. Lem. Auguste T. T. == Victorine, honest 

I I 

P., thief Lem., assassin 

The Fieschi also were hereditary assassins. 

Great-grandfather Fieschi 

G. Antoine 


G. Dominique 


2 thieves 1 brigand 

Louis, married to the 
sister of a convict 


2 honest 

1 honest 

1 1 
Fieschi, Deaf-mute 
assassin honest 

Strahan ^ gives us yet another proof of hereditary criminal- 
ity in the history of a family whose descendants numbered 834 
individuals, of 709 of whom it was possible to trace the history 
with suflBcient accuracy. Among the 709 there were 106 illegit- 
imate children, 164 prostitutes, 17 procurers, 142 beggars, 63 
in hospitals for chronic diseases, and 76 criminals, who all to- 

1 "Atlantic Monthly," 1875. [This is the Juke family, described later, 
which was investigated by Dugdale at Harris's suggestion, — Transl.] 
* "Instinctive Criminality," London, 1892. 

§ 70] HEREDITY 157 

gether spent 166 years in prison. The Y. family ^ occupied 
a high place in society in past times, but at the beginning of 
the 19th century had fallen completely into decay and con- 
sisted only of the sons of two brothers, Lu and Rene. Rene 

had passed all his life in contact with criminals without having 
been convicted himself. He was an original, passionately fond 
of cock-fights, and addicted to lechery. He had innumerable 
mistresses and children, so that all the children of the quarter 
called him "papa." One of his mistresses was the mother of 
a great number of criminals. The family of his brother pre- 
sented nothing abnormal, except that one of his sons, learning 
that his uncle Rene had disinherited him, killed himself the 
day after the latter's death, and left behind him this writing: 

" Let no one be accused of my death; I have killed myself to 
escape from insupportable enemies whom my stupidity has 
gained for me, and because I have not been sufficiently on my 
guard against the rascality of certain people." 

The two mistresses of Rene who gave him a progeny of degen- 
erates were Z., wife of an executioner, from whom was born a tu- 
berculous daughter that died at 24, and F., who was also married, 
and accused by public opinion of having poisoned her husband. 
F. had 5 children, of whom 2 were by her husband and 3 
by her paramour. The children of the husband were: 1st, 
Z., who lived separated from her husband, was a mattoid and 
quarrelsome. Everything furnished her with an opportunity 
for a lawsuit, which, however, she regularly lost. She had 
many paramours, among others an orator of great talent, by 
whom she had several children, including a celebrated poet, 
painter, etc. 2d, Fl., proprietress of a house of ill fame; she 
had two children, of whom one was blind and the other had 
Parkinson's paralysis. Among the children whom F. had by 
her paramour Rene, were the following: 1st, Em., who, while 
watching by the body of her father, became drunk with her sister- 
in-law. She had a daughter of evil life; also a niece who was a 
prostitute at 15 and a thief. 2d, Em., a peasant, who tried 
to hang himself. He married FL, a woman of dissolute morals, 
notorious for her incestuous relations with her oldest son and 
^ Aubry, "La Contagion du Meutre," Paris, 1889. 


associated in theft with her daughter, who was a drunkard. She 
was strongly suspected of having killed her son-in-law, and 
her daughter called her "The old woman loaded with crimes." 

From this sad marriage were born two children: 1st, Marie, 
who, during a menstrual period, killed her husband, with the 
aid of her mother. They were both acquitted. 2d Am., who 
had sexual intercourse with his mother, and killed the husband 
of his mistress. In a collateral branch of the family of Fl., the 
daughter of F., there are many bankrupt merchants; a mother 
who, notwithstanding her numerous children, eloped with her 
last lover, carrying off the money-box; a husband who, after 
having gone off and squandered the family fortune, returned 
to live at his wife's expense; and a brother of Marie's second 
husband, who killed first his adulterous wife and then himself. 
In this family nearly all the members have committed one or 
more crimes, and those who are not criminals are suicides. But 
there is a collateral branch, that of Z., which is composed 
of persons who occupy a high place in art. This family con- 
firms, then, the close connection that exists between genius and 

Laurent ^ tells us the story of a whole family of criminals, 
who support wonderfully the data of Marro and Aubry. In 
this family the paternal grandfather died of an affection of the 
heart. He was of weak character and completely dominated by 
his wife. She, nervous and eccentric, struck her husband on 
all occasions, and was so irascible that she even took pleasure 
in striking her sister when she was sick. The father was very 
nervous and violent, but a coward, and although he had knowl- 
edge of the dissolute conduct of his wife, he had not courage to 
intervene. He died of aortic insufficiency. A paternal uncle, 
who was very vicious and violent, struck his parents to get money 
from them. He took advantage of their absence to sell a part 
of the furniture, and tried to kill his son on account of jealousy. 
A cousin german of the two preceding was addicted to peder- \^ 
asty. The maternal grandfather was intelligent, but a drunkard, 
and served two years in prison for theft. He was a captain 
under the Commune, but was punished for misconduct. He 
* "Les Habitu6s des Prisons." 


§70] HEREDITY 159 

was unbalanced, brutal, and coarse. By his first marriage he 
had four daughters, whose mental state we shall describe later. 
The maternal grandmother abandoned her children, and dis- 
sipated the week's wages in company with her husband. She 
died of cancer of the uterus. The mother, very vicious, idle, 
and violent, married at the age of 20 and had two children 
by her marriage. At 23 she abandoned her husband to live 
with a young man, by whom she had a son. She later 
returned to her husband and by him had a fourth child, yet 
during this time was the mistress of a wine merchant. To this 
paramour succeeded another, and at the age of 35 she brought 
into the world a fifth child. Abandoning her family and chil- 
dren without concern, she spent her time playing cards in dives ; V]^ 
and quarrelling with drunkards. She tried several times, while ^ 
in a state of drunkenness, to kill her husband. At 37 she had, 
by one of her lovers, a sixth infant, who died of meningitis. 
She became pregnant once more, and abandoned definitely 
the conjugal roof, taking her daughters with her but giving 
them up to the first comer, to surrender herself to drink. At 
the age of 39 she became pregnant once more, and had her 
paramour produce an abortion. This woman had three sisters. 
The first was vicious from infancy and abandoned herself to 
a life of prostitution at the age of 16. So irascible was she that 
in a fit of jealousy she tore off another woman's ear. The 
second sister, dull, lascivious, and given to drink, had three 
children, one of whom at the age of 9 she threw out of the win- 
dow for some trifling reason; and another time, without ap- 
parent cause, she threw it in front of the wheels of a carriage. 
It suffered from meningitis, but recovered. The third sister was 
weak-minded and dissipated, and used to get drunk in company 
with her husband. 

Let us pass on now to the examination of the third generation, 
which includes 8 children: 1st, A young girl of 19 years, very 
blond, not very intelligent, very hairy, with a high-arched 
palate, and frontal protuberances strongly developed. Mali- 
cious and jealous, she put pins in her brothers' broth. When 
ten years old she was found in a dive with some young men, 
giving herself up to a precocious debauch. 2d, A young man 


of 18 years, a workman, economical and honest but nervous 
and stubborn and of weak character Uke his father. 3d, An 
adulterous daughter of 15, vicious, a drinker, and a gourmand. 
She frequented the wine-shops, was often drunk, and stole 
from the show-cases of the grocers. 4th, A daughter of 14, 
lazy, deceitful, thievish, irascible, egoistic, coquettish, and 
lascivious. Her figure is constantly contracted by a nervous 
twitching, her physiognomy is one continual grimace. Having 
no family feeling she takes advantage, when her grandmother 
is asleep, to pinch her legs, in revenge for punishments that 
she herself has received. 5th, An eight-year-old boy, rickety, 
scrofulous, very nervous, irascible, and despotic. He has par- 
oxysms, when he breaks anything that comes into his hands. 
6th, An adulterous daughter, who died at 16 of meningitis. 

The famous thief Sans Refus was the daughter of a thief 
named Comtois, who died upon the wheel in 1788, and of a 
female thief named Lempave. Marianne, the most skilful mem- 
ber of the Thiebert band, was the child of two thieves, her 
father being a recidivist five times over. She first saw light 
on the highroad, in a stolen cart.^ Sighele has studied all the 
proceedings instituted against the inhabitants of Artena since 
1852 and has continually met the same name; father, son, and 
nephew follow one another at intervals, as if impelled by a 
fatal law. In the last trial there were two families concerned 
who were already known in criminal annals. One was composed 
of seven members, the other of six, father, mother, and four 
sons, not one lacking. 

" It is appropriate in this connection," says Sighele,^ " to 
quote the words of Vidocq : ' There are families in which crime 
is transmitted from generation to generation, and which appear 
to exist only to prove the truth of the old proverb, Like father, 
like son.' " * 

§ 71. Elective Affinities 

We see that this heredity, rendered so active by the union of 
two criminal famihes, from which organized bands naturally 

1 Lucas, "De I'H^r^dit^ Naturelle, p. 487. 

* "Archivio di Psichiatria," 1894. 

* "Bon chien chasse de race." 

§72] HEREDITY 161 

arise, has its source in a kind of elective affinity impelling the 
delinquent woman to choose a lover op husband from among 
those most inclined to crime. We may recall the elective af- 
finity which, in the Y. family, drove Rene to choose his mis- 
tresses among the prostitutes and delinquents; as well as the 
marriages of the Cretien and Lemaitre families. We find 
another striking example of this affinity in the fatal sympathy 
of the Marquise de Brinvilliers for Sainte-Croix; and in that 

of Louise Poch and Marie Catel , thieves, swindlers, 

and prostitutes, for Rossignol. The former of these felt herself 
drawn to him when her rival told her in prison of his exploits. 

Marie Catel , born of a noble family, was already ruined at 

the age of 14, and at 15 she had committed highway robbery 
as Rossignol's accomplice. In Turin there was a certain girl 
named Camburzano who became the mistress of a thief while 
not yet nubile. When sent to a reformatory she escaped, and 
the same day joined herself with an assassin named Tomo, 
whose accomplice she became, and the instigator of his most 
atrocious murders. 

§ 72. Atavistic Heredity in the Juke Family 

But the most striking proof of the heredity of crime and of its 
relation to prostitution and mental diseases is furnished us by 
the fine study which Dugdale has made of the Juke family.^ 
The originator of this deplorable family was a certain hunter, 
fisher, and libertine, called by Dugdale "Max Juke," who was 
born some time between 1720 and 1740. He became blind in 
his old age. He had numerous descendants, 540 legitimate, and 
169 illegitimate. All the ramifications of his posterity cannot 
be traced down to the present; but we have the lines of descent 
from 5 daughters (3 of whom were prostitutes before they 
married) as well as that of some collateral branches, for 7 gen- 
erations. We give the tabular summary of the family: 

1 Dugdale, "The Jukes" (Putnam, 4th ed., 1911), reprinted from the 
"Thirtieth Annual Report of the Executive Committee of the Prison 
Association of New York for 1874." 





Parrntage bt Sex 

O i> 



„ , 1- i Juke women 

Second generation ^ ^ ^^^^ 

'Juke women 

__ . J .. X women 

Third generation ^j^teinen 

,X men 

/•Juke women 

_, ^. ..X women 

Fourth generation ^j^kemen 

[X men 

'Juke women 

■„.,., .. X women 

Fifth generation ^j^kemen 

X men 

rJuke women 

Sixth generation if^^Z [ . . \ . : 
IX men 

o .t. 1- < Juke women 

Seventh generation jj^^^^^ 

'Juke women 

rn . I I- J X women 

Total generabon ^j^j^^^^^ 

vX men 

Juke blood 





















































X blood 

Grand total 





Note. — X indicates persons not of Juke blood 

We see from this table the singular connection existing between 
prostitution, crime, and sickness; for from the same hereditary 
causes we find: 


76 delinquents and 
142 vagrants and 

64 in almshouses 

128 prostitutes 
18 brothel-keej)ers 
91 illegitimate 


131 impotent, 
idiotic, or 

46 sterile 




Marriage Relations 

































• • 






















































































































































































































































but connected with them by marriage or cohabitation. 

We see the delinquents scantily represented in the second gen- 
eration, but multiplying with extraordinary rapidity, and rising 
from 29 in the fourth generation to 40 in the fifth: just as the 
number of prostitutes rises from 14 to 35 and 76 ; and of beggars, 
which increases from 11 to 56 and 74. They diminish in the 
sixth and seventh generations, only because Nature herself 
makes an end of the matter through the sterility of the women, 
which affected 9 individuals in the third generation and 22 in 


the fifth, and also by the early deaths of the children, which 
rose as high as 300 in the last years. The members of this 
family passed altogether 116 years in prison, and received poor- 
relief for a total of 830 years. In the fifth generation half the 
women were unchaste, and a correspondingly high number of 
the men criminals. Of the seventh generation the oldest indi- 
vidual had reached the age of only 7 years, yet 6 members of 
it were in almshouses. In 75 years the maintenance of this 
family and the damage done by them cost the state $1,300,000. 
It has been shown that in all or nearly all the branches of 
this family the tendency to crime, unlike the tendency to pau- 
perism, was strongest with the eldest son, always following the 
male line in preference to the female. This tendency was ac- 
companied by excess of vitality, fecundity, and vigor, and was 
more developed in the illegitimate lines than in the legitimate, 
a statement which is also true of the other forms of immorality. 
Thus, by comparing the 38 illegitimate members of the fifth 
generation with the 85 legitimate members we get the following: 

4 drunka: 

38 illegitimate 85 legitimate 

I I 

rds 11 beggars, 16 convicts, 6 5 convicts 13 beggars or 
idiots, or of whom were prostitutes 

prostitutes convicted for 
serious crimes 

The figures here given for prostitution represent only a small 
part of the sexual immorahty, as is proved by the large number 
of bastards {'21% of the males and 13% of the females), of 
syphilitics, and "harlots," ^ of whom there were 60% in the 
second generation (3 daughters out of the 5), 37% in the third, 
69% in the fourth, 48% in the fifth, and 38% in the sixth, an 
average of 52.40%. In addition there were 42% of hariots 
among the women who married into the family. The data 
with regard to exaggerated fecundity and to prostitution tend 
to prove that sexual excesses are one of the most serious causes 
of pauperism, which, in its turn, appears to be hereditary in 
its character, especially with the women, and to gain recruits 

' Dugdale uses this word for women who have been guilty of any 
unchaatity, reservmg the term "prostitute" for professionals. — Tkansl. 




by preference among the young. Pauperism, again, is bound 
up with crime and disease, on account of the great number of 
individuals who become tainted with syphiUs, or have bodily 
deformities, or inherit a tendency to crime or vagrancy. On 
the other hand, it is noted that in the families where the brothers 
are criminals, the sisters give themselves up to prostitution, and 
are indicted only for sexual oflFenses. So Dugdale says (p. 26), 
"Prostitution in the woman is the analogue of crime and pau- 
perism in the man." It may be seen here how prostitution 
arises by heredity, without being explainable by destitution or 
other causes, and is checked only by the intervention of an early 
marriage. The distribution of the bastards as to sex (21% of 
the males, 13% of the females) shows a curious predominance 
of the male sex, while the opposite is true among the legitimate 
offspring. Among the first born, also, where legitimate, daugh- 
ters predominate; and where illegitimate, sons. The following 
table shows us the connection between crime and prostitution 
on one side, and disease and deformity on the other: 

Diseases, Malformations, and Injuries 





1— 1 


H- 1 





.2 .2 



Number of 
diseased persons 
receiving relief 


Juke blood . . 
X blood . . . 














Total . . . 











Altogether Dugdale found 200 thieves and other criminals, 280 
beggars or invalids, 90 prostitutes or women afflicted with 
syphilis, all descended from one drunkard; to which should be 
added, as additional consequences, 300 children dying prema- 
turely, 400 men infected with syphilis, and 7 assassinated. 

This is not a unique case. The savage Galetto of Marseilles 
was a nephew of Ortolano, ravisher and cannibal; Dumollard 


was the son of a murderer; Patetot had assassins for grandfather 
and great-grandfather; Papa, Crocco, and Serravalle had grand- 
fathers who had been in prison, and Cavalante's father and 
grandfather both were convicts. The Cornu family were assas- 
sins from father to son, as were the Verdures, the Cerfbeers, 
and Nathans. Of this last family 14 members were incarcerated 

at one time in the same prison. Mocc , a brazen adulteress, 

who poisoned her husband, was the issue of an incest; and 
prostitutes are nearly always daughters of delinquents or drunk- 
ards. Mme. de Pompadour was the daughter of a drunken 
thief who had been pardoned. 

§ 73. Insanity of Parents 

As all these dismal genealogies prove to us, a certain number 
of the parents of criminals are afflicted with insanity. I have 
found in the case of 314 criminals whose descent was known to 
me, 7 whose fathers were insane, 2 who had fathers that were 
epileptic, while in the case of 4 the mother, in 2 cases the father, 
in 3 a brother, in 4 an uncle, and in 1 a cousin, were afflicted 
with cretinism. Of 100 other criminals 5 had insane mothers, 
3 insane fathers, 6 insane brothers, and 4 had epileptic brothers. 
I had under my care in Pavia a family whose genealogy alter- 
nated between criminals and prostitutes, as seen by the following 
outline : 

Fe . . . ri, insane at 80, with hallucinations 

L., insane, committed incest Insane, guilty of assault 

III I Thief 

Thief Thief Suicide Prosti- Prosti- I 

at 9 committed tute tute Prostitute 

Another family that I have investigated was as follows: 

Ala ... == Wife, epileptic 
poisoned | 



G D A P A F 

Murderer Suicide Killed in Maniac Drunkard Prostitute 
brawl at 15 




In the cases of 67 insane criminals Moeli found in 61%, in- 
sanity or epilepsy of parents; 15%, suicide or criminality of 
parents; 21%, insanity of brothers or sisters.^ Kock,^ leaving 
aside all doubtful cases, found that 46% of criminals were of 
morbid descent. Virgilio studied 266 convicts, all, however, 
with chronic diseases, 10 of them being insane and 13 epileptic. 
He found insanity of 1 parent, generally the father. Epi- 
lepsy was present with still greater frequency, being found in 
14.1% of the cases. In 6 cases the father was eccentric, in 1 
the mother; in 1 case the father was a semi-imbecile. One 
ravisher had a deaf-mute father. Penta found insanity among 
the parents of 16% of the criminals investigated by him. At 
Elmira, N. Y., in 1890, 127 of the prisoners had insane or epi- 
leptic parents. Marro and Sichart found: 

Insanity of Parents 







Sexual criminals 









Guilty of assault 


Gottin, who set fire to the house of his benefactor, had an 
insane grandfather; Mio had his father and grandfather both 
insane; Jean de Agordo, a parricide, had insane brothers; Mar- 
tinati's sister was a cretin; Vizzocaro, at once parricide and 
fratricide, and Palmerini, an assassin, both had insane brothers 
and uncles; Bussi, insane father and mother; Alberti, an insane 
father and grandfather; Faella, an insane father; Guiteau had 
an insane father, uncles, and cousins; Perussi, a forger and mur- 
derer, who was born in an insane asylum, had an insane mother, 
who committed suicide, and a father with megalomania; Verger 
had a mother and sisters who were suicides; Goudfroy, who 

1 "Ueber irre Verbrecher," 1888. 

* "Zur Statistik der Geisteskrankheiten in Wiirtemberg," p. 161, 
Stuttgart, 1877. 


killed his wife, mother, and sisters, after insuring their lives in 
his favor, had an insane grandmother and uncles; Didier, a 
parricide, had an insane father; Louise Brienz, who killed her 
husband, had an epileptic mother and an insane sister; and 
Ceresa, Abbado, and Kulmann all had insane parents. 

In this connection we find the same thing true of the insane 
as of criminals. Golgi, Stewart, and Tigges have proved that 
insane men are more apt to have insanity on the paternal side 
than on the maternal,^ as is also the case with criminals. How- 
ever, it is important for the purposes of medical jurisprudence 
to note that insanity of the parents is less frequent with crim- 
inals than with the insane. Among 3115 insane persons Tigges 
found that 28% had insane parents, while Stewart's figure is 
49%, and that of Golgi 53%. If we take in also the hereditary 
influence of epilepsy and other nervous diseases, Golgi gives us 
a figure of 78%. 

§ 74. Epilepsy of Parents 

Knecht found epilepsy among the parents of 15% of the 
criminals examined by him; Ribaudo, investigating 559 military 
prisoners, found 10.1%; Penta found 9.2% among the parents 
of 184 born criminals. Clark showed that 46% of the parents of 
epileptic criminals had epilepsy, and only 21% of the parents 
of non-criminal epileptics. Dejerine, however, gives the figures 
as 74.6% and 34.6%, but, though higher, the ratio between 
criminal and non-criminal remains the same. Marro and Si- 
chart found the following percentages of epileptics among 
various classes of criminals: 








Sexual criminals 




» St€waxt, "On Hereditary Insanity," London, 1S74. 




§ 75. Alcoholic Heredity 

Penta found alcoholism in 33% of the parents of criminals, 
and I myself have met it in 20%. At Elmira, of 6300 criminals 
under age, 38% had drunken parents. Legrain ^ found that 
157 individuals, belonging to 50 different families of alcoholics, 
showed the following: Insane, 54%; alcoholics, 62%; epileptics, 
61%; having convulsions, 29%; morally insane, 14%; having 
meningitis, 6.5%. According to Baer the following percentages 
of the parents of criminals were drunken: In Saxony, 10.5%; 
Baden, 19.5%; Wurtemberg, 19.8%; Alsace, 22.0%; Prussia, 
22.1%; Bavaria, 34.6%. Sichart and Marro found the parents 
of criminals alcoholic in the following proportions : 











Sexual Criminals 


Marro found also 49% in the case of parents of homicides, and 
50% of the parents of those guilty of assault. Thus those guilty 
of crimes of blood show the highest figures, followed closely by 

In Italy alcoholism of the parents is much less frequently a 
cause of insanity than of crime, being found in the case of 17% 
of the insane but in 22% of those imprisoned at Aversa for long 
terms. Legrain observed that precocity is the first character- 
istic of alcoholic heredity. He found children who were alco- 
holics even at four years. Another characteristic is the impossi- 
bility of withstanding the effects of alcohol. Thus a father had 
been a drinker for seven years without having his brain affected, 
while his son was thrown into a delirium by two days' orgy. 
Further, alcohoHc heredity manifests itself by an imperious 
need of larger and larger doses of alcohol. All these charac- 
teristics are frequently met in criminals. 

1 " Deg6n6rescence Sociale et Alcoolisme," Paris, 1875. 




§ 76. Age of Parents 

MaiTO, in investigating this subject, has come to the follow- 
ing conclusions : 

"Among criminals against property the children of young 
parents abound, except in the case of swindlers, among whom 
they are rare. Swindling demands, in fact, dissimulation and 
artfulness, rather than physical quickness and force, which are 
the gifts of youth, as the former qualities are the properties of 
a maturer age." 

He found descent from elderly parents very numerous in the 
case of those committing crimes against persons, appearing in 
the case of 52.9% of the homicides, while the. percentage for 
the general population is only 17. On the other hand, only 
3% of this class of criminals were found to have youthful 
parents. Among those punished for assaults, old and also very 
young parents were much more numerous than in the general 
population (40% and 13.5% respectively). This is easy to 
comprehend when we remember that callousness is as much a 
preparation for brawling and insurrection as excess of vivacity. 
Among ravishers, on the other hand, the proportion of elderly 
fathers falls to 30%; but there is also a higher number of elderly 
mothers than normal. Marro, taking 21 as the beginning of 
maturity for women and 37 as the beginning of decadence, 
arrives at the following table of percentages of criminal, normal, 
and insane persons, according to the mother's age at their birth: 
Age of Mother 








Guilty of assault 


Highway robbers 



House thieves 



General average of criminals . 





The law observed for the fathers in the different classes of 
delinquents holds good for the mothers also. The percentage 
of elderly mothers, as of elderly fathers, is especially high with 
murderers and raAdshers, though in the case of the latter, to a 
more limited extent for both parents. Both fathers and mothers 
are frequently young in the case of those guilty of assault and 
theft, and especially is this true with highway robbers. Marro 
has studied the conduct in school of 917 pupils, with reference 
to the age of their parents, with the following results: 

Conduct of Children in School 

Age of parents 




Under 26 (father) .... 
From 26 to 41 (father) . . 
Over 41 (father) .... 
Under 22 (mother) .... 
From 22 to 37 (mother) . 
Over 37 (mother) .... 














17% ^ 


The maximum of bad and the minimum of good children are 
to be found where the father is young, but on account of the 
mildness and docility of character belonging to women, espe- 
cially in youth, the greatest proportion of good children are 
to be found among those born of young mothers. 

With regard to pupils whose parents both belong to the same 
age period the following results are reached: 

Conduct op Pupils 

Age of parents 













Marro found that fewer delinquents than normal persons had 
parents belonging to the same age period, there being 63% of 


the former to 70% of the latter. In the case of pupils the max- 
imum of intelligence and the minimum of good conduct were 
found where both parents were very young. 

The age of complete development of the parents gives the 
maximum of good conduct and the same proportion of intelli- 
gent children as when the mother is of full age. In the period 
of decadence of the two parents, both good conduct and intelli- 
gence are less often found than in the preceding period. 

§ 77. Sjmthesis 

Of all nervous anomalies the most typical as a sign of degen- 
eracy, aside from cretinism, is the neurosis of the criminal. This 
recalls the phenomenon that was so striking in the history of 
the Juke family, the excess of vigor and fecundity in the earlier 
generations, neutralized in later generations by child-mortality, 
and finally giving place to complete sterility, such as occurs in 
the case of "freaks" and too violent crosses. Penta counts 
among the signs of degeneracy found in the born criminal a 
great fecundity rendered futile through the speedy dying out 
of the offspring. Of 104 brothers of criminals whom he studied, 
70 died at an early age. Of 100 parents of criminals, 53 showed 
an exaggerated fecundity and 23 a partial sterility. Of 46 
criminals, 10 showed exaggerated and 31 restricted fecundity. 
In studying the figures of Marro and Sichart we find that epi- 
lepsy is more common with the parents of thieves; suicide with 
those of incendiaries; alcoholism with those of thieves and 
ravishers; and insanity with the parents of incendiaries. We 
have seen from the Juke family that males, especially the eldest, 
are more often affected by a criminal heredity than females, 
and illegitimate than legitimate children, the relations being 
inverted in the case of pauperism, in which organic weakness 
plays a greater part. We have seen that in heredity, for normal 
as well as for criminal men, the influence of the father exceeds 
that of the mother. Thus Marro found the diseases given below 
to have their hereditary influence from the paternal or maternal 
side in the following ratios: 




From father 

From mother 






. 5.0% 





Diseases of spinal cord 

" " heart 


Here the mothers lead only in the last. 

In the parents of homicides vicious tendencies are found 
with 23% of the fathers and only 7% of the mothers; of those 
guilty of assault, 20% of the fathers are of evil character and 
16% of the mothers. We may say that the mother has the 
power of transmitting her emotional characteristics to her chil- 
dren more than her intellectual characteristics. These con- 
clusions agree with the general laws of heredity set forth by Or- 
chanski.^ He shows that heredity being a function of the organ- 
ism of the parents, it corresponds at any given moment to the 
energy of their other functions and to their general physical 
condition. Each of the parents shows a tendency to transmit 
his own sex, and the one that prevails is the one nearest the 
period of maturity. 

Resemblance to the father prevails, but more in the case of 
boys than girls. The same principle holds true for structure, 
although the boys show more variability, the girls more stability. 
If one of the parents is diseased there is a tendency, stronger in 
the case of the father, to transmit the disease to children of the 
same sex as the parent affected. This phenomenon shows itself 
especially in the case of neuropathic parents, phthisical par- 
ents reversing the relationship. Transmission of disease, conse- 
quently, is progressive with the father, regressive with the 
mother; the pathological condition of the father tends to repeat 
itself in the children. Morbid heredity depends, then, upon two 
factors, — the sex of the parent and the intensity of the morbid 
condition. Males inherit diseases from both parents and in 
greater intensity, having a tendency to transform functional 

1 Orchanski, "L'Eredit^ delle Famiglie Malate," Turin, 1896. 


disorders into organic ones; while females show the opposite 

To sum up: the organic type is constantly being fixed by 
heredity. The children themselves have a large part in the 
manifestation of heredity, by the fact that they can assimilate 
more or less actively the hereditary characteristics. Hereditary 
influences are not all manifested at any given moment, or once 
for all. They are latent in the organism and manifest themselves 
gradually throughout the whole period of development. Every- 
thing organic is subject to the general laws of heredity; the 
characteristics inherited by any part of the organism follow the 
general course of the development of that organ, and reaches its 
highest point at the period of the organ's greatest development. 
The antagonism between the influence of the father, which favors 
variability and individuality, and that of the mother, which 
tends to preserve the type, has already been observed in the 
determination of the sex of the ofiFspring. The same contest 
goes on in the matter of transmitting disease, which the mother 
diminishes by transmitting her own diseases in milder form and 
combating the morbid tendencies of the father. There is the 
same difference between the parts that the male and female 
children play in inheriting, as there is in that which the father 
and mother play in transmitting hereditary characteristics. 



§ 78. Age — Precocity 

ONE of the few striking differences between crime and in- 
sanity is found in the part played by age. A glance at the 
following tabular comparison between nearly equal numbers of 
insane, delinquent, and normal persons shows that criminals 
are most numerous at the ages between 20 and 30, at which 
ages the number of normal persons and of insane is much lower, 
while the latter are most numerous between 30 and 40. 










Under 20 . . . 
20 to 30. . . . 
30 " 40 . . . . 
40 " 50 . . . . 
50 " 60 . . . . 
Over 60 ... . 


6.56%, 1 







9.34% 1 


0.8% « 







2.0% » 


10.4 % 
42.6 % 
12.1 % 
12.4 %< 

1 Lolli, "Statistica del Manicomio di Imola," 1874. 

2 Cardon, "Statistica delle Carceri," Rome, 1871. 
' Mayhew, op. cit. 

* "Die Oesterreichen Strafanstalten," Vienna, 1874. 

It will be noted that from the age of 40 on, the percentage of 
the insane is twice that of normal individuals and criminals; 
while these latter after the age of 50 are less than half as nu- 
merous relatively as normal persons of that age. 

A more detailed analysis shows that the maximum of crim- 
inality is found at ages ranging from 15 to 25 years. In England 




the proportion of juvenile crime is declining, and the percentage 
of criminals under 21 will be seen to be less than the percentage 
of the normal population falling within this age group, while 
from 22 to 30 the criminal percentage is double the normal.^ 

In Austria one-sixth of the convicts are between 14 and 20 
years of age, and four-sixths between 21 and 40. 

Of 1477 criminals condemned to death in France: 

107 were between 16 and 30 
534 " " 30 " 40 

180 " " 40 " 60 

69 " 60 or over 

Of 46 criminals studied by me, 35 had commenced their 
criminal career at the following ages: 

1 at 4 years 

5 at 10 years 

3 at 13 years 

2 " 7 " 

4 " 11 " 

3 " 14 " 

6 " 8 " 

3 " 12 " 

7 " 15 " 

1 " 9 " 

Twelve others confessed that they had run away from home to 
escape either punishment or work. Ten per cent of the inmates 
of the reform school at Turin admitted freely that they had 
learned to steal before 12, not from necessity, but led by the en- 
couragement and instructions of their companions. In the hun- 
dred criminals investigated by Rossi and myself we found 35 who 
had begun to drink between the ages of 2 and 10, and of these 
25 drank only brandy; 6 had become addicted to the practice 
of masturbation before the age of 6, and 13 had had sexual 

In England 


General population 

12 and under 

13 to 16 



17 to 21 

22 to 30 

31 to 40 

41 to 50 

51 to 60 

(L. Levy, "Journal of the Statistical Society," 1882.) 

§ 79] AGE — PRECOCITY 177 

intercourse before the age of 14/ — all of which shows great pre- 
cocity in vice. 

Marro found that of his 462 criminals 18% had become de- 
linquents before the age of 13. Manzoni has very well hit off 
the principal source of this early leaning toward crime, namely, 
the mania to pass as full-grown; in his famous novel he says: 
"Gervais, on account of having had a hand in something that 
savored of crime, thought he had become a man like the others." 
Marro, in his studies of the conduct of pupils in the schools, 
found that there were two periods especially marked by bad 
conduct, — the first between 11 and 13 years of age, and the 
second between 16 and 17. 

Precocity in crime points to the fact that criminality, much 
more than insanity, is an inherited characteristic. This re- 
minds us that precocity is one of the distinguishing features of 
savage peoples, — a new proof of the atavistic origin of crime. 
In this connection certain customs of the nature-peoples are 
interesting. Thus the young men in certain African tribes, upon 
attaining their majority, strip themselves and withdraw to the 
woods, where they remain until they have killed some one. 

We may also certainly ascribe to atavistic influence an 
institution like that of the scuonero in Naples, which, for the 
fifteen-year-old boys, means to play the tyrant, to carry clubs or 
revolvers, to have love affairs, and to put parents and policemen 
in their proper places. It is thus a sort of juvenile "Camorra," 
in which the highest honor belongs to him who has wounded or 
killed some one. Another proof of the same influence is found 
in the Sicilian word "omerta" which means either manliness 
or brigandage. 

§ 79. Supposed Scale of Crime 

In one case I have found a true gradation in the character of 
the thefts of a young criminal, who began as a boy by stealing 
4 sous to buy a top. He then stole 8 sous, then 1 franc, and 
finally 3 francs. But, in general, the ascending scale of crime is 

* Rossi, "Una Ccnturia di Criminali," 1885. 


imaginary, for many enter the criminal course by the great door 
of homicide and rape, while the most atrocious crimes are often 
the most precocious. There was found one day in Milan an 
old man riddled with 82 wounds, who was believed at first 
to have been the victim of an atrocious act of revenge. It was 
discovered that his murderers were five youths of from 15 to 19 
years, who had committed this horrible crime for the purpose 
of getting money for a visit to a brothel, and that all had wanted 
to have a part in stabbing the victim. 

All great criminals have given proof of perversity in their 
youth, especially at the age of puberty and sometimes even be- 
fore. This was true of Bonsegni at 18 years of age, of Boulot at 
17, and of the Marquise de Brinvilliers at 18. At 7j^ Dombey 
was already a thief, and added sacrilege to his theft at 12. At 3 
Crocco tore out the feathers of living birds; Lasagne cut out 
the tongues of cattle at 11; at the same age Cartouche stole 
from his schoolmates; while Mme. Laf argue, as a child of 10, 
strangled fowls. Feuerbach tells of a parricide who had taken 
great deUght as a child in making hens jump about after he had 
put out their eyes. 

"The tendency to theft," says Locatelli, "shows itself in ex- 
treme youth, beginning with little pilferings at home and in- 
creasing gradually. Murderers, on the contrary, become such 
all at once, frequently at a tender age. It is for this reason that 
children below the age of puberty who have already committed 
homicide are less rare than second-story thieves of the same 
In the prisons of Paris there are no less than 2000 youths 
from 16 to 21 years of age, 996 of whom are incarcerated for 
murder or theft, and the assassinations committed by these 
young criminals are marked by the most horrible ferocity, 
'^''^'-illot and Gille killed their benefactress with the aid of their 
of th' h ^^^ ^^^ °^ ^^^ fingers to get her rings. The youngest 

bands^ oT"^ "^ ^^ ^"^ *^^ °^^^^* ^^' ^^^^ °^ ^^^ Parisian 
-« I, J , .?.'^^ assassins included a girl who had scarcely 
reached nubility, i 

' I^'Haufisom^e^ "L'Enfance k Paris," 1876. 

§80] AGE — PRECOCITY 179 

Pipino, Bagnis, Quartery, Verzeni, Moro, and Prevost began 
with assassination. Prevost later was an irreproachable agent 
of police for 21 years. Martin killed his own wife, having pre- 
viously been perfectly reputable. Charles IX was cruel from 

§ 8o. Criminality at Different Periods of Life 

Each period of life has its own form of criminality, as Quetelet, 
Guerry, and Messedaglia have very well shown. Youth and 
old age are found in Austria to furnish the greatest number of 
sexual crimes, 33%. Guerry also finds the two highest points 
for these crimes to be between 16 and 25, and between 65 and 
70 years. In England the greatest number of crimes contrary 
to nature are committed by persons between 50 and 60; but 
doubtless what is taken for crime at this age may often be the 
result of creeping paralysis and senile dementia. Another ten- 
dency which is observable in youth is that toward arson (30.8^ 
in Austria); and in this case also it is to be noted that mania 
before the age of puberty is apt to take the form of pyromania. 
A similar observation may be made with regard to theft; but 
Quetelet observes that if the tendency toward theft is one of 
the first to show itself, it also makes itself felt throughout the 
whole life, and is common to every age-period.^ 

In the period of manhood the predominant crimes are mur- 
ders, homicides, infanticides, abortions, and rape, amounting in 
Austria to about 80%. At a riper age there is an increasing 
number of libels, frauds, breaches of trust, crimes contrary to 
nature, instances of blackmail, and of aid given to criminals. In 
old age there are to be observed crimes contrary to nature, aid 
to criminals, breach of trust, swindling, and, what furnishes a 
new analogy with the crimes of youth, arson. We may get a 
more exact notion of the distribution of crime according to age 
from the following table, in which is given the number of per- 
sons out of 1000 of the same age who were indicted in France 
between 1826 and 1840: 2 

1 Quetelet, "Physique Sociale," p. 325. 

* After Guerry, "Statiatique Morale de la France," p. 84. 


















Under 16 


































































































































Over 80 













§ 8l. Sex 

ALL statistics show that women are much less criminal than 
men, and this will be even more striking if we regard those 
guilty of infanticide as outside of the regular criminal class. In 
Austria female criminals do not reach 14% of the total; in 
Spain they are under 11%, while in Italy they are only 8.2%. 
Bringing together the different data ^ we get the following table, 
showing the part played by women in crime in different coun- 
tries of Europe: 



Number of men 
to 1 woman 

Italy (1885-89) .... 
Great Britain (1858-64) 
Denmark and Norway . 

























Buenos- Ayres (1892) . 
Algeria (1876-80) . . . 
Victoria (1890) .... 
New South Wales . . . 










Bringing together the figures for all classes of delinquents 
convicted in Italy during the years 1885-89, we get the follow- 
ing yeariy averages: 

* A complete bibliography will be found in Lombroso and Ferrero's 
"Female Offender." 


For the men For the women 

186.825 54,837 

If, however, we take account of the fact that the cases passed 
upon by the justices of the peace are the least serious, those which 
come before the Assizes are the most serious, and those which 
come before the Tribunals are of a degree between the two, we 
shall see that the female offenders are distributed in an inverse 
ratio to the gravity of the crime. Thus for each 100 men the 
following number of women were convicted in the three classes 
of courts: 

Justice courts 21.8 women 

Tribunals 9.2 "^ 

Assizes 6.0 

Almost all the statistics show that women take up a life of 
crime later than men. Oettingen places the climax of female 
criminality between the 25th and 30th years, while Quetelet 
calls it about the 30th year. With men the maximum of crim- 
inality is reached at 24. In Italy in the years from 1885 to 
1889, for each 100 crimes committed by male delinquents of 
the various age periods, the following were committed by female 

Justices of 
the peace 



Under 14 












Over 50 




We see, accordingly, that for all classes of crimes female 
criminality reaches its highest point, as compared with that of 
men, at the most advanced age; that is to say, when the special 
characteristics of sex have been effaced by age, and when pros- 
titution no longer offers a career. The second highest period of 
female criminality is to be found in the age below 14, when the 

» Rencoroni, "La Criminality Femminile" (Arch, di Psichiatria, 1893)- 




sex characteristics are not yet fully developed.^ This is not 
true, however, of the gravest offenses; for among the girls below 
14 there was not one convicted at the Assizes, while of the boys 
of that age there were 4650 convicted out of 10,000,000. 

In Germany 3.8% of the female offenders and 2.6% of the 
male are over 60 years old. For every 100 criminal men over 
60 there were 25.4 criminal women of the same age, while be- 
tween the ages of 21 and 40 there were only 19.6 criminal women 
to 100 men. During the years 1876-80 among the juvenile de- 
linquents there were 16.3 girls under 16 to 100 boys, and 17.7 
girls under 21 to 100 boys of like age. Female delinquency has, 
then, one of its high points during youth, a fact to be explained 
by prostitution among girls not yet of age. According to 
Parent-du-Chdtelet 15% of the French prostitutes were over 
17 and under 21 years of age, while according to Guerry 24% of 
the London prostitutes were under 20. ~— __^ 

§ 82. Specific Criminality 

Women as criminals are naturally active in other spheres 
than those which men occupy. In Austria women are most 

^ In Italy in the years 1871-72 juvenile criminals of the two sexes 
were divided into age groups as follows: 

Of 100 girls 

Of 100 boys 

Under 10 

11 to 14 




15 to 18 


Over 18 


In Austria out of 100 criminals of either sex there were: 




10 to 20 


10 6 

20 to 30 

39 6 

30 to 50 

27 8 

50 to 60 

12 5 

60 to 70 



Over 70 






often guilty of abortion, bigamy, libel, participation in crimes, 
arson, and theft; they are more rarely guilty of homicide and 
forgery. In France their principal crimes are infanticide, abor- 
tion, poisoning, parricide, maltreating of children, domestic 
thefts, and arson. In England they are beginning to be more 
often guilty of passing counterfeit money, perjury, and libel; 
and homicide also is slowly increasing there. In studying the 
situation in Italy, Rencoroni {op. cit.) arrived at the following 

Crimes (assizes) 

Average of 
three years 

To 1,000,000 













































: 22.8 












Women to 
100 men 

Crimes against the State 
Forgery and commercial 


Vagrancy, etc 

Sexual crimes 

Abortion, infanticide . . . 
Homicide, murder .... 



Highway robbery .... 



Receipt of stolen goods . 





We saw above that on an average 6 women are condemned 

at the Assizes for each 100 men. The figures are higher for the 

following crimes: 

Number of women 
to 100 men 

Receiv-ing stolen goods 20.2 

Poisoning 122.7 

Abortion, infanticide 476.8 

Arson 8.6 

These four crimes, then, seem to have a closer connection with 
the feminine nature. 

That women less often are engaged in highway robbery, 
murder, homicide, and assault is due to the very nature of the 



feminine constitution. To conceive an assassination, to make 
ready for it, to put it into execution demands, in a great num- 
ber of cases at least, not only physical force, but a certain energy 
and a certain combination of intellectual functions. In this sort 
of development women almost always fall short of men. It 
seems on the other hand that the crimes that are habitual to 
them are those which require a smaller degree of physical and 
intellectual force, and such especially are receipt of stolen goods, 
poisoning, abortion, and infanticide. I specify intellectual force 
and not education, for it is well known that poisoners are 
often well educated persons. Quetelet has already remarked 
that these differences proceed not so much from slighter per- 
versity of character as from a more retired way of hfe, which 
gives less opportunity for such crimes as highway robbery; and 
from a smaller degree of strength and intelligence, on account of 
which women commit fewer murders and crimes requiring the 
use of the newspapers. But in domestic crimes they equal, and 
sometimes even exceed, the men. In poisoning they reach 91% 
and in house- theft 60%, to say nothing of abortion and infanti- 
cide. If we add that the great number of sexual offenses com- 
mitted by men are not only equalled but surpassed, at least in- 
the eyes of the psychologist, by prostitution on the part of the 
women, and that in the more civilized countries and periods the 
criminality of women continually increases until it approaches 
that of men, we find that the analogy between the two is greater 
than would have been believed possible at first sight. 

§ 83. Prostitution 

The comparative infrequency of the arrest of women for 
vagrancy ^ is due in part to the fact that women are less given 
to drink, in part to the fact that they are less employed in trade, 
and finally to the fact that in youth prostitution completely 
takes the place of crime.^ With this unhappy profession idle- 

' The American reader will have to remember that in the United States 
as Dugdale points out, "vagrancy" as applied to a woman is frequently 
only an "official euphonism for prostitution." — Transl. 

2 For the complete demonstration of this see the work of Lombroso 
and Ferrero cited above. 


ness and vagabondage are inseparably bound up. If cases of 
prostitution are included in the criminal statistics the two sexes 
are at once placed on an equality, or the preponderance may 
even be thrown on the side of women. According to Ryan 
and Talbot there is 1 prostitute to each 7 women in London, 
and in Hamburg 1 to each 9. In Italy, in the great centers, 
they form 18% to 33% of the female population of like age.^ 
In some countries the proportion has doubled and in some 
increased even tenfold. In Berlin the number of prostitutes 
increased from 600 in 1845 to 9653 in 1893. In 1876 Du Camp 
placed the number of secret prostitutes in Paris at 20,000. 

We have seen, and shall see more and more, how the physical 
and moral characteristics of the delinquent belong equally to 
the prostitute, and how great the sympathy is between the two 
classes. Both phenomena spring from idleness, misery, and 
especially from alcoholism. Both are connected, likewise, with 
certain organic and hereditary tendencies, as Dugdale has dem- 
onstrated in connection with the Juke family. 

"When I compare the data brought together in technical 
writings," says Locatelli, " with the results of my own experience, 
I am convinced that those authors have fallen into error who 
allege that the principal cause of prostitution is abandonment, 
or the misery into which many of the young girls of the prole- 
tariat are plunged. Prostitution, in my opinion, like theft, 
springs from vicious natural tendencies of certain individuals. 
Lack of education, abandonment, poverty, and bad example 
can be considered at most as secondary causes; just as family 
care and instruction may serve as salutary checks upon evil 
tendencies. The tendency to prostitution proceeds from a fun- 
damental lack of the sense of modesty, which often manifests 
itself at the same time as the absence of all sexual feeling, for 
many of these unfortunates are of an apathetic temperament. 
They are automatons, who concern themselves with nothing and 
have almost no feeling; in their many and fleeting relationships 
they show no preference. If they ever show favor to some par- 
ticular lover, they do it, not from sympathy, but because it is 
the custom of their associates; they show themselves as indif- 
ferent to homage as to the most brutal abuse." 

This apathy, it is true, is interrupted from time to time by vio- 
lent and fugitive fits of passion; ^ but here also there is a striking 

^ Castiglioni, "Sulla Prostituzione," Rome, 1871. 
' Lombroso and Ferrero, op. cit. 


resemblance to the criminal, with whom apathy, insensibility, 
violent and transitory passion, and idleness are dominant 
characteristics.^ But even if we hold strictly to legal definition 
and oflScial statistics, it is plain that a part of the army of pros- 
titutes must be enrolled as criminals also. Guerry observed 
that in London 80% of the female criminals under 30 years of 
age came from among the prostitutes, and 7% of those over 
that age. Furthermore, prostitution, like female criminality, 
tends to increase with increasing civilization and approach to 
male criminality in amount. In London in 1834 the female 
criminals were 18.8% as numerous as the male, and in 1853 
25.7%; while in Spain the figure was as low as 11%, in France 
20%, in Prussia 22%, in Scotland 23%. In Austria in general 
the female criminality is 14% of the male, but in Vienna it is 

But aside from these facts many other grave reasons make 
us suspect that the criminality of women is greater than the 
statistics show. The crimes mentioned above to which women 
are particularly addicted are just those which are most easily 
concealed and most rarely lead to trial. To this may be added 
the well known fact of the greater obstinacy and intensity of 
criminality when it appears in a woman. Thus in America 
delinquent girls have shown themselves more incorrigible than 
boys. However, it must be remembered in this connection 
that female criminals show fewer marks of degeneracy than 
criminal men. 

§ 84. Civilization 

In both sexes, but especially in the case of women, we see 
that the more serious crimes regularly increase as civilization 
decreases. On the other hand, the relation of the degree of 
civilization with vagrancy and similar offenses and with sexual 
crimes is not so definite. The following table gives the ratio 
which the frequency of the various crimes in southern and 
central Italy bears to that of the more civilized part of the 
kingdom : 

* Lombroso, "Homme Criminel," Vol. I. 


NuMBEB OF Crimes to 1 committed in Northern Italy 

Central Italy 

Southern Italy 

By men 

By women 

By men 

By women 

Murder and homicide . . . 











Highway robbery .... 


3 '5 



Abortion and infanticide are more frequent at an early age 
the more civilized a country is, but more frequent at an ad- 
vanced age the less civilized it is. This appears to be due to 
the fact that the more civilized a country is, the more will fear 
of public dishonor induce a young girl who becomes pregnant 
to take criminal means to save her reputation. But where these 
crimes are most frequent between 21 and 40, it is not a clinging 
to reputation so much as an unfortunate custom that is the 
cause. It may be remarked in this connection that abortion 
is a widespread practice among savages. 

The number of persons sentenced by the "correctional tri- 
bunals" in France increased from 1831 to 1880 by 180% for 
the men and 110% for the women. The increase of school 
instruction in France, then, left the female criminality even 
lower than before in proportion to that of the men. While in 
1888 among the recidivists 1% of the men had a higher edu- 
cation and 9% an elementary education, none of the women 
had a higher education and only 5% an elementary one; of 
the men 30% were absolutely illiterate, and 47% of the women. 
Of 244 crimmals transported in 1887-88, 30% of the men and 
39% of the women were illiterate, 53% of the men and 51% of 
the women could read and write, 15% of the men and 10% of 
the women had an elementary education, and 2% of the men 
but none of the women had a higher education. The same 
phenomenon is equally to be found in Germany. In 1854 23% 
of the crimes were committed by women, in 1878 only 16%; 


so that in this period there was a constant diminution in female 
dehnquency. In the country the infanticides are more frequent, 
and in the cities the abortions. Thus in Germany in 1888 out 
of 172 infanticides only 1 took place in Berlin, while of 216 
abortions 23 occurred in Berlin. In France 75% of the infanti- 
cides take place in the country, and 60% of the abortions in the 

In many of the more highly ci\Tlized countries, such as Eng- 
land and Austria, female delinquency appears for a moment to 
be approaching that of men; but this is due to the influence 
of petty offenses, drunkenness, vagrancy, etc., while as regards 
crimes proper, the criminality of women is much less than that 
of men and tends to diminish rather than increase. In coun- 
tries still barbarous, female delinquency is infinitely less, so 
that in Bulgaria Laveleye found almost no women in the prisons. 
If we look at the effect of great cities upon each crime in par- 
ticular we see that assaults, highway robberies, and thefts are 
more numerous in the great cities than in the small towns or 
in the country. In Berlin, for example, the increased density 
of the population is a manifest cause of the increase of crimes 
committed by women; in fact, 21% of the crimes in the capi- 
tal are committed by women, as against 16% for the Empire 
at large. In England during the years 1859 to 1863 for every 
100 men convicted at the Assizes there were respectively 35, 
36, 38, 33, 31, and 32 women; but among the arrests made by 
the London police during about the same period (1854-62) 
there were 57 women to 100 men, while in Liverpool the num- 
ber was 69, and in Dublin 84. 

Fewer crimes against property are committed by married 
women (and men) than by unmarried; but of crimes in general 
the married woman above 30 years of age commits more than 
the unmarried, though a similar statement cannot be made with 
regard to married men until they have passed the age of 70, — 
a fact which may be attributed to crimes against the person, 
against the state, etc. 




§ 85. Recidivists 
In France the number of recidivists has increased as follows ; 
Pebcentage op Cbiminals who ABE Recidivists 












Male criminals are, then, much more apt to become recidi- 
vists than women, and this tendency increases with advancing 
civilization, as the figures show; and this may fairiy be main- 
tained, notwithstanding the allowance that must be made for 
error because of the fact that nowadays recidivists are much 
more easily recognized than formerly. It is well known that 
prisoners in penitentiaries relapse into crime almost immediately 
upon their release, or at least within a short period of years, as 
shown in the following table: 

Released Convicts becouing Recidivists 














In Germany the results are a little different (Starke). Al- 
though in 1869 there was a somewhat smaller proportion of 
recidivists among the female criminals, the number rose gradu- 




ally, and by 1882 had reached the percentage shown by the 

Recidivists in Gebmant 

Year Men 

























Messedaglia has shown that repeated relapses into crime are 
more frequent with Austrian women than single relapses, while 
in the case of male criminals the two are about equal. The 
same thing is observed in Prussia, where 16% of the female 
cases are of women arrested for the first time, 17% are womeri 
arrested after the first relapse, 24% after the 6th, and 30% 
after 7 or more relapses. 

In conclusion we may affirm: 

1st, Female delinquency is only a fourth or a fifth that of 
men, and only one-sixteenth if we consider simply serious crimes. 

2d, Female criminality reaches its highest point, as compared 
with male criminality, in advanced age, the period of youth 
coming second, and middle life last. Taking the criminality 
of women absolutely, without reference to that of men, we find 
the maximum in old age good only for the more serious crimes.^ 
In both sexes the proportion of crimes committed in youth is 
very high. 

3d, In comparing the criminality of the two sexes we find 
women participating more often in crimes which require less 
bodily strength, less culture, and less intellectual energy. 

1 According to MajT the maximum of criminality is found in men 
between 18 and 21, and in women between 30 and 40. 


4th, In both sexes youth leads in crimes resulting from sud- 
den anger, and maturity in crimes that require premeditation. 
With women, however, the period of maturity leads in murder, 
homicide, and arson. Middle life (from 21 to 50 years) exceeds 
the two others in the total number of crimes. 

5th, The figures for crime in general, as well as for each class 
of crime, for each sex, and in each country, are in general very 
consistent. In Italy, however, among the men serious crimes 
are decreasing, minor offenses increasing among both sexes, but 
in the case of the women serious offenses are on the increase 

6th, Abortion and infanticide appear to be committed by 
women more from feelings of shame and less from ancient cus- 
tom, the more civilized the country. Thus in northern Italy 
these crimes are more common in youth, in southern Italy they 
are committed by the mature. 

7th, The effect of great cities upon the increase of crime is 
more marked in the case of women, and shows itself especially 
in the multiplication of assaults, highway robberies, and thefts. 

8th, Prostitution largely takes the place of crime for women, 
thus explaining why women seem less criminal than men, and 
also giving a probable reason why female criminality is greatest 
in old age, when prostitution no longer offers a profession. 



§ 86. CivU Status 

WE know that the age of maximum criminality is between 
15 and 25, and that the majority of female delinquents 
are prostitutes or minors; it is hardly necessary to add, then, 
that it is the unmarried who show the greatest criminality. 
Taking out those who have not yet reached marriageable age, 
we get from the statistics for Italy for the years 1890 to 1894, 
the following number of persons sentenced out of 1000 in the 
same condition in life : unmarried, 48.9; married, 29.7; widow- 
ers and widows, 14.3. In Austria the proportion of the un- 
married among the criminals is 35% greater than among the 
rest of the population, while the proportion of married crim- 
inals is 13% less than that of married persons in general. Wid- 
owers sentenced for crime are a smaller part of the criminal 
class by 5Q% than are widowers in the normal population. 
Similar relations obtain among the insane, and for similar 
reasons. According to Verga there is 1 insane person to 474 
unmarried persons between the ages of 20 and 60, and 1 to 
1418 married persons. Upon the basis of the statistics for 
1841-57 Girard found: 

1 insane person to 2169 unmarried 
1 " " " 7094 married 

1 " " " 4572 widowers 

With regard to sex Lunier found for the years 1856-62: 

1 insane p>erson to 2629 men, 2931 women, unmarried 
1 " " " 4754 " 5454 " married 

1 " " " 3421 widowers, 3259 widows 

It is, however, to be noted that among criminals, as well 
as among the insane, widows are much more numerous than 
widowers, a fact that Messedaglia in Austria and Lolli in Italy 


explain by the greater number of widows to be found in the 
population. It has been noted in Austria, Italy, and France 
that married men and widowers who have children commit 
offenses much less frequently than the childless. The contrary 
is true according to Guislain and Castiglioni, however, with 
regard to the frequency of insanity, a fact explainable by the 
anxiety occasioned by the needs of a large family.^ 

§ 87. Professions 

It is rather difficult to determine the influence of occupation, 
on account of the system of classification and nomenclature 
commonly employed in statistics, — a system which, however 
useful for economists, is hardly suited to the purposes of the an- 
thropologist; as, for example, when there are grouped together 
innkeepers and merchants, soldiers and agricultural laborers, 
metal-workers and cabinet-makers, or artists and professional 
men. The comparison becomes additionally difficult when the 
statistics of recruits and the census statistics each have their 
own mode of grouping. According to the latest Italian statistics 
the following numbers of convictions (to the 1000) occurred in 
the various classes of occupation: 

Agriculture 8.9 

Manufacturing 7.4 

Commerce 12.8 

Public service and the liberal professions .... 3.5 

Domestic service 3.6 

The greater criminality among merchants may be explained 
by the greater activity of business life, as well as to the increase 
of this class since the last census in 1881. They furnish not only 
the large number of commercial frauds that would naturally 
be expected, but also a considerable number of libels and other 
similar crimes. The offenses most common among the agricul- 
tural population are theft (26%) and assault (22%). This 
class furnishes only a very small number of the other forms of 
crime. Among factory-workers also there are a large number 
of convictions for theft and assault, but in comparison with the 
agricultural population they show more of a tendency toward 
* Verga, "Se U Matrimomo," MUan, 1870. 




resistance to the officers of the state (11%), and toward libels 
and frauds. 

If we go on now to take up certain occupations in detail, we 
shall see that the highest proportion of persons convicted is 
found among pedlars (44 to the 1000), and of these relatively 
large numbers are for theft (30%), resistance to officers (20%), 
and sexual offenses. Butchers also show a large number of 
convictions (37 to the 1000), being guilty principally of resistance 
to the authorities and frauds in business. Then come draymen 
and cab-drivers (26 to the 1000), who are arraigned most fre- 
quently for resistance to the authorities, and for crimes against 
property and persons. The learned professions and domestic 
service contribute only a small quota of criminals (2.94 and 
3.93 to the 1000). In the first class forgery is the most common 
crime, and house- theft in the second. Marro found in Turin 
the smallest number of delinquents (2 to the 1000) among the 
huntsmen, priests, students, school-teachers, fishermen, and 
umbrella-makers. A fairly small number (8 to the 1000) he 
found among the lithographers, marble-workers, carriage- 
makers, gardeners, masons, and tanners; and a somewhat 
higher one (14 to the 1000) among the brokers, writers, weavers, 
and hairdressers, the last being guilty of sexual crimes almost 

The following table gives the percentages of certain pro- 
fessions among criminals compared with the percentages of 
the same professions in the normal population: 


In normal 

11.0 % 










Bakers and masons have a strong representation, because they 
are paid daily and have no need of a long apprenticeship. The 
occupations carried on in the city which involve most exposure 


to alcoholism (cooks, shoemakers, innkeepers), which bring the 
poor into contact with the rich (domestic servants), or which 
furnish the means of committing crime (masons and locksmiths), 
furnish a large contingent of criminals, and an even higher 
proportion of recidivists. A philological confirmation of part 
of the above is found in the derivation of coquin (rascal), from 
the Latin coquus (cook). The occupations which bring men 
less into contact with their fellows, such as those of peasants 
and boatmen, furnish the smallest proportion of criminals, and 
also of recidivists. In France the greatest tendency to sexual 
crimes is found among the shoemakers, — a fact to be referred 
to their alcoholism, and to the effect upon the genital organs of 
their position when at work. The same attitude toward crime 
in the case of the various occupations is found in the other 
civilized countries. The following table gives the number of 
persons (to the million) convicted in Austria, classified accord- 
ing to occupation: 

Persons engaged in agriculture 

Proprietors and tenants 46.8 ) 

Stewards 53.2 \ 49.3 

Workmen 51.6 ) 

Persons engaged in manufacturing and commerce 

Entrepreneurs 23.8 ) 

Agents 13.0 [ 37.7 

Workmen 45.5 ) 

Other occupations 

Property owners and stockholders 15.9 

Learned professions 6.1 

Domestic servants 133.6 

Other occupations 26.0 

Persons without occupation (including women and children) 4.8 

General population of Austria, excluding those without occupation . . 49.9 

Leaving out of account the persons without profession, as 
including the women and children, the smallest contingent of 
crime is furnished by the property-owners and members of the 
learned professions. 

If we divide crimes of violence into those which are pre- 
meditated and those which are not, we get the follow^ng num- 
bers (to the milhon inhabitants) for the various occupations: 




Landed proprietors 

Agricultural laborers 


Workmen in factories 

Property owners and stockholders 

Liberal professions 

Domestic servants 


Not pre- 








In France the various occupations are grouped in a manner 
different from that employed in Austria, and they are also given 
less in detail. In the group of liberal professions are included 
army officers, capitalists, and stockholders (a very numerous 
class in France). The industrial and commercial classes are 
not distinguished, nor are country proprietors distinguished 
from farm-laborers. During the years 1876-80 there were the 
following numbers of convictions (to the million inhabitants) 
for crimes of \dolence: 

Persons without occupation, beggars, vagrants, prostitutes, 

inmates of almshouses 59.2 

Domestic servants 25.9 

Agricultural class 24.3 

Industrial and commercial class 18.1 

Liberal professions 10.6 

In all the groups, aside from those without occupation, we 
find a complete analogy with the Austrian statistics, and may 
draw the conclusion that analogous social conditions produce 
analogous results in different countries. 

In France, according to Yvernes there were in 1882 the 
following indictments for each 100,000 males of the same oc- 

Proj>erty owners and stockholders 6 

Public oflBcers 12 

Farmers 16 

Farm servants and laborers 24 

Industrial workers 25 

Liberal professions 28 

Transportation and merchant marine 35 

Commercial class 38 

Personal servants 49 

Occupations not classified or unknown 54 


According to Tarde's last researches/ the number of persons 
convicted in France, to 10,000 of each class of occupation, is as 

follows : 

Agriculture 0.84 

Manufacturing 1.32 

G>mmerce 1-00 

In France, as in Italy, the agricultural class furnishes a 
smaller contingent of criminals than the manufacturing or com- 
mercial classes. We note here the enormous difference between 
the number of persons indicted in the country and of those 
indicted in the city, a fact certainly due to the harmful en- 
vironment in which the latter hve. According to earlier re- 
searches of Fayet, the agricultural population, which was 53% 
of the whole, in 1847 furnished only 32% of the crime. It is 
well to note in this connection that agricultural servants, though 
exposed to great poverty, furnish only from 4% to 5% of the 
crime, while servants in the city furnish 7%. This latter class, 
with the innkeepers, furnish one- third of the infanticides, 
one-sixth of the thefts, one-ninth of the poisonings, doubtless 
because of the loss of the sense of personal dignity that the 
state of dependence always brings in its train. I emphasize 
this especially because alcohohsm is rare among domestic ser- 
vants, and hence they are less exposed to one of the principal 
causes of crime. Fayet observes, however, that the majority 
of parricides, 108 out of 164, spring from the country popula- 
tion. Fayet further finds a considerable number of offenses 
against modesty among masons and painters, of rapes among 
cab-drivers, and of infanticides among hat-makers and laundry- 
workers (these last doubtless because of the large number of 
women so employed). Among merchants crimes against prop- 
erty are especially abundant, as they also are among profes- 
sional and moneyed men; among the latter, unfortunately, 
these crimes are increasing, especially with the notaries and 
attorneys, and in a less degree with property owners. In 
France in the years 1833-39 there occurred the following 
numbers of crimes for each 10,000 men over 26 years of age 
in the specified classes : 

» "Actee du Congrls d'Antropologie Criminelle de Geneve," 1897. 

§ 87] CIVIL STATUS, ETC. 199 

Priests 10 

Solicitors 62 

Advocates 74 

Notaries 145 

Bailiffs 162 

Joly rightly remarks that their knowledge of the law, their 
privileges, education, and well-being, ought to ensure that the 
professional classes would manifest few criminal tendencies. 
Yet on the contrary they are corrupted by success or by the 
parasitic character of their work, which tempts them to make 
the most gain out of their profession, instead of firing them 
with noble ambition. He notes that up to the year 1881 the 
number of notaries annually removed from office was from 18 
to 25, but that in 1882 it was 40, in 1883 41, and m 1884 58. 
After a slight decrease in the next two years the number in 
1887 leaped up to 75. According to the French criminal statistics 
the number of notaries indicted is 43 to the 10,000, while there 
is about 1 indictment to the 10,000 in the general population. 
The criminaHty of notaries is accordingly 43 times greater than 
that of the population as a whole. Notaries and bailiffs fur- 
nish more criminals than individuals of the same sex and age 
in the other higher professions. A tenth of the murders, a 
seventh of the homicides, an eighth of the parricides, an eighth 
of the rapes upon girls under 15, and an eighteenth of all other 
crimes, have been committed by professional men or men of 
wealth, while these classes constitute but an eighteenth part of 
the total population.^ This proves clearly the corrupting influ- 
ence of higher education, and at the same time shows how 
little influence intimidation has in overcoming temptation, since 
advocates and bailifiFs know better than anyone else the penal- 
ties which the law threatens. 

In Prussia the liberal professions furnish 2.2% of the popula- 
tion and 4% of the criminals; domestic servants furnished 2% 
of the population and 12% of the criminals.^ 

The data ^sith regard to Russia that are accessible to me have 
reference to 9229 crimes of violence committed in the years 
1875 to 1879. Below is given a comparison of these, as regards 

' Fayet, "Journal des Economistes," 1847. 
« Oettingen, " Moralstatistik," p. 37. 




distribution by occupation, with the statistics for Austria and 
France : 

. . ,. } Proprietors . . . 
Agriculture j ^yorkmen .... 
Manufactures i Proprietors . 

and commerce ( Workmen . . 


Liberal professions 

Domestic servants 

Occupation not determined . . 
Prostitutes and persons without 



Per cent 









Per cent 








Per cent 



Thus, while in Austria in the space of three years there were 
condemned for crimes of violence 4 persons belonging to the 
liberal professions, in Russia in a period of five years there were 
condemned for the same crimes 165 persons, of whom 88 were 
in the employ of the government, 59 were ecclesiastics, lawyers, 
doctors, or technicians, and 19 were men of learning, students, 
or painters. The explanation of this excessive number of crimes 
of violence among the liberal professions in Russia is to be found 
in the political persecution and sectarian fanaticism which on 
the one hand provoke crime, and on the other are its natural 

As regards the criminality of women, we find that the highest 
figures are to be found among those engaged in commerce, and 
that the most numerous crimes here are swindling, fraud, libel, 
and assault. The women engaged in factories and workshops 
are less given to theft than the women in the country, plainly 
because of the opportunity for field theft which the latter have. 
As regards the specific criminality of women in the different 
occupations, it may be noted that the midwives show the great- 
est number convicted of abortion (3 out of 100) ; and that those 
employed in domestic service come next to country women in 
the number of thefts (55 to the 100). ^ However, the figures 
1 Bosco, "La Delinquenza Femminile," Rome, 1897. 

§88] CIVIL STATUS, ETC. 201 

are too limited for us to draw any very definite and general 
conclusions, and in addition the great number of prostitutes 
confuses all our investigations, for it is certain that a large 
part of the country women arrive at criminal practices by the 
road of prostitution, carried on either openly or under the 
guise of service in the city. "Frequenting large cities," writes 
Parent-du-Chatelet, "is harmful to women from the country, 
who appear from the statistics to give themselves up to prosti- 
tution in direct proportion to their nearness to great centers." 
Half of the prostitutes of Paris come from among the seam- 
stresses and ironers; a third from the milliners, saleswomen, 
and hairdressers; a twentieth from the laundresses and factory- 
workers; and a few from among the actresses. 

§ 88. Soldiers 

It is important to make a separate study of the very high 
criminality of the soldier class, which, according to Hausner,* 
is 25 times as great as that of the population as a whole. But 
there is certainly an error here, for the investigator has not ex- 
cluded from the civil population the old men, women, and chil- 
dren. At any rate we find very different figures for Italy. If 
we study the crimes of the soldiers in Italy in the year 1872, 
we shall find that most of the charges brought are for actions 
which are not criminal outside of the army, such as insubordi- 
nation and malingering. We find, then, one person convicted 
to 112 soldiers. Now if we compare this figure with the pro- 
portion of persons of the same age (between 21 and 31 years old) 
who were found guilty in the general population (1 to 172), we 


Number in population to each 
p>erson convicted 



In Austria 

" Holland 

" France 




shall see that while the figures for the military are worse, the 
difference is not so very great; and even this difference becomes 
less when we leave out of account the women in the civil pop- 
ulation, since their criminality is 80% less than that of the 

But even if we must admit that there is a real difference (as 
seems to be the case in Germany), it is explained by the fact 
that the soldier continually has arms ready at hand, is at the 
age most inclined to crime, is unmarried, largely idle, and forced 
into close contact with many individuals and in a narrow space 
(from which come the high figures for rape, pederasty, and 
criminal associations) ; to this may be added in time of war the 
habituation to deeds of blood. Holtzendorff tells that a mur- 
derer, who had been a soldier, excused himself by saying that 
in the Austrian war in 1866 he had seen so many men killed 
that one more or less seemed a small matter to him. Lucian 
has said, "Men who follow war have neither faith nor piety." 
A curious and significant fact in connection with this is fur- 
nished us by philology, namely, that many military functions 
were formerly exercised in such a criminal manner that they 
have become synonymous with crime. Thus latrones were of- 
ficers ad latus, aides-de-camp of the king, but instead of playing 
the courtier in the fashion of the present, they committed so 
many depredations that their name has become confounded 
with "robber." In our day we can hardly believe that "pirate" 
was a name originally used for marines, or that "brigand" 
formerly meant simply a kind of sharpshooter used in attacking 
a town. 

That warlike peoples are characterized by a high degree of 
cruelty is a fact that can still be seen in our own day, as Ham- 
mond has very well shown in his study of military psychology. 
The cruelty peculiar to the soldier is inspired partly by his con- 
tempt for the civilian class, a contempt that has come down 
from ancient times, and partly by having his excesses go un- 
punished. There are innumerable examples of such impunity 
in Germany, Russia, and Italy. In Coblenz a lieutenant killed 
with his saber a merchant who was passing, and was sentenced 
to one year's imprisonment, a sentence made even shorter by 

§89] CIVIL STATUS. ETC. 203 

pardon; but when the mother of his victim complained of this 
in a violent letter she was fined (1894). In Berlin a soldier, 
named Laerke, while on guard duty, seriously wounded two 
workmen; his superior officers praised him highly for this pro- 
ceeding and promoted him (1893). In Bologna, Monteleone, 
and Aquila armed officers have attacked peaceful citizens; and 
these examples could be prolonged indefinitely. The pretended 
chivalrous magnanimity, which is attributed to soldiers, is as for- 
eign to them as it is to the Middle Ages, in which it existed only 
in the imagination of the romantic school. There are, it is true, 
exceptions, but their case is no less deplorable. These are the 
individuals whom the "service" has succeeded in making thor- 
oughly servile, so that they are no longer capable of directing 
their own lives, are without individuality or originality, and 
must always lean upon someone else, while the nation from 
which they were drawn sorely needs powerful arms and free, 
strong hearts. 

But what has most effect on the disproportion between the 
criminality of soldiers and that of civilians, is the smaller dif- 
ference in the former case between the apparent criminality, as 
Messedaglia calls it, and the real criminality. In the army any" 
crime is quickly brought to light and promptly punished, while 
in civil life, as is well known, not half the crimes committed are 
discovered and punished.^ 

§ 89. The Insane 

The influence of occupation upon insanity is less clearly 
demonstrated than in the case of crime; for it is not easy to find 
statistics which concern themselves with both rich and poor, 
since these two classes are generally received into different 
asylums. However, from the French statistics, the complet- 
est we have, we get glimpses of interesting analogies with 

^ Of 233,181 cases brought before the examining justices in France, 
70,276 had to do with offenses of which the authors were unknown. In 
1862-66 in Bavaria 68% of the crimes and 54% of the misdemeanors 
remained unpunished because either the offenders were unknown or their 
guilt insufficiently proved (May hew). 


crime. ^ The insane are more than twice as numerous in the city 
as they are in the country (223 to 100), and men are more often 
affected than women ( 1 32 to 1 00) . Agriculturists furnish the mini- 
mum of insanity, and the liberal professions the maximum; and 
among these latter, artists and jurists show higher figures than 
officials and ecclesiastics. The investigations of Girard show 
the great frequency of insanity among domestics, metal workers, 
and miners. According to Bini and Golgi it is very common 
among shoemakers (1.2% to 8%), inmates of almshouses, and 
cooks (2% to 5%), with a very large number in the liberal 
professions (5%). According to the investigations of Girard 
and Baroffio, the military class gave the highest figures for 
insanity, 1.4 to the thousand. The researches of Lolly, which 
are the only ones for Italy that I am acquainted with, are very 
inclusive, and show insanity to be more common among the 
landed proprietors, the well-to-do classes, and the merchants 
than among the agricultural classes. With this latter class it 
is less common also than among artisans.^ 

^ Lunier, "Nouveau Dictionnaire de M^decine," Paris, 1872; Girard 
de Cailloux, "fitudes Pratiques sur les Ali^n^s," Paris, 1863. 

■ Girard (Seine, 1852) ^"""ig^'"^'^' 

1 insane person to each 

Artists 3292 104 

Jurists 544 119 

Literati 1035 280 

Ecclesiastics 706 253 

Physicians and pharmacists 1602 259 

Officials 1621 727 

Bankers 2571 5487 

Domestic servants 609 

Shoemakers and tailors . . 1807 

Landed proprietors .... 5547 3609 

Agriculturists 11,403 18,819 

Soldiers 553 1711 

Miners 132 

Metal-workers 732 

Innkeepers, etc 1700 

» According to Lolly the various classes furnish the following per- 
centages to the total population and to the number of the insane: 

Population Insane 

Agricultural class 49.0 % 34.00% 

^'^^^. ;; 12.3 % 12.90% 

?^"\tf*jc 2.64% 2.17% 

Landholding 2.78% 6.23% 

Commercial " 2.70% 1.66% 

Ecclesiastical " 0.60% 1 37% 

§ 90] CIVIL STATUS, ETC. 205 

1 must add that the occupations which accustom men to the 
sight of blood or to the use of dangerous weapons, such as the 
trade of the butcher, soldier, etc., or to a life of social or sexual 
isolation, like that of the shepherd, field guard, or priest, es- 
pecially when the exasperation of a forced chastity is added, — 
such occupations, I say, call forth both in the insane and in 
criminals a savage cruelty in their deeds, which is often ac- 
companied by abnormal lubricity. We may note also that 
poisonings are more frequently committed by physicians and 
pharmacists than by any other class. 

§ 90. Aversion to Work 

In connection with such investigations as the foregoing, it is 
necessary to call attention to the fact that the occupation 
claimed by the criminal is frequently only nominal, and his 
real occupation is idleness. I have discovered in Turin a 
strange pursuit peculiar to criminals, that of counterfeiting a 
trade. These men pose as joiners, locksmiths, or what not, 
and provide themselves with the necessary tools. But these 
are simply to convince the police. Their work is either all a 
pretense, or just sufficient in amount to prevent their appre- 
hension for vagrancy. They lack neither the means nor the 
opportunity of working, but only the willingness to work. 
Sichart ^ found that out of 3181 prisoners 1347, or 42.3%, had 
an aversion to work. Grouped according to the various crimes 
committed, the numbers were as follows: 

Total number of prisoners Those having aversion to work 

1848 thieves 961, or 52 % 

381 swindlers 172, ''^ 45 % 

155 incendiaries 48, " 31 % 

542 sexual criminals 145, " 26.7% 

255 perjurers 21, " 8.2% 

The importance of these figures is still clearer when we take 
into account the way they are divided between what Sichart 
calls "occasional criminals" ^ and habitual criminals. Of the 

^ " Ueber individuelle Faktoren des Verbrechens," in the " Zeitschrift 
fur die gesammte Strafwissenschaft," 1891. 

2 "Criminels par occasion." 


former 170, or 19.2%, showed an aversion to work, but of the 
latter 1170, or 51.7% — over two and a half times as many. 
According to the recent statistics for Massachusetts,^ we see 
that out of 4340 convicts, 2991, or 68%, had no occupation. 
According to the Pennsylvania statistics, almost 88% of the 
convicts in the penitentiaries had never followed a trade, and 
the same was true of 683^% of the inmates of the county jails. 
As regards homicides in particular, Frederick Wines has shown 
that in 1890, out of 6958 convicts guilty of this crime, 5175, or 
more than 74%, had never received any instruction in a trade.^ 

The aversion to work shows itself also in the occupations 
which criminals adopt. Marro, having noticed that masons 
furnish 11% of the criminals, although they form but 3.56% of 
the population, got an explanation from the masons themselves. 
Many of them told him that they had given up other trades and 
taken up this, for the reason that masons receive their wages 
daily, without waiting for the end of the week or fortnight; 
which proves that they follow this trade only by caprice. I 
have already shown that the thieves in France are often called 
pegre or paresseux (idler), and that the worst criminals, such as 
Lacenaire, Lemaire, and Cretien, hated work more than they 
loved life. One may study this state of mind in the psycho- 
logical tables given in the anthropological-statistical "Atlas" of 
Ferri's "Omicidio," where the psychology of idleness is often 
pointed out. Thus a recidivist, on being asked if he was 
willing to work, replied, "No, work shortens life." Another 
said quite frankly, "I have worked, but only a little, because 
work tires you." Another, when asked why he did not work, 
excused himself by saying, "I am not capable of it." Still 
another said, "I have no desire to work, so I have to steal if 
I want money." 

The frequency with which criminals change their trades is 
noteworthy. Of 100 normal persons 86 were found to have 
followed always the same occupation, 13 had changed once, and 
1 had had three different trades. Among the criminals how- 
ever, the following had changed their occupation two or more 

1 Wright, op. cU. » Bosco, op. at. 

§90] CIVIL STATUS, ETC. 207 

27 out of 40 murderers 
30 " " 40 pickpockets 
60 " " 77 swindlers 

22 " " 39 highway robbers 

28 " "51 persons guilty of assault 
60 " " 97 thieves 

30 " " 39 ravishers 

23 " " 41 other sexual criminals 

The reports of the Elmira Reformatory give the following 
with regard to the occupation of 6635 prisoners: 

Domestic servants 1694, or 25.5% 

Common laborers 3651, " 55.0% 

Skilled laborers 974, " 14.7% 

Without occupation 320, " 4.8% 

The jBgure for those without occupation would be very low, 
but the report goes on to add: 

"It must be noted that those who declare they have a trade 
are almost never regularly employed.^ Consequently the num- 
ber of men entering the reformatory, who are incapable of 
adapting themselves to steady work, is very great ; and so like- 
wise is the number of those who remain still incapable of work- 
ing, notwithstanding the system of moral stimulation applied 
to them, because," so Superintendent Brockway affirms, "upon 
34% of the prisoners any moral incentive to work is wasted; 
it does not even arouse their attention." 

For this reason Brockway advocates the use of the lash and 
corporal punishment in general, methodically and carefully but 
rigorously appUed. He thus confirms, without being conscious 
of it, the analogy between the incorrigible criminal and the sav- 
age, for the latter will not work unless compelled to do so by 
violence, and will sometimes die under the blows inflicted upon 
him before he can make up his mind to it. The tendency of 
criminals to change their trades, and their preference for those 
in which the wages are paid daily and in which, consequently, 
liberty is less trammeled, prove to us that the aversion of the 
criminal for work does not proceed so much from an absolute 
incapacity for every form of activity, as from a distaste for 
every form of occupation that is regular, methodical, and strictly 
fi[xed as to hours. 

1 " Nineteenth Year Book, New York State Reformatory at Elmira," 
1894, p. 38. 


Marro's figures here are full of meaning and help us to under- 
stand the nature of the crinunal's incapacity for work. This is 
not incapacity for every kind of activity, not absolute inertia. 
The criminal has to employ at certain times a very great degree 
of activity. Certain crimes, hke fraud and theft, very often 
demand energetic action. What is repugnant to the criminal 
is the regularity of the mechanism of modern society, that 
gigantic system of cog-wheels by which each human being, 
assigned to his place in the clock-work, must execute at any 
given instant the prescribed movement. Criminals, being inca- 
pable of resisting the intermittent caprices of a character at once 
inert and impulsive, declare war upon a society which is not in 
harmony with their inclinations. In the army of labor the crim- 
inal is a guerrilla. He is capricious about undergoing fatigue, 
and pretends that he submits to it only when he pleases, alter- 
nating intense effort with long periods of idleness, and always 
refractory under the will of another. In this his character is 
entirely like that of the savage, who, though habitually inert, 
bestirs himself from time to time and gives himself up to the 
most fatiguing labors of hunting and war. This is the character 
which Robertson gives to the American Indians. He says, 

"When they undertake a hunting expedition they leave their 
habitual indolence and put into use intellectual faculties which 
apparently commonly remain dormant; they become active, 
persevering, indefatigable." 

Marro observes very truly, 

"Among uncivilized peoples we find an almost total incapacity 
for any continued effort. Steady, uninterrupted labor is the 
characteristic of civilized man. The more he is liable to hus- 
band his physical strength, the more profitable his intelligence 
makes it, and the more he is able to use it for his own benefit 
and that of society." 




§ 91. Prisons 

ONE of the greatest factors in crime is the prison. We think 
that we are protecting and avenging society by imprison- 
ing criminals, while, on the contrary, we are not only furnishing 
them with the means of associating with one another and giving 
mutual instruction, but we are giving them real enjoyment 
besides. "I should Uke to tear to pieces the man who speaks 
evU of the prison," sang a prisoner at Palermo. ■ "The prison is 
a piece of good fortune that has befallen us, because it teaches 
us hiding-places, and how to steal." ^ These facts explain why 
we so often find in our statistics indi%aduals who are sentenced 
50 or 60 times, persons who steal simply in order to be incar- 
cerated again. A certain man named Zucchi stole during the 
Assizes in order to be arrested. "Since 1852," he said, "I have 
passed 20 years in prison. The amnesty set me free; but I 
cannot live on a franc a day, and I thought I would get myself 
put in prison, so as to be able to eat, drink, and sleep. Your 
Honor, increase the sentence, for, after all, one is not so badly 
oflF in prison." ^ In Rome, in 1879, an old man of 80, who had 
spent 47 years in prison, begged the judge to send him back. "I 
do not ask for a position," he said, "but for some prison where 
I can live in peace. I am already 80 years old, and I shall not 
live long enough to ruin the government." Olivecrona tells 
of a convict who, on leaving the prison, thanked the director, 
and declared that he had never before had such good food as he 
had had since his incarceration. 

" While the convict," says Olivecrona, " gets his 52 kilos of 
meat a year, the peasant ordinarily has but 25 kilos of salted 

1 Lombroso, "Homme Criminel," Vol. I. 
' "Ri vista di Discipline Carcerarie," 1878. 


beef and half a hog salted for himself and his whole family. 
We must, therefore, place the mildness of the prison regimen 
as one of the causes of recidivism." ^ 

§ 92. Sensation 

There is another very powerful cause of crime, which, how- 
ever, it is hard to estimate exactly, except, perhaps, by the 
increase of certain crimes in some professions. I refer to the 
direct influence of sense impressions. Thus, for example, there 
are thieves who cannot see gold without taking it. A rich 
banker, named Downer, entered the establishment of his bar- 
ber in a state of intoxication. An apprentice of the latter, 16 
years old, who up to that time had been entirely honest, hearing 
the jingling of the money in the banker's pocket, was immedi- 
ately seized with the idea of killing him, and strangled him with 
a cord. Terrified at his crime he fled and confessed, declaring 
that if he had not heard the sound of the coin he would never 
have thought of committing the horrible deed. Marie Frank, 
38 years old, an inveterate drinker, who had already had a 
period of insanity and was continually beaten by her husband, 
one day saw a great fire, and immediately went and set fire 
to twelve houses. Adele Strohm, while witnessing the execu- 
tion of two convicts, conceived the idea of killing her best 
friend in order to die in the grace of God.^ 

§ 93. Imitation 

The cases cited are doubtless to be explained in part by in- 
sanity; but still more there enters the effect of imitation, which 
is one of the most active causes of crime as well as insanity. In 
1863 and in 1872 hardly had the newspapers begun to speak of 
the abandonment of children, than this crime was repeated in 
Marseilles 8 times in a single day (Despine). The news of the 
assassination of Archbishop Sibour impelled a priest to attack 
the bishop of Matera, although he had no grudge against him 
whatever. Dufresne hated a certain Delauchx, but without 
thinking of harming him. He read the account of the trial of 
1 "De la Recidive," 1812. « Despine, o-p. cit. 

§ 93] PRISONS 211 

Verger, and getting up, he cried, "I too will do as Verger did," 
and killed his enemy. At Bergamo, a short time after the trial 
of Verzeni, two other cases of the strangling of women took 
place; and similar phenomena occurred in Paris after the trials 
of Philippe, Billoir, and Moyaux, and in Florence after that of 
Martinati. At the time of the trial of Roux two servants pre- 
tended that they had been garrotted by their master, after 
having stolen from him themselves. The poisoning of La 
Pommerais was followed by that of Pritchard. 

This morbid stimulation is increased a hundred-fold by the 
prodigious increase of really criminal newspapers, which spread 
abroad the virus of the most loathsome social plagues, simply 
for sordid gain, and excite the morbid appetite and still more 
morbid curiosity of the lower social classes. They may be likened 
to those maggots which, sprung from putrefaction, increase it 
by their presence. These newspapers, unfortunately, have in 
a single Italian city as many as 28,000 readers. In New York 
in 1851 a woman murdered her husband; a few days afterward 
three other women did the same thing. Corridori killed the 
director of his school, who had administered a deserved reproof 
to him, saying before he struck him, "I wiU repeat the case of 
the director of Catanzaro," who had also been killed for a similar 
cause. The attempted assassination of D. James upon the rail- 
way was followed by another upon the same line (Montel).^ 

^ Holtzendorff gives us many other examples in his magnificent work, 
"Das Verbrechen des Mordes und die Todestrafe," Berlin, 1875. 




THE aetiology of associated crime, which is the most im- 
portant and the most harmful, deserves to be studied by 

The first cause that may be assigned to this phenomenon is 
tradition. The long persistence and obstinacy of such associa- 
tions as the Mafia, the Camorra, and brigandage, seem to proceed 
in the first place from the antiquity of their existence, for the 
long repetition of the same acts transforms them into a habit, 
and consequently into a law. History teaches us that ethnic 
phenomena of long duration are not to be eradicated easily at 
a stroke. The Camorra was already in existence in Naples in 
1568. We know from the edicts of the Spanish viceroys. Count 
Miranda, the Duke of Alcala, et al., that gamblers, gambling- 
house keepers, and those who levied tribute on these houses on 
their own account, were threatened with the galleys, and also 
those prisoners who, under pretext of an offering for certain holy 
images, levied a tax upon the other prisoners.^ Monnier remarks 
very truly that the etymology of camorra shows its Spanish 
origin. The word in Spanish means a quarrel, brawl, or dis- 
pute, and camorrista signifies a bad character. The Arabic 
word kumar means a gambling game. We learn from a novel 
of Cervantes that at about the time we have been speaking of 
there was an association in Seville exactly corresponding to 
the Camorra. This society, likewise, levied tribute upon every 
thief for an image which was held in special reverence, gave the 
police a part of its gains, and undertook to execute private 
acts of revenge, including the sfregio, or face-slashing. To this 
association were attached novices, called "minor brothers," 

1 Mordini, "Relazione al R. Ministero," Rome, 1874; Monnier, "Sulla 
Camorra," 1861. 


who had to hand over the entire proceeds of their thefts for the 
first half-year, carry messages to the "major brothers" in prison, 
and perform subordinate offices generally. The major brothers 
had a common surname, and shared equitably the sums which 
the associates turned into the common treasury. The thieves 
of Morocco also levy a tax upon the prostitutes. 

Societies entirely similar to the Camorra have existed in all 
imperfectly civilized periods. Thus Scalia has found mentioned 
in the Middle Ages, in the rules of the Stinche prison and the 
prisons of Parma, abuses like those of the Camorra, especially 
in connection with gambling. We read that each roomful of 
prisoners had its chief, called "capitaneo" or "podesta," pre- 
cisely as the modern Camorrists have their "priore "; and this 
mediaeval Camorra used to tax the new comers, just as is the 
custom to-day.^ In Don Quixote we are told how certain idle 
folk exacted a share of the gains of lucky gamblers in return for 
a prediction of the lucky or unlucky plays. This is the ordinary 
mission of the modem Camorrist. 

Brigandage, which persists with obstinacy in southern Italy 
and in Sardinia, probably has its origin in historic tradition, 
for it already existed in the most ancient times in central and 
southern Italy, and Strabo mentions it in connection with 

"In the kingdom of Naples," writes Giannone (IV, 10), 
"there were always bandits in the train of the invaders, Greek, 
Lombard, Saracen, Angevin, or Albanian, all alike thievish, 
cruel, and greedy." 

§95. Religion — Morals — Politics 

In countries where civilization is not yet firmly established, 
there exists no clear notion of morals and justice, and religion is 
often but the accomplice or instigator of crime. In Bari there 
was said daily the "Mass of the brigands," at the expense of the 
brigand Pasquale. "We are blessed by God," he said to a 
friend — "the gospels say so." The state of morality naturally 
falls in with these notions of religion. 

* Beltrani-Scalia, "Storia della Riforma delle Carceri in Italia," 1868, 
p. 288. 


" In Naples in 1877 an Esposito, after having assassinated an 
ex-camorrist by order of his chief, went to give himself up to 
justice in order to protect his superior from arrest. An ap- 
plauding crowd accompanied him to the prison, and covered 
him with flowers like a hero " (Onofrio). 

Where justice is quite powerless the injured person must nec- 
essarily have recourse to his own strength or that of his friends. 
If honor is at stake, he will seek a private revenge; or if it is a 
question of stolen property, he will come to a friendly under- 
standing with the thieves. In Sicily, as was seen in the Lombard 
trial, one pays a certain sum to recover a stolen horse or sheep; 
or the thief may pay a certain sum to the person robbed, in 
order to avoid prosecution or the recovery of the stolen prop- 
erty. This proceeding recalls at every point the customs of 
primitive justice.^ 

There is another and very potent cause that favors the forma- 
tion of associations of criminals in civilized countries. This is 
the admiration inspired in the weak by brute strength. Any 
one who has seen, in the midst of an effeminate population with 
their soft flesh, soft speech, and weak character, a real Camor- 
rist, with martial brows, iron muscles, and rolling r's, compre- 
hends at once that if the Camorra had not been brought in, it 
would have arisen of its own accord, as the inevitable result of 
the contrast between these energetic individuals and the sheep- 
like multitude. Even the Camorrist bows to this law; a strong 
and violent man himself, he bows to one stronger and more vio- 
lent. Monnier cites a very curious proof of this influence. A 
Calabrian priest, imprisoned as the result of an affair of gal- 
lantry, upon entering the prison was asked to pay the usual tax 
to the Camorra. He refused, and, being threatened, replied that 
if he had been armed no one would have dared to use threats 
with him. "If that is all!" said the Camorrist, and in the 
twinkUng of an eye offered him two knives, only to drop dead 
the next moment. The same evening the homicidal priest, who 
feared the vengeance of the Camorra more than he did the 
justice of the Bourbon government, to his great astonishment 
found himself offered the office of "barattolo" in the society. 
1 See Du Boys, "Histoire du Droit Criminel." 


He had been admitted as a Camorrist without his own wish. 
The same adventure happened to another Calabrian, who re- 
fused to pay the tax and threatened with his knife the man wha 
tried to collect it. Onofrio writes, "In Sicily they call any one 
who has courage * Mafioso.' " The Camorra is thus the expres- 
sion of the natural self-confidence of the strong, when they see 
themselves surrounded only by weaklings. 

But it is not only the strength of the few that maintains this 
state of things, but also the fear felt by the many. The brigand 
Lombardo declared that the warmest partisans of his enterprises 
were the respectable land-owners, who, from fear of making him 
their enemy, told him of the houses of their neighbors that he 
might rob. "They did not realize," he added, "that they in 
their turn would be pointed out by others, so that in the end 
they lost much more than if they had combined against me.'* 
"A single, unarmed Camorrist," writes Monnier, "shows him- 
seK in the midst of a crowd of thousands of people, and demands 
his tribute. He is submissively obeyed, much more so than if he 
were the regular tax-collector." "The spirit of the Camorra," 
writes Mordini, "persists in Naples, that is to say, intimidation 
persists as the result of arrogance and presumption." Monnier 
explains the long persistence of the Camorra and brigandage in 
southern Italy by the dominance of fear. The rehgion taught 
by the priests was nothing but the fear of the devil; the pre- 
vailing politics consisted of nothing but fear of the king, who 
held the middle class in subjection through their fear of the pro- 
letariat; while both classes were kept in order through the fear 
of a brutal military and police force. Fear took the place of 
conscience and devotion to duty. Order was kept not by ele- 
vating man, but by degrading him. And what happened? Fear 
became a ready weapon in the hands of the most violent. 

96. Barbarism 

Aside from what has been stated above, many other circum- 
stances belonging to a state of semi-civilization may have an 
influence upon the prevalence of brigandage. Such a state of 
society offers more opportunity for successful ambuscades and 


safe places of refuge. Thus the forests of Sora, Pizzuto, S. Elia, 
Faiola, and Sila were always the resort of brigands, and the same 
is true in France of the forests of Osgier, Rouvray, etc. For 
similar reasons localities largely uninhabited and not connected 
with others by frequent roads are favorable for bandits. In 
Italy we see brigandage disappearing before the railroads, and 
it is never known to persist in countries crossed by numerous 
good highways, with many towns. The province of Syracuse, 
which is better provided with roads than any other in Sicily, 
has no brigands; while Basilicata, in which in 1870 91 out of 
124 comumnes had no roads, was the province most infested 
with brigands. 

§ 97. Bad Govenunent 

In Mexico not so very many years ago the sons of noble 
families thought it entirely proper to commit highway robbery, 
just as was the case in Paris in 1400 and in Venice in 1600. 
In the last years of the pontificate of Clement XIV there were 
recorded 12,000 homicides, of which 4000 were in Rome itself. 
In Venice up to the time of Napoleon there still existed the 
so-called Buli, who domineered over the people at pleasure, 
entirely by means of the terror they had managed to inspire. 
To comprehend the unhappy condition to which society was 
reduced at that period, it is enough to recall that the most 
famous men of the Republic were publicly banished for igno- 
minious crimes. It is enough to cite Morosini, Comaro, Falieri, 
and Mocenigo. 

Says Molmenti : ^ 

"In a memorial addressed to the emperor by the communes 
of Castiglione, Medole, and Solferino, against Ferdinand II 
Gonzaga, it was proved that the assassins of the prince had 
murdered poor peasants, cut off their heads, and exposed them 
in an iron cage under the walls of Castiglione; that his men-at- 
arms burned farm-houses and bams, plundered the dwellings, 
stole money, cattle, and furniture, and cut down or rooted up 
the vineyards. Even in the Republic of San Marco, which, 
although fallen into decay, still preserved a reputation for 

1 P. Molmenti, "I Banditti della Repubblica di Venezia," Florence, 


strictness, the depredations of bandits were frequent, especially 
in the last two centuries. All precautions, laws, threats, and 
punishments often remained ineffectual. If a Venetian noble- 
man committed a crime, the government immediately sent a 
band of men into the city whose peace he had disturbed. But 
the populace, in whom the criminal inspired the greatest respect, 
protected him, and the noble delinquent found a safe retreat in 
his own castle. The magistrates, themselves almost all nobles, 
after pubUshing decrees and sentences against the offender 
and making loud threats, suffered the matter to fall into obliv- 
ion. The ambassador of the Venetian Republic in Milan, 
sword in hand, claimed that he possessed the right of asylum. 
So, when one morning the chief of the Milan city-guard and 
his men passed before his residence, the ambassador, to pun- 
ish such audacity, had a volley fired at them, and killed or 
wounded several." 

Finally, in the times of Cartouche there existed in Paris 
something which resembled, if not the Camorra, at least the 
Sicilian Mafia. The thieves at that time were organized into 
bands, and had accomplices even in the ranks of the police; 
they had pseudo-bailiffs and spies, and enrolled a whole popu- 
lation in their number, innkeepers, porters, watchmakers, 
tailors, armorers, and even physicians. In France in 1500 the 
" Burgundians " and "Bohemians" were veritable bands of 
brigands, composed of vagrants and soldiers of fortune, who, 
as society became more and more civilized, withdrew into the 
forests of Rouvray and Estrellere, where fugitives from the 
civil wars went to increase their number.* 

§ 98. Weapons 

Another matter which has great influence in promoting 
brigandage is the carrying of weapons and familiarity with 
their use. The gladiators, in old Roman times, were the most 
terrible leaders of bands of brigands and transformed their 
companies into veritable armies. Tonunasi Crudeli says quite 

"In the whole of southern Italy, beginning with the Cam- 
pagna, the knife is not to be regarded as an implement of treach- 

1 LombroBO, "Homme Criminel," Vol. II, p. 474. 


ery, but rather as the sword of the people. Almost always, in 
fact, its use is preceded by a formal challenge. The custom of 
holding these duels is so deeply rooted that during the disarming 
of the Sicilian populace, there were established in all the dis- 
tricts of Palermo hiding-places in the walls, known to all the 
inhabitants in the districts, where they hid their knives, and 
from which they got them in case of a dispute." 

§ 99. Idleness 

The prevalence of the Mafia in Palmero is due to the absence 
of any manufacturing industry and to the influence of the 
monasteries, which is favorable to idleness. Certainly priests 
and monks have always been among the causes of brigandage. 
The province of Naples in the 18th century, out of 4 million 
inhabitants, had 115,000 ecclesiastics, of whom half were 
monks; each village of 3000 inhabitants had at least 50 priests. 
The priests made begging not only a trade — they made it a 
work of merit. 

"One of the principal causes of brigandage and the Camorra," 
says Monnier, "was the custom, widespread among the Nea- 
politans, of letting their children, from the age of three on, 
grow up on the street. There they learned to beg, and to swear 
by all the saints that they were orphans and dying of hunger. 
The beggar soon became a rogue; and, being cast into prison, 
became a member of the Camorra, if he was brave, or its victim, 
if he was a coward." 

The mild and fertile climate of Naples, as well as that of Pa- 
lermo, is a help to idleness and tempts the inhabitants to lounge 
in the streets; it furnishes the means of life at little expense, 
and does not let the need and duty of working be felt. This 
is why associations of malefactors are more frequent in the prin- 
cipal cities, especially in the south, where the violent passions 
are more likely to provoke certain classes of crime.^ 

^ "In my opinion," so Vincent Maggiorani writes to me, "the Mafia 
represents the acute period of a disease which has invaded more or less 
all the countries near the Orient, or deriving then- population from it. 
I beheye that the occurrences which take place from time to time in Spain 
are only a different form of the same malady. You will find nothing like 
It m northern Europe. An isothermal line marks the limits of this tem- 
perament, etc." 


The formation of societies of criminals plainly depends upon 
the character and conditions of the country. Thus we see 
the Mafia and Camorra spring up again after they have been 
broken up and all their members deported. In 1860-61 a 
great number of Camorrists were deported from Naples; yet, 
after a short period of depression, the Camorra was more 
active than ever, and now dares to threaten the electoral 
councils, the Palladium of Italy. The Mafia, destroyed in 
Palermo in 1860, rose again in 1866, armed and powerful. 
The Camorra, annihilated in 1874 by Mordini, was resuscitated 
in 1877 under the regime of Nicotera; and if it has not installed 
its members in the highest places in the city government, it 
certainly has a tremendous influence in the elections. In 
Messina in 1866 the Camorra was destroyed, literally, by the 
execution of its 29 leaders. But the men who accomplished 
this feat, having the reputation of being brave men, made use 
of it to carry on the Camorra themselves as actively as their 
predecessors, or even more so. 

§ 100. Poverty 

Much has been said with regard to the effect of poverty. 
The pictures which Villari has drawn of the condition of our 
people in the south are so horrible as to make us shudder. 

"In Sicily," he writes, "there is no other relation between 
peasant and landlord than that of oppressor and oppressed. 
If there comes a bad year, the peasant returns home from his 
labors empty-handed. If the year is a good one, then usurers 
take the place of hail, grasshoppers, storms, and hurricanes. 
The peasants are a troop of barbarians in the heart of the 
island, and it is not so much against the government that they 
rise up, as against the usury and oppression of which they 
are the victims. If they execrate every form of government, 
it is because they believe that all governments sustain their 

That poverty, however, has not all the importance that 
Villari would like to attribute to it (though it certainly has a 
great deal) is evident when one considers the facts more criti- 
cally. Thus the district of Montreale, which is certainly one 


of the least poor in Sicily, is just that in which the Mafia re- 
cruits its worst members from among the well-to-do classes. 
Naples, too, where the Camorra rules, is certainly not in a 
worse condition than Calabria. Artena, whose criminality has 
been described above, is one of the richest districts in the 
province of Rome. Moreover, the Camorra draws more vic- 
tims than true accompUces from among the poor of Naples. 

§ loi. Hybrid Civilization 

Still worse than the lack of civilization, as regards the en- 
couragement of criminal societies, is the mixture of civilization 
and barbarism, such as is found in certain parts of Italy and 
in a large portion of America, where we see peoples, still half- 
barbarous, subjected to a system borrowed from more civilized 
nations. While the advantages of both stages of society are 
lacking, the harmful features of both are present. Thus, 
great cities, the increase of wealth, and food too delicate, in- 
crease vagrancy, rape, and theft, and make the discovery of 
crime less easy; while the jury system, the respect for personal 
liberty, and the ease of getting pardons are frequently causes 
of impunity in crime. The system of elective offices, especially 
when, as in some states in America, it is extended even to the 
judiciary, offers the criminal class a new instrument of power 
and illicit gain. We see associated crime extend its power 
to the press, to the election of legislators, and, in America, to 
the election of judges, thus gaining a double advantage, — 
immediate gain and future immunity. 

§ 102. Wars and Insurrections 

Political disturbances again, wars and uprisings, are factors 
to be taken into account in this connection. The gathering 
of crowds, great excitement, the ease of obtaining arms, and 
the relaxed vigilance of the government are all natural causes 
of the association of criminals. Bands so formed may become 
bold enough to make themselves real poHtical factors. This 
is the explanation of the atrocities of Alcolea and of the Paris 
Commune, and of the more recent events of similar nature 


in Mexico and New Orleans, These occurrences, which have 
become unusual in our day, in former times were very frequent. 
In the Middle Ages the tyranny of the barons gave to brig- 
andage the appearance of a kind of social institution, defend- 
ing the vassals or avenging them upon their lords, who, in 
their turn, regarded robbery as a noble trade. So also in 
ancient times the ten years which followed the restoration of 
Sulla were a golden age for the robbers and pirates of Italy. ^ 
In 1793 in Paris, at the time of the free distribution of bread, 
so many vagabonds and criminals crowded in that strangers 
were warned not to go out at night, if they did not wish to be 
robbed. The thieves carried their boldness so far that they 
closed the highways with ropes. Charles de Rouge was chief 
of a band which plundered the large farms, presenting himself 
as a commissary of the RepubUc. During the Napoleonic 
wars there appeared in the invaded countries a band of robbers 
called the "army of the moon." This sham army had its 
sham soldiers and sham officers, and plundered conquerors 
and conquered alike. In earher times there were similar bands 
who followed the Goths and Vandals into Italy. In modern 
Italy, when the Bourbons withdrew from Naples to Rome, 
brigandage raged in Abruzzo; and when, under Murat, the 
trade of brigand became dangerous, the Bourbons landed the 
convicts of Sicily in Calabria. He who stole the most was 
best received by the king. "Criminal acts," writes CoUetta, 
"lost, in consequence, their criminal character, and crime 
became a kind of trade carried on all over the kingdom." 
To the eyes of one who recognizes the essentially immoral 
character of war, this breaking out of criminality is not sur- 
prising. Spencer, in his splendid study of ethics, has showed 
that the warlike peoples are always the most vicious. 

§ 103. Leaders 
If at any given moment, in a country where criminal ele- 
ments are plentiful, there arises a criminal who is a genius, 
or has great audacity or an influential social position, we see 
criminal associations rise and multiply. Thus it was to the 
* Mommsen, "History of Rome," Vol. III. 


great intelligence of their leaders that the bands of Lacenaire, 
Lombardo, Strattmatter, Hessel, Maino, Mottino, La Gala, 
and Tweed owed their origin and long impunity. Cavalcanti 
was a robber-chief of such genius that almost all his followers, 
more fortunate than those of Alexander, became themselves 
leaders of terrible bands, like Canosa, Egidione, etc. The 
band of assassins and incendiaries of Longpierre escaped all 
inquiry, because they were organized and protected by Galle- 
mand, the mayor of the place, who, by incendiary fires, re- 
venged himself upon his political opponents, or depreciated 
goods that he wanted to purchase. 

§ 104. Prisons 

But the principal cause of associated crime has been, and 
still is, the gathering together of criminals in prisons not con- 
structed on the cellular system. Almost all the criminal 
chiefs, Maino, Lombardo, La Gala, Lacenaire, Souffard, Har- 
duin, and others, have been men who have escaped from the 
galleys and have chosen their accomplices from among their 
companions who had there given proofs of boldness and ferocity. 
It is in prison that the Camorra arose, and it is there alone that 
it first held sway; but when, under King Ferdinand in 1830, 
many convicts were set at liberty by the royal clemency, they 
carried over into free hfe the illicit gains and dissolute manners 
to which they had become accustomed.^ Only a few years 
ago the Camorra chose its chiefs from among the prisoners in 
the "Vicaria," and the free Camorrists made no important 
decision without first consulting these chiefs. In Palermo* 
the criminal got his professional education in prison, and 
novices without prison experience were admitted only into 
such enterprises as required a large number of persons. 

This will appear natural enough if we recall the words of 
the criminal of Palermo quoted in the preceding chapter: 
"Prison is a piece of good fortune that heaven sends us, be- 
cause it teaches us fit places and companions for stealing." ^ 

' MoDiner, o-p. cit., p. 58. » Locatelli, op. cit. 

The French differs m the two places. — Transl. 


§ 105. Influence of Race 

We have already spoken of the influence of race upon crime. 
The same thing is naturally true of associations of criminals.^ 

The gypsies, like the Bedouins, may be called a race of 
associated malefactors. According to Maury, the negro in the 
United States, and in southern Italy the Albanians, Greeks, 
and at times even the native population, show the same ten- 
dency to associated crime. Saint-Jorioz said, in speaking of 
Sora: "This beautiful country swarms with thieves; there are 
as many of them as there are inhabitants." This fact ex- 
plains how brigands succeed in getting themselves elected as 
communal counselors. The inhabitants of Castelforte and of 
Spigno protect the thieves on condition that they practice their 
calling outside the district. The people in the neighborhood of 
Palermo, among whom the "Mafiosi" swarm, are descended 
from the bravoes of the ancient barons; or, to trace their 
lineage still farther back, from rapacious Arab conquerors, 
blood-brothers of the Bedouins. "I have noticed," writes 
d'Azeglio, speaking of the Romans, "that in the ancient fiefs 
of the Middle Ages (Colonna, Orsini, Savello) there has re- 
mained in the population the imprint of that life of hatred, 
war, and division which was the normal yearly round in those 
unhappy centuries. Nearly all the young men exemplify the 
true type of the bravo." ^ 

§ 106. Heredity 

These questions of race resolve themselves finally, as a 
matter of course, into the question of heredity. Among the 
modern brigands of southern Italy there have been some who 
descended from the terrible Fra Diavolo. Many among the 
famous Camorrists are brothers, and we know of the seven 
Mazzardi brothers, the Manzi brothers, the Vadarelli, and the 
La Galas. In the United States the Younger brothers, who 
robbed banks in Minnesota in broad daylight, are equally 

^ Lombroso, "Homme Criminel," Vol. II. 
2 "Bozzetti della Vita Italiana," p. 187. 


notorious. The band of Cuccito and that of Nathan were 
composed of parents, brothers, and brothers-in-law. Here, to 
the influence of heredity, tradition, and education, is added 
the power of numbers. A family of criminals is a band already 
formed, which, from the fact of parentage, has the means of 
increasing and perpetuating itself in the children. 

In 1821 the communes of Vrely and Rosieres were afflicted 
with thefts and homicides, showing on the part of the authors 
a great knowledge of the locality, and uncommon boldness. 
Terror prevented the laying of information, but the criminals 
were finally discovered, and were found all to belong to one 
family. In 1832 the thefts were renewed, and the guilty per- 
sons were no other than the nephews of the first lot of criminals. 
In 1852 and the years immediately following assassinations 
occurred again in the same communes. The murderers prove 
to be great-nephews of the earher ofiFenders, who had been 
active thirty years before. These facts explain to us why we 
see a constant recrudescence of crime in a given village. It is 
enough that a single one of these perverted families should 
survive, in order to corrupt the whole district, through the 
elective affinity there is between criminals. This justifies to 
a certain extent the barbarity of the ancients and of savages 
in punishing with the guilty their innocent relatives. 

§ 107. Other Causes 

Criminals combine very often from necessity also, in order 
to be able to resist an armed force, or to escape the search of 
the police by removing themselves from the scene of their 
crimes; though there is a tendency on the part of nearly all 
criminal bands to commit their misdeeds just around the circle 
of their own district. 

Again, the necessity of supplying the lack of certain qualities 
may lead to association. Thus Lacenaire, who was a coward, 
joined himself to Avril, who was fierce and bloody; while 
Maino and La Gala, who were courageous but ignorant, asso- 
ciated with them Ferraris and Davanzo, who were educated. 
Most criminals seek in others a courage they lack themselves. 


It may be added that for many of these people a crime is a 
sort of pleasure expedition, which is not so enjoyable unless 
carried on in company. 

At times an association has an entirely accidental origin. 
Thus Tepas, just out of prison, started to rob a drunken man, 
when he heard himself called by Faurier, who wanted to share 
the booty. From this chance meeting sprung the Tepas band. 
"The most accidental circumstances," says Mayhew, "such as 
the fact of living in the same neighborhood, or street, or bear- 
ing the same name, or meeting when coming out of prison, 
etc., gives rise to the bands of petty thieves of London." 
Spagliardi tells us that the meeting places of the gamins are 
where bands of thieves have their origin in Lombardy. 




E have seen that poHtical crime is a kind of crime of 
passion, pmiishable only because it involves an ofiFense 
against the conservative sentiments of the human race, par- 
ticularly in the fields of religion and politics.^ We have seen ^ 
that it is especially frequent among the young, and in the most 
intelligent and cultivated nations. 

§ 109. Orography 

The influence which a lighter atmospheric pressure has upon 
this kind of crime is incontestably very great. It can be said 
that the most revolutionary peoples have always been found 
among the mountains. Witness the struggles of the Samnites, 
the Marsi, the Ligures, the Cantabri, and the Bruttii against 
the Romans; those of the Asturians against the Goths and 
Saracens; and those of the Albanians, Druses, Maronites, and 
Mainnottes ^ against the Turks. Just so it was in the Cevennes 
in France, and in the Valtelline and at Pinerolo in Italy, that 
the first efforts in favor of rehgious hberty were made, not- 
withstanding the dragonnades and the punishments of the 
Inquisition. According to Plutarch, the inhabitants of Attica, 
after the insurrection of Cimon, were divided into three parties, 
corresponding to the differences in the geographical configura- 
tion of the country. Those who lived in the mountains wanted 

' For a full presentation of this subject see my "Crime Politique et 
lea Revolutions," Pt. I,, 1890. 

» Lombroso, "Homme Criminel," Vol. II. 

* It was the Mainnottes of Moimt Taigete that first proclaimed inde- 
pendence of Turkey. (Gervinus, "Geschichte der Erhebune Griechenlanda," 


a popular government at any price; those who Hved in the plains 
demanded an oligarchical government; while the dwellers along 
the seacoast preferred a mixed form of government. 

§110. Points of Convergence 

In the places where valleys converge and where the people 
<3ome most into contact with others, they are most inchned to 
innovation and revolution. Poland undoubtedly owes its early 
civilization and its revolts, as well as later its misfortunes, to 
the position which it occupies at the meeting point of Slav, 
Teuton, and Byzantine. Those departments of France that 
are' situated upon the courses of the great rivers, the Seine, 
Rhone, and Loire, or which include great ports, furnish, aside 
from other causes, the largest number of revolutionary votes.^ 

§ zxi. Density 

The same thing is true of places with great density of popu- 
lation and great industrial activity; here, too, the revolution- 
ary spirit shows itself in a high state of development, just as 
the conservative spirit predominates in agricultural and thinly 
populated regions. 

§ 113. Healthfuhiess — Genius 

Both the salubrity and fertility of a country exercise an influ- 
ence in the development of the revolutionary spirit, as I have 
shown in the case of Italy by long series of figures. ^ 

Genius, too, plays its part, and it is for this reason that 
Florence, Athens, and Geneva, cities noted for their men of 
genius, have also been noted for insurrections. Geniuses and 
revolts have likewise been numerous in the Romagna and in 
Liguria, which are among the most healthful parts of Italy. 
In France the parallelism is still clearer, for in 75 departments 
out of 86, genius, tall stature, and anti-monarchical parties go 

1 Lombroso and Laschi, "Crime Politique." 
* Lombroso and Laschi, op. cit. 


§ 113. Races 

The ethnic influence in its turn is incontestable. By a study 
of the votes and the revolts in France, I have shown that the 
departments in which the Ligurian and Gallic races predomi- 
nate have furnished the greatest number of rebels, and that 
the Iberians and Cimbrians have furnished the minimum. 
Many small districts and single cities, like Arluno and Leghorn, 
are known for their constant tendency to revolt.^ 

The history of the Apuanian Ligurians explains to us why 
to-day anarchy and insurrection often break out among them,' 
the Ligures were continually in revolt against the Romans. 

§ 114. Crossing of Races 

The ethnic influence comes out very plainly in the cross'ng 
of races, which is able to make them all more revolutionary End 
progressive. This is a phenomenon connected with that dis- 
covered in the vegetable world by Darwin, that even bisexual 
plants ought to be cross-fertilized; and also with the law of 
Romanes, according to which independent variation is the 
primary cause of evolution. The lonians give us an excellent 
example. They were revolutionary, and produced the greatest 
geniuses of Greece, certainly as a consequence of the fact that 
they were early crossed with the Lydians and Persians in Asia 
Minor and the islands, and in addition were subjected to the 
influence of a change of climate. The crossing of the Poles 
with the Teutonic race, all the more potent because the latter 
was in the nascent state, explains why Poland rose in so short 
a time to great intellectual heights, in the midst of other Slavs 
still barbarous, and this at a time when these very Germans 
who brought to the Poles the first seeds of their civilization 
had themselves but a low degree of culture. We have here, 
then, a partial explanation of Poland's continual insurrections. ^ 

1 Leghorn was settled by the Illyrian Libumi, who were notorious as 
pirates, and first visited the Tuscan waters simply for the purposes of 

' The crossing with the Germans seems to have been going on even in 


The climatic and racial crossing of the South American 
natives with the European colonists in the Spanish republics 
has produced a race active both commercially and intellectually, 
but above all things given to revolution. Modern Spain cannot 
boast of a Ramos-Mejas, a Roca, a Mitri, or a Pinero. 

§ 115. Bad Government 

A government under which the pubUc welfare is neglected 
and respectable persons persecuted is always provocative of 
insurrections and revolutions. Persecutions make great changes 
in men's ideas and feelings. Benjamin Franklin, on the eve of 
the American Revolution, in a pamphlet entitled "Rules by 
which a great empire may be reduced to a small one," sums 
up as follows the characteristics of the bad government which, 
as a matter of fact, in a short time drove his country to revolt: 

"Do you wish," he writes, addressing the mother country, 
"to irritate your colonies and drive them into rebellion? Here 
is an infallible method: Always suppose them ready to revolt, 
and treat them accordingly. Place in their midst soldiers who 
by their insolence may provoke an insurrection, and then put 
it down with bullets and bayonets." 

In a country where political reforms keep pace with the aspira- 
tions of the people, insurrections seldom or never occur. The 
reign of Louis Philippe in France, favorable to the wealthy 
classes but without any sympathy with the mass of the people, 
multiplied insurrections and political crimes, which disappeared 
in the first years of the Cassarian-democratic government of 
Napoleon III, who impressed the people by his magnificence and 
his attempts at social reform. It is a fact demonstrated by the 
statistics of persons indicted for political causes from 1826 to 
1880 (including offenses of the press), that the Napoleonic 
period (1851-70) corresponds with the minimum number of 
political trials. 

prehistoric times. It is certain that in the prehistoric graves of Poland 
and of Prussia, dolichocephalic, orthognathous skulls are found, — skulls, 
that is to say, of Teutonic type. 



Cases "en 

Cases of 

contradictoire " 
































The struggle for supremacy between different social classes 
is an effect of that inequality which Aristotle calls "the source 
of all the revolutions." ^ 

"On the one side," he writes, "are those who desire equality, 
and who rise in revolt if they believe they have less than others, 
even though they really have as much as the most favored. 
On the other side there are those who aspire to power, and 
who, although equality exists, rise in insurrection if they think 
that this equality has no sound reason for being." 

Abuse of power by the dominant class is enough to produce 
a reaction; and Aristotle says again ("Politics") : "To whatever 
side a government inclines, it always degenerates through an 
exaggeration of the principles upon which it is based." In 
France the Revolution of 1789, which appeared to have choked 
the monarchical principle with the blood of the king, degener- 
ating into anarchy, prepared the way for the Empire; and the 
whole process was repeated by the Republic of 1849 and the 
Second Empire. 

* "Politics." It is a curious fact that all the authors who have studied 
or written about revolutions have simply followed Aristotle. This is 
because he was both an observer and a genius, and li\'ing in the midst of 
a great number of Uttle revolutions, saw and understood much more than 
his successors. 


§ ii6. Exclusive Predominance of One Class — Priests 

Whatever the form of government, the dominance of one 
class or caste over another has always been a source of danger, 
through hindering the organic development of a country and 
predisposing it first to atrophy and then to anarchy. It is thus 
that the dominance of the clergy in Spain and Scotland, and in 
Italy in the Papal States and the kingdom of Naples, for a long 
time retarded the progress of these countries and drove them 
to revolt. It was for analogous reasons that the tyranny of the 
Roman patricians, notwithstanding their defeat, led to the con- 
spiracies of Saturninus and of Catiline, and then to the dictator- 
ship of Caesar. This last, in its turn, led to the conspiracy of 
Brutus, which finally failed because the rise of the Empire rep- 
resented a justifiable reaction of the lower classes against the 
oligarchy. Not infrequently members of an oligarchy, strug- 
gling with one another for power, as at Cnidos, leave the way 
open for the people to overthrow them. In Florence in the 
Middle Ages the tyranny of the nobles prepared the way for 
the triumph of petty tradesmen; and the abuses of this class 
brought about, in turn, the election of the Duke of Athens, 
who, although he sought to repress the abuse of power, ended 
by alienating the people from him and being himself driven 
out. When, on the contrary, the social classes and the powers 
pertaining to them are in a state of equilibrium, liberty is pre- 
served and revolutions become veiy rare. In this way, accord- 
ing to Aristotle, the long duration of the Spartan government 
is to be explained. Power was evenly distributed between the 
higher classes, represented by the Senate, and the mass of the 
people, who chose the Ephors by public vote. Further the 
power of the kings was much circumscribed, and, since there 
were two of them, they could not easily come to an agreement, 
and consequently only rarely became tyrants. 

§ 117. Parties and Divisions 

Parties, though at times useful in the struggle of the weak 
against the strong, are often what Coco calls them, a means of 
corrupting the individual, and, through the individual, the na- 


tion. This is seen in the spectacle offered by the situation in 
the mediaeval Italian cities, especially in Florence, where an 
exaggerated and intolerant party spirit led to complete political 
and intellectual exhaustion. Another example of this is to be 
found in the Argentine Republic, where the Unitaires of Buenos 
Ayres brought about the reaction under Rosas. They were a 
party of typical Utopians, revolutionary idealists, who wanted 
to march straight on, with head high, not deviating a hair's 
breadth from their course. Even on the eve of a battle they 
were taken up with a regulation, a formula, or a pompous 
phrase. It would be impossible to find men with better logic, 
more enterprise, or less common sense. ^ 

Since parties are favorable to political liberty, the more 
ground they gain in the political life, the less important do secret 
political societies become. These latter are the fruit of oppres- 
sion, since oppression turns ideas into feelings, and these in 
their turn produce sects and societies. Yet it is certainly to 
this origin that modern civilization is indebted for many re- 
forms and other services in the political field. It is enough to 
recall the Carbonari in Italy, the Chartists in England, the 
Hetaeria in Greece, and the Nihilists in Russia. The ideal of 
these last, it is true, has little correspondence with the feelings 
of the Russian people, since what Stepniak said of an earlier 
period is still true, that in the popular mind the Czar and God 
are welded together.^ 

In Italy the "Fraternal Hand," discovered at Girgenti in 
1883, was originally a society for mutual aid in case of sickness 
or death. But soon it degenerated: certain duties occasioned 
certain crimes. Everyone was bound to make himself respected 
for the honor of the organization, to protect the women, to 
revenge the injuries of his comrades, and to help save them if 
they were accused. They ended by ordering assassinations, and 
executing them in the same way that a hunter chases a hare. 
They intimidated juries, and prevented outsiders from bidding 
at the public auctions. The result was that respectable persons 
had to affiliate with them, or buy protection against them from 

* Sarmiento, "Civilisacion y Barbaria" Buenos Ayres, 1869. 

* "La Ruasie sous lea Czars," Paris, 1880. 


other criminals.^ In Ireland, side by side with the Land League, 
which served the country with loyalty and patriotism, there 
rose up the society of the "Invincibles," which numbered not 
more than 200 members but speedily distinguished itself by all 
sorts of agrarian crimes. 

§ ii8. Imitation 

We have seen that through imitation, criminality, insanity, 
and hallucination become epidemic in a mob. Hence imitation 
becomes a powerful factor in producing an insurrection. This 
may occur on a large scale, one nation imitating another and 
producing a veritable epidemic of revolutions. This is what 
happened, according to Ferrari,^ in the period from 1378 to 1494, 
during which the European peoples imitated the great number of 
Italian uprisings against the ancient lords — at Rome under 
Rienzi, at Genoa under Adorno, at Florence under the Ciompi, 
at Palermo under the Alessi, and at Naples under the Lazzari. 
In this period took place the insurrection of the Hussites in 
Bohemia, the revolts of the working-people in the free cities of 
Germany (Worms, Hall, Liibeck, Aix), the refusal of the burgh- 
ers of Ghent to pay taxes, the Swiss war of independence, the 
uprisings of the Swedish peasants under Inglebert and the 
Croatian peasants under Harvat, and in England the religious 
movement initiated by Wyclif. The men of 1793 imitated, or, 
rather, aped, the heroes of Plutarch (Buckle), as the Napoleons 
imitated the Caesars. In 1789 in France almost all the depart- 
ments imitated the September massacres of Paris, and later 
those of the White Terror. Aristotle names as one of the causes 
of revolts the neighborhood of countries with other forms of 
government. The nearness of the oligarchical Spartan govern- 
ment often caused the overthrow of the democracy in Athens, 
and vice versa. 

§ 119. Epidemic Ideals 

Many ideals spread themselves almost like epidemics. So 
was it formerly with the monarchical ideal, the glory of one's 

^ Lestingi, "L'Associazione della Fratellanza" (Arch, di Psich., Vol. 
V, p. 462). 

2 "Storia delle Rivoluzioni d 'Italia," Milan, 1870. 


own king; so with the ideal of popular sovereignty; then of 
nationality; and so is it now with the ideal of the amelioration 
of economic conditions. It is not that to-day conditions are 
worse than they were in the days of our fathers. On the con- 
trary, the famines, which used to mow down their millions, 
now gather in only a few hundreds of victims; and our work- 
men to-day own more shirts than many a proud noble of an- 
tiquity. But men's needs and their repugnance to the labor 
necessary to satisfy them have increased in proportion to the 
economic betterment that has been going on. 

§ 120. Historic Traditions 

"Every revolution," wrote Machiavelli, "lays a stepping- 
stone for another one." We see revolutions, as a matter of 
fact, repeat the form of revolutions which happened even at 
remote periods. Thus the Roman tribunate lived again in 
Rome with Rienzi and Baroncelh, and later with Ciceruacchio 
and Coccapieller, notwithstanding many differences in the in- 
stitutions and individuals. The revolutionary tendencies of the 
Romagna were well known even in the Middle Ages, and Dante 
refers to them in the words: "The heart of the Romagna is, 
and ever will be, at war with tyrants." The Paris Commune 
imitated the revolution of 1789, as '89 had imitated the Jac- 
querie, while the National Assembly of Paris copied the old 
Provincial Assemblies. We may say that in Paris barricades 
have become a decennial habit, like military revolutions in 
Spain, attempts upon the life of the Czar in Russia, and brig- 
andage in Greece and Macedonia. 

A last proof of this influence of traditions is that those revo- 
lutionary governments perish which do not know how to hold 
them in honor. The greater the difference between the old form 
of government and the new, the more unstable is the adherence 
of the people. For this cause those revolutions have been most 
fortunate that have held the past in honor. Thus the elder 
Brutus kept for the people their king, under the name of "rex 
sacrificulus." The Caesars, likewise, retained the Tribunate, 


the Senate, and other forms of the repubhcan government, 
even to the extent of limiting themselves to the military title, 
"Imperator" (General). Just so the EngHsh in the Magna 
Charta professed to confirm ancient rights; and in Italy the 
Guelfs, following the Ghibellines in Italy, chose the captain of 
the people from among the nobles, as the Ghibellines had 
chosen their podesia. This did not escape the keen intellect of 
Machiavelli, who wrote: "Whoever would reform a free state 
must preserve the shadow of the old forms; in changing old 
institutions the human mind must be at pains to make the 
transformation preserve as much as possible of that which is 

§ 121. Inappropriate Political Reforms 

Only men ignorant of human nature, or excessively despotic, 
would make decrees not necessitated by the conditions of the 
moment, and destroy old institutions to replace them with new, 
not because they were demanded, but because they were in use 
in other social organisms. By such means a discontent with 
every kind of reform is awakened, and since the new is not based 
upon the old there results an active antipathy which produces a 
constant succession of revolutions. This is what happened to 
the reforms of Arnaldo and Savonarola. This is what came to 
pass when Rienzi tried to bring about a political reform which 
even Cavour could not carry out completely. The same situa- 
tion, again, was repeated in France in the attempt of Marcel, 
at a time when even a constitution was not possible, to bring 
about a republican federation, with proportional taxation, social 
and administrative unity, general political rights, national au- 
thority substituted for royal, and Paris as the head of France.^ 
"To reform everything, is to destroy everything," wrote Coco 
with regard to the Neapolitan revolution of 1799. In Spain 
Charles III. was able, through the power of his personality and 
authority, to curb the power of the clergy, and to ameliorate 
the condition of the country. But no sooner had he fallen from 
power than all his reforms ceased without leaving a regret, be- 

1 "Le Vieux Neuf," 1877. 


cause they were premature. In 1812, in 1820, and in 1836, 
there was no lack of ardent reformers in the Spanish govern- 
ment, but they failed because they were not in touch with the 
feeling of the people. In 1814 and in 1823 the popular indig- 
nation drove out the Cortes, and Quin tells that everywhere 
the king passed, the crowd hurled insults at the liberals, the 
constitution, and the Cortes.^ 

§ 122. Religion 

Religion, in Asiatic and African countries, not only mixed 
with politics, but was itself the only politics, sometimes revolu- 
tionary but more often reactionary, according to the character 
of the religion. In India, Nanak (1469) by performing miracles 
founded the religion of the Siklis, which was based upon mono- 
theism, the abrogation of caste, and the blessedness of Nirvana. 
The founder himself made few proselytes, but under Havogind, 
one of his successors, the Sikhs took up arms against the Mussul- 
man fanaticism, won new power during the Mahratta uprising, 
founded a sort of republic, and to-day number nearly two 
millions. Mahomet put an end to fetichism, conquered Arabia, 
and notwithstanding his ignorance (hardly one of the suras 
of his Koran has any sense in it), he produced a revolution even 
in the field of science. For from 750 to 1250 a. d., with the 
ostensible purpose of explaining the Koran, the Arabs trans- 
lated the Greek authors and made gigantic encyclopaedic com- 
pilations, which were disseminated through Europe. As if to 
establish once for all the parallelism of religion and politics, the 
Convention decreed the worship of the Supreme Being, and 
organized the love-feast; and the populace put at its head the 
mad Catherine Theot, who preached the immortality of the 
body, and at 70 declared that she was about to become young 
again. The Jacobins favored the society of the Theophilantropes, 
who celebrated their festivals in Notre Dame, the new Temple of 
Reason, and in Saint Roch, the Temple of Genius, where, before 
the altars, sentimental verses from the classics were sung and 
feasts were celebrated for Socrates, St. Vincent, Rousseau, and 
» "Memoirs of Ferdinand," 1824. 


Washington. In ancient Israel the reaction under Jeroboam 
followed the reign of Solomon, because the latter, a revolution- 
ary, at least in art and industry, had anticipated the popular 
mind by several centuries.^ 

Thus a reaction is sure to result whenever an attempt is made 
to set aside dominant customs and superstitions. One of the 
causes of the uprising of the Annamese against the French was 
the lack of reverence manifested by the Europeans for the ancient 
documents which were held in such honor by the natives (prob- 
ably because they thought them endowed with magic power) 
that they had societies for the express purpose of collecting and 
caring for them. All the insurrections against the English in 
India have been caused by violations of the customs or religion 
of the people. Thus the Sepoy rebellion of 1857 was caused not 
by the violent occupation of the ancient kingdom of Oude on 
the part of the East India Company so much as by the preaching 
of Protestant missionaries, and their over-zealous attempts at 
proselytism, arousing the opposition of Brahmin and Mussul- 
man alike; and further by the fact that the Sepoys were required 
to use cartridges smeared with pork-fat. 

§ 123. Economic Influences 

The influence of economic causes in many of the greatest 
revolutionary movements of recent centuries has been demon- 
strated by Loria ^ with incontestable proofs. 

The strife of classes in England flared up when the nobility 
began to make laws that were to the interest of the land-owners, 
and prejudicial to manufacturing. Such was the situation when 
the middle classes gathered about Elizabeth and triumphed with 
her over Mary Stuart and her nobles. The same phenomenon 
was repeated with Cromwell, and with William of Orange. The 
same antagonism manifested itself in Germany in the sixteenth 
century, when the nobility, represented by the electoral princes, 
having exclusive political power, passed laws hostile to capital 

1 R^nan, "Etudes d'Histoire Israelite" ("Revue des Deux Mondes," 
Aug., 1888). 

2 "La Teoria Economica della Costituzione Politica," 1885. 


and commerce, levying imposts on imports and exports. In 
Italy the contests of the Guelfs and Ghibellines masked the 
strife between the manufacturers and the feudal nobility.^ In 
France it was the middle classes, long powerless against king 
and nobles, and, furthermore, excluded from the National As- 
sembly, who stirred up the people to revolt, and put to flight both 
court and aristocracy. Even modern Nihilism, according to 
Roscher, springs from the contest between the moneyed and the 
landed classes. It came especially from the favor shown by 
the commercial classes and small proprietors to the ransom 
of the peasants, to the detriment of the nobility, who responded 
by allying themselves with disinherited men of family and all 
the other enemies of the middle classes. (Loria.) Tschen re- 
marks that the prosperity of China springs from the system of 
canals which fertilizes it, and that every emperor who neglects 
the canals speedily falls.^ 

§ 124. Taxes and Changes in the Currency 

Very often it is the government itself that, through igno- 
rance of economic laws, aggravates the disorder already existing, 
and provokes insurrection. Thus it was in France, where one 
of the causes of the revolution of 1360 was that under the 
Valois the value of gold was changed 26 times in a single year. 
Similarly, in Sicily, according to Amari, the discontent occa- 
sioned by the alteration of the value of the money was not 
without influence in causing the Sicilian Vespers. (Loria.) In 
1382 in Paris, the tax upon vegetables called forth the uprising 
of the Maillotins. In 1640 Mazarin doubled the taxes on food- 
supplies in Paris, and the people built the barricades of the 26th 
of August. The court, becoming terrified, treated with them 
and granted a diminution in the taxes of more than 12,000,000 
francs. In 1639 the people of Rouen rose in insurrection with 

* This hypothesis is certainly a bold one, but does not lack proof. 
For example, Bonaccorsi, the Podesta of Reggio, who had shown himself 
friendly to the working people, was deposed after eight months, by the 

» "Revue Scientifique," 1889. 


the cry of "Death to the gabeleursl" but the uprising was ex- 
tinguished in the blood of the rioters themselves. The popular 
hatred of the tax-agents continued to be actively in evidence, 
however, until the government finally prohibited the use of the 
epithets, "publican," "extortioner," and "monopolist," against 
the tax-collectors. Even when a tax is just, that it should aflfect 
one class more directly than another is sufficient to stir up an 
insurrection. Thus the tax on grain at Pavia and the land-tax 
at Florence produced revolts which were inspired by the middle 

§ 125. Economic Crises 

Industrial and commercial crises had in ancient times no very 
great influence in revolutions, being responsible for local up- 
risings merely.^ This was the case in Rome, where, according to 
Carle,^ the great agitations had for their moving cause the debts 
to which the people were liable, rather than the agrarian laws. 
During the fierce contests between the consulate and the trib- 
unate, when economic prosperity was in no way lacking, Spu- 
rius Cassius, who proposed an agrarian law by which the com- 
mon property was to be divided in part among the poor citizens, 
not only was not supported by the people, but was put to death, 
simply because he wished that the Latin allies should share in 
the division.^ 

§ 126. Pauperism. Strikes 

It is our own time alone that has seen the great political and 
social revolutions, caused by the disproportion between the re- 
wards of labor and those of speculative capital, and, further, 
by new needs, which make the people feel more keenly than ever 
before the reahty of their sad condition. The Darwinian theory, 
it is true, concedes the difference between individuals and, in 

^ Rossi, "E Fattore Economico nei Moti Rivoluzionari" ("Archivio 
Psichiatria," IX 1). 

* "Genesi e Sviluppo delle Varie Forme di Convivenza Civile e Poli- 
tica," Turin, 1878. 

» Mommsen, "Roman History," I. 


consequence, a necessary inequality in wealth. But the senti- 
ment of humanity, which received its first breath from Christ 
and which time has not been able to weaken, is not willing to per- 
mit, whatever the theory of Darwin may be, that a man who is 
working should die of hunger, or that a man who is willing and 
able to be of service should look for work in vain. When one 
sees that thousands of peasants in Italy, whose interests not a 
single representative has taken up in Parliament, are compelled 
to live upon spoiled maize, for which no one has thought out a 
remedy; when one sees that whole districts in the Alps are 
decimated by goiture and cretinism, simply because a hundredth 
part of the money wasted on useless monuments is not spent in 
supplying these people with wholesome water; when one thinks 
that in the plains of Italy, at the gates of the two largest cities, 
malaria rages and decimates the population; ^ one is compelled 
to conclude that if the peasants protest by uprisings and strikes, 
the responsibility falls upon those who have not found a way 
to remedy the evil. In France the strikes of 1882 in Roanne, 
Bessege, Moliere, and other industrial centers in the south, and 
the more serious troubles in Montceau-les-Mines and Lyons, 
were the result of a socialistic agitation having a pronounced 
poUtical character. In the United States the revolutionary 
Socialist party, which has its center in Chicago, seems to grow 
in importance constantly, partly from economic crises, occa- 
sioned especially by railroad speculation, and partly from the 
disregard of the proletariat on the part of both the leading 
pohtical parties. Now it is to this organization that we must 
attribute a great part of the strikes which occur with such 
frequency (160 in 2 years). 

In comparison with the past, our own age shows many more 
uprisings from economic than from military causes. Disturb- 
ances proceeding from economic conditions are most abundant 
in the countries that best represent modern life, like France^ 
England, and Belgium; whUe it is the military rebellions that 

j CKit of 5258 communes in Italy, 2813, with a population of eleven 
and a half millions, are scourged with malaria, and in 2025 other com- 
munes, with a population of eight millions, there are a certain number 
?L^-^^- (Bodio, "Bulletin de I'Inatitut International de Statistique," 




take place in countries like Spain and Turkey, which represent 
a bygone age. From the statistics of insurrections during the 
first half of the nineteenth century we get the following: 



Number having 



Number having 









§ 127. Change of Environment 

We find in this connection many singular contradictions. 
The very hot climate of Egypt makes antirevolutionists of the 
Semites, the Fellahs, and even of the Berbers, who, in the moun- 
tains of Algeria, are in a continual state of revolution, so that 
in Algiers they show the graves of seven beys, all named and 
killed in a single day. In new surroundings the Dutch agricul- 
turists became the nomadic Boers of South Africa; the Norman 
hunters became bold sea-rovers; the pastoral Jews became 
merchants; and the strictly conservative Anglo-Saxons became 
the free innovators and revolutionaries of North America. A 
good government can succeed in preventing the disorders that 
spring from difference of race, especially when there enters the 
factor of the attraction which large bodies of people have for 
smaller bodies of a different kind. This latter is one of the most 
powerful factors in the fusion of the Semitic Sards with the 
Celtic Piedmontese, and of the thoroughly Italian Corsicans 
with the French. When peoples have lived in a state of isola- 
tion, the first crossings (Dorians, Romans) provoke violent 
disturbances; but later, as evolution proceeds, economic and 
political interests become more important than questions of 
race. Thus it is that the Poles execrate the Russians because 
of their despotism, notwithstanding their common Slavic blood. 
On the other hand, the people of the Rhine valley, although 
German in the main, incline more toward the French than 


toward the nation of their own blood, because habit and com- 
mercial interest count for more with them than race. 

The dominance of different factors at certain periods, as, for 
example, the economic factor in our own day, is explained by 
the fact that, in sociology as well as in chemistry, certain agents 
are most active in the "nascent state." Physiology, also, 
teaches us that of a series of similar stimuli the first is 
most strongly felt. Hence it is that the influence of climate is 
still effective even after being hidden or weakened by the in- 
fluence of race. For this reason in certain countries, as in Flor- 
ence, for example, the configuration of the land has much less 
effect upon the occurrence of uprisings and acts of violence 
than it formerly had. Holland is a cold, level country, and for 
this reason is naturally antirevolutionary, but the battle with 
the sea and with foreign oppressors has had a modifying in- 

Religion has upon the whole very little influence upon the 
course of cultural evolution, but in the nascent state it is ex- 
ceedingly favorable to revolt and revolution. New religions are 
almost always accompanied by a real revolution in morals and 
character, genuine reforms which win them adherents from 
among respectable people. History gives us examples of this 
in the rise of Buddhism, Christianity, and Lutheranism, and we 
see the influence still to-day in the Lazzarettists and in certain 
Russian sects. 

§ 128. Occasional Causes 

Aristotle aflBrms that oligarchies commonly go to pieces 
through the too great preponderance of certain of their members, 
and that when they are in difficulties they try to extricate them- 
selves by raising insurrections. In Syracuse, he tells us, the 
constitution was changed because of a love-affair which drove 
two young noblemen and their followers to revolt. Speaking of 
tyrannicides he finds that they are most frequently caused by 
personal injuries. Bacon remarks that some too lively expres- 
sions of certain princes have sometimes been the spark that 
kindled a revolt. Thus Galba destroyed himself when he said. 


"Legi a se militem, non emi," ^ the soldiers no longer having 
any hope that he would pay them for their votes. Probus was 
equally lost when he uttered the words, "Si vixero, non opus 
erit amplius Romano Imperio militibus," ^ for the soldiers 
immediately revolted against him. Even in our own century 
riots have originated from comparatively trifling causes. Thus 
in 1821 a revolt broke out in Madrid because the king either 
could not or would not take part in a certain procession. In 
1867 Bucharest rose in revolt against the monopoly of tobacco, 
and the same year there was a riot in Manchester because of the 
arrest of two Fenians. In 1876 an insurrection took place in 
Amsterdam because of the abohtion of one of the annual fairs. 

§ 129. War 

Wars are often the cause of domestic disturbances. Greek 
history, especially the history of the oligarchies, abundantly 
illustrates this. According to Soltyk, the victorious wars 
which the Poles waged in the 17th and 18th centuries 
formed one of the causes of the downfall of Poland, because 
they bore heavily upon the poor without any corresponding 
advantages, and increased the activity of the conquered peoples. 
The Franco-Prussian war overcame the disinclination felt in 
many circles toward the idea of the Empire in Germany. This 
is shown in the statistics of the cases of leze majesty. While 
the sentences for this offense from 1846 to 1848 ran as high as 
342, and in 1849 reached 369, they fell to 132 and 193 in 1879 
and 1880.^ According to Renan, the two great products of the 
Hebrew race, the Jewish religion and the Christian, are to be 
attributed not solely to the prophets, but also to the perturba- 
tions produced by the Assyrian and Roman victories. 

It must be added that such occasional causes of insurrections 
are plainly only a pretext, affording an opportunity for the out- 
break of a people already predisposed to revolt. The brutality 
of a soldier and the lasciviousness of a prince gave occasion 

1 That he chose his soldiers, he did not buy them. 

* "If I live, the Roman Empire will have no further need of soldiers." 

' "Verbrecher xmd Verbrechen in Preussen," Berlin, 1884. 


for the Sicilian Vespers and for the expulsion of the Tarquins. 
But to see that these things were only the occasion and not the 
whole cause it is only necessary to recall how many infamous 
crimes on the part of conquering kings and peoples Italy has 
suffered to go unpunished. 






§ 130. 

F crime is often really a fatal consequence of certain constitu- 
tions which are naturally predisposed to it, it is then almost 
irremediable; and we can no longer hope that education or im- 
prisonment will be remedies sufficient to combat it. But we 
see in these cases the causes of the constant recidivism under 
every penal system; and, what is more important, we get a 
hint of the proper course for a new system of criminal thera- 
peutics to follow. 

It is no longer enough to repress crime: we must try to pre- 
vent it. If we cannot suppress it, we can at least seek for means 
to decrease the influence of the causes we have been studying, 
upon occasional, juvenile, and partial criminals. 

For this purpose we must use what Ferri has so happily called ^ 
"penal substitutes." The idea is that the legislator, recogniz- 
ing and studying the causes of crime, shall seek by preventive 
means to neutralize them or at least decrease their effect. 

Thus in the economic sphere freedom of exchange prevents 
local scarcity, and hence removes a fertile cause of theft and 
riot. The lowering of customs duties, or, better still, their abo- 
lition, prevents smuggling. A more equitable distribution of 
taxation prevents frauds against the state. ) The substitution of 
metallic currency for the more easily imitated banknotes reduces 

1 "Sociologie Criminelle," Par/s, 1890. 


the amount of counterfeiting; better salaries for public officers 
diminish the chance of bribery and corruption; while the dis- 
tribution of wood to the poor stops thefts in the forests better 
than a crowd of gendarmes. Broad, electric-lighted streets are 
better than policemen to prevent theft and rape. 

In the political sphere, a really liberal government, like that 
of England, prevents anarchistic insurrections and acts of re- 
venge, just as entire liberty of the press prevents corruption of 
the government and insurrections of the governed. 

In the scientific sphere, autopsies tend to prevent poisoning 
in general, as Marsh's test has checked arsenic poisoning in par- 
ticular. So, likewise, steamships have abolished piracy, and 
railroads have cut down highway robbery. 

In the legislative sphere, proper laws for the acknowledgment 
of illegitimate children, for investigating their parentage, and 
for indemnification in cases of the breach of a promise of mar- 
riage, will diminish abortions, infanticides, and many homicides 
committed for revenge. In the same way civil justice at a low 
price will prevent offenses against the public order, juries of 
honor will prevent duels, and foundling hospitals will prevent 

In the religious system, the marriage of the clergy and the 
aboHtion of pilgrimages would cause the disappearance of many 
sexual crimes. 

In the field of education, the abolition of atrocious spectacles 
and of gambling would be a means of preventing brawls and 
crimes of violence. 

§ 13 1. Climate and Race 

Let us now attempt a systematic application of substitutes 
for punishment, following the classification of the more serious 
causes of crime. 

We certainly cannot prevent the effect of a hot climate upon 
crime, but we ought to try to introduce those institutions most 
fitted to temper its effects. For example, prostitution should 
be regulated in such a way as to diminish sexual excesses; 
baths of salt or fresh water should be made accessible to the 


whole population, as was the case in ancient Rome and is now 
in Calabria, for nothing diminishes the exciting effect of the 
heat more than cold water. Then we ought to make judicial 
punishments more swift and hence better adapted to affect 
impressionable minds; avoiding, however, a pedantic uniform- 
ity that would extend the same laws to northern districts, 
which need different treatment, especially as to crimes against 
persons and, above all, sexual crimes. 

The promoter of the new Italian code ^ deplores as a very 
great inconvenience the disparity which exists in the judicial 
treatment of citizens of different parts of the kingdom, but he 
does not reflect that if this difference did not exist in the law, 
it would certainly exist in something much more substantial, 
namely, in public opinion, which interprets a homicide at 
Mazzara quite differently from the way in which it is inter- 
preted at Aosta, a fact that is sure to make itself felt at the 
trial. An attempted rape upon a twelve-year-old girl is a 
different thing in the south, where sexual maturity comes 
early, from what it is in the north, and the question of the 
age of consent must be differently decided for different climates; 
but here there is necessary a careful investigation as to whether, 
and how far, sexual maturity is accompanied by mental matur- 
ity. We have now, in this regard, a unified law; yet it cer- 
tainly has not served to diminish the number of the crimes, 
but only to make the law itself powerless and an object of deri- 
sion. To unify the law in reality, and not upon paper simply, 
it would be necessary to unify the morals, birth-rate, and sexual 
characteristics, and more than that, to unify the climate, soil, 
and system of agriculture; otherwise the law would remain 
like the ukase which commanded the Poles to change their 
language. It is possible to exterminate a people, but not to 
take away their language, unless it is possible to change at a 
stroke their entire physical constitution. 

It proves nothing that certain countries with populations 
ethnically different have a uniform law. In Corsica, thanks to 
the juries, the French law remains a dead letter. In Switzer- 
land, on the other hand, each canton has its own penal laws, 
1 Zanardelli, "Progetto del Nuovo Codice Penale," Rome, 1886. 


and no inconvenience has resulted from it. The United King- 
dom of Great Britain and Ireland, too, has no general penal 
code, but a series of special laws which vary for the three 
kingdoms. The same situation exists in the United States. 
And these are the freest countries, and in England, at least, 
crime is on the decrease. 

It is not to be desired that the specialization be extended in 
detail to provinces and communes, for the matter is one that 
aflfects large ethnic and climatic groups. But where gypsies, 
for example, are numerous, it would be absurd to treat them 
as citizens of Paris or London would be treated, and try them 
before gypsy juries. 

§ 132. Barbarism 

It is impossible to extirpate barbarism all at once; but its 
harmful effects can be lessened by clearing 1;he forests, those 
natural fortresses of malefactors, by opening new roads, and 
by founding towns and villages in the wilder places. This last 
was the course taken by Liutprando in 734 to put an end to 
the brigandage that flourished in the uninhabited parts of 
Modena. To these measures should be coupled an energetic 
repression of the arrogance of the powerful and the revenge of 
the weak, those two fertile sources of brigandage. By a ra- 
tional education, superstition and prejudice should be removed 
or made to serve against crime, as Garibaldi and Napoleon 
attempted to have them serve. Certain institutions, without 
utility for civilized countries, should be abolished; such are 
the jury system, the national guard, popular election of judges, 
and all secret societies, especially monastic societies, so favor- 
able to hatred and wrongdoing. Emigration should be watched 
and regulated, and associations of criminals prevented or de- 
stroyed as soon as formed, through rewards offered to their 
individual members for information. Receivers of stolen goods 
and their accomplices, those natural propagators of crime, 
should be severely handled by the aid of an able police force. 
Finally, honest but weak citizens should be encouraged, or, if 
that is not possible, terrified, until, placed between fear of the 


criminals and fear of the law, they shall be more in awe of the 
latter than of the former. This is the method to which Manhes 
owes the destruction of 4000 brigands in four months. 

When crime, not of an economic, poUtical, or religious char- 
acter, but purely ethnic, flourishes under the protection of 
certain free institutions, such as the inviolability of domicile, 
the prohibition of preventive arrest, the freedom of association, 
jury trial, etc., it becomes indispensable to suspend these 
privileges until the epidemic of crime is suppressed, as is done 
in the freest countries, England, America, and Portugal. It is 
in the interest of civilization not to allow so precious a posses- 
sion as liberty to be destroyed by misuse. On this account, 
where brigandage, the Camorra, or the Mafia takes on a politi- 
cal aspect, it is necessary to pass the most severe laws to pre- 
vent the possibility of their influencing the elections. The 
elector who is even merely suspected of participation in these 
associations ought to lose all political rights; and persons ar- 
rested for such participation should be sent to distant locali- 
ties exempt from endemic criminahty, or, better, transported 
to the islands. The political tribunate, of which we shall 
speak later, should give particular attention to the carrying 
out of these measures. Finally, a restriction of the pardoning 
power, especially with reference to organized criminals, would 
be useful; and in any case it ought not to be possible for them 
to return to the district which is their natural field of action. 

§ 133. Civilization 

The harmful eflFects of great aggregations of population, 
which are those of ci\alization pushed to the limit, can be pre- 
vented by bringing into play new preventives to counteract 
the new weapons placed in the hands of crime. 

The attempt may be made to prevent the evil effects of the 
great centers by transporting to the smaller cities institutions 
that draw numbers of persons to places already overcrowded, 
such as universities, academies, scientific laboratories, military 
colleges, etc. These great masses of people cannot be suddenly 
dispersed, but they can be clarified and the emigration of the 


unemployed encouraged, by furnishing free transportation if 
necessary. If the population increases more than its food- 
supply, the practice of Neo-Malthusianism must be energeti- 
cally disseminated. 

A certain Englishman^ (a citizen, that is to say, of the 
country which is the most scrupulous about personal liberty) 
proposes that those houses which criminals make their habitual 
resort should be closely watched and, if necessary, suppressed, 
so that these elements of the population shall not be able to 
meet, and hence may become harmless. He proposes, further, 
to visit with severe penalties what he calls the "capitalists of 
crime," — the receivers of stolen goods, who almost always go 

In order to prevent the increase of crime through immigra- 
tion, a sort of selection should be practiced, as is, to some extent, 
done in the United States. Only those should be accepted as 
immigrants who are sound and respectable, and have some 
means and manual skill. It is by virtue of such a selection 
as this, together with judicial investigations, that France has 
been able in recent years to purify the stream of immigration 
and obtain a decrease in crime.^ 

§ 134. Modem Police System 

We have hitherto carried on our police system very much as 
war was made in the heroic ages, when the cleverness or mus- 
cular strength of single individuals alone decided the victory. 
We have very able police officers, — able as Ulysses and Achil- 
les were in their battles; but we have no Moltke, no one corre- 
sponding to a general-staff officer, to make use in his campaigns 
against crime of the resources offered him by study of statistics, 
criminal anthropology, etc., which would multiply his personal 
talent by the enormous forces placed at his disposal by sci- 
ence. The telegraph, for example, applied to railroad trains, 
the railroad itself, the telephone, — these are instruments 
placed in our hands to be used against the new tools that civili- 
zation has furnished to crime. We may add to these a well- 
arranged collection of photographs of criminals. 

» EQll, "Criminal Capitalist," 1872. « Joly, op. cU. 


In America the companies that insure against burglary have 
introduced electric burglar-alarms. In various American cities, 
likewise, the police are furnished with signal boxes, so that in 
case of necessity a policeman can summon assistance without 
leaving his beat. Guillar proposes the association of all nations 
for the arrest of criminals, with uniform extradition treaties 
and a sort of international police, (who shall exchange photo- \ 
graphs of criminals and give notice of those who are going to ' 
foreign countries, whether voluntarily or because deported — 
with the exception of those rare cases where the criminal has 
learned to support himself by a trade. For this purpose an 
international criminal register and an international bureau of 
information would be necessary.^ 

In England there has been introduced the corps of detectives, 
and in Austria the corresponding organization of "Vertraute," 
who form the aggressive force in the fight against crime. 
These take up the search for the criminal and push it to the 
end, making use of all the means at their disposal — railroad, 
telegraph, press — but especially a knowledge of the features, 
and, what is not so easily changed, the look of criminals, and 
of the collections of photographs of which I have spoken.^ 

§ 135. Methods of Identification 

If a good police commissary in Italy wants to put his hand 
upon the unknown author of some crime, he has recourse to 
his memory, to photographs, and also to the clumsy criminal 
register instituted a few years ago. But in a kingdom as large 
as Italy, with such rapid means of communication, thousands 
of individuals escape observation. The best memory would 
not be much help. Delinquents easily succeed in eluding the 
police by changing their names, or, if arrested, give them a 
false idea of their antecedents by taking the name of some 
respectable person. From this one sees how necessary it is to 
have means of identifying accused persons with scientific accu- 

* "Rev. de Disc. Career.," Bulletin Intemat., 1876. 
2 In Vienna in nine months of the year 1872, 150 "Vertraute" arrested 
4950 delinquents, among whom were 1426 thieves and 472 swindlers. 


racy; and of all the systems proposed for this purpose that of 
Bertillon is undoubtedly the best.^ At the prefecture of the 
Paris police, to which he was attached, there were preserved 
several thousand photographs of delinquents, but it became 
increasingly difficult to make use of these as the number of 
delinquents increased. For this reason Bertillon proposed to 
classify criminals according to the measurements of certain 
parts of the body which could be taken as invariable. These 
are: the height, the length and breadth of the head, the length 
of the middle finger of the left hand, the length of the left foot, 
and the length and circumference of the left forearm. Suppos- 
ing the records to be divided up into series on the basis of these 
measurements, it is evident that it would be necessary in iden- 
tifying a criminal, only to examine the photographs of a single 
series, or at most to add the series on each side, as the error 
in measurement could only be very small. 

This system of Bertillon's is based upon the fact that when 
the human body has reached its complete development, it 
remains almost invariable, and that it is impossible to find 
two individuals completely alike. By the use of this method 
Bertillon obtained 3017 identifications between 1883 and 1890. 
This was the first trial of "Bertillonage." After a time it was 
perceived that it was possible to make the identifications 
by the measurements alone, without the aid of photographs. 
Thus far the identification had an essentially judicial charac- 
ter: it served to guarantee to the magistrate the identity and 
the antecedents of the individual undergoing trial. But a new 
advance allowed the utilization of this method by the police, 
in furnishing them with the data necessary to recognize a delin- 
quent still at liberty and concealed under a false name. This 
Bertillon obtained with "speaking photographs," that is, 
photographs accompanied by a minute description of the indi- 
vidual and his particular physical characteristics. 

1 Bonomi, "Project of an Instrument for Identifying the Person," 
1892; Compagnone, " II Casellario Giudiziario," Rome, 1895; A. Bertillon, 
"Identification Anthropometrique, Instructions Signaletiques," Melun, 
1893; Id., "La Photographie Judiciare, etc.," 1890; Lombroso, "Lea 
Applications de 1' Anthropologic Criminelle," Paris, 1892. [But see 
Ottolenghi, "Polizia Scientifica," Turin, 1910, who describes the latest 
improvements on Bertillon's system. — Transl.] 


With this same object the author has constructed an im- 
proved "Tachy-Anthropometer," a contrivance by which the 
necessary measurements of the body and skull may be quickly 
made, and which also permits the lateral, transverse, and 
horizontal curves of the skull to be taken and recorded auto- 
matically by means of an electric pen. This latter system has 
the great advantage that the procedure is purely mechanical, 
and that the sources of error are much less numerous than 
in the regular Bertillon system; and while in the millimetric 
measurements the only means of verifying their accuracy is to 
repeat them, where the cranial outlines are taken, their pre- 
cision can be tested by their direct superposition upon the head 
of the subject. It should not be forgotten that in the ordinary 
system the points of difference between individuals are very 
limited, while in the new system they are very numerous. 

§ 136. The Press 

The police force must also avail itself systematically of the 
services of the press. For the press is an instrument of civili- 
zation as well as of crime, and can be neither suppressed nor 
restricted without injury to true freedom. The thing to be 
done, obviously, is to utilize it for the protection of society. 
In Switzerland the governmental authority has a sort of hand- 
book containing the photographs and biographies of the prin- 
cipal Swiss criminals. In Germany it is the custom to insert 
in the more popular newspapers the description of the criminals 
most sought for, their photographs, and the amount of the reward 
promised for their apprehension. At Mainz there is a news- 
paper published in three languages, French, German, and Eng- 
lish ("Moniteur International de Pohce Criminelle," " Inter- 
nationales Kriminalpolizeiblatt," " International Criminal Police 
Times"), which is published weekly by ^he police counselor, and 
contains the portraits and marks of the criminals sought. At 
Cairo in Egypt there is published every Thursday a newspaper 
in Arabic, "Vagai 'u 'bubulis," or Police News, edited by the 
bureau of police, which contains the portraits of the homicides 
and counterfeiters arrested, with notes of their crimes and 


minute descriptions. Thus the press, through that very pub- 
licity which has been heretofore a source of blackmail, fraud, 
and libel, may become a means of social defense. 

§ 137. Plethysmography 

But there is something better in prospect. We have abolished 
torture, and we may congratulate ourselves upon it. But 
though this brutal means of investigation more often deceived 
than gave light, it is still an evil that nothing better has arisen 
to take the place left empty by its abolition. 

Now the knowledge of biological anomalies (anesthesia, 
analgesia, left-handedness, abnormal field of vision), and of 
psychological anomalies (the cruelty, vanity, and improvidence 
of criminals), may help to fill up the gap; so also, other data, 
like obscene and vindictive tattooing, etc. Despine has al- 
ready suggested the arrest of habitual criminals when they 
boast that they are going to commit a crime, knowing that in 
these cases the act follows close upon the word. We have al- 
ready (in the first volume of my "Homme Criminel") seen how 
the plethysmograph of Mosso is able, without affecting the 
health and without any pain, to penetrate into the most secret 
recesses of the mind of the criminal.^ I have myself made use 
of this instrument in a complicated case, proving that a certain 
well-known criminal was not guilty of the crime with which he 
was accused, but was guilty of a theft, at first connected with 
him by this test alone, but later brought home to him by 
judicial investigation. 

^ The plethysmograph is a device for testing variations in the circulation 
of the blood, and rests for its usefulness upon the way the circulation re- 
sponds to what is passing in the mind. — Transl. 



SEXUAL crimes ^ and crimes of fraud are the specific crimes 
of advanced civilization. How shall they be remedied? 

§ 139. The Prevention of Sexual Excesses 

Divorce is a powerful means of preventing a great many 
cases of adultery and many of those other sexual crimes that 
are among the saddest phenomena of modern criminaUty. By 
the statistics of Ferri ^ we see the convictions for adultery in 
France increased from 1864 to 1867, while in the same period 
in Saxony, where divorce existed, they decreased; in the Ger- 
man districts where the French law was in force, there were 
many more trials and separations than in the other districts, 
and the sexual crimes were more numerous. In France in the 
period when divorce did not exist, from 1818 to 1874, poison- 
ings among married people were more frequent than among the 
unmarried (45 : 30), but in following years, on the other hand, 
they became fewer. In Italy it is reckoned that no fewer than 
46 homicides a year occur, perpetrated with the sole object of 
putting an end to a union that has become insupportable. I have 
told in my "Homme Criminel" (Vol. II) the case of the Klein- 
roth family, where the sons and their mother killed the father 
because of his continual brutal ill-treatment. In France Mme. 
Godefroy, 43 years of age, had won the respect and affection 
of the whole district for the courage with which she had brought 
up nine children, and had borne for 15 years the ill-treatment of 
her drunken husband; but one day, when he threatened her 

» Penta, "I Pervertimenti Sessuali," etc., 1893; Viazzi, "Reati Sessu- 
ali," 1896; Krafft-Ebing, "Psyschopatia Sexualis," 1899. 
2 " Archivio di Psichiatria," II, 500; XII, 550. 


with a knife, at the end of her patience, she killed him with an 
iron spade; she gave herself up and was acquitted. 

As regards sexual crimes in general, a considerable number 
are to be attributed to individual congenital tendencies, but 
another part, and this the greater, comes under the category 
of occasional crimes due to the influence of the comparative 
barbarism of the country districts, and to passions which have 
no other outlet, on account of the absence of prostitution and 
the difficulty of marriage; for these crimes are especially to be 
observed in certain mountainous countries where prostitution 
does not exist, and among soldiers and priests. 

But the majority of these crimes are due to the effect of 
civilization. We have a proof of this in the fact of their increase 
in the western provinces of Prussia, where the civilization is 
highest, and in the fact that the sexual assaults upon children 
have increased fivefold in 50 years, while those upon adults 
have decreased. In France these crimes numbered 305 in 1826, 
and by 1882 had reached 932. The rapes upon children increased 
from 138 to 791, an increase of 500%. In England they num- 
bered 167 in 1830-34; 972 in 1835-39; and 1395 in 1851-55. 
In Prussia, according to Oettingen, sexual misdemeanors in- 
creased between 1855 and 1869 from 225 to 925; while crimes 
of the same nature rose from 1477 to 2945. Modern civilization 
exercises a still more direct influence. By diffusing education 
it increases the irritation of the nervous system, which, in its 
turn, demands stimulations and pleasure that must always 
be new and more and more keen. It seems that the more a 
man's pyschic activity increases, the more the number of his 
needs and his taste for pleasures grow, especiallj^ when his mind 
is not occupied with great scientific and humanitarian ideas, 
and when his wealth permits an over-abundant diet. Of all 
these, the sexual need is certainly that which is most keenly 
felt, and this is that which, throughout the whole animal world, 
is in the closest connection with the cerebral system. This 
relationship is sometimes one of antagonism, as seen in the 
great fecundity of fish and the lower insects, the lesser fecundity 
of the higher animals, and the sterility of the worker ants and 
bees, and of great men; and sometimes one of parallelism, as is 


proved by the greater psychic force at the period of virility and 
by the exuberance of health, life, and intelligence to be observed 
among chaste men. 

This insatiability with regard to pleasure in the cases of in- 
dividuals of high culture, together with the abundance of op- 
portunity, explains to us why the crimes against children 
increase in inverse ratio to the crimes against adults; and it 
further explains, together with the lack of divorce and the fact 
that marriages between old people are constantly becoming 
more numerous, the apparently strange fact that this crime, 
unlike all others, is most common in the case of married people. 
In France the unmarried furnish 41.5 of the rapes of children, 
and the married men 45.9: while in other offenses against 
persons the figures are 48.1 for the unmarried, and 40.4 for the 

We may add that because of the continued development of 
foresight,^ the more intelligent people are always seeking to 
engender the fewest children possible, and hence incline toward 
pederasty. Thus it is that I have observed among the more 
intelligent mountaineers, at Ceresole, for example, marriage 
postponed until the age of 40, in order to have fewer children; 
while in the mountains where cretinism is most abundant, in 
the Valley of Aosta, the marriages produce, at Donnaz, for 
example, 6.5 children, and at Chatillon, 5.1, nearly double the 

It is not too bold a hypothesis to say that marriage, where 
wealth and influence are preferred to beauty and health, is a 
transaction in which the choice is made directly contrary to 
the laws of natural selection; and that it consequently becomes 
hateful and leads not only to desertion of the marriage bed, 
but also to hatred and disgust at the entire sex, and in conse- 
quence to a search for sexual gratification contrary to nature. 
This latter certainly would not be so common if sexual needs 
could be freely satisfied with a beloved person of the opposite 
sex. Civilization, in its turn, materially influences rapes upon 
the immature, by multiplying workshops, mines, schools, and 

1 Ferri, "Socialismo e Criminality," 1883. 

2 " Inchiesta Agraria," VIII, p. 160. 


colleges; and thus furnishes numerous occasions for contact 
between adults, often unmarried, and the immature, among 
whom it is enough that one should be immoral, in order to 
corrupt hundreds. This all explains why the workmen, who 
furnish, according to Fayet, 30% of the general criminality, 
furnish 35% of the rapes upon children. 

§ 140. Legislative and Administrative Measures 

It is very easy to follow the old military method and say: 
If crimes increase, let us also increase the penalties, and we 
shall put a stop to them. This is an exaggeration. It is, however, 
true that Ferri also exaggerates when, by a series of statistics 
for France, covering 53 years, he tries to prove the ineffective- 
ness of punishment, because the continual condemnations 
coincide with a continual increase in the number of crimes. 
But if we examine these tables we shall see that if there has 
been an increase in the reformatory penalties visited upon those 
guilty of rapes upon adults, at the expense of severer punish- 
ments (56. 4: 32.2 = 1.75), on the other hand, the excess of 
sentences to prison over those to hard labor has diminished 

much more ( r^r^ : ^^ = 2.34 |, a result which proves an in- 
crease in the severity of the penalty on the whole. Now, crimes 
against adults having diminished, it is clear that this severity 
has had a certain influence. We find another proof in the table 
of rapes upon children. Here it seems that the lighter penalties 
have increased at the expense of those that are more severe. 
Here, then, the severity has decreased; and we find that at 
the same time the number of these crimes in France has in- 
creased. The penalty, then, is not without its influence. 

Yet it is incontestable that in this case we must look to 
preventive measures much more than to punitive ones. For 
this reason the schools, and the workshops where children are 
employed, should be supervised. An excellent substitute for 
penal measures in the case of pederasty, for example, is to put 
directoresses or married women as supervisors in the work- 
shops where children work at night; and this measure would 


be the more easily put in practice, since it would be economi- 
cally advantageous. It would also be necessary to prohibit 
child-labor in the mines, as is done by the French law of 1874 
with regard to the labor of children — a law which has been 
in force since 1875 and coincides with a diminution in the num- 
ber of rapes upon children since 1876. Another remedy would 
certainly be the diffusion of prostitution in the agricultural 
districts, and especially in localities where there are a large 
number of sailors, soldiers, and laborers. It is especially neces- 
sary to make sexual intercourse accessible to all dissolute- 
minded young men. 

No law can be devised to prevent mercenary marriages, 
which, because of their origin, easily become repugnant. But 
at least a greater facility of divorce can be granted, that the 
antipathy may not reach the point of leading to hatred and 
crime. It is evident that divorce is destined to diminish the 
number of crimes of adultery. In the first place, it permits a 
legitimate sexual satisfaction to husbands, who if young and 
merely separated from their wives would certainly procure 
illegitimate satisfaction; and, in the second place, it threatens 
the unmarried adulterer, who now runs, at most, the risk of a 
duel, with the far greater danger of a forced marriage with an 
unchaste woman. In the present state of things the injured 
husband, if he has recourse to the courts, runs much more risk 
and is subjected to more annoyances, than the true culprit, 
on account of the publicity and ridicule to which he is subjected, 
to say nothing of the chance of the eventual acquittal of the 
offender. Further, divorce is a preventive against crimes of 
vengeance on the part of the injured husband (crimes frequent 
on the stage, though rare in real life), and against the new 
French remedy of acid-throwing it would be much better and 
more effective than all the efforts of the courts. Even when 
the author of the crime is acquitted by the court and absolved 
by public opinion, he remains none the less a criminal; and 
the killing of an adulterer, however culpable he may be, is 
always a kind of wild justice, left in the hands of the injured 
person by a custom still entirely savage. Now it is to be noted 
that, according to Dumas, who ought to know something about 


it, these murders occur oftener in legitimate marriages than in 
cases of concubinage, because it is in the former that the need 
of avenging the violation of one's own legitimate property is 
most keenly felt. 

I have shown in a previous chapter that there are certain 
perverse natures which are irresistibly drawn toward one another. 
The marriage of such is happy for the participants, however 
harmful for society. But what of those cases where one of 
these depraved beings is united with a respectable person, when 
a satyr like the Frenchman Ferlin, who, by 7 servants besides 
his wife, had 54 children and ended by ravishing one of his own 
daughters, is married to a chaste and sober woman? From 
such cases we see new causes and forms of crime arise. The 
ancient jurists, who were anything but considerate to women, 
admitted that a woman who was beaten by her husband could 
not be accused if afterward she committed adultery.^ Plainly, 
the ancients saw in adultery a preventive against marital 
cruelty. Now, divorce would be a better preventive. 

But divorce alone is not sufficient. It is necessary to insist 
upon investigation into the question of paternity, and, above 
all, reparation for the woman seduced. If we cast a glance at 
our society we see there, as regards the sexual instinct, two 
opposite currents. On the one side sexual desires increase as 
intelligence and civilization increase — hence the great number 
of educated offenders; and on the other side, the means of 
satisfying this need becomes more and more difficult. It is 
from this fatal situation that sexual crimes arise. But the 
situation is aggravated by that prejudice which makes us 
regard that as a grave offense for one sex, which for the other is 
not even a misdemeanor; but which makes the sexual act enough 
of a fault in a young man to drive him to satisfy this imperious 
need, in his more erotic moments, by acts contrary to nature. 
Hence we see, added to the congenital perverts who are the 
inevitable effect of degeneracy, numbers of accidental perverts 
who need not have been made such. 

] "Si vir uxorem atrociua verberaverit atque uxor aufugiat et adul- 
tenum committat, non poterit earn maritus accusare" (Tiraqueau, "In 
Leg. Connub."). 


When, then, a true balance comes to be struck between the 
demands of nature and those of morahty and duty, we shall 
see crimes of this character rapidly diminish. For this purpose 
it is necessary to make marriage less mercenary, to make legiti- 
mate sexual relations easier, to make maternity always respected, 
and especially to make obligatory that reparation to the woman 
which the law now not only does not provide, but actually 
prevents, by forbidding inquiry into the question of paternity. 
These are the true preventives, not only of sexual crimes, but 
also of infanticide and of many suicides and homicides, crimes 
which in general arise from sexual relationships; and these 
criminals are just those most worthy of human pity, the more 
so as the guilty are most often those who are otherwise respect- 
able people. 

§ 141. Fraud 

Fraud and breach of trust are the most modern crimes and 
show the result of evolution and civilization upon crime, — a 
process in which it has lost all the cruelty which characterized it 
in primitive ages, substituting greed and that habit of lying 
which unfortunately threatens to become general among us. 
Thus if we pass from the more retired valleys into the small 
towns, and from the towns to the great cities, we shall see, as we 
pass from small to great, the commercial lie, swindling on a 
small scale, take on larger and larger proportions; and in the 
highest society, under the form of financial corporations, we 
shall see the true, the gigantic system of swindling flourishing 
permanently, sheltered behind the most high-sounding and 
honored, if not the most honorable, names. It is, then, natural 
that the common swindler, or the corrupt politician, should not 
be a born criminal, but a criminaloid possessing all the qualities 
of the normal man; so that without a propitious opportunity, 
such an opportunity, we may even say, as would be almost 
enough to corrupt an honest man, he would not have stumbled.* 

Now, here we see a means of prevention by the dissemination 
of the modern economic truth that a bank which gives itself up 
merely to speculating in the product of money can only be a 
1 Lombroso, "Homme Criminel," Vol. II. 


swindling scheme, since money cannot of its own power mul- 
tiply itself. Further, we must demand, in every case, that the 
directors of corporate banks, having agricultural or industrial 
objects, shall offer effective guarantees that losses will be made 
good, even when a disastrous operation has been sanctioned 
by the stockholders. This last provision is the more necessary, 
since stockholders are often only convenient instruments in the 
hands of rogues, and are made their involuntary and uncon- 
scious accomplices. 

The bankers and jewelers of London and Paris have found 
an ingenious method of discovering swindlers who approach 
them under the disguise of men of high station. They employ 
for this purpose dogs trained to recognize the odor of these 
pretended rich persons, who bathe but rarely. They make use, 
also, of the telephone, of instantaneous photography, and of the 
new telephotography, which transmits the image of the sus- 
pected client, as the telephone does the voice. Hence the swind- 
ler is in danger of being arrested before ever leaving the place 
where he attempts his fraud. 

But it becomes much more diflScult to prevent swindling when 
it is protected by political or governmental power. Swindling 
by taking advantage of political office seems to many persons 
to-day no more a crime, than the use of poison did in the Mid- 
dle Ages, when not only the Borgias, but also the Ten in Venice, 
made use of it as a common political weapon. Now, from 
assisting a newspaper with the public money ("the public's 
money is no one's money ") to helping a friend, and then finally 
one's self, is but a short step, especially for those who seek to 
supply the lack of genius with lack of honesty. 

But here the institution of parliamentary government has 
its effect, especially through increasing the lack of responsibiUty. 
When we lived under a despotic government the royal concu- 
bines pocketed the public money. To-day it is the deputies 
who have taken their places. For these, considering them- 
selves, like the kings, inviolable, and being even more irre- 
sponsible than the kings, naturally deny themselves nothing, 
unless restrained by moral sense. Find the means of putting 
immense treasures into the hands of men who are irresponsible 


and inviolable, or nearly so, and then try to tell them that they 
must not touch those treasures! To-day the evil is so much 
the greater, as the deputies and senators are more numerous, 
and hence more dangerous, than kings. It is easy to under- 
stand why they are more dangerous. In the electoral contest 
it is not intellectual qualities, and still less moral qualities, that 
decide the victory. Far from it! The man who has new ideas 
simply dashes himseK against the stone wall of the people's 
conservative prejudices. He, who with a free conscience points 
out an evil and proposes the remedy, injures the interests of 
some powerful voters. The respectable man who does not 
combat abuses openly injures no one, but he alsa accomplishes 
nothing; and all run the risk of being submerged by the medi- 
ocrity, which satisJBes the world with an insignificant program, 
or by the brazen and corrupt, who buy the needed votes. 

It is necessary, then, to restrict the number of these repre- 
sentatives of the nation, to limit their power, and to remove 
their special privileges. In ordinary offenses it is just that they 
should be held to a greater responsibihty than others, as in 
England, where merely the suspicion of adultery, which for 
most persons would not have been considered a crime, was 
enough to cause the fall of Parnell. 

For this reason the largest liberty must be given to the press. 
In the present state of things the guilty not only cannot be ac- 
cused, but, if they are accused, find a new resource in their 
own crimes; and they can, at the expense of honest men and 
with the aid of the law itself, indemnify themselves for the 
efforts which honorable men make to expose their misdeeds. 

This happened in France when B some years ago got a 

young journalist convicted and heavily sentenced for reveal- 
ing only a small part of the truth about Panama. 

Here is the place to say that in such cases to lay bare the 
sores is not, as some weak persons believe, to increase the evil, 
but on the contrary to begin the work of healing. A country 
which, like France, seeks to cast the light of day upon the foul 
places in order to purify itself, regains its rank in the estima- 
tion of the world and in popular opinion, however high may be 
the station of the guilty. 


One of the reforms that would serve best to check political 
corruption would be an extensive decentralization. When a 
government, centralized like the Italian or the French, has the 
right to administer enormous sums and manage affairs involving 
billions, as in many of our public works, corruption inevitably 
arises, because the control of the public is no longer actively 
or directly exercised, and a wider door of impunity is left open. 
But if, on the other hand, the pubhc business has to be trans- 
acted in broad daylight, under the eyes of all, the control will 
be more eflScacious, and those weak persons whom money 
might corrupt will find in the publicity of their acts a means 
of resisting evil. Panama scandals occur always in the great 
central administrations, and never, or in much smaller pro- 
portions, in municipal administration. 

The abuse of public office is thus a crime of the most advanced 
civilization, which can be prevented only by limiting the number 
and power of the deputies and senators, who are the natural 
protectors of corrupt officials; by a decentralization which will 
permit a more active surveillance and decrease the number 
of monopolies; but especially by cutting down the number of 
officials. Russia and Italy are really governments of officials, 
who absorb and stifle everything that has vital force in the 
country, and, under pretext of sustaining life, destroy it. Now 
it is possible, in the courts, for example, to replace the collec- 
tive functionaries by a single judge, and thus increase the sense 
of responsibility and at the same time discover cases of corrup- 
tion more easily. By a diminution in the number of employees 
it would be made possible to choose the best ones. I have pro- 
posed, for example, to choose the judges in the first place by 
examinations; then, for the next higher grade, by the number 
of decisions not revoked by the higher courts; and finally, for 
the higher judges, by the number of cases treated by direct 
citation and by their issue on appeal. This would be the most 
exact criterion, and at the same time a great encouragement to 


§ 142. 

TN combating alcoholism we should be inspired by the 
A extraordinary efforts that the Anglo-Saxons have made. 
Their temperance societies have become very powerful, and by 
1867 already included 3,000,000 members and published three 
weekly and three monthly papers. In Glasgow they spent 
£2000 to open coffee houses in districts where workmen most 
frequented the whiskey-shops. In London on hohdays they 
opened tea-rooms and theaters able to hold more than 4500 
persons. At the Congress in Baltimore in 1873 they were 
represented by more than 750,000 members; and in five years 
they boasted that they had caused the closing of 4000 distil- 
leries and 8000 liquor saloons. In America the women were 
powerful allies of these inexorable enemies of alcoholism. To 
save their brothers and husbands they forced the liquor 
dealers, by their prayers and their importunate exhortations, 
to close their shops. Some resisted and threatened to strike 
them, or turned the hose on them; others had recourse to the 
courts, or set bears at them. But they were protected by their 
own weakness, by their perseverance, and by the righteousness 
of their cause; and even when a jury found them guilty the 
judge was not willing to pronounce sentence. Put to flight one 
day, they returned to the attack the next, so that many had to 
yield to their indomitable energy. In Germany and Switzerland 
there arose under the auspices of Forel newspapers and libraries 

1 Wilh. Bode, "Die HeUung der Trunksucht," Bremerhaven, 1890; 
G. Bunge. "Die Alkoholfrage," Zurich, 1890; A. Forel, "Die Errichtung 
von Trmker-Asylen imd ikrer Einfiigung in die Gesetzgebung," 1890; 
Id., "Die Reform der Gesellschaft durch die vollige Enthaltung von 
alkoholischen Getranken," 1891; Zerboglio, "Soil' Alcoolismo," 1895; 
Korsakoff, "Lois et Mesures Prophylactiques," Turin, 1894; Claude, 
"Rapport au S6nat sur la Consommation de I'alcool en France," 1897; 
Jacquet, "L'Alcoolisme," 1897; Legrain, " D^g^nerescence Sociale et 
Alcoolisme," 1877. 


whose sole aim was to combat the abuse of alcohol. Through 
the combined effect of such efforts great changes were made in 
institutions in this regard. In 1832 the custom was com- 
menced of giving additional pay to every sailor who would 
give up his ration of grog; in the rations of the land troops 
spirits were suppressed (the sutlers were forbidden to sell 
them), and replaced by coffee and sugar, a measure which was 
later adopted by the great industrial companies. 

In 1845 the State of New York declared against the unre- 
stricted sale of Uquor; Maine followed its example; but never- 
theless the sale continued in secret. Then it was that the 
famous Maine law was passed, which prohibited expressly the 
manufacture and sale of spirituous liquors, except for medicinal 
purposes; the difficulty of transporting such liquors became 
extreme; it was forbidden to have more than one gallon in the 
house, and the law permitted domiciliary visits for the purpose 
of discovering hidden supplies. This law was adopted in some 
of the other states, but was largely ineffective because of the 
presence of foreigners and the attitude of the central govern- 
ment. In all the states of the Union (and later in Switzerland 
and Prussia) laws were passed which prohibited the sale of 
alcoholic drinks to students, minors, insane persons, and Indians. 
The dealer was made responsible for damage and injuries caused 
by drunkenness, responsibility for which, in Illinois, might go 
as high as $5000. In some States the dealer was also liable for 
damage to the drinker's family, caused by idleness and by 
diseases due to drink. 

In England since 1856 the sale of liquor on holidays has 
been prohibited. Later in 1864 and 1870 the sale was restricted 
to certain hours. A fine of from 7 to 40 shillings, or a day in 
prison, was imposed by law upon every one found publicly in 
a state of intoxication. In 1871, under Gladstone (who suffered 
from the unpopularity of the measure), the number of public 
houses was limited as follows: 

In the towns In the country 

1 to 1500 inhabitants 1 to 900 inhabitants 

2 " 3000 " 2 " 1200 

3 " 4000 " 3 " 1800 


Special inspectors are appointed to control the illegal sale of 
liquor, and adulteration is punished by progressive fines and 
loss of license. By the law of 1873 it was ordered that no new 
licenses should be granted as long as existing licenses continued 
in force, and out of the money received from licenses certain 
sums were set aside to buy up the licenses of public houses that 
it was desirable to close. To these things must be added the 
exhortations of preachers, especially those of Father Mathew, 
who in 1838-40 succeeded by his eloquence alone in diminish- 
ing the consumption of alcohol in Ireland by half and cutting 
down the crimes from 6400 to 4100. Finally, there is the 
tax nipon alcoholic drinks. In the United States this tax is 
very high; in France it pays the state more than 500,000,000 
francs, and there is talk of increasing it. In Belgium it brings 
in more than 13,000,000. 

According to the penal code of Holland, passed in 1881, 
drunkenness upon the public streets is punished by a maximum 
fine of 15 florins; upon a second offense the punishment is im- 
prisonment for three days, and upon a third offense within a 
year of the first the imprisonment may be extended to two 
weeks. In succeeding years it may reach three weeks or more, 
and if the offender is capable of working he may be sent to a 
public workhouse for a year or more. The retailer who fur- 
nishes drinks to a child below 16 years of age is punished by 
imprisonment for not more than three weeks, and by a fine of 
not more than 100 florins. The law of 1881 forbids the sale of 
alcohol in quantities of less than 2 liters without the authoriza- 
tion of the government of the commune. This is refused when 
the number of shops reaches 

1 to 500 inhabitants in the large cities 

1 " 300 " " cities of from 20,000 to 50,000 population 

1 " 250 " " the villages 

As a result of the promulgation of this law the number of 
shops, which was 40,000 in 1881, fell to 25,000 by 1891.^ 

In Switzerland the privilege of exporting alcohol, of making 
it, and of selling it wholesale, belongs to the government. Two- 
thirds of the quantity consumed must be imported; of the re- 
1 Jacquet, op. cit. 


maining third, half is manufactured by the state, which has 
taken over the larger distilleries for this purpose; and the rest 
is sold by the 200 small distilleries. The price of sale is fixed 
by the Federal Council. Pure alcohol and the stronger spirits 
are subject to a federal tax of 80 francs to the metric quintal, 
and is measured by special federal officers. After the passage 
of this law the consumption of alcoholic drinks fell 20%. The 
Canton of Saint-Gall, by a law promulgated in May, 1891, 
gave the public authorities, communal or municipal, the power 
of assuming the guardianship of an habitual drinker, at the 
expense either of the patient or the poor-fund. 

In Sweden, where alcoholism rages to the extent of being an 
endemic disease, the taxes on the distillation of brandy were 
raised in 1855-56-64, successively from 2 francs to the hec- 
toliter to 27 and 32. The use of steam in the distilleries was 
forbidden, the production limited to 2610 liters a day, and 
distillation permitted only two months in the year (later seven 
months, but only in the large distilleries), in order to suppress 
the small ones, recognized as most harmful to the people. As 
a consequence the production of alcohol fell two-thirds in ten 
years, and the price rose from .50 to 1.30 Kr. a liter. In Sweden 
a corporation collected enough money to buy up the drink- 
shops of a district, and allowed the retailers, now become their 
employees, to make a profit merely upon the tea, coffee, and 
food that they sold. This association has found imitators in 
147 Swedish cities. It sold only pure liquors, and refused to sell 
to drunkards or minors. Since 1813 there has existed, more- 
over, a law which fined a person found drunk upon the streets 
three dollars for the first offense, twice that for the second of- 
fense, and for the third and fourth took away his right of vote 
and representation. At the fifth offense he was condemned to 
prison or to the house of correction at hard labor for six months, 
and upon the sixth offense, for one year. Further (at least in 
Norway), the sale of spirits is prohibited upon holidays and 
the day before, and before 8 o'clock in the morning.^ 

Which of all these remedies has given the best result? 

Many of the most energetic measures, especially the repres- 
1 "Ann. de Stat.," 1880. 


sive measures, have come far from realizing the end for which 
they were designed, except in Switzerland, England, and Sweden. 
We know that from 1851 to 1857 serious crimes decreased 40% 
in Sweden, and lesser crimes 30%, and that this diminution 
constantly makes itself felt. There were 40,621 crimes in 1865, 
and only 25,277 in I868.1 In the period from 1830 to 1834, with 
an average consumption of 46 liters of brandy, there were 59 
murders and 2281 thefts, and in 1875-78, the consumption of 
brandy having fallen to 11 liters, the number of murders had 
fallen to 18 and that of thefts to 1871 (Jaquet). At the same 
time the average stature and length of life had increased (Baer) ; 
and the figure for suicides of alcoholics, which was 46 in 1861, 
had fallen to 11 by 1869. The number of drunkards has also 
decreased, but not so much and in an irregular manner. At 
Gothenburg, for example, there was : 

In 1851 1 drunkard to 19 inhabitants 

1855 1 
1860 1 

1865 1 

1866 1 
1870 1 

1872 1 

1873 1 

1874 1 



It is nevertheless true that when my colleague. Dr. Brusa, 
arrived in Gothenburg on a holiday, though he himself could 
not get a drop of wine, he met a number of persons drunk on 
the streets. On the other hand, it is certain that all these 
Draconian laws have not prevented alcoholism from increasing 
in France and America. It has even been affirmed that the 
Maine law is rather a political weapon than a hygienic measure; 
and that the illicit sale of alcoholic drinks, of which the very 
legislators who prohibit it are often guilty, furthers alcoholism 
by making all drinking disreputable. In France, the tax upon 
alcohol, which rose from 37.40 francs to 60 in 1855, to 90 in 1860, 
and to 150 in 1871, now actually amounts to 156.25 francs to the 
hectoliter of pure alcohol. Notwithstanding this, the average 
per capita consumption rose from 11.45 liters in 1850, to the 
enormous amount of 41.56 in 1892 (Claude). The same thing 
1 Bertrand, " Essai sur 1' Intemperance," 1875. 


in effect may be said with regard to England, where, notwith- 
standing the exorbitant tax of 489.20 francs to the hectoliter of 
pure alcohol, the consumption in the United Kingdom between 
1860 and 1880 has wavered between 4.1 and 5.7 hters per capita, 
and from 1880 to 1893, with some slight changes, has maintained 
the figure of 4.5 liters. The trifling diminution is certainly less 
to be attributed to the tax than to the total abstainers, whose 
number is estimated at 5,000,000. 

There is small reason for astonishment at the comparative 
inefficacy of these fiscal measures, if we take into account the 
fact that they only slightly and indirectly affect the consimaer. 
This may easily be seen by following Dupuy's calculations: 

"Suppose that a liter of alcohol costs, tax and all, about 4 
francs. We know that from a liter of alcohol it is possible to 
make two and a haK liters of brandy. Now, a Hter holds 30 to 
40 small glasses — let us say 33 — at 3 centiliters to a glass. 
From a liter of alcohol we should then get two and a half liters 
of brandy, or 82 small glasses. At 10 centimes a glass the re- 
tailer gets 8.20 francs. This is 4.20 francs more than the cost 
price. The margin is large, and leaves ample profit for retailer 
and wholesaler both" (Claude). 

But the lack of success is due especially to the fact that no 
repressive law can accomplish its purpose when it runs counter 
to our instincts. Now among these instincts is that desire for 
psychic stimulation, such as one may get from wine, a need 
which increases with the progress of civilization. For this 
reason the poor miners in Scotland, who have not enough money 
to buy whiskey, have recourse to laudanum; and the poor of 
London allay the pangs of hunger in the same way.^ In Ireland, 
when the preaching of Father Mathew had turned the people 
away from alcoholic drinks, they unexpectedly became addicted 
to the use of ether,' of which the good pastor had never thought. 

^ Colkins calculates that in 1867 there were 78,000 pounds of opium used 
in the United States for narcotic purposes ("Opium and Opium Eaters, 
Philadelphia, 1871). In Kentucky the legislature passed a law by which 
anyone who, through the use of opium, arsenic, or other drugs, became 
incapable of controlling himseK, might be placed in care of a guardian, 
or shut up in an asylum (Fazio, "Dell' Ubbriachezza," 1875). In Lon- 
don 118,915 pounds of opium were imported in 1857, and in 1862, 280,750; 
and still more in the manufacturing centers of Lancashire (Fazio, op. cit.). 

' They used a mixture of ethyl- and methyl-ether. 



"This," said they, "is not wine, it is not gin, which Father 
Mathew has forbidden us to use; and it makes us merry for a 
few pence, so we drink it." They made use of it even to the 
point of drunkenness, frequently taking 7 to 14 grams, while 
inveterate users went as high as 90 grams. 

The true ideip,l of a wise and philanthropic legislator, in the 
combat with alcoholism, would be to provide the people with 
some form of mental stimulant that would injure neither mind 
nor body, and would not have the danger of alcohol. Subsidies 
to the large theaters have been discussed in this connection. 
Why should not popular theaters and shows be subsidized? It 
would be quite fair to refuse to subsidize great theaters, since 
they are only for the rich, and to provide, instead, a means of 
mental distraction to the poor, which would be of use in pre- 
venting alcoholism. At a mass meeting in Turin in the interest 
of temperance, a workman asked that the theaters should be 
kept in operation all day on Sunday at a low price, so that the 
workmen might have something to keep them out of the wine- 
shops. This was the only rational suggestion made at the meet- 
ing, and it was indignantly rejected. Forni tells us that in a 
small district in the south of Italy the wine-shop keeper had 
the leader of a troupe of comedians thrashed, because since he 
had arrived there with his cheap performances (the admission 
price was 15 centimes) the retailer had sold only half as much 
wine as usual. ^ In Italy, as we shall see later, the clergy alone 
have organized recreations on a large scale for the feast-days, 
by means of which the poor can agreeably pass their time be- 
tween one prayer and the next without resorting to the wine- 
shop. No other cla^s has done as much. 

It is necessary also to extend the use of tea and coffee, which 
stimulate the brain without paralyzing the inhibitory faculties 
as alcohol does. To do this it is not enough to increase the taxes 
upon alcohol : it is necessary also, as Fioretti and Magnan have 
suggested, to lower the taxes upon imports, especially upon tea, 
coffee, and particularly upon sugar, which, since it serves to 
make other drinks agreeable, prevents the need of alcoholic 
beverages. Since the dark and unsanitary dwellings, hidden in 
1 Lombroso, "Incremento al Delitio," p. 81. 


narrow and dirty streets, in which workmen are obliged to live, 
drive them irresistibly to the wine-shop, we should widen the 
streets, and build for the workingman buildings with better 
air, and of a sort to make the domestic hearth an agreeable and 
respectable resting-place, to be preferred to the wine-shop. 

After these measures have been adopted it will be time to 
come down upon the retailers of alcoholic beverages, by restrict- 
ing the hours of sale at night and on holidays, by restricting 
the licenses, and by forcing the sale of food and coffee, par- 
ticularly in the neighborhood of factories. It will be necessary 
to be even more strict with the proprietors of factories and 
mines, when they themselves sell alcoholic drinks, for by their 
authority they help corrupt the most sober workman. Finally, 
spirituous liquors should have very heavy taxes laid upon them, 
a measure much more moral and salutary than taxing salt and 
flour; and the consumption of amyl-alcohol should be prohibited, 
and also the use of all alcohols not rectified, including bitters, 
vermouth, etc., since these are the most harmful to health. 

It has also been proposed to forbid the sale of alcoholic drinks 
on credit, and to declare contracts made in the wine-cellars not 
binding. A measure that seems especially practical is to have 
the workman's wages paid to his family in the morning instead 
of at night, and never on a hoUday or the day before.^ Let no 
one interpose the usual protest about personal liberty. For 
when we see the Anglo-Saxons, the most democratic people in 
the world, carrying their restrictions even to the hours when 
liquor may be sold and the amount that each person may have 
in his house; when we see a Gladstone the promoter and apostle 
of similar measures, while in Italy the hours of sale are increased, 
and no one raises a voice for the substitution of taxes on the 
wine-shops for the baneful taxes upon salt and flour, — one is 
driven to ask himself whether this pretended devotion to liberty 
is not simply the result of the avarice of trade. 

§ 143. Cure 

With regard to direct cure, use has been made of strychnine* 
bromides, tincture of nux vomica, cold baths (Kowalewsky)> 

1 See "Archivio di Peichiatria e Scienze Penali," I and II, 1880; Ferri, 
"Sostitutivi Penali." 


baths of hot air impregnated with vapor of turpentine, and 
sulphur baths, according to the nature of the case and its com- 
phcations. Massage and gymnastics have also been made use 
of; and Forel, Ladame, and Bucknill have obtained good results 
with hypnotism where the patient was susceptible to it. Forel, 
Kowalewsky, Ladame, Legrain, and Magnan have introduced 
the rational cure of drunkenness by isolation and absolute depri- 
vation of all alcoholic drinks for a period which Masson, Crother, 
and Hirsch think should be a year, Drysdale and Kraepelin 
nine months, and Forel from four months to a year. Magnan 
advises, further, a light, strengthening diet; meat, vegetables, 
fruits, and sweet foods, and for drinks, bitter infusions (hops, 
quassia), bouillon, tea, and coffee.^ To this we may add mus- 
cular labor, especially agricultural, even for those who are not 
accustomed to it. But, as Magnan says,^ what is especially 
necessary is a moral reeducation, by means of discussions and 
lectures, which shall show to these patients the danger and harm 
of alcohol, and awaken their affections and moral sense. For 
this purpose Forel has established in the country the asylum of 
EUetton, a kind of farm-colony, under the paternal rule of a 
superintendent who is at once administrator and the educator 
of his charges. These form one family, living in common a 
simple and healthful life, encouraging one another, busy with 
regular work, and all subjected to total abstinence. This ex- 
periment is a success in 65% of the cases. Similar methods in 
the United States, from the statistics of 3000 cases, show about 
the same percentage of success. 

Magnan proposes the committal to special asylums of habitual 
drunkards and of all who have alcoholic delirium, even after 
the dehrium has ceased, for 17 or 18 months — or in the case 
of incurables, for an indeterminate period, as is already prescribed 

1 In the "Revue d 'Hygiene," 1895, Ludwig proposes an agreeable 
drink, the color and taste of which recalls sparkling white wine. It is 
made as follows: White sugar 1 kilogram, red sugar 1 kilogr., ground 
barley 500 gr., hops 30 gr., coriander 30 gr., elderberries 25 gr., \nolets 
25 gr., vinegar 1 liter, water 50 liters. Take a perfectly clean cask, cut 
out a hole 4 or 5 inches square in place of the bunghole, and put m first 
the sugar and then the other ingredients; mix all carefully, and leave 
to steep for eight days; draw off, filter, and bottle, corking carefuUy. 
This costs about 7 centimes a liter, and resembles wine very closely. 

2 "La M^decine Moderne," Nov., 1893. 


in the canton of Saint Gall, ia Switzerland. Hospitals for al- 
coholics have a double object: first, that of protecting society 
by withdrawing drunkards from it; and second, that of put- 
ting the drunkards in the best condition for cure and correction. 
Such hospitals should receive: first, the person who has com- 
mitted an ofiFense in a drunken fit; secondly, anyone who has 
dissipated his own property and that of his family by his in- 
temperance; and thirdly, any person found drunk on the 
street a number of times, etc. In the first class of cases the 
hospital is a substitute for the prison or insane asylum. In 
the others it is a temporary refuge. Anyone who has committed 
a crime in a state of intoxication, if after an investigation by 
experts he is proved to be dangerous, should be shut up in an 
inebriate hospital for an indeterminate period. In the case 
where a crime has been committed by an intoxicated person 
who is not an habitual drunkard, and he is found to be per- 
fectly sound, he should be examined for anthropological and 
psychical marks of degeneracy as signs of a criminal tendency. 
If these are found he should not be released until a cure is as- 
sured, which means, in most cases, his permanent detention. 




§ 144- 

IF, as we have seen, wealth that is excessive or too rapidly 
acquired has almost as fatal an influence as poverty, it 
follows that preventive measures will be efficacious only when 
they combat the excess of the one as well as of the other. 

The first thing of importance here is to secure reforms that 
shall assure greater equality in the distribution of the returns 
of labor and make work accessible for every able-bodied person; 
for example, the limitation of the hours of labor according to 
the age of the worker and the nature of the work, especially in 
mines and in unhealthful trades, and the exclusion of women,' 
also, from work at night, thus protecting their virtue and health, 
and at the same time bringing larger returns to a greater number 
of workers. For the attainment of this object it is not enough 
to authorize strikes theoretically. It is also necessary to per- 
mit their organization practically and not to suppress trades 
unions and boycotts, without which the liberty of striking is 
no more than a legal hypocrisy. On the other hand, the aboli- 
tion of lotteries and of many holidays, the facilitation of civil 
actions, the turning over to the communes of lighting, road- 
making, schools, and water-supply, would prevent much 
corruption and extend to a greater number of laborers the 
advantages of hygiene and the cheapest market in things most 
necessary to life. This would make it possible to mitigate the 
distress of the poor, without producing any disorder or injuring 
the rich. 

The excess of wealth, on the other hand, may be counteracted 
by making the rich share their profits with the laborers, and by 
establishing progressive taxes, especially upon legacies, taxes 


which shall weigh heavily upon or even annul legacies received 
from distant relatives, and turn these, as well as the gains of 
speculation and gambling, to the profit of the state and the 
helpless. We have already made a great step toward the 
expropriation and subdivision of property by abolishing eccle- 
siastical benefices and entailed estates, and by means of these 
taxes we could, without too much disturbance, bring about a 
still greater subdivision. Why do we allow a peasant in upper 
Italy to eat poisoned bread, which gives him pellagra, when we 
could prevent it with the law which we apply effectively in the 
cities? Why do we allow the dwellers in the malaria districts 
to die, when the sale of quinine at a low price would save them? 
Finally, if the want of coal prevents the expansion of certain 
industries, the government could extend the use of the water 
power at our disposal, at the expense of a small part of the 
enormous sums which it wastes without thought upon military 
and official pomp. 

On the other hand, since the great country estates, by per- 
petuating the wealth of the few, perpetuate also the illness and 
poverty of the many, why should they not be expropriated to 
the state? and why should not more prejudicial agrarian con- 
tracts be modified, and the peasants receive a larger share in 
the profits? Henry George shows that if the state confiscated 
the land and let it directly to capable laborers, it would not 
only bring about a higher productivity, but also fix a minimum 
wage, higher than present wages, and thus encourage workmen 
insufficiently paid to devote themselves by preference to the 
cultivation of the soil.^ 

On the other hand, the poverty of the workmen, due in great 
part to the excess of production over consumption, inevitably 
draws after it a lowering of wages, a phenomenon which can 
only be aggravated by the competition of the markets of Japan, 
China, and America. We ought then to help relieve the market 
by encouraging consumption on the part of a greater number of 
indi\aduals, by lightening imposts, duties, and especially indi- 
rect taxes that can be replaced by others not detrimental to 
health and morals, such as taxes on alcohol and tobacco, 
» "Progress and Poverty," 1892. 


which would affect only the rich and the vicious. England had 
no need of a socialistic creed in order to realize these reforms. 
This government, the only sensible one that Europe has, knew 
how to prevent the excesses of the lower classes, first in regard 
to the Irish question and then in the labor question (as in the 
case of the miners and dock-laborers), by conceding complete 
liberty of striking, by granting of its own accord the eight- 
hour day in all government shops, and by giving an equal 
voice to employers and to workmen in the arbitration of labor 

The excess of population being in its turn a grave cause of 
poverty and crime, we must direct emigration from the over- 
populated countries toward those which are less thickly settled. 
Lord Derby has said: "I have always been persuaded that if 
our country has escaped the greatest evils that afflict society, 
it is because we have always had, beyond the sea, outlets for 
our population and our manufactures," England, in fact, 
having the ocean and the means of utilizing it, has the whole 
world for safety-valve. 

The state ought also to establish working colonies at a dis- 
tance from the great centers, especially in the heart of the less 
advanced districts where the need of clearing and cultivation 
is most felt. To these colonies persons found guilty of laziness 
and vagrancy should be sent for a definite time, and the cost 
of their lodging, food, and transportation should be set aside 
out of their earnings.^ Laziness can be overcome only by 
obligatory work, just as the muscular inertia of a limb that has 
remained for a long time in enforced idleness can be corrected 
only by continued movement, violent and often even painful. 
After the pastor of Badelschwing, as a measure to prevent beg- 
ging and vagrancy, had introduced in Westphalia a colony of 
free workers, who cultivated barren strips of territory, 12 other 
provinces followed this example, and by this measure there were 
15,000 more laborers at work in the country. Since then the 
number of convictions for vagrancy and begging has diminished 
a third. An institution of this kind brought down the convic- 
tions for vagrancy in the canton of Vaud by a half. In Holland 
1 Hello, "Des Colonies Agricole P^nitentiares," 1865. 


1800 persons with their families cultivating the frontiers of 
Drenta cost 24 francs per annum for each person, while eliminat- 
ing mendicancy at the same time. The great distress in Baden 
in 1850, after the failure of the great building contractors, was 
relieved from 1851 to 1858 by the emigration of more than 
12,000 artisans.! 

§ 145. Cooperation 

In Italy and in France the first help must always be furnished 
by the government and the ruling classes, because our people 
are not used to getting themselves out of diflSculties by their 
own eflForts alone. We must however attempt to bring it 
about that the more needy classes shall aid one another by 
cooperation and mutual assistance. The immense benefit 
which the financial contributions of these classes bring to the 
state should be turned to their profit by the substitution of 
collective for private capital. 

§ 146. Charity. Benevolence 

There is to-day, however, a degree of distress which cannot 
be relieved by the slow methods of cooperation, collectivism, 
and the insufficient and tardy measures of the state. An investi- 
gation carried on by my daughter Gina ^ upon the spot proved 
that of a hundred families of workmen in Turin, all of whom 
were employed, 50% were always in debt and 25% were bene- 
ficiaries of parochial charity, without which they would have 
been in danger of dying of hunger. These works of charity, 
once the sole help in time of distress, although insufficient, are 
still a necessary auxiliary, and will be so until advancing civ- 
ilization replaces them with preventive measures. 

We must endeavor, then, to have philanthropy cast off the 
old monkish habit and, inspired by the new spirit, march along 
the road of popular economic reform. In modernizing philan- 
thropic methods the Anglo-Saxon and Germanic nations excel, 
among whom the Protestant religions have popularized charity 

1 Carpi, "Delle Colonie." 

* "Inchiesta di Gina Lombroso su 100 Famiglie Operaie," Turin, 1897. 


by freeing it from ecclesiastical bonds and putting it directly 
in touch with the heart of the people — the best method of 
discovering and reheving secret distress. In England and 
Switzerland charity ingeniously makes use of the aid of the 
poor in helping the poor. Unemployed mothers, for example, 
are set to care for the children of those that are at work. Lodg- 
ing houses are established as temporary homes for domestic 
servants and employment bureaus are set up for those who 
need work. The whole machinery works so perfectly that 
only small charitable contributions are necessary to maintain 
the institutions, while at the same time the self-respect of the 
beneficiary is maintained. 

Geneva,^ for example, which is one of the few cities of Europe 
where crime is decreasing, has 400 philanthropic institutions, 
including the following: 35 for children, of which 7 are for 
taking them to the baths, 5 for protection at home, 1 recrea- 
tional, 2 schools of apprenticeship, 1 industrial, and 1 musical; 
16 for old people, of which 5 are asylums, 1 for pensions at 
home, 10 for insurance; 48 for women, of which 4 are asylums 
for young girls, 1 for fallen women, 4 for unemployed domes- 
tics, 8 hospitals (5 for domestics and 3 for young girls), 1 rec- 
reational, 1 against prostitution, 1 protective, 4 employment 
agencies, 7 for procuring work at home, 8 for the protection of 
teachers, children, etc.; 46 for men, of which 11 are for indus- 
trial accidents, 8 of various nationalities to facilitate the em- 
ployment of emigrants, 3 for the unemployed, 4 for recreation 
and lecture halls, 4 for lectures, 1 against gambling, 1 to buy 
tools, 1 for placing apprentices, 9 temperance, 9 people's kitch- 
ens, etc., etc. The more special institutions are: societies for 
the improvement of lodgings, and for sanitary lodgings at a 
cheap price; special savings banks which receive money in 
small sums and repay it in merchandise bought at wholesale; 
family hotels for poor foreigners, workmen in search of employ- 
ment, etc. One of the most characteristic of their institutions 
is the Old Paper Society. This society distributes sacks to a 
great many families, who return them at a certain time filled 
with old papers. With the proceeds of the sale of these the 

1 Lombard, "Annuaire Philanthropique Genevois," Geneva, 1893. 


society maintains an office and an agency which receives old 
clothes and other articles from the rich, has them cleaned and 
repaired by the destitute, and then sells them at a moderate 
price, or gives them away to the needy. Other agencies pro- 
cure work for poor women and take charge of the business of 
selling the proceeds of their labor. 

It is a characteristic mark that these societies conduct them- 
selves without need of patrons. The asylums, lodgings, etc., 
are never gratuitous. Those who take advantage of them pay 
a Httle — as little as possible and at intervals — but on the 
whole societies and asylums alike are maintained by those who 
enjoy the benefits of them. It is a sort of evolution of charity 
that takes away everything humiliating about it, and makes 
it a strong and efficacious assistant. 

§ 147. London — Asylums, Refuges, Helps for the Poor 

Similar institutions, or even better ones, exist in London, the 
only capital in the world where crime is decreasing. London 
has about 120 institutions, which in 1894 assisted more than 
18,000 individuals, at an expense of £173,000. The aged 
have naturally the greatest number of retreats (20), and after 
them the widows. There are establishments of all sorts, for 
those belonging to different trades, nationalities, and religions, 
for old married couples, for the support of the poor in their own 
homes, night-refuges, employment agencies for sailors; there are 
societies for the care of alcoholics, for the care of the children 
of prisoners, and for poor prisoners themselves. All these 
institutions are connected with one another and directed by 
central committees.^ 

§ 148. (i) Emigration Societies 

Several societies make it their business to put a check to 
the increase of crime by encouraging emigration, particularly 
to Canada. They furnish information and aid, and organize 
expeditions of adults or of infants. In 1894 they directed the 
emigration of 7565 persons. 

1 Low, "Handbook to the Charity of London," 1895-96. 


§ 149' (2) Employment Societies 

There are 21 societies whose sole object is the procuring of 
employment, while others find places for boys as bootblacks 
and cabin-boys. 

§ ISO' (3) Orphanages 

The concern felt for children is shown especially by the 60 
asylums, which cared for 20,199 orphans, at an expense of 
172,340 francs; homes are found for others with respectable 
parents, who are recompensed in this way for their sobriety; 
and, finally, children with sick fathers and mothers are con- 
sidered, with a breadth of view quite exceptional, as being 
orphans and are treated as such. 

§ 151. (4) Institutions for Neglected Children 

Institutions more directly prophylactic are unquestionably 
those which have for their object the care, protection, and 
instruction of deserted children, as well as for giving temporary 
care to children whose parents while at work would otherwise 
have to leave them uncared for. There are about sixty such 
societies, which in 1894 saved 32,300 children from the dangers 
of the street, at an expense of 119,246 francs. 

§ 152. (5) Schools 

These institutions are subdivided into free schools, night 
schools, and vacation schools. Certain of them furnish food 
and clothing, and they are often designed for different classes 
of the population. There are about 40 of them, and in 1894 
they gave instruction to more than 16,000 children. 

§ 153' (6) Care for Prisoners, Convicts, etc. 

The institutions directly applied to the diminution of crim- 
inality (societies to aid released prisoners, for protecting women 
in peril, temperance societies, refuges for alcoholics, societies for 




moral propaganda, etc.), numbered 84 in 1894, and assisted 
more than 67,000 individuals. Among these 36 are designed 
especially for women released from prison, whether fallen or 
criminal, or simply in danger of becoming so. Such are those 
societies whose object is to protect domestic servants against 
the perils of their position. 

§ 154. (7) Mutual Aid Societies 

Finally, the mutual aid societies also specialize as to trades* 
nationalities, religions, etc. There are 68, which in 1894 aided 
33,340 individuals with a total of 218,796 francs. 

The following is a resume for the year 1894 of those chari- 
table institutions of London which may have some effect upon 
criminality : 

Societies for the care and assistance of prisoners 

Emigration societies 

Employment agencies 

Orphan asylums 

Institutions for poor and neglected children . . 

Educational institutions 

Asylums, refuges, etc 

Mutual aid societies 



Number of 





















But the societies which deserve the greatest consideration 
are those which have for their object the protection of children. 
The English National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to 
Children (imitated upon an even larger scale in New York), 
did not limit itself, as would have been the case in France or 
Italy, to securing the passage of a law. It wanted to introduce 
the idea and practice of justice toward children in all ranks of 
society, and its efforts have been crowned with success; 25,437 


children, abused in every sort of way, have been rescued from 
those who were torturing them; 62,887 victims of negligence, 
suflPering from hunger and cold, have received the necessities 
of life; while at least 603 children have been kept from mendi- 
cancy. This society, in 10 years, has been able to rescue from 
vice, hunger, and crime 109,304 children. While protecting 
these children it received more than 47,220 complaints against 
those who were maltreating them. Of these, 5313 remained 
unknown; in the case of 38,895 the society limited itself to a 
reprimand; 5792 it prosecuted, always with increasing success, 
for from the first to the second period of its existence the per- 
centage of acquittals fell from 10.2% to 5.5%. According to 
the investigations of the society, the parents most cruel to their 
children are always those with some means. This is to be 
explained by the effect of the abuse of alcohol, and by a new 
form of criminality, for the practice of which the parents must 
have money on hand. This criminal device is the insuring of 
the life of the child whose death is awaited, hoped for, and 
even hastened by the beneficiaries. According to the horrible 
confession of one of the persons accused, certain children are 
worth more dead than alive. In five years the society has 
taken up the cases af about 19,000 maltreated children, repre- 
senting for their parents a value of £95,000. 

But, in order to reach such a result, and to penetrate so deeply 
into the most secret recesses of the criminal world, recesses 
almost always hidden even from the eye of the regular police, 
it was necessary for the society to avail itself of every assistance, 
even that of the administrators of the poor funds and Parliament 
itself. The society obtained the aid of the magistrates and 
judges, who, after having seen its work, recognized its compe- 
tence, and have ended by giving its inspectors an almost official 
dignity. Better even than this, the society has obtained the 
cooperation of the masses. In the 10 years of its existence it 
has received proof of the sympathy and approval of 100,000 
citizens who have facilitated the work of justice by bearing 
testimony. All these efforts together have brought about singu- 
larly happy results, and rarely has a second trial been neces- 
sary. Of 7398 persons against whom sentence was given, 6700 


are living to-day with their children, and only 100 have had to 
appear in court a second time. 

To what is one to attribute so marvelous a change in the par- 
ent? In great part to the punishment, the efficacy being in 
proportion to its duration; for the degree of improvement in the 
conduct of the parents toward their children corresponds in 
general with the number of months that they have had to spend 
in prison. We may add that during the imprisonment of the 
parent the society does not abandon the children, but, instead 
of the pale, miserable creatures that they were, has them flour- 
ishing and robust to turn over to their parents. When these 
see their children looking so well they are proud of them, and 
a certain natural parental love is awakened, which helps in the 
process of reformation. Strange contradiction of human ego- 
ism! The father formerly held his victim responsible for dis- 
eases of which he himself was the cause, and now takes pride in 
a show of health to which he himself has contributed nothing. 

§ 155. Charity in Latin Countries 

In comparison with what is done in the places just described, 
how limited appears the charity of Latin countries! Turin, a 
city three times the size of Geneva, has but 159 workingmen's 
societies, for mutual aid, etc., and 147 charitable institutions, 
of which 21 are hospitals; 43 institutions are designed for chil- 
dren, of which two are for delinquents, 23 are asylums for in- 
fants, 6 orphanages, 3 recreational, and 6 industrial schools. 
There are also 22 institutions for women, of which 11 are for 
those in danger, 2 are hospitals, and 9 professional schools. 
Among the most modern of the institutions are: a society for 
workmen meeting with misfortune while at work, a people's 
bureau, pensions for men without families (in return for pay- 
ment), and a mountain and a seaside resort maintained for 
outings for poor children. Finally, there is the Cottolengo Insti- 
tute, which receives all the sick, weak, and infirm who present 
themselves, up to 2000 or 3000. In southern Italy, Bartolo 
Longa, for the honor of the Virgin and the sanctuary at Pompeii, 
took 136 orphans, and 70 children of convicts, whom he in- 
structed in agriculture and in various trades. Here the cult of 


the Virgin came into partnership with modern journalism,^ by 
means of which the philanthropist succeeded in placing the 
orphans in benevolent and respectable families. 

What is lacking here is: institutions to receive small savings; 
societies to improve the lodgings of the poor; employment 
bureaus and servants' lodging-houses, which need cost the 
philanthropist nothing, as they are self-supporting; and insti- 
tutions preventive of theft. Aside from the orphan asylums, 
none of the institutions receive children below 10 or 12 years, 
and we have, moreover, neither boarding schools nor "ragged 
schools." Furthermore, these institutions show such excessive 
modesty, such a shrinking from all publicity, that I have gath- 
ered the data with great difficulty, and of a great many of them 
it is impossible to know anything. 

§ 156. Don Bosco 

Among the charitable institutions of Turin, that of Don 
Bosco holds the first place; for, with us charity is only truly 
marvelous when it appears in the person of some saint, great 
both in heart and intelligence, like the very justly celebrated 
Don B0SC0.2 

Don Bosco was 26 years old In 1841, when, while visiting the 
prisons of Turin, he became interested in the lot of the young 
delinquents, thinking that if care had been taken of them in 
time many of them might have been saved. From then on he 
received into his community the young workmen who were 
most exposed to temptation, getting work for them when they 
did not have it and visiting them at their labors. In 1850 he 
founded the Mutual Aid Society, the object of which was to 
furnish aid to the members who fell sick, or were destitute be- 
cause of the lack of work. Each one pays five centesimi every 
Sunday, and cannot take advantage of the benefits of the so- 
ciety until he has been a member for six months, except where 

1 "VaUe di Pompei," Anno VI, 1896. 

2 G. Bonetti.i" Cinque Lustri di Storia dell' Oratorio Salesiano," Turin, 
1892; Dr. D'Espinay, "Don Bosco," 1890; D. Giordani, "La Gioventii 
di Don Bosco," 1886; Id., "La CariU nell' Educazione," 1890; F. Cerruti, 
"Le Idee di Don Bosco," 1886. 


he has paid down his six months' fees upon entrance, not being 
sick nor out of work at the time. Each sick member receives 
eighty centesimi a day. In Don Bosco's institutions young 
people of all classes of society are received, including deserted 
children. Don Bosco himself maintains that one-fifteenth of 
the youths are natural perverts. 

The Salesians (or brethren of St. Francis of Sales) believe 
that the system of their institution exercises a beneficent influ- 
ence even upon perverts, though they are not able to furnish 
any direct proof. Moreover, they refuse to receive incorrig- 
ibles, those who have reached the age of 14 or 15, convicts, 
and epileptics. There are about 200 Salesian institutions for 
young people in the two hemispheres. Each contains 150 in- 
mates, or a total of about 30,000, to which must be added an 
average of 100 day scholars, etc., or 20,000 more. The inmates 
are admitted into the schools at 9 years of age and into the work- 
shops at 12. After their admission these young people are kept 
under observation in separate rooms during the time set apart 
for food and rest, but not during working hours. They are not 
compelled to take part in religious exercises, though advised to 
do so; and no special favor is shown to those who are especially 
zealous in this regard. Each workshop has a clerical and a lay 
director. The tools and the designs are the work of the Salesians 
themselves. There are, besides, 50 institutions for young girls, 
with an average of 100 inmates and 280 day pupils. These are 
exclusively for instruction and for household work. But even 
the Salesian institutions follow the fatal tendency of the Latin 
nations, by admitting an excessive number of young people to 
classical studies (more than 500 in the institution at Turin 
alone), as if the country had not greater need of energetic 
workmen than of decipherers of musty tomes. 

§ 157. Dr. Bamardo 

Let us now look at the miracles of a Protestant saint.* One 
cold evening in the winter of 1866, Dr. Barnardo, who was 

^ Paolo Lombroso, "Le Case di Bamardo a Londra," 1896; "The 
Barnardo Homes," "Night and Day," London. 


then studying medicine, and directing a "ragged school" on 
his free evenings, when just on the point of leaving the school, 
saw that one child remained in the room, standing next to the 
stove, without any apparent intention of leaving. Barnardo, by 
dint of many questions, succeeded in learning that the boy had 
neither father, mother, friends, nor lodging, that he slept here 
and there wherever he could, in the places least frequented by 
the police, and that many other children did the same. Moved 
by such excessive misery, Barnardo wanted to be sure of the 
truth and begged the child to guide him to the retreat of his 
companions in misfortune. 

At one o'clock in the morning he went out with his guide, 
and after having passed through one of the worst quarters of 
London, they penetrated into a narrow court, traversed a long 
shed, and found themselves before a very high wall. Up this 
wall the boy climbed, followed by the doctor. Here a strange 
spectacle presented itself to their eyes: upon a very steep roof, 
with their heads toward the ridgepole and their feet in the 
gutter, lay 10 or 12 boys of from 12 to 18 years. It was 
there, in the midst of these pale figures of distress, that Bar-- 
nardo made his vow to devote himself body and soul to that 
rescue work which became from that night the sole object of 
Ms life. A poor student and unknown, he yet succeeded in 
getting from charitable persons the sum necessary to rent a 
small house, capable of holding 20 children. When his refuge 
was ready he spent two nights in gathering in his boys from 
the streets. "I could not possibly," he says, "imagine or de- 
pict a more touching scene than that first night in the little old 
house, when, before going to sleep, my first family of 25 children 
knelt with me to thank our common Father for His goodness 
and to pray that He, who feeds even the sparrows, would not 
fail them in their need." 

This house, opened with 25 children, prospered, and was 
speedily duplicated. In less than 30 years the number of houses 
increased to 87, which have received more than 50,000 children, 
from a few weeks old up to 18 or 20 years. In addition there 
have been founded a great variety of complementary institu- 
tions: free dispensaries, schools for the poor, Sunday schools. 


free kitchens, night-lodging houses, children's colonies in the 
country, employment agencies, temperance societies, soup- 
kitchens, agencies for immigrants and emigrants. It is strange 
to see from what a peculiar mixture of idealism, practical under- 
standing, quick comprehension, and blind trust in God this 
colossal work has arisen. In each of the numerous cases which 
Barnardo reports, he notes as a moral conclusion what the 
saving of that individual cost. "With £10 sterling and the 
help of God," the doctor concludes, mathematically and ingenu- 
ously, "a life has been saved." In his paper, "Night and Day," 
published in the interest of his houses, we find notices like this : 
"We need a good farm under cultivation, about 50 miles from 
London, etc."; and to this notice, given vnth such simple con- 
fidence, is added a list of the needs of his great family of 8000 
children: stockings, night-gowns, bed-clothes, sewing-machines, 
a harmonium, old linen for new-born children, and finally a 
magic lantern. 

The same bold grasp with which Barnardo began his work 
of child-saving he applied to the art of finding the means of 
subsistence for his institutions. For this army, which grew to 
a total of 100,000, he took the public alone for collaborator, 
but he organized the work so that he had something for every 
one to do. Those who have money give it, and those who have 
none give their work, if not every day, then one day in the week. 
We may say of Barnardo that he knew how to transform sym- 
pathy into money, and then to recast it as charity. 

In this matter how far the Anglo-Saxons have gone beyond 
the Latins! 

§ 158. The Ineffectiveness of Charity 

However useful it may be, charity is, after all, but an inef- 
fective palliative against an immense amount of need and 
distress. Unavoidably subject to human passions, charity de- 
pends not only upon economic conditions, but also upon the 
sentimental condition of men. The effect of an intermittent 
pity or of the caprice of the moment, it never completely at- 
tains its end, and, considering the vastness of the abyss, is not 


capable of filling it up by the strenuous efforts of individuals 
adapted to the need. Even if the rich wish to restore in this 
way a part or even the whole of what has been acquired, for 
the most part, by means quite other than honest, it is not pos- 
sible. It is as if, after shearing a lamb, one should try to fasten 
the wool once more upon its back. The intention might be 
good, but the wool would not grow again. 

Three-fourths of the cases of distress, in fact, escape this 
remedy, and those who are helped by it are helped insufficiently 
and badly, entirely apart from the fact that a third of the 
money spent for charity goes for administration, and so comes 
again into the coffers of the well-to-do. Many institutions, 
charitable in name, merely serve to keep the poor in subjec- 
tion to the church. Thus I have seen aid refused to a family 
simply because one of its members read a newspaper which 
was not even irreligious, and many times in order to get bread 
the unfortunate are obliged to be present at religious services 
as often as three times in a day, losing thereby more time 
than would have been needed to gain by working the means of 
satisfying their hunger. 

Then, however disguised it may be, public charity does not 
usually give its help to the person who, though most needy, 
is also most sensitive and feels most keenly the shame of re- 
ceiving alms. It debases man instead of relieving him, since 
it extinguishes in his heart all sense of personal dignity, and 
takes away every spontaneous impulse to struggle and win 
his own place in life. 

For eighteen hundred years the saying of the gospel, "Quod 
superest, date pauperibus," has been preached, and yet social 
evil and misery have become greater and greater. If this maxim 
was little heeded when the religious sentiment was still very 
quick and general, why should it be heeded to-day, in condi- 
tions so little favorable, in a society like ours, where each one 
is obliged to look out for his own interests? Earlier, when small 
land-holdings were the rule, when communication was little 
developed, the landed proprietor or the master-workman could 
always, or nearly always, give work to the few people who asked 
for it. But if nowadays you were to ask the manager of a large 


factory to give work to all the unemployed who knock at his 
door, he would tell you — and rightly — that if he followed 
your advice he would fail at the end of a week. Now, suppos- 
ing the sentiment of charity were to prevail, what could alms 
to individuals do against the tide of unemployment and dis- 
tress which, in modern society, affects a great and continually 
increasing multitude of persons? Thus, the best of our insti- 
tutions, mountain resorts, hospitals, etc., for the cure of poor 
children, only lower the morbidity and mortality from 50% to 
47%. Now, by preventing night work for the young, by giving 
lunches to school-children, you will see this morbidity and 
mortality diminish in much greater proportion than with all 
those other institutions. 

Charity and want are related to each other as two parallel 
lines, which can never come together, while, by having recourse 
to the human interests, with egoism for ally, it is possible to 
fill up the gap between them. Thus, the adoption of the eight- 
hour working day, while economizing the powers of the work- 
man, would permit the employment of a greater number, and 
at the same time allow better work. The workman, now ab- 
sorbed by the hard labor of the shop, which is killing him, 
would be able to busy himself with his family, experience the 
sweetness of family life instead of the mere burden of it, and 
be able to acquire a greater degree of culture, which would be a 
new weapon against crime. It is by work equitably distributed 
among all the unemployed, more than by charity, that the con- 
dition of the poor may be improved economically and morally. 
The collective control of the necessities of life, which is now 
limited to schools, lighting, baths, and sometimes to hospitals 
and tramways, if extended in the same way to food, housing, 
and clothing, would be a complete substitute for the charity of 
former times, and the true preventive of all occasional crimes. 
Further, by preventing the excesses and dangers of poverty 
and of riches, it would be useful to all classes; for the insect and 
the microbe which convey the diseases of the poor to the man- 
sions of the rich are truly the Eumenides punishing the rich for 
forgetting the poor, just as the famine, that originates in the 
speculation of the rich, multiplies diseases among the poor, and 


these in turn come back upon those who caused them. One 
may say the same of many of the occasional crimes caused by 
the neglect of the poor on the part of the rich. Theft, anarchy, 
murder, and revolt are simply evil consequences coming back 
upon the heads of those who set the cause in motion. 



IT is time to free ourselv^es from the atavistic tendency, 
which has survived unnoticed even in the most scientific 
observer, to regard religion as a universal panacea for crime. 
Let us recall how slowly we have been freed from the religious 
shell, from which have come the first attempts not only at 
morals, but also at art and science, so that once no one could 
be painter, sculptor, poet, architect, or physician, without first 
being priest (Spencer). But at length art and science, those 
noble plants that grew up modestly in the shadow of the temple, 
are completely freed from its influence, and there remains to 
the priest, who once dominated every department of knowledge, 
a monopoly not even of morals and charity; for many profess 
a charity and an ethics apart from religion, and on all sides there 
are rising ethical societies, free from all rites. 

We cannot, then, find in religion, at least as it is understood 
in Latin countries, a remedy against crime. 

"The true morality," we may say with Sergi,^ " is instinctive; 
the moral sense is like the feeling of pity; if it does not already 
exist, neither religious nor educative influence, nor any precept, 
will be able to create it. 

"Religion is a system of instruction by precepts, which have, 
like all other moral rules, an exterior sanction remote from 
reality and the daily life; and not only is it not able to fortify 
the character, but, on the contrary, it can only enfeeble it, by 
minimizing the personality by asceticism even to the point of 

"It is from religion that springs the monstrous phenomenon 
of men externally religious and respected for ecclesiastical and 
divine authority, and yet at the same time immoral in their 
social relations." 

» "Tribuna Giudiziaria," 1896. 

§ 159] RELIGION 293 

But how is it, some one will ask, that religion shows itself at 
times as a useful moral force against crime? We reply, that re- 
ligion can have a beneficent influence only when, being in a 
nascent state, it can transform itself into a violent passion. 
"Delia" furnishes us with a magnificent example of such a 
transformation } 

Delia lost her mother at an early age, and was carefully 
brought up in a convent. Seduced in the first place by a young 
lawyer, and then ravished by a priest while under the influence 
of a narcotic, she abandoned herself to a life of prostitution 
and drunkenness. She was three times sent to correctional 
institutions, and finally released because she refused all food 
while imprisoned. She joined a band of thieves, of which she 
soon became the head because of her energy and muscular 
agility. She fought with the police and with her own compan- 
ions, so that she was arrested seven times. She aided thieves 
in their exploits; but she would not permit the weak to be struck 
in her presence, and would defend them at the risk of her own 
life. She was devoted to the sick, took care of them, and de- 
fended them against those who wanted to rob them. The police 
called her the " Wonder," but her companions called her the 
"Bluebird," doubtless from the color she preferred. A mission- 
ary, Mrs. Whittemore, on the 25th of May, 1891, went into the 
dives of Mulberry Bend, where she gathered these thieves to- 
gether and tried to hold a religious service; but being excited 
by the arrest of two men of their band, they would not even let 
her sing. They would certainly have revenged themselves upon 
the missionaries if these had not been protected by Delia, who 
afterward accompanied them into the opium dens of Mott 
Street, where the worst criminals in New York assemble. Upon 
leaving her Mrs. Whittemore gave her a rose, which she made 
a half-mystical omen, begging her to be converted and to come 
to her with the flower. But the Bluebird answered, that as for 
money, she found it quite natural to take it from any one who 
had it; as for the rest, she added, "I have committed already 
all the sins that it is possible for me to commit, and I should 
1 Whittemore, "Delia." 


not be able to live in any other way " (she was then twenty-three 
years old). She promised, however, to come to one of the mis- 
sion halls, and kept her word. In the evening she went to return 
her enchanted rose, and confessed that she had passed a very 
troubled day, trying to drown her doubts in drink; but the 
more she drank the more she became the mistress of herself. 
In the evening, perceiving that the flower was withering, she 
became thoughtful, and recalled the days when she too was 
pure, like the rose. She saw the years falling away one by one 
like the petals of the flower; and immediately her resolution 
was taken, and she told her companions that she was quitting 
them. The same evening, with tears in her eyes, she presented 
herself at the mission, where Mrs. Whittemore embraced her 
tenderly, and asked her to pray with her. 

From that day she gave up drink, opium, and tobacco, and 
asked to be allowed to go to see one of her old boon companions 
in prison, in order to convert him. She was sent to the hospital 
very ill with consumption and syphilis. When, on coming out, 
she was invited to drink, she resisted the inclination. When 
she was cured she set herself to work to convert her old com- 
panions of Mulberry Bend. She also addressed 1500 convicts 
at Auburn. "What have we gained," she said, "by serving 
the devil? Prison, misery, contempt, and disease. When I 
was at my worst and delighted in making others afraid of me, 
I was myself often afraid, and would not go to bed without a 
bright light burning beside me. In the morning I used to ask 
myself whether I would not lie in prison that night. I remember 
that when a lady once said to me, 'Have you found Jesus.'*' I 
replied, 'No, is he lost!' for I hated the Protestants. My reli- 
gion was purely one of form. If you ask me how much time 
it took me to give up my life of sin forever, I will answer you: 
about three minutes, the time it took to ask God to do it." 
In 11 months she converted more than 100. She died of con- 
sumption within the year, but the stir that she made was so 
great that after her death 80 of her companions became, or 
appeared to become, honest. 

I do not guarantee the conversion of these last, but that of 

§ 159] RELIGION 295 

Delia is certain. This is proved by the change in her face as 
shown by her photographs. But it must be remembered that 
she was led to a life of prostitution and crime, not by preco- 
cious criminaUty but by a rape committed while she was drugged. 
Further, even in her criminal career, she was always the pro- 
tectress of the weak. It is plain, then, that she was rather a 
criminaloid than a born criminal. However that may be, the 
promptitude of her conversion (it was, she said, an affair of 
three minutes) under the influence of a suggestive impression, 
and, further, the ardor that she brought to it, both go to prove 
that in this case the religious passion, in the nascent state, 
stifles all the other passions. 

Similar cases may be adduced, Uke that related to me by 
the Baptists, of a drunken thief who was converted at a stroke 
by the sermons and example of the missionaries, and perse- 
vered in the right way. But these are absolutely individual, 
and cannot be cited in favor of rehgion. They furnish no proof 
that rehgion as organized with us, among whom these fruitful 
fanaticisms do not flourish, has any eflScacy in the cure of crimi- 
naUty. It is to be noted, moreover, that these miracles occur 
especially among the Anglo-Saxons and Swiss. We are forced 
to conclude that what is commonly attributed to the influence 
of religion is really due to race and to advanced civilization, 
which carries these people towards great ideals and noble 
fanaticisms, while with the development of culture the rehgious 
sentiment each day grows weaker. It is thus that we find 
proofs of a noble zeal in the societies for ethical culture,^ and 
among the Good Templars, which are ethical and anti-alcoholic 
rather than religious. 

"In the Calvinistic countries," writes Ferrero, "religion 
enrolls thousands of fanatics, who, under the most diverse names 
and theories, are feverishly active, not in honor of a rite but in 
order to save the souls of men. In Italy, as in France, no one 
ever succeeds in bringing about a great flood of moral protest 
against the most serious social evils; and enthusiastic and 
active spirits must seek elsewhere for a field in which to employ 
their energy." ^ 

1 Pfungst, "Ueber die Gesellschaft fiir Ethische Kultur," 1896. 

2 "Vita Moderna," 1893. 


Take the Salvation Army, for example.^ This institution 
was founded by Booth, under the most eccentric exterior forms, 
with a mihtary hierarchy and bizarre uniforms, but with the 
holiest and soberest intentions. It is a sort of a sect that has 
for its aim the prevention and combatting of vice and crime, 
even with the strangest weapons. It contends against alco- 
holism with meetings, cheap temperance hotels, "elevators," 
and people's kitchens (which last in 1895 distributed 3,398,078 
meals). It fights vagrancy with dormitories, which give lodg- 
ings every night to more than 4100 persons, where many per- 
sons are converted by evangeUstic meetings. The Salvation 
Army puts within reach of the unfortunate everything that may 
be able to draw them from evil ways; it enrolls them in em- 
ployment agencies, which in the year 1895 alone found work 
for 19,372 persons; or receives them into its "elevators," special 
establishments, where they are employed at paid work or 
taught a trade if they have none, until situations can be found 
for them. Or they may be placed in the farm-villages of the 
Army, with which they may remain in relation for four years. 
For convicts the Salvation Army has addresses in the prisons. 
It enrolls the more promising subjects as soldiers in the ranks, 
and admits another part of them into a special estabhshment, 
where it attempts to repair the defects of their moral and prac- 
tical education, especially by teaching them a trade. From 
here they pass to the "elevators" and then into the employ of 
private individuals, or to the farm-villages, etc. The Army 
owns, besides, 84 bureaus for the unfortunate, the office of 
which is the direct and personal effort to conquer vice. In a 
year they visited about 58,723 poor families in private houses, 
15,702 persons in public-houses, and 7500 in lodging houses, 
giving assistance to at least 3887 sick persons. The army also 
maintains special institutions for children, who are sent as 
speedily as possible to the country. For women the army 
maintains 9 special dormitories, and 13 Rescue Homes, which 
almost hterally snatch women from pubUc-houses and other 
doubtful resorts. They give employment to 1556 women, and 

1 White, Park, and Ferrari, "Truth about the Salvation Army," Lon- 
don, 1892; Booth, "Light in Darkest England," London, 1892. 

§ 159] RELIGION 297 

after a certain time find places for them in private houses, or 
send them to their farms. It is remarkable to see how quiet a 
reception these new soldiers of charity meet with. Their houses, 
"elevators," and farms are open, and any one who wishes can 
go in or come out; and one who has left and comes back again 
is always received as a prodigal son, and enjoys complete Hberty. 

The principle of the work of the Wesleyans is not radically 
different. When Marcus, one of their leaders, had revealed 
the horrors of the condition of the poor of London, they threw 
themselves headlong into the work of converting the vicious 
and alcoholic.^ Hughes, one of their great apostles, said in a 
sermon, "We must not be so wrapped up in saving the soul 
that we forget to save the body," and with the accents of the 
profoundest conviction he carried hundreds of persons with 
him, who professed themselves converted and confided them- 
selves to his pastoral guidance. They choose the hours when 
men are most in danger, the social hours as they call them, 
between 9 and 11, invite them to evening gatherings, treat 
them well, and get them to sign the pledge. They visit the 
most infected places, where their sisters discover and save the 
women who are in danger. One of them one day saw a young 
girl being led into a public house by a Hbertine. Accosting her 
she said, "Remember that you are a woman," and kissed her 
on the forehead. The girl, much moved, replied, "I will never 
go into a public-house again; but take us in every evening, if 
you do not want us to fall into evil again." 

In the "Protestant Association for the Practical Study of 
the Social Question," we find partisans of the idea of the par- 
ticipation of labor in the benefits of capital. Lord Shaftesbury, 
who transformed the condition of the miners in England, 
advocated also insurance against industrial accidents.^ 

The order of Good Templars, founded in New York in 1862, 
and that of the Blue Cross, founded in Geneva in 1877, number 
respectively 500,000 and 10,000 members, who are required to 
abstain for a certain time from all alcoholic drinks, and succeed 

1 "Revue du Christianisme Praticante," 1890-95; Malcolm Taylor, 
"Portraits and Pictures of the West," London, 1893; Marcus, The 
Bitter Cry of the Outcast," London, 1893. 

2 "Travaux du Congr^s de Montaubon," Pans, 1885. 


in doing it. All this explains why it is that in Protestant 
countries, especially in Switzerland and England, alcoholism 
is decreasing, while it is increasing in Catholic countries. 

Can we say that our Salesians and Sisters have accomplished 
more.'^ Far from it! To attain similar results, or even to 
strive after them, there is necessary a degree of ideality not to 
be found in the old races, who shut themselves up within their 
ritual observances and reach their highest development in a 
dictator, whether he be pope, general of an order, or saint. 
This is a fact which I have directly demonstrated by putting 
side by side the work of Don Bosco and that of Doctor Bar- 
nardo. In Italy we see crime effectively combatted by rare 
individualities, but they are either dissenters, like Lazarretti, or 
at least have had for some time their center of action outside 
the orbit of the official church, like Don Bosco and St. Francis 
of Assisi. In either case they constitute, for the moment at 
least, a new religion, palpitating with life, and in a httle time 
would form a schism, if the prudent statesmanship of Rome 
did not take precautions to draw them once more within the 
circle of her influence. 

Hence it comes that saints like Don Bosco and Bartolo Longo 
do not arise without having obstacles everywhere placed in 
their way by those very ecclesiastical authorities who ought to 
build altars to them. It is for the same reason that when they 
wish to raise themselves up to the level of the advanced ideas 
of our own time they only half succeed; and instead of starting 
the children under their care in the more useful trades, on a 
large scale, by organizing emigration parties, or clearing the 
land, as Dr. Barnardo did, they succeed only in creating great 
monasteries, and in turning out priests and classical scholars for 
whom society has no place. They are saints, in short, of a 
time remote from our own, whose work, however vast it may 
be, is still necessarily short of the needs of the present, and 
rarely reaches the roots of crime. However admirable they 
may be for genius or sanctity, they must conform to the will of 
the higher authority and show that they have more at heart 
the triumph of the rites of Rome than that of virtue. If not, 
they are suppressed. Thus it is that Don Bosco had for his 

§159] RELIGION 299 

final aim the creation of Salesian priests; just as the object 
sought by Bartolo Longo was the worship of Our Lady of 
Pompeii. Now, even if, by giving to deserted children a trade 
and an education which was certainly moral, they prevented 
the occurrence of some accidental crimes, they could never in 
this way save the true criminaloid and criminal born. 

We may conclude, then, by saying that ritual and Hturgical 
formulae are much more in evidence in institutions of this 
kind, than the rules necessary for a practical life. 

On the other hand, in the Latin charities, the support of the 
public is almost never associated with that of the founder. It 
never manifests itself personally, and is consequently less 
interested and less efficacious; since the power of these great 
apostles lies completely in their own personality, they have all 
the merit and all the responsibility, and when they leave the 
scene they leave an empty place that cannot be filled. In the 
French orphan asylums, Joly tells us, for a long time only the 
religious interests of the children was thought of.^ They were 
put into a brotherhood without being given any trade. Roussel 
also remarks that the church charities in France are all for 
young girls, so that neglected boys have no other refuge than 
the prisons and houses of correction; moreover, the Catholic 
orphanages almost never receive illegitimate children, and, 
unlike the Protestants, who try to throw as much light of 
publicity on their own organizations as possible, the Catholic 
institutions do all they can to escape it, and are never willing 
to report except to the bishop and to Rome. The pupils of 
the orphanages grow up without any knowledge of the world, 
and are consequently incapable of maldng a future for them- 

In conclusion we may say that Anglo-Saxon charity differ- 
entiates itseK from the Latin still more fundamentally through 
taking particular care to preserve the self-respect of its bene- 
ficiaries, by making use of their services, by making itself, in 
fact, cooperative and mutual; and it concerns itself especially 
with the very young, to whom Latin charity pays little atten- 

1 Joly, "Le Combat contre le Crime," p. 91. 

2 Roussel, "Enquete sur les Orphelinats," 1882. 


tion, feeding them at most. Among the Anglo-Saxbns we see 
religious groups like the Salvation Army and the Baptists pro- 
posing, as their great aim in life, redemption from crime, the 
prevention of alcoholism, and the care of infancy. And if the 
influence of individual men, like Booth and Barnardo, through 
their inspiration and genius, counts for much in the search for 
better methods, they are not indispensable, for there is always 
a legion of fellow-workers, who by their numbers and enthusi- 
asm ensure the support of the public. 

Here then, it is not religion in general, that deserves the 
credit, but certain religions only, or, better still, the ideal ten- 
dency of certain progressive races. However, we must say of 
the operation of religion, as we have said of that of charity, that 
it is always individual, limited, and less effective than the 
economic influence, which alone is universally felt by the 



§ i6o. 

npo say that the influence of mere instruction upon crime is 
-■- beneficent is an exaggeration in which no one any longer 
believes. To instruct the criminal is to perfect him in evil, 
and to give him new weapons against society. It is necessary 
above all to suppress the schools in the prisons, which serve 
only to multiply recidivists, as I have shown in the first and 
second volumes of my "Homme Criminel." Let us seek, on 
the contrary, to extend education to the greatest possible 
number of honest persons; let us strengthen the body, occupy- 
ing it pleasantly with gymnastics, marches, and dances in the 
open air; ^ let us prevent idleness and precocious lasciviousness, 
more by these means than by simple precepts. It would also 
be necessary to choose married teachers by preference, and to 
suppress the schools in monasteries and convents. When in 
the elementary schools a child is found who has the known 
marks of the born criminal, he must first of all be separated 
from the others and given a special training with the object of 
strengthening the inhibitory centers, always underdeveloped 
with this class, and of subduing or diverting the criminal tend- 
encies by supplying them with a new outlet, while preventing 
the pupil from acquiring dangerous arts. Let us recall here 
the confession of born criminals themselves, that education 
was for them a powerful auxiliary to evil. It is the more to be 
feared nowadays when political conditions permit born crimi- 
nals, who have received an education, to have easier access to 
political power than honest men have, because of the corrup- 

^ Physical training is a school of continence and chastity. A society 
for the cultivation of morals would attain its end better by giving the 
youth a taste for gymnastics, etc., than by sermons. 


tion, violence, intrigue, and fraud which dominate in the pohti- 
cal world. How many misfortunes, how much blood, would 
not Italy and France have been spared if Napoleon, Boulanger, 
and Crispi had been illiterate! 

In order that the school may be useful, not negatively as 
now, but positively, we must change the basis of our educa- 
tion, which, at present, by its admiration of beauty and force, 
leads to idleness and violence. We must place in the first rank 
special schools for agriculture; and in the other schools we 
must give first place to manual work, in this way substituting 
something practical and exact for the nebulous mirages of the 
antique. This course, coupled with very heavy taxes upon 
universities, would relieve us of this deluge of the "declasse," ^ 
which we increase daily by new university facilities. 

"Up to the present," writes Sergi, "the school has debated 
upon the best way to teach the alphabet, how it is possible to 
learn to write soonest, and what is the best method of develop- 
ing the intelligence; but it does not teach us any method of 
directing our feelings and impulses. Education, like hygiene, 
is designed to preserve sound health. Now any director or 
teacher of hygiene must necessarily know how to discriminate 
between normal and disturbed functions, must be able to recog- 
nize what causes disturbance and to prevent it. The same is 
true of the educator. He must know the nature of the human 
soul; how it works and acts individually and in society; what 
organic causes may alter its manifestations; and what external 
and social causes may disturb its normal functions. Our edu- 
cators are not educated in this sense. They enter the schools to 
bring up the children, without any definite conception of the 
difficult end they are supposed to attain. Each little human 
being who goes to school is a problem with several unknown 
quantities, but he is treated as a problem already solved! 

"In place of increasing the number of classical schools, reduce 
them to the minimum, and transform all the others into schools 
of business, arts, and trades, professional and practical schools 
corresponding to the demands of modern life. Introduce into 
these schools the cultivation of the intelligence and character 
needed for daily life; by these means you vnW inculcate the 
habit of working, which is in itself a very efficacious education. 

1 Any one who doubts the truth of this assertion has only to recall 
the classicism of the revolutionists of 1789, and to read Valles's "Le Bache- 
lier et I'lnsurge," in order to become convinced that this instruction, out 
of harmony with the times, results only in making rebels and "declasses." 


When we have numerous schools of arts and trades, manual 
labor will be ennobled, whereas now any one who wants to learn 
a trade must serve under a master-workman, and learns it by 
practice more or less badly. The principal object of every 
school should be the education of the character, upon which 
all conduct depends. It should strengthen it where it is weak, 
create it where it does not yet exist, and direct it where it lacks 

§ i6i. Family Education 

In this regard the family can accomplish far more than the 
teacher. No one has ever set himself to investigate what 
relation there is between success in school, and success or non- 
success in life; no one has investigated the relations between 
the physical and ethnic energies, typical of a young man, 
and the unforeseen contingencies and accidents of the life of 
the future citizen.^ It is to this especially that the family 
should apply itself. Yet with us the family relies upon the 
school for 'the care of education, while the schoolmaster, for 
his part, who in any case could do little because of the great 
number of pupils demanding his attention, counts upon what 
the family is supposed to accomplish. Thus both remain 
inactive just where crime could be most effectively prevented. 
The family-public does not realize that into the integration of 
the state and the destination of the child, vocation and apti- 
tudes enter as exponents and the lack of intellectual preparation 
as a coefficient; and that to obtain the integration there is 
needed the union and the continuity of all forces, including 
those for whose developments the parents must earnestly 

Yet very little is necessary to bring about this reform in 

"The children of a loving mother," writes Garofalo,^ "affec- 
tionate or severe as the case demands, become accustomed to 
watch for the approbation or blame in her look. What penalty 
can be greater than the grieved reproof which the mother gives 

1 Francis Galton, "On International Anthropometry." "Bulletin of 
the International Institute of Statistics," 1890; "Idea Liberale," 1896. 

2 "L'Educazione in Rapporto alia Criminality,," Rome, 1896. See 
also Desmoulins, "A quoi tient la sup6riorit6 des Anglo-Saxons," 1897. 


the child who has lied or maltreated a companion? Such a 
child will acquire, month by month and year by year, an instinct 
opposed to falsehood, theft, and cruelty, a physiological aver- 
sion, thanks to which crime will be for him no longer possible. 
Then the problem of education will be solved." 

Criminal anthropology has taught us that, given the tempo- 
rary criminality common to children, we need not be dismayed 
at their first criminal acts, nor visit them with too severe pen- 
alties, when these acts are not too often repeated, and are not 
accompanied with the anthropological marks of criminality. 
Evolution toward the good takes place in the normal human 
being gradually, like the transformation of the lower forms in 
the foetus. Only a bad education, by stimulating the perverse 
instincts which are merely effervescent in childhood, can make 
them become habitual instead of being transformed. Spencer 
shows us in his admirable book upon Education how much evil 
too strict an education can do, by irritating the child without 
convincing him that he has done wrong, and by not fitting itself 
to his natural instincts; an education, in short, that tries to get 
more than the child can give, forgetting the immense influence 
of sympathy, on account of which even adults regret having 
injured a sympathetic person more than one unsympathetic. 

We ought, then, to make punishments milder and at the same 
time render them more effective by always adapting them to 
the character. Thus when a child has injured a valuable 
object, let us buy another at the expense of some delicacy that 
he would have had, thus showing him the consequences of his 
fault. When he does not obey our orders let us show him less 
sympathy, but not give way to anger, which, however brief it 
may be, is always injurious to the father as well as the child — 
to the father, because it is at bottom but a rehc of savage ven- 
geance, and to the child, because it produces in him a dangerous 
reaction. The child ought to be persuaded without being con- 
strained by violence. We should prevent, rather than encour- 
age, as many do, the association of ideas between bad actions 
and punishment, on account of which, when the surveillance of 
parent or teacher is removed, children no longer fear to do wrong. 
This is why the children of persons who have been too strict. 


upon arriving at adult years, often commit more faults, and 
even crimes, than the children of parents who were not so strict. 

§ 162. Application of Psychology to Reformatories 

These reasons have double force when it is a question of a 
juvenile delinquent, naturally inclined to anger and revenge, 
and likely to take punishment in bad part. Cruel by instinct, 
he becomes still more so in the reform school from the example 
of others, from the glory attaching to misdeeds, and from the 
too often justifiable reaction against punishments that are too 
severe for the gravity of the offence and the age of the offender. 
What sympathy can the head of such an institution inspire in 
the child, to whom he has only a fleeting relation and then only 
to inflict punishment? How can he keep watch of him day by 
day, in such a way as to change his habits, when it is a question 
of hundreds whom he can hardly oversee.'* How, finally, can he 
avoid the greater danger of new opportunities for evil-doing, 
when the mingling of so many perverse beings, proud of their 
own perversity, would be corrupting even for an honest person, 
and when the juvenile criminal encounters this at an age when 
unhealthy ideas spring up and grow with most vigor? ^ 

New subdivisions in the reformatories are too much to expect. 
It is much if the inmates are separated according to age and 
cause of imprisonment. How shall masturbators, choleric per- 
sons, sexual psychopathies, thieves, and tormentors of animals 
be separated? It is important, however, to improve these insti- 
tutions by a special selection. It is necessary not only to sep- 
arate the youths from the incorrigible adults, but to attempt to 
group them according to age, degree of depravity, etc., for, 
grouped together, their vices will propagate themselves, instead 
of being corrected. The evil tendencies must be combatted by 
hypnotic suggestion, which is especially effective at this age 
and when periodically renewed forms a kind of habitual inclin- 
ation toward the good. This is a proceeding analogous to that 
of which Spencer speaks in his "Education." 

1 We shall see in the following chapter how Brockway, under the 
inspiration of these pages, created the reformatory at Ehnira, thus givmg 
to my work the greatest reward that a thinker can hope for. 


"Some carp, having been put into an aquarium with smaller 
fish, were in the habit of eating them; being separated from 
the others by a glass partition, they at first threw themselves 
against it in their endeavor to seize their prey, but seeing the 
uselessness of their efforts they ceased their attempts, and 
when the glass was raised they lived with the smaller fish with- 
out trying to eat them. Habit made them harmless, if not 
innocent. It is thus that a dog, trained by habit and education, 
ends by not stealing." 

It is by this method that bom criminals ought to be treated, 
avoiding harsh punishments which can only irritate them. 

The measure most necessary, preventive isolation of the 
criminal, is considerably facilitated by new advances in an- 
thropology; for the characteristics of physiognomy and cranium, 
taken together with biological characteristics and the excess of 
tendencies to evil-doing, assist powerfully in distinguishing the 
dominant and always increasing criminality of the born criminal 
from that which is found temporarily in the case of all chil- 
dren.^ It appeared from recent studies made in Italy upon this 
subject,^ that of 333 pupils examined, 13% showed serious cran- 
ial anomalies. Now of these abnormal individuals 44% were 
insubordinate, while of the pupils of normal type only 24% were 
insubordinate. Of the former, 23% were dull, and 27% inert; 
of the latter, 11% were dull, and 10% inert. Among the abnor- 
mal there were 10% incapable of any progress, and only 2% 
among those of normal type. Of the 43 with cranial abnormal- 
ities, 8 complained of headache, or of a feeling of heat in the 
head, and of incapacity for continuous work; 12 were impulsive, 
irascible, and unable to restrain themselves, while 6, true crim- 
inals bom, lacked moral sense and committed without com- 
punction the most serious offences.^ The isolation of the born 
criminal, in these cases, prevents his perfecting himseK in evil; 

» "Homme Criminel," Vol. I, chap. 2. 

* Vitali, "Studi Antropologici in Servizio alia Pedagogia," 1896. 

8 Joly ("Le Combat contre le Crime," etc., p. 116) did not find any 
bom criminals in the schools that he examined. "We have the weak 
and abnormal," the schoolmasters answered him, "but they are gener- 
ally mild and inoffensive." But somewhat later Joly is obliged to admit 
that there were those who had committed homicide, and that they were 
not to be found in the schools because not tolerated there. Now where 
were they before they were expelled? 


and, what is more important, prevents fruit, congenitally rotten, 
from tainting hundreds that are sound. 

Does this idea, which I think is new as applied to the preven- 
tion of crime, amount to nothing in its practical appUcation? 
In England, when a child plays truant from school or is refrac- 
tory when he attends, he is confined, after a regular trial, in a 
truants' school. Here they endeavor to give him immediately, 
from head to foot, the sensation of a new life. To this end his 
hair is cut, he is bathed, disinfected, and clothed in suitable 
garments. He is then placed in his own division and obliged to 
keep silence all the week, except on Sunday. He has to do his 
part in the work of the establishment, as well in tailoring and 
shoemaking, which alternate with gymnastics and mihtary exer- 
cises. The little recluses know that it depends upon themselves 
alone whether they regain their Uberty in a longer or shorter 
period. The first time, they stay generally only 8 weeks or less, 
at the expiration of which they are released with the admonition 
to attend the ordinary schools. Of those set at hberty 25% or 
30% offend again, and are confined in the school for 4 months, 
and if they commit a third offence, for 6 months. If, after thisj 
they are found to require more prolonged moral treatment, they 
are sent to the reform school. 

The industrial schools receive children who have not been 
convicted, but who, because of their environment, are in danger. 
The reform schools receive the young delinquents convicted by 
the magistrates, county court, or court of assizes. They are 
confined, for a term not to exceed 5 years, in authorized and 
inspected schools. In short, the industrial schools are pre- 
ventive establishments, while the reform schools, as their name 
indicates, are repressive and at the same time educational 
institutions, in which delinquent children are carefully separated 
from those simply vicious, and where the dangers of promiscuity 
are avoided by a careful division into small groups. 

§ 163. Associations among Children 

For the same reason it is necessary to watch all the scholastic 
institutions in order to prevent turning them into criminal 


centers. This is the way to check the development of criminal 
tendencies, which exist already in germ. The associations of 
street-boys in the great cities appear inoffensive, but they are, 
on the contrary, greatly to be dreaded. It is these that we should 
try to suppress with the greatest energy. "The children who do 
the mischief," said a school teacher to Joly, "are never alone, 
and when they get together it is never for any good." ^ 

We have already seen in the "Homme Criminel" and in 
Part I of this work, how men, when they form associations, 
lose in honesty, even when they are senators, deputies, or aca- 
demicians. It is natural, then, that this law should manifest 
itseK in the time of childhood, when dishonesty is a physiolog- 
ical characteristic. It is easy to understand how much more 
serious the danger from these associations is when the children 
are orphans, or belong to families that are immoral or incapable 
of training them. 

"We can say," says Spagliardi,^ "that the majority of young 
tramps and vagrants do not become such from perversity or 
poverty, but from defective education and because they were 
drawn away by evil associations. How many times have we 
not heard respectable families say something of this kind: *As 
long as our son remained in the country he was an obedient 
young man and full of promise; but since we have been estab- 
lished in Milan he has lost his respect and affection for his 
parents, and has robbed the house several times.' A boy 
8 years old, of a good and respectable family, disappeared from 
the house of his parents for several days and was able to evade 
the most diligent search. When he was found he was never 
willing to tell where he had hidden. To what shall we ascribe 
these strange changes taking place in children of respectable 
families? Where do they find the means of living lives inde- 
pendent of their families and emancipated from them, if not 
with bands of vagrants? 

"But if the children who make an ideal of this kind of life, 
found, on the contrary, that the first step they took in that 

1 Joly, "Le Combat contre le Crime," etc., p. 127. "When some of 
the children go wrong," said another schoolmaster to him, "it is almost 
always due to friendships that become too intimate. Two children, pre- 
viously good, make doubtful disclosures to each other and mutually cor- 
rupt one another. It is still worse where the children are naturally bad. 
They have a tendency to form bands which have all the criminal charac- 
teristics, and employ a sort of argot among themselves." (Ibid.) 

» "The Monist," Chicago, 1895. 


direction brought them hunger, isolation, and strict surveil- 
lance, would it not be better for the family, and could not the 
family by this means make its authority effective? There are 
already strict ordinances for public hygiene, for poUcing the 
streets, for preventing contagion . . . ; why should there not 
be one limiting these associations, which are a hidden menace 
to society? While they are children, a police oflBcer would be 
sufficient to reduce them to subjection. Let them alone, and 
some day they will be resisting charges of cavalry." 

§ 164. Reform Schools 

Some years ago the reform schools admitted 7688 children: 
those in Italy, 3770, in Belgium 1473, in Holland 1615, and 
in America 2400, all with the ostensible purpose of preservation 
and amendment. But we have shown how far these institutions 
are from being able to realize good results under the actual con- 
ditions of their organization, which brings all these perverse 
natures into contact with each other. This promiscuity be- 
comes still more dangerous when these young prisoners come 
to be more than a hundred in number. They cease then to be 
individuals and become a crowd, which cannot be watched and 
developed in detail, even by the most able director, so that the 
most stringent rules end in failure. I speak not theoretically 
but after a detailed inquiry into numbers of these institutions, 
while remaining an admirer of the rare philanthropists who are 
at the head of some of them. 

If sometimes in these reform schools I have noticed young 
people who were industrious, trained, and without bigotry, I 
cannot say the same of many others, in which, under the mask 
of a Jesuitical mildness, vice flourished worse than ever. I have 
even observed in one of the better establishments in Milan some 
of these juvenile delinquents who, when questioned as to the 
cause of their confinement, lied brazenly, even in the presence 
of the director, a fact which proves that they had neither re- 
pented nor had any realization of their offences. To assure 
myself with regard to this I have observed several of these 
delinquents after their hberation. I have questioned them, 
and their answers and autobiographies proved to me how full 
even the better establishments are of the most infamous vices. 


such as pederasty, theft, and the Camorra, just as in the case 
of the prisons. So bad indeed was it that it even disgusted my 
informants, though they made no pretensions to virtue, and 
soon fell again into crime.^ 

In some of these estabhshments, at G. and M. for example, 
there prevails unpunished the custom of compelling the new 
arrivals to masturbate all the adults that desire it. At Ascoli 
the inmates set fire to the estabhshment with petroleum. At 
Ambrogiana three of them stabbed one of the guards to death, 
with no other motive than the pleasure of doing evil. The ruses 
that they employ are unbelievable. One of them, taking ad- 
vantage of his occupation as carpenter, hollowed out a piece 
of wood, in which he concealed cigars, sausage, etc., to sell to 
his companions. Another hid a dagger in his straw mattress. 
A third concealed a gold piece under his enrollment number, so 
that he always had it with him when he changed his cell, a 
trick that never would have been discovered without his own 
confession. Of the youths whom we interrogated at the "Gen- 
erala," 8% manifested no desire to amend, although they had 
committed the most serious crimes. "If young people of our 
age," they said, "have money for amusements, why have not 
we the right to get some for ourselves by steaUng either from 
them or from others." Others added, "Whatever crime we 
may commit will not equal what we have endured in the re- 
formatory." 3% resolutely denied their offences; 11% declared 
that they repented, but did so with an air of indifference which 
proved their insincerity; 5% went so far as to insult their par- 
ents. We have seen ^ that in these institutions tattooing is 
very prevalent, 40% of the inmates being marked in this way. 
This is a very grave sign; but there is another worse still, if 
possible: this is the use of a special argot. 

If, however, by the most assiduous pains the young prisoners 
are really improved, this improvement disappears when they 
go back among adults. More than this, there is but one rule 
not only for all parts of the country but for all ages, whereas 

1 For detailed proof see the autobiographies and dialogues at the end 
of the 2d edition of the "Homme Criminel," Turin, 1878. 

2 "Homme Criminel," Vol. I, p. 338. 


what is needed is a tutor and a matron for the children, and 
for the adults a real martinet. Joly also tells of reform schools 
in France that seem at first glance to be like paradise, but which, 
in reality, are so many hells. The discipline is very severe but at 
the same time inefficacious. Thus, for example, there is a 
punishment room where the children have to march around in 
an elUpse from morning till night, covering as much as 25 miles 
over the rough floor before going to lie down on their plank 
beds. In revenge, when eight or ten of them get one of the 
guards in a corner, they threaten him with blows or with an 
accusation if he does not do what they wish.^ 

Would not total neglect be better than such a system of 

There exist, it is true, certain rare establishments which have 
at their head men remarkable for their philanthropy and for 
their keen insight as teachers. Such men are De Metz, Ducci, 
Rey, Obermayer, Spagliardi, and Martelh, who by their devo- 
tion make up for every lack. But these are exceptions upon 
which the state cannot count. 

It is certain that the bad results of these reformatories are 
much less when the number of the inmates is more hmited. 
Thus in France the public institutions which almost always 
had as many as 400 pupils showed a recidivism over 19%, 
while the private institutions, having an average of 150 pupils, 
showed only 11% to 12%; and in Switzerland and in the Grand 
Duchy of Baden, where there are never more than 50 pupils, 
recidivism falls to 4% and 2,5%; while in England it is 4% for 
the boys and 1% for the girls. 

However these figures do not satisfy me completely. In the 
United States they count upon 33% of recidivism in the nu- 
merous reformatories. Tocqueville, after praising them as the 
ideal of penal reform, declares that of 519 children released, 
300 relapse into crime, including nearly all those addicted to 
theft and drink, especially in the case of the girls. Of 85 girls 
released only 11 had excellent conduct and 37 good. Out of 
427 boys, 41 were excellent and 85 good. Everyone will recall 
the pompous eulogies of the colony of Mettray, which, accord- 
» "Le Combat contre le Crime," p. 145. 


ing to the statistics of some years ago, was able to reduce recid- 
ivism from 75%, which had been the figure, to 3.8% (Despine). 
Now, a few years afterward Du Camp informed us that recid- 
ivism had risen again to 33.3%, a fact which he explained by 
the aversion of the Parisians to the country, which is generally 
the delight of the young. Yet Mettray has the ideal system 
for a reform school, for the children are divided into groups or 
famihes of 16 or 17, each hving in a cottage with its own head 
and assistant head. How shall we beheve the miracles told of 
the cellular reform school of la Roquette, which is said to have 
reduced recidivism from 15% to 9%,^ when we see that a few 
years afterward a government commission found it necessary 
to suppress it? And the French statisticians, while for the 
period 1866-68 they estimated the recidivists at 17% in the 
ease of public reform schools and at 11% in the case of private 
ones, confessed that half of those released had a bad reputation.^ 

Even if these statistics were exact, they would prove abso- 
lutely nothing, because the private institutions are apt to get 
rid of their worst subjects by transferring the insubordinate 
and idle to the government reformatories; and when once they 
have got rid of these, those that are left make a relatively good 
showing. We know, moreover, that however useful the reform- 
atories might be for effecting a moral cure, yet the enormous 
expense that they entail and their limited number, considering 
the need, must always make them insufficient. 

We may add that the possibihty of putting children into an 
institution when they become undisciplined, and this without 
expense, makes many parents less active in watching over them, 
and at times even interested in having them misbehave. I 
have observed at the "Generala" five youths of well-known 
families, two of whom had incomes of more than 100,000 francs, 
whom greedy guardians or guilty parents had had confined under 
more or less grave pretexts, keeping them there at a franc a 
day and refusing them even the money necessary to buy a 
musical instrument or a book with which to make their shameful 
imprisonment a little more bearable. 

1 Biffi, "Sui Riformatori dei Giovani," 1870. 
3 Bertrand, "Essai sur I'lntemperance," 1875. 


"I must remark," says the former chief of police, Locatelli, 
"that the legislative measures wdth reference to refractory- 
children are being wrongly interpreted by our people. While 
the legislators passed them with the intention of more effectually 
preventing crime, the people, following a system of interpretation 
taught by self-interest, persist in considering them exclusively 
philanthropic; so that fathers of large families consider them- 
selves authorized by the law to have those children who cause 
them most trouble and expense confined and educated at the 
expense of the state. As soon as the persons interested perceived 
that their applications were received with circumspection, the 
attempts were made more craftily. Demands for the commit- 
ment of the children were supported by ample testimony, often 
from very high sources, proving the incorrigibility of the minor 
in question. What is still more deplorable, parents often even 
went so far as to force the child into idleness and vagrancy by 
all sorts of artifices, as by cutting down his food, for example, 
or disturbing his sleep, in such a way, however, that the author- 
ities could get no proofs." 

For those who believe that these reform schools are a benefit 
to deserted children and orphans, I would say that these schools 
have hardly 8% to 13% of orphans, and 8% to 12% of step- 
children. They can be useful only in those rare instances wheii 
they really teach the young prisoner a trade. We may add that 
in no reform school, or in hardly any, is the system of isolation 
at night or a rigid rule of silence applied — regulations which 
would hardly be applicable in institutions half didactic, half 
industrial, and which would be continually evaded by the 
tricks of the prisoners. 

If any one is greatly concerned at the thought of the harm 
which some of these children would receive if left in their 
demorahzing homes, let him think of the effect upon honest but 
weak young people who are brought into contact with the 
vicious in the reform school. Those among them who come 
from the country, where they could not learn evil or form bad 
associations because of lack of opportunity, find in the reform- 
atory evil associations all prepared for them. I would per- 
mit reform schools, then, only in exceptional cases and for a 
small number of individuals, these to be classified according to 
age, aptitude, and morahty. They should be separated at 
night, but should enjoy relative Uberty with no mark of infamy. 


I would have these schools admit only those who for their 
poverty could not be received in military and naval schools. 
As for the rich who would like to have their children confined 
in such a place, they ought to pay a heavy tax, proportioned to 
their income. 

§ 165. Educational Methods 

If we sometimes meet with success in our reform schools, 
notwithstanding their defective organization, it is due to the 
fact that there the young man becomes used to regular and 
continuous work, something that the born criminal commonly 
refuses. This latter fact makes it easier to recognize such 
criminals and separate them from the others, and thus it is 
made easier to develop the physiological honesty of habit in 
the youth whose defect is only the physiological sub-criminality 
of the child. 

Don Bosco^ has traced for us an excellent system for the 
education of young delinquents who are capable of reformation. 

"The greater part," he says, "have an ordinary tempera- 
ment and character, but they are inconstant and inclined 
to indifference. They should be advised and warned briefly 
but frequently, and encouraged to work by small rewards and 
a great deal of confidence, though without any relaxation of 
surveillance. Effort and care must be especially directed toward 
the class of unruly pupils, of whom there is about one in fifteen. 
But the vice most to be dreaded is lubricity. Any one of the 
inmates who persists in this must be expelled. The young 
prisoners must not be allowed to keep any money or article 
of value; in this way we may prevent theft and the bargaining 
to which the children are inclined, being natural traders. . . . 
The repressive system is plainly capable of keeping down dis- 
order, but it is powerless to make the soul better; for although 
children easily forget punishments inflicted by their parents, 
they always remember those of their teachers. Repression 
may be useful in the army and, in general, with persons who 
are mature and prudent; but what is needed with children 
is the preventive system. This system, based entirely upon 
reason, religion, and love, excludes any violent punishment. 
To understand the advantages of this system it is necessary 

^ Bonetti, "Cinque Lustri di Storia dell' Oratorio Salesiano," Turin, 


to remember the instability of the child, which makes him for- 
get disciplinary rules and the punishments that he incurs, often 
transgressing a rule and making himself liable to a punishment 
of which, at the moment of acting, he never thought at all. 
He would certainly have acted quite differently if a friendly 
voice had warned him. It is necessary to see that the pupils 
are never alone, and to give them ample opportunity to run, 
jump, and shout as much as they like. Gymnastics, vocal and 
instrumental music, declamation, amateur theatricals, walks, — 
all these are effective means of procuring good discipline, at the 
same time being useful for morals and health. The subjects for 
presentation in the improvised theater must be carefully chosen 
and only respectable characters depicted." 

§ 1 66. Moral Training through Adoption 

It is, above all, the example of the teachers that has influence; 
for we are led more by example than by persuasion. Every 
effort must be made to find the exceptional teachers that are 
necessary; and when these are wanting, when a mixing of the 
different classes cannot be avoided, because of crowding and 
because the frauds of parents cannot be prevented, when there 
is not a cubicle for each inmate, and when good workshops 
are lacking, as is unhappily the case in Italy, then it is prefer- 
able to entrust the children to moral and energetic families at 
a distance from the corrupting influences of the city. The 
deserted child little by little becomes fond of the family that 
adopts him, brings them his first earnings, generally never 
leaves the home that has received him, and finds there a stable 
moral environment, which directs him to rectitude.^ Thus in 
France, of 11,250 children sent to families in the country, only 
147 finally had to be sent to the reform school. 

§ 167. American Reforms— Placing in the Country 
Here philanthropy must assume new forms, abandoning the 
methods of the monastery and the barracks, as well as those 
of abstract morals, which have no hold on a being inclined to 
crime. What is necessary is to inspire the person with a desire 
for property, a love of work, and a feeling for the beautiful. 
1 Joly, "Le Combat contre le Crime." 


This adoption must be supplemented by emigration to distant 
lands or migration to the country. This is the only effective 
remedy, as Barnardo, Bosco, and Brace have proved. In 1853 
professors, judges, clergymen, and rabbis formed a society to 
help vagrant children,^ and established philanthropic work- 
shops, where they might be received. But the competition of 
the regular shops prevented the success of this enterprise, and 
the boys themselves, for their part, objected to being objects 
of charity and preferred their liberty. The plan of giving them 
lodging at a low price was then thought of. Beds were fur- 
nished at 6 cents, and a bath and dinner at 4 cents. 

But there was as yet no way of making the lodgers work; as 
for asking them directly to do so, that would have been to 
empty the establishment at once. In order to awake neither re- 
pugnance nor suspicion, the director entered one morning and 
announced that some one wanted an employee at $12 a month. 
Twenty voices were raised to offer themselves. "Very well," 
said the director, "but a good handwriting is necessary." Gen- 
eral silence! "Well, then, if no one knows how to write, we will 
teach it to you in the evenings." Thus it was that the night 
schools were started. In 1869 and 1870 8835 boys made use 
of the lodging-house. In 10 years the total had reached 91,326, 
of whom 7788 had become good workers. The poor women 
objected to mingling with the well-to-do in the industrial 
schools, and accordingly schools have been created expressly 
for them, and food and clothes are promised those who con- 
duct themselves well. Since then the number of girls arrested 
for vagrancy has diminished, and from 3172 in 1861 fell to 339 
in 1871. Only 5 out of 2000 pupils went to the bad. The 
number of female thieves fell from 944 to 572; and there were 
only 212 girls under age arrested in place of 405, the former 
number. Still more was done for the boys. Primary schools 
of carpentry were opened, in which hot meals were served. 
Entertainments were organized with admission costing 4 or 5 

* Brace, "Reports upon the Questions of the Program of the Inter- 
national Penitentiary Congress at Stockhobn, . . . According to what 
principles institutions for vagrant, mendicant, and deserted children 
should be organized," 1877; Brace, "Dangerous Classes of New York," 


cents. At first the children broke the windows and shouted 
"We don't want any schools!" But the very fact that they 
were under no compulsion to go overcame the most unwiUing; 
and the objective methods of Froebel ended by winning them 
over completely. 

The institution supplemented this work by placing children 
on distant farms, where their work is best utiUzed, and, in con- 
sequence, preferred, where they are free from the bad influences 
of the large and small cities, and where the worker, being in 
direct contact with his employer, is better watched than he 
would be if he were living with his own family. 

The continual contact with a good housekeeper makes good 
domestic servants out of the girls, and the boys learn from their 
employer to be good farmers. Living in an atmosphere of 
kindness, sympathy, and industry, stimulated at the same time 
by a new self-respect and the hope of a better position, and, 
on the other hand, having no bad companions nor any tempta- 
tion to steal, they abandon with their rags many of their vices 
and find in the various activities of farm life an outlet for their 
energy. When they are too delicate, the society pays for their 
support until they gain strength enough to work; but if they 
finally prove not to be strong enough, the society takes them 
back again. 

In this way the society in less than 23 years has placed more 
than 35,000 children who were deserted and without refuge, to 
say nothing of the large number received into the industrial 
schools (21 day schools and 14 night schools) and in the lodg- 
ing-houses (more than 23,000 in 1875). After the children have 
contracted habits of order and sobriety in the night schools and 
Sunday schools, they are placed in the country, and the whole 
work has not cost more than $2,000,000. 

Many of these children are adopted by their employers; 
others have started new farms by their work, or have entered 
some profession. Many of the girls have become excellent 
mothers of famiUes. Some of these young people change their 
situations, as all employees do; but few return to New York, 
and very few indeed, not more than 6 in 15,000, get into the 
courts. In New York, in fact, in the ten years following the 


establishment of this work there was a decrease in the num- 
ber of 

Vagrants from 3829 to 994 
Thieves " 1948 " 245 

Pickpockets " 465 " 313 

This is, according to Brace, the only institution really useful 
for vagrant children, who, crowded together, could only cor- 
rupt each other, while by this means we use the boy to improve 
the land, and the land to improve the boy. This is surely a 
good cure for criminaUty, and how effective it would be in 
certain parts of Italy! 

There remain the children who are sickly and otherwise in- 
capable of farm work. For these separate beds have to be 
kept in the schools themselves, as is done in the "ragged 
schools" in England. 

§ i68. Day Reformatories for Children 

When it is not possible to bring about the creation of benevo- 
lent institutions like that described above, they may be replaced 
by the institution advocated by Spagliardi, a reform school for 
day pupils, which is much easier to establish. This is a com- 
pulsory day school for refractory children between the ages 
of 6 and 12, whom the neglect or incapacity of the parents have 
left unprovided with any education, and who cannot receive 
one in the ordinary asylums. With these are included the 
young vagrants found habitually together in the pubUc places, 

"Even the asylums for children," says this great philanthro- 
pist,^ "do not get all the poor children, especially those of the 
very poor, ashamed of their poverty. But in any case, when 
the children come out of these institutions at an age when 
children are most inclined to evil, there is no longer any special 
refuge for them, and they become vagabonds." 

In this way we may counteract the weakening of parental 
authority, which is one of the most serious causes of crime 
(not less than 20% among the children of the well-to-do), and 
this without taking them from home and shutting them up 

^ "Compte Rendu de la Reunion des Soci^taires de I'CEuvre Pieuse 
des Maisons de R^fonne de la Province de Milan," 1872. 


at just the time when they most need air and movement 
and the care and relationships of family life. In this way the 
child would be given a milder treatment and one better suited 
to his age, he would be spared fatigue disproportionate to his 
strength, while special attention would be given to his physical 

This is not all. The reform school costs too much to be 
applied upon a large scale, while these day reformatories, better 
adapted to childhood, could readily extend their operations in 
direct proportion to the need. Moreover, even if the expense 
were greater, which is not the case, this would be largely com- 
pensated by the decrease in the number of criminals. We have 
a direct proof of this in the two institutions for children in 
Milan, which, out of the 700 children received since 1840, had 
not a single one convicted after leaving the school, while half 
the prisoners of the reform schools have been inmates of other 
asylums. It would certainly be sufficient, for the present, if 
the so-called oratories, where the children are assembled on 
Sundays (in Milan about 3000) for useless prayers interrupted 
by long and wearisome periods of idleness, should be secular- 
ized, conducted on rational hues, and utiUzed every day in the 

§ 169. " Ragged Schools " 

There exists in London an institution midway between the 
compulsory asylum of Spaghardi and the voluntary asylum of 
Brace. This is that of the "Home for Little Boys." These 
are real little villages or colonies given up to unfortunate chil- 
dren. The inmates are divided into groups like famihes, and 
are taught trades of shoemaker, farmer, valet, mechanic, etc.^ 
We may cite also the "Ragged Schools," where the children 
are furnished with food and clothing as well as instruction, and 
where the poorest, the deserted children, and the orphans are 
also given lodging for the night. This institution, which costs 
the government nothing, was founded in 1818 with certain 
children picked up in the streets of London. These schools 
formed a noble bond between the higher and lower classes, and 
^ "Rivista di Disciplina Carceria," 1876, p. 197. 


in them might be seen for thirty-four years a chancellor of 
England teaching the alphabet every Sunday. The children 
are allowed to enter and leave of their own accord, though 
many of them are brought to the schools in the first instance by 
the police. Numbers of them support themselves by their own 
work. Thus there were in 1860 368 bootblacks in the school, 
each of whom brought the society sixpence daily. 

§ 170. Other English Meastires for Children 

Another English measure worthy of being imitated is that 
of obliging parents who are found to be responsible for a child's 
delinquency to contribute a penny out of every shilling of their 
wages toward his support while detained. Thus are they 
given an interest in taking care of their children, and do not 
consider their confinement an advantage. We have seen the 
miracles accomplished by the Society for the Prevention of 
Cruelty to Children. Another fine institution is that of the 
Boys' Brigade,^ which enrolls the little vagabonds of the streets 
by hundreds. It was instituted in Glasgow by W. A. Smith 
in 1883, and in 1891 already numbered 20,000 boys, who drilled, 
marched, had common prayers, and sang in church. 

§ 171. Bamaxdo's Institutions 

To save, if not the born criminals, at least the criminaloids, 
it is necessary to take them in infancy. 

"The attempts to reform unfortunate adults," writes Bar- 
nardo, "always come to nothing on account of the force of 
the criminal habit in the individual. The vis inertioe of igno- 
rance, vice, and crime is hardly to be overcome by the idea of 

"It is quite otherwise when it is a question of children. Half 
the difficulties are smoothed away the moment that we have a 
plastic material in our hands. The influence of environment 
and circumstances in the formation of character is greater 
than would be believed. I have observed that a new and health- 
ful environment is more powerful to transform and renew an 
individual, than heredity is to fix a blemish upon him. It is 

^ "Revue du Christianisme Pratique," 1892. 


necessary, then, to cleanse and purify the atmosphere at once 
and thoroughly if perverse mstincts are to be obUterated." 

Barnardo cites triumphantly the careful examination that he 
made of the lists of the children received. This showed that 
85% of the children were descended from drinking parents. 
Now we know how fatal an alcohoUc heredity is; and yet, out 
of 9000 received and sent to Canada, who have grown up and 
whose history is known, only 1% have gone wrong. It is 
necessary, then, to take the child in the plastic state, if we want 
to change it. It is not a religious question simply, but one of 
economics. By spending $100 to take in and reform a child, 
society saves thousands of dollars necessary to defend itself 
against the adult criminal. 

Barnardo receives all deserted children, looks carefully into 
their past, and keeps them for some time under observation, 
after which he chooses a trade for them and sends them to a 
farm or to Canada. One of his great secrets is to isolate the 
children as much as possible in small groups, leaving them 
full liberty to develop their different individual aptitudes, and 
thus avoiding as much as possible what he himself calls "the 
stamp of institutional uniformity," that curse of orphanages 
and children's homes in general. For this it is necessary not 
simply to avoid mingling children of different ages, but even to 
keep them in different buildings, having them pass from one 
to the other according to age and circumstances. 

This intuition of the needs and capacities of each individual 
in relation to society Barnardo has carried into all his work, 
applying it systematically with profound penetration and truly 
humane feeUng. He receives children of all ages; those be- 
tween 3 and 5 go to the Tiny House, those from 4 to 9 to the 
Jersey House. Elsewhere he cares for children between 10 
and 15. When they reach 13 years of age, Barnardo tries to 
accustom them to work, to harden them to fatigue, to prepare 
them, in short, for the life before them. But to the very little 
children, the nurslings, orphaned or abandoned, Barnardo 
wishes to give, if not luxury, at least the comfort of children 
brought up and cared for in their own homes. Their home is 
situated in the midst of gardens, they have young, strong 


nurses, rooms full of light and sun, white clothes, playthings, 
birds, Uttle carriages, and good beds. If the Doctor cannot 
furnish complete comfort to all the children he takes in, he 
wishes at least to give it to the smallest. In his paper, "Night 
and Day," we see a photograph of one of the dormitories. 
Colored pictures cover the walls, in the background is a large 
rocking-horse, while bird-cages hang by the beds. The picture 
makes one think sadly of our orphanages and day nurseries, 
where the children are kept Uke cattle in a stable and every- 
thing goes on as if in tombs of the living. One of the branch 
homes is in the country because a little three-year-old country 
girl received into the institution could not accustom herself to 
it and cried continually. The case was brought before the 
council, and one of Barnardo's collaborators. Miss Blanche 
Watteley, at once found the solution: if the child could not 
get used to the city, they would establish a home in the country. 
This is how the "Bird's Castle" came into being. 

After having snatched the children from misery and crime 
and taught them to work, Barnardo, to complete his task, sends 
them to Canada, where he has an agent to place them on farms 
and keep watch over them. Contracts are made with the 
farmers for three or five years, with food, lodging, and $50 or 
$100 a year in wages, according to the age of the ward. Thus 
they are rescued from the pernicious barrack system of crowded 
living, and at the same time transplanted into new surround- 
ings, where the fevering stimulation of modem life cannot 
affect them. 

It was with an equally true feeling for the needs and capacities 
of his wards that Barnardo organized the institution for girls. 
They have a little village all to themselves in a charming place 
a short distance from London. This village is made up of 
cottages, surrounded by gardens, having fanciful names, like 
"Pea-blossom," "Wild Thyme," etc. Each house holds 20 
girls, watched over by house-mothers; for Dr. Barnardo says 
quite rightly that if the institutional stamp harms a boy, it 
stunts a girl completely, since her temperament demands for 
its complete development all the domestic details of the family 
life. The barrack system may very well under certain condi- 


tions be useful for boys, provided it is for a limited time only. 
But it would have no value whatever for girls, who would learn 
from it nothing that the wife of a poor man ought to know, — 
to make purchases, to quiet a crying child, to sew. All these 
are taught by the cottage system, and 200 girls trained in this 
way are annually sent to Canada, where they are very much 
sought after. 

The benefits of this method of education cannot be doubted 
when one considers the Ust of the rescued that the delegates 
of the Salvation Army gave me. The histories cited by Bar- 
nardo also and backed up by photographs give us incontestable 
evidence of a transformation that is not only mental but also 
physical, so that the criminal, thanks to the Doctor, has be- 
come actually another man. 

"Job, for example,^ was 15 years old when he was admitted. 
His mother had died of cancer three years before in the hospital; 
his father was lazy, tuberculous, and a drunkard, and had often 
been imprisoned. Job, left to himself, on leaving the asylum 
had started out as a pedlar; being without shelter or resources 
he had been drawn away by evil companions and became a 
thorough vagabond, begging on the street corners under pre- 
tense of ^selling matches. He is now sober and does not smoke, 
and is a fine young fellow, well developed physically. For 
£8 for his education, and £10 for his voyage, he has become 
an independent citizen in a new country .^ 

"James, 14 years old, a Liverpool boy, lived with a married 
sister, the mother of three children, in a kind of cellar, which 
the police required them to leave. He had several times been 
put in prison for mendicity and for having been found in the 
company of known criminals. He was sent to Canada and 
placed upon a farm, and though at first there was some 
trouble because of his irregular conduct, he has now completely 

O noble souls of Don Bosco, Brockway, and Barnardo, take 
from these pages, across which crime has trailed its dark and 
dreadful lines, a greeting! for you alone have brought us light, 
have opened' the only positive road to the prevention of crime. 

» See "Homme Criminel," Atlaa, XCII. 
» "Night and Day," 1895. 


§ 172. Medical Treatment 

After attempts at moral suggestion the hypnotic cure should 
be tried. Although the effectiveness of this method has been 
exaggerated, it is certain that at least for the moment certain 
tendencies may be combated successfully by hypnotic methods, 
and the mind given the proper direction. This result has been 
obtained with paranoiacs. It ought to be still easier to attain 
success when the malady is in the incipient stage, and to pro- 
duce by repetition the habit of right action. Further, we must 
not forget that the basis of criminal tendencies is always of an 
epileptic nature. According to Hasse and Esquirol, the epilep- 
sies that manifest themselves shortly before the age of puberty 
frequently disappear when that age is reached. When epi- 
lepsy is hereditary it is frequently sufficient to remove the 
patient from the circumstances in which the parents lived; 
for example, to move him to another climate and to substitute 
for brain work muscular exercise in the open air. According 
to Bevan-Lewis and Clouston, the hydropathic treatment, 
coupled with a vegetarian diet, is very effective.^ The internal 
treatment useful in such cases must also be applied. Bromides, 
opium, belladonna, etc., are given in various cases. 

^ Marro, "La PubertS, Studiata nell' Uomo e nella Donna," p. 438. 



MANY of the economic measures that we have suggested 
for preventing parliamentary corruption and the excess 
of poverty and wealth would also be very eflficacious for the 
prevention of the political crime that expresses the discontent of 
the masses, as ordinary crime expresses that of the individual. 

§ 174. Racial Afl&nity 

Historical experience, as Lanessen points out to us, shows 
that when a dominant people is inferior in power and culture 
the people ruled always end by freeing themselves completely. 
Of this Greece, Holland, and the United States are examples. 
Good politics, then, would consist in a voluntary abandonment 
of sovereignty in such cases; but vanity and immediate inter- 
ests bhnd the ruling nation, and only rarely is this wise resolu- 
tion taken. An easier method is a kind of incomplete detach- 
ment, hke that of Austria and Hungary, and England and her 
colonies, a device that diminishes dependence, contacts, and 
dissensions, thus removing one of the greatest causes of re- 
belUons and political crimes, the more so as the people, gov- 
erning themselves, see the more serious evils and are able to 
remove them. 

This device of detachment and autonomy is applicable at 
times within the nation itself, when there exists a great differ- 
ence of race, as, for example, between the north and the south 
of Italy. Under these conditions, a uniform civil, penal, and 
political code provokes continual discontent, which manifests 
itself in insurrections. Among degenerate races showing great 
differences, as in the case of the castes of India and the fanatical 


Mohammedan populations, the sole method of political con- 
ciliation consists in abandoning any attempt at civil or religious 
progress, and in preserving scrupulously the status quo, — tliis 
even to the smallest details, such as the respect for the ashes 
of manuscripts in Tonquin and for pork fat in India. This is 
the system of which the Romans were, and the English still are, 

§ 175. Decentralization 

"The future of society politically lies in decentralization," 
says Spencer. If a people is treated Uke a child it loses all 
spontaneity and becomes incapable of contending against diffi- 
culties. Thus it comes that where the English have recourse 
to their mutual-aid societies, the French clamor against the 
government. They can no longer have a free government, for 
when they are free they lose all stability and give themselves 
up to anarchy. The imperial form of government, which is 
that best adapted to them, is naturally never liberal. On the 
other hand, by concentrating great powers in the hands of a 
few, great opportunity is given for corruption, the more so 
when parliamentary immunity protects the authors of it. If, 
however, you will allow the cities to administer their own affairs 
freely, according to their importance, to elect their own officers, 
to have charge of the courts of first instance, secondary educa- 
tion, the police, the prisons, the means of communication, you 
will eliminate a great cause of injustice and abuses, and in 
consequence will eliminate also the political crimes provoked 
by these abuses. 

§ 176. Contest for Political Supremacy 

In order that one class in exclusive possession of the political 
power may not proceed to excesses prejudicial to other classes, 
it is necessary that the people shall be represented somewhere 
among the multiplicity of historical constituent elements. Thus 
the tribunate preserved the Roman Republic for centuries and 
prevented popular uprisings. 


§ 177. Universal Suffrage 

Universal suffrage seems destined, in the course of time, to 
bring about the aboUtion of class distinctions, but turned over 
to the ignorant and corrupt it may easily be turned against 
liberty itself. The aristocracy of knowledge, which Aristotle 
believed impossible but which has nevertheless existed for cen- 
turies in China, would alone be fitted to counteract the power 
of money, acting through the bourgeoisie, and the power of 
numbers in the proletariat. But if we are to admit universal 
suffrage, like a torrent that cannot be stayed, it must be guided 
by the rational voices of men of higher worth and clearer sight. 

§ 178. The Judiciary 

The judiciary, for its part, ought to be freed from that sub- 
servience to the legislative power which, in Italy, paralyzes its 
forces. It is quite different in America, where popular election 
has given the judges a power and independence so great as to 
allow them, upon complaint of a citizen whose rights are in- 
fringed, to pronounce null and void laws which do not con- 
form to the constitution. Noailles ^ shows how this judicial 
system, which comes directly from the English common law, 
protects the rights of the nation and of individuals against 
the power of Congress as much as it does the privileges of the 
federal government and individual rights against the power of 
the several states. When there is a conflict between a clause 
of the constitution and a legislative enactment, the judicial 
power steps in to see to it that constitutional liberty shall not 
be threatened by the weakness or the tyranny of legislative 

§ 179. Poor Man's Lawyer — Legal Aid Societies 

We see how the judiciary can prevent political crimes, which 
are committed in revenge for great injustices.^ The internal 
peace of Rome was maintained for centuries by the influence 


Due de Noailles, "Le Pouvoir Judiciare aux Etats-Unis" (Revue de 
Deux Mondes, Aug. 1st, 1888). ,. . , -r. , .. ,» 

2 Lombroso and Laschi, "Le Crime Politique et Lea Revolutions, 


of the Tribunate, and that of Venice by the relative imparti- 
ahty of justice. It is certain, on the other hand, that when 
tyrannical governments like that of Austria in Italy, and that 
of ancient Piedmont, survived so long without dissensions, 
they owed it to the equal justice which, except in matters con- 
cerning the king, prevailed there by means of the "advocate 
of the poor," and to the Senate, which had the right of abro- 
gating any ministerial decree that did not conform to the laws. 
This institution of a popular mediator to protect the poor 
and weak should again be established. I have observed that 
the voice of a single honest tribune (Jaures, for example) often 
proves more powerful against the errors of the government 
than the entire chamber. Thus, in the recent banking scandals, 
without the Boulangist deputies in Paris and Colajanni in 
Italy, all parties would have united to hush the matter up. 

§ 1 80. Ability to Change the Laws 

If it is possible for a political form to endure, it is due to the 
flexibility of its constitution and laws, which must adapt them- 
selves to new conditions. Switzerland is a striking proof of 
this. In the period between 1870 and 1879 the Swiss made 
115 changes in the constitutions of the cantons and 3 in the 
federal constitution; and they were able to maintain their 
union notwithstanding great diversity of race and custom. 

§ 181. Conservatism 

But no change must be made too abruptly. "In order that 
the institutions of a people may be stable," says Constant, 
"they must keep themselves to the level of the people's ideas." 
The violent abolition of serfdom in Russia and of the ancient 
estates in France and Germany had become a necessity of 
justice; the same may be said of the secularization of the 
property of the church, when the accumulation of property in 
mortmain and the pretensions of the clergy to exemption from 
land-taxes had made all economic and political progress im- 
possible. Yet these reforms were not brought about with- 
out immediate troubles, because there was a disregard of the 


law of conservatism, which does not permit too rapid an intro- 
duction of innovations, even for good. 

§ 182. Referendum 

The referendum, or appeal to the people, is able to show, 
where it exists, how far there exists a community of ideas be- 
tween the nation and their representatives. It may be con- 
sidered as the most powerful instrument for the education of 
a free people, because it forces them to study the laws sub- 
mitted to them, and, by making them feel their whole respon- 
sibihty, gives them a consciousness of the part they have in 
the poHtical life of the country.^ 

§ 183. Archaic Education 

H we are to protect ourselves from "occasional" revolution- 
ists, who, however misguided and atavistic they and their meas- 
ures may be, still do advocate reforms, we must strip our- 
selves of the unfortunate heritage received from our fathers, 
the rhetoric of Arcadia. Whoever will study the revolutions 
of 1789 and 1848, and the character of many mattoids, will 
see that one of the great causes for insurrection is the archaic 
system of education, which is in complete contrast with our 
positive needs. We bring up our young people in a hot-house 
instead of in the strong current of life, and we want them to 
be robust ! In this way we get aesthetes, — I am wilhng to 
admit that, though some deny it, — but we do not get men 
capable of taking part in the contest of modern life. 

§ 184. Economic Discontent 

The sole remedy against our political criminals who are such 
from accident, from passion, from imitation, or from poverty, 
consists in remedying the economic uneasiness in the country, 
since this is the true basis for anarchy. We have to-day an 
economic fanaticism, as we formerly had a political fanaticism. 
It is imperatively necessary that we should open a vent for this 
economic fanaticism with economic reforms (see above), as we 

1 Brunialti, "La Legge e la Liberty, nello State Modemo," Turin, 1888. 


have opened one for political fanaticism with constitutional 
and representative government, and for religious fanaticism 
with freedom of worship. Now, we do nothing of all this; we 
permit taxes, recruiting, and penalties to affect the poor man 
most severely, and give him no compensation, except bright 
soap-bubbles under the names of national glory, liberty, and 
equality, which, by their contrast with reality, make his suffer- 
ings all the harder to bear. 



TV/TEASURES for the prevention of crime are unhappily, 
-*-' A with our race at least, a dream of the idealist. The 
legal world that rules us, and for which the defense and the 
punishment of the criminal are sources of honors and rewards, 
has something to do besides preventing crime and devising a 
substitute for the almost always useless, and often positively 
harmful, penalties. It is just for this reason that we must 
consider these penalties carefully, particularly the institution 
of the prison, which, according to the common notion of our 
legal lights, is the only social defense against crime. 

§ 186. Cellular Prisons 

Once we have decided to inflict a prison penalty, the indi- 
vidual cell seems clearly indicated; for, if it does not reform the 
guilty, it prevents his sinking further into crime and removes, 
at least in part, the possibility of the formation of associations 
of evil-doers by interfering with the formation of that kind of 
public opinion in the prison that compels the prisoner to add 
the vices of his companions to his own. The cell seems also to 
reach the highest degree of perfection for the purpose of judi- 
cial investigation, isolating the criminal whose guilt is still to 
be proved; in the same way it is indispensable for the punish- 
ment of the delinquents still capable of correction, who have 
fallen for the first time and from whom criminal contact and 
association would soon take away all sense of shame. It 
offers, then, real advantages without the risk of grave danger 
to health, or at worst gives a somewhat greater opportunity 
for suicide.^ But the advantages of the cellular prisons are in 

1 Lecour, "Du Suicide et de rAlidnation dans les Prisons," PariSj 1876. 
According to this author, in America there was: 1 death to 49 prisoners 
in the common prisons; in those conducted on the Auburn system, 1 to 


great measure neutralized by the great expense which makes 
their appHcation on a large scale impossible; and even more 
objectionable is the fact that they favor inertia on the part of 
the prisoner and transform him into an automaton, incapable 
of taking part in the struggle of life. 

"In the actual organization of the prisons," said Gauthier, 
"everything is combined to blot out the individual, to annihil- 
ate his thought, and destroy his will. The uniformity of the 
system that pretends to fashion all its 'subjects' upon the same 
model, the calculated severity of a monastic life where no room 
is left for the unforeseen, the prohibition of all intercourse with 
the outside world except through the banal monthly letter; 
everything, in short, even to the miserable, animal-like march 
in Indian file, is fitted to turn the prisoner into an unconscious 

"We want to make useful citizens out of these prisoners, 
and we force them to idleness. We accustom them to find 
food and lodging assured, without thought for the morrow, or 
any other concern than that of obeying the order given. We 
force them to be like the dog at the spit, who had only to raise 
his foot and turn the drum, like an unconscious machine. Is 
not this the ideal of the witless and the cowardly? It is Nirvana, 
the paradise of the Hindu. 

"For many an honest man the struggle for existence is not 
only sharper, but much less safe. WTien the first repugnance 
is overcome, many — doubtless the majority — come imper- 
ceptibly to the point of preparing a prison future for them- 

Gauthier knew a prisoner, a former army oflBcer, who held 
the post of paymaster in the prison of Clairvaux and was 
serving his fourth or fifth term. Toward the end of 1883, 
being, to his great displeasure, near the end of his sentence, he 
begged that his place should be saved for him until he was sen- 
tenced again. 

"And we may remark that, save for a few honorable excep- 
tions, for nearly all the directors of prisons the ideal of a 'good 

54. In France there is 1 to 14 in the cellular prisons. According to 
Alauzet, in 8 prisons oh the Auburn S3'stem, in America, there is an 
average of 1 death to 50 with a minimum of 1 to 81. In Philadelphia 
the cellular prison gives 1 death to 83; in France 1 to 39. ("Essai sur 
les Peines," 1863.) 

1 "Le Mode des Prisons," Paris, 1888. 


prisoner' is the recidivist, the veteran, the habitual criminal, 
whose prison experience and the docility he has acquired are 
guarantees of his orderly conduct. 

"The unfortunate thing is that this 'good prisoner,' according 
to the formula, under this regime is not slow in becoming in- 
capable of resisting his companions, criminals by birth or by 
profession. He has so little power of resisting unhealthy stimuli, 
the desire for unlawful gain, and the attraction of evil examples, 
that he is worse than the 'bad' prisoner. 

"The only ambition that remains to him is for crime and 
wickedness, the result of the special education which he and 
other convicts have given each other. It is not without reason 
that in criminals' slang the prison is spoken of as ' the college.' " 

To these things must be added the tale-bearing, quarrel- 
someness, lying, and all the other special vices acquired or 
developed in prison. 

"In the presence of the solitude and miserable formalism of 
the prison," writes Prins, the Belgian prison director, "we must 
ask ourselves whether the man of the lower classes can be re- 
generated only through solitude and formalism. 

"Voluntary isolation may elevate the mind of the poet, 
but what effect can the solitude imposed upon the criminal 
have, other than to lower his moral level more and more? Do 
we teach a child to walk by putting difficulties in his way, 
or by filling him with fear of a fall and making him hang on to 
others? Shall we teach a man to take his place in society by 
shutting him up in a solitary cell, in a situation as unlike the 
social life as possible, and by taking from him even the appear- 
ance of any moral exercise, by regulating from morning till 
night the smallest details of his daily movements and even 
thoughts? If it were a question of making good scholars, good 
workmen, or good soldiers, should we be willing to accept the 
method of prolonged cellular confinement? If this method 
is condemned, then, by the experience of ordinary life, it will 
not become useful the moment the court pronounces sentence." 

Other proofs of the evil effects of the prison may be found 
by consulting my " Palimpsestes de la Prison." See, for ex- 
ample, these lines written by a prisoner: 

"I am 18 years old; misfortune has made me guilty several 
times, and each time I have been shut up in prison. But how 
have I been reformed in prison? what have I learned? I have 
perfected myself in wickedness there." 


And this: 

"To try to correct an idler and a thief by subjecting them to 
idleness is surely absurd. 

"... Poor prisoners! They are regarded as so many 
animals; they are kept shut up like so many white bears, under 
pretense of reforming them. ... In penal institutions a man 
learns to hate society, but not to make an honest man out of a 
thief. They are the universities of thieves, where the old teach 
the young their trade. To enter this hotel there is no need of 
money even to tip the servants. As for myself, I thank God I 
am happier than St. Peter. Here in my cell I am served by 
lackeys. What a Utopia! This is better than being in the 

And another: 

"Friends, do not try to escape from prison. Here we eat, 
drink, sleep, without the need of working." 

I have even found a cryptogram in which a friend was urged 
to commit a crime in order to get into prison again. "For 
the two of us the time will pass more quickly, and when we are 
in the galley we can tell each other the story of our hves." Le 
Blanc, a notorious thief, said to Guisquet, the prefect of police: 
"If we are arrested, we finish by living at the expense of others; 
we are clothed, fed, and warmed, and all this at the cost of 
those we have despoiled." 

What is still more serious, there are a great number who find 
prison life a real source of pleasure. We may say that in place 
of the complete isolation from the external world, that theo- 
retically belongs to cellular prisons, there exist manifold means 
of information and communication, all the more harmful 
(especially for judicial investigations) from the fact that they 
are unforeseen and unknown. 

"The walls of a prison," writes Gauthier again, "under the 
very eyes of the guards, offer a world of information and are 
marvelous instruments of correspondence. Thus, when I 
found myself at Cholon-on-the-Saone, in the most secret cell, 
I learned of arrests that had been made in Lyons, Paris, and 
Vienne on my account, news which was of great importance 
to me. . . . There is first the little cord, stretched by the 
weight of a ball made of breadcrumb, and so thrown from one 


window to another, while one holds on to the bars of the win- 
dow. There are books in the hbrary which circulate covered 
with cryptograms. Then the pipes for water and hot air make 
excellent speaking-tubes. Another dodge, which needs per- 
sons with some instruction, is that by knocking on the wall. 
It is not necessary that the persons communicating by this 
method should be in contiguous cells, I once got valuable news 
in this way from a comrade 40 or 50 meters off." (Op. cit.) 

Nothing is secret in prison. A judge havmg asked a certain 
prisoner at the Assizes how he communicated with his accom- 
pHces, the prisoner replied: "To keep us from communicating 
you would have to keep one of us in France and send the other 
to heU." 1 

But the aristocracy of crime, the rich or influential criminals, 
have no need of these expedients. The guards have nothing 
to lose by favoring their commimication with the outside world, 
and the cellular system makes it easy to do this with impunity, 
for who can know what passes in a solitary cell.'' I have my- 
self had direct evidence that facts are known in prison 
before they are pubhshed in the outside world. The removal 
of a procurator-general was announced to me in prison several 
days before it took place, and when no one, not even the offi- 
cial himself, knew of it. By studying the wall-inscriptions and 
documents of the prisoners in the great cellular prison in Turin,^ 
I have become convinced that, while it is supposed that associa- 
tion and, above all, comradeship, are prevented by the cell 
system, in reality the "esprit de corps" is strengthened, where 
before it hardly existed. I have found in the writings of the 
prisoners how one of them affectionately salutes his successors, 
another leaves a crayon for his comrades that they may be 
able to write, a third advises comrades equally unknown to 
feign insanity in order to escape sentence. I have seen how 
the walls of the exercise yard, continually re- whitewashed, 
formed a kind of daily newspaper, carried on also, in summer, 
on the sand and the dirty windows, and in winter on the snow 
and in the books that the convicts are permitted to read. In 
studying the wall-inscriptions I have found that out of 1000, 

1 "Gazetta dei Giuristi," 42. 

« "Palimpsestes de la Prison," 1889, pp. 21-56. 


182 had reference to comrades, 900 were simple salutations, 45 
contained news of trials, and 27 were encouragements to com- 
mit further crimes. 

There is in the prisons a bureau connected with the admin- 
istration department, called the matriculation office, in which 
there are always some prisoners kept, since here all are examined 
and observed when they enter and when they leave. This office 
is a center for imparting news, from which it is disseminated 
throughout the cells by the prisoners. Will it be believed that 
even upon audience days there are to be found collected in this 
ante-chamber a dozen or more convicts.'* Thus, at the very 
moment of judicial investigation, almost under the eyes of the 
judge, and for the very prisoner who is being examined, this 
system that has cost society so much is made futile. 

I have not spoken of workshops. In the cellular prisons the 
efforts to prevent communication allow very little work to be 
done. From this there results, beside the injury to the state 
and to the prisoner who is kept in idleness, a still graver danger 
for the future. The active prisoners become accustomed to 
idleness, if they do not die of it, while the lazy ones are just in 
their element; consequently, when they go out they commit new 
crimes in order to return. But if work is allowed, it is impossi- 
ble, even if those are excluded who have fellow-prisoners, to 
prevent new relationships from being formed with the foremen 
of the free workshops, the contractors, etc. The consequence 
of this is that the investigations which are kept secret from the 
public are no secret at all from the accused person himself. 

"The object of cellular isolation," writes Prins,^ "is to re- 
generate the guilty by checking the evil influence of fellow 
prisoners, in order that only the beneficent influence of respect- 
able men may be operative. But see the real facts. Everywhere 
the guards, who are supposed to represent the good elements 
of society to the convict, are men devoted to duty, but they 
are recruited from the very sphere of society to which the 
convicts themselves belong; sometimes they are 'declasses' 
without employment, who for a ridiculously small salary, insuffi- 
cient for the maintenance of a family, have to live very much 
as the prisoners do. Too few in numbers (scarcely 1 to 25 

^ "Lea Criminels en Prison," 1893. 


or 30 prisoners), they naturally are able to do little more than 
cast a glance into the cell or at the work, and see that the rules 
are observed. It is to these empty formalities and to the too 
hasty visit of an official or a chaplain that those charged with 
transforming or amending the guilty come to hmit their efforts.'* 

We see from all this how necessary it is to change our ideas about 

§ 187. The Graded System 

Everyone will understand why penologists, having only this 
mournful expedient of a prison, have tried to improve it as 
much as possible. It is as a result of such efforts that the Irish 
system has won so much applause. This system is as follows: 
The criminal passes the first period in solitary confinement, not 
exceeding nine months, which may be reduced to eight; during 
this period he has only a vegetable diet, poor clothing, and a 
monotonous task of oakum-picking. In the second grade there 
is collective work, rigidly watched, which is divided into four 
classes each more privileged and advantageous than the one 
below, into which the convict passes successively after having 
obtained by his work and good conduct a certain number of 
merit marks. In the first class the door of the cell remains 
open during the day; the work is not regularly paid for, but 
may perhaps be rewarded with a penny. After having received 
54 merit marks the prisoner passes successively into the other 
classes, where he receives greater and greater compensation and 
also instruction, and finds himself more in contact with the 
public, and so on. This grade having been passed through, 
there commences for the convicts the grade of almost complete 
independence (intermediate prison) with work in the field. 
They wear their own clothing, receive wages, may be allowed 
to absent themselves, and are in continual contact with the out- 
side world. From the conclusion of this grade until the end of 
their sentence they have provisional liberty under the surveil- 
lance of the poHce, who, in case they go wrong, send them back 
to prison. Before they go out they are registered, photographed, 
and warned that the first sHp will bring them back to prison. 
When they first reach their destination they must report to the 


police, and monthly thereafter. The police look after them and 
help them get work. 

This is a magnificent means of getting these rude and lazy 
beings into the notion of being virtuous, or at least of working. 
The criminal can in this way cut down his sentence (and the 
state its expense) by a sixth or even a third, and as every mis- 
demeanor means being reduced to a lower grade, the most 
dreaded of penalties, all other punishments become unneces- 
sary in the intermediate grades. The results obtained in Ire- 
land by this reform were satisfactory, at least in appearance; 
since 1854, when the system was introduced, there has been a 
remarkable reduction in crimes. The following are the figures: 

Year Entered during year Total convicts 

1854 710 3933 

1857 426 2614 

1860 331 1631 

1869 191 1325 

1870 245 1236 

We may add that this reform unites economy (upon which 
depends the possibility of applying any system) with the de- 
mands of criminal psychology, by permitting a gradual passage 
to complete liberty. It thus makes of the criminal's perpetual 
dream of freedom a means of discipline and reformation. It 
offers besides a means of overcoming the prejudice of the 
public against the liberated convicts, and inspires the convicts 
themselves with confidence. 

In Denmark the convicts remain in their cells night and day, 
and work there for their own advantage. The incorrigible 
prisoners and the recidivists, after six years, live in common in 
a special prison, and have no other reward for their good con- 
duct than the freedom of working in the fields near the prison. 
Those who are young and can still be reformed, or those who 
are convicted for the first time for a minor offense with a sen- 
tence of from three to six months at the most, remain in a special 
cellular prison. They are divided according to their conduct 
into different grades. In the first (from three to six months) 
there is absolute seclusion, instruction in the cell, work without 
pay, and only writing on the slate allowed. In the second grade 


(six months) they receive two shillings a day for their work, are 
taught in school but separated from others, can have paper on 
holidays and books every fortnight, may purchase with half 
their pay a mirror and an almanac, may write letters and receive 
visits every two months. In the third grade, which is twelve 
months at least, they receive three shillings a day, have books 
or paper every week, are allowed to buy many useful things, 
and send money to their famiUes, receive visits every six weeks, 
and may have the portraits of their families. In the fourth 
grade they get four shillings a day, and, besides other advantages 
which are more and more conceded to them, they can go out of 
their cells, work in the open air, and have flowers and birds. 
Their sentence may be reduced for good conduct, a sentence 
of eight months to six, of three years to one, and of six years to 
three and one-half. Thus they pass from absolute soUtude to 
solitude at night only, from absolute silence to work in the 
field and an almost complete liberty. Hardly 10% remain in 
their cells more than two years. ^ 

Let us hail these institutions as a great step in advance, but 
let us not be under any illusion about them. There are other 
things to be remembered. In Ireland the statistics are affected 
by emigration, for liberated convicts, not finding work, went to 
America, where they peopled the penitentiaries.^ Moreover, 
even with this system there are many recidivists in Denmark, 
and still more in England, where, as it appears, the paroled 
convicts easily change their residence, and notwithstanding the 
law go to places where they are unknown. There they do not 
act directly, but make use of the services of other criminals. 
According to Davis, chaplain of Newgate,^ one sheriff had cases 
of prisoners released with ticket-of-leave, convicted a second 
time, again released on ticket-of-leave, and convicted a third 
time, all before the original sentence had expired. One of these, 
who was 36 years old, had been sentenced to a term of more 
than 40 years, and was free! 

This is why the number of paroled prisoners in England, 

1 Pears, "Prisons, etc.," 1872; Beltrani-Scalia, op. cit. 

2 "Riv. di Disciplina Carceraria," 1877, p. 39. 

' Cere, "Lea Populations Dangereuses," 1872, p. 103. 


which rose to 2892 in 1854, fell to 922 in 1857, to 912 in 1858, 
to 252 in 1859, and did not rise above 1400 in 1861-62-63.1 
In Germany, also, the number of those conditionally liberated 
fell from 3141, the figure for 1871, to 733 in 1872, and 421 in 
1874. This lack of success is to be attributed to the imprudence 
with which released convicts are allowed to change their resi- 
dence and to the practice of turning over to them their entire 
savings; also to the fact that many employers, more selfish than 
the philanthropists, seek only their own immediate profit from 
the convicts and do not further concern themselves with their 
conduct; and finally to a lack of active and continual surveil- 
lance, where a large number of individuals are concerned. 

Together with gradations of punishments it is well to apply 
what I have called individualization of punishment, which con- 
sists in applying special methods of repression and occupation 
adapted to each individual, as a physician does in prescribing 
dietary rules and special remedies according to the tempera- 
ment of each patient. Here is the secret of the success attained 
in Saxony (Zwickau), where there are special prisons for the 
old and for the young, for heavy penalties and for light ones, 
and where, according to the merits of each prisoner, his food, 
his clothes, and the severity of his penalty are changed. But 
these measures can be carried out only for criminaloids, and in 
small prisons, with very able directors. Otherwise the prize of 
liberty will fall to the worst criminals, who make the best pris- 
oners, being the most hypocritical. For these reasons such 
reforms cannot be left to be administered by a short-sighted 

Besides these institutions it is necessary to seek to develop 
right feeling in the convicts. We must remember that virtue 
is not to be created artificially; and that the best results are to 
be obtained by basing it upon the interests and passions of men. 
A man may lose his life, but he cannot be stripped of his pas- 
sions, and all men, even the most depraved, need an interest and 
an aim to guide them in life. They may be insensible to threats, 
to fear, and even to physical suffering, but they never are in- 
sensible to vanity, to the need of distinguishing themselves, 

^ Cere, op. cU., p. 100. 


and above all to the hope of liberty. This is why sermons and 
lessons of abstract moraUty are useless. We have to use the 
convicts' vanity as a lever, to interest them in the good by grant- 
ing them material advantages, such as the gradual diminution 
of their penalty. Good results may be obtained by instituting 
a kind of decoration, and merit and demerit marks. The pris- 
oners must be permitted to pass according to merit into the 
privileged classes, where they can, for example, wear ordinary 
clothing and a beard, ornament their cells with flowers and 
pictures, receive visits, work for themselves and their family, 
and, finally, catch a glimpse of the much-desired perspective of 
temporary liberty. 

To gain liberty is the dream and constant thought of prisoners, 
and when they see a way open before them, more safe and cer- 
tain than that of a surreptitious escape, they will take it at 
once. They will do right, it is true, only to obtain their liberty, 
not for its own sake, but as movements repeated become a sec- 
ond nature, so we may hope that they will form the habit of 
right conduct. This is why the right of pardon should be abol- 
ished, since it makes prisoners hope for liberty by the favor of 
someone else. 

"It is necessary," says Despine rightly, "to elevate the 
criminal in his own eyes, by making him understand that he 
can reconquer the respect of the world; we must fill his soul 
with the need of becoming honest by utilizing the same passions 
which would make him still more depraved if left to himself." 

Despine, Clam, De Metz, Montesinos, and Brockway have 
counted so much upon the influence of honor among the crim- 
inals that they have left them almost free upon their parole 
during their work; and fierce men, whom twenty guards could 
scarcely restrain, never even thought of escaping. Ferrus tells 
of a thief who was converted by a Sister in prison, who, with 
this end in view, trusted him with the care of the wardrobe. 
A convicted carpenter was unbearable because of his extreme 
violence; the oversight of other convicts was given to him, and 
he became the most docile of all. A prisoner of Citeaux, wearied 
by his labor, threw his mattock at the feet of the director, 
Albert Reey; the latter, without saying a word, took up the 


tool and went to work in the other's place. The unfortunate 
man, struck by this noble lesson of practical morality, took up 
his work, and did not offend again. These examples show us 
clearly how we must set about to reform these men. We must 
act upon them by example more than by word, by morality 
in action more than by theoretical teaching. Strict discipline 
is incontestably necessary with them, the more so since light 
punishments, having but a slight effect, have to be repeated 
more often and for this reason are less eflScacious than severe 
punishments that are rare; but too great severity is certainly 
more harmful than useful. Severity bends but does not reform 
them, and it makes them hypocrites. 

Adult criminals ought to be considered as children,^ as moral 
invalids, who must be cared for at once with mildness and with 
severity, but more of the first than of the second, because the 
spirit of vengeance, the excitability which is the basis of their 
character, makes them consider even the lightest punishment as 
a persecution. It is for this reason that too strict a silence is 
detrimental to morals. An old prisoner said to Despine: " When 
you shut your eyes to our breaches of discipline we talked 
more, but we did not offend against morality; now we speak 
less, but we blaspheme and conspire." In Denmark, when the 
greatest severity prevailed in the prisons there were 30% of 
misdemeanors; now, with a milder regime, there are only 6%. 
Despine used an excellent method, by not inflicting punishment 
until some time after the offense, in order not to appear to yield 
to a fit of passion. The guilty prisoner was led to a meditation 
cell; the director went in only after an hour to tell him the pen- 
alty which the rule required; often the whole group to which 
the guilty person belongs was blamed and punished. This is 
a method used by Obermayer with great success. 

Work ought to be the first care and the highest aim of every 
penal institution, in order to awaken the energy of the pris- 
oner and give him the habit of productive labor, necessary after 
his liberation. It is, further, an instrument of penitentiary 
discipUne, and also a means of indemnifying the state for the 

* Miss Carpenter, who gave her life to them, said: "They are great 
children, whom society ought to govern as it governs children." 


expense incurred; ^ but this last consideration is only secondary 
and should not be made the principal end, for many lucrative 
occupations cannot be used to advantage. We ought, for reasons 
above mentioned, to avoid the trades of locksmith, photog- 
rapher, penman, etc., which prepare the way for other crimes. 
We should prefer, on the contrary, farm work, which shows the 
minimum of criminahty in our statistics and gives an easy 
means of placing the discharged convicts; we may also use 
straw and wicker work, rope-making, typography, pottery-mak- 
ing, stone-cutting, etc.; and we should admit only as a last resort 
occupations Uke book-binding and cabinet-making, which re- 
quire the use of tools that might become dangerous. 

In every way the work ought to be proportioned to the forces 
and instincts of the convict, who, if he has accomplished as 
much as he is capable of, although that may be little, ought to 
receive a proportionate reward, if not in money, at least in the 
shortening of his sentence. For this reason I believe that it is 
necessary to eliminate the contractor from the prison system, 
since he seeks naturally to favor the most skilful and, neverthe- 
less, in certain countries, even has control of the pardoning of 
the prisoners. 

We must try to give criminals a love for work by making it 
a reward for good conduct and a relief from the boredom of 
prison. It is not best, then, to impose it upon them; they must 
be brought, by means of a cellular detention more or less pro- 
longed, to want it and ask for it (Crofton). If we want to make 
the work profitable and to establish the spirit of comradeship 

1 Only the prisons of Charlestown, Chatham, Portsmouth, and Ali- 
pore, as far as I know, give returns nearly equal to their expenses. In 
1871-72 Chatham and Portsmouth even showed a profit of £17,759. 
According to Garelli the Italian prisons cost the state 32,000,000 lire, 
and brought in only \}4 ("Lezioni sulla Riforma delle Carceri," 1862). 
According to Nicotera ("Relazione sul Lavoro dei Detenuti," 1876), there 
were in 1874r-75 38,407 prisoners working, and 32,178 unoccupied. Of 
the workers one-fourth were weavers, one-sixth shoemakers, one-twentieth 
joiners, one-tenth agricultural laborers, and one-one hundredth employed 
in salt-works. The net profit for the administration in 1871 was 1,632^30 
lire, and the prisoners received wages at the rate of 0.47 Im; a day. This 
compares favorably with the wages paid in Belgium (0.26). Hungary (0.22), 
and Austria (0.41). In Austria a convict can be obliged to pay a certain 
sum for his detention. In Berne he must earn at least 75 centimes a day 
to get the benefit of his labor. In France he receives one-thu-d of what 
he earns. 


and emulation, which is one of the principal foundations of the 
reform of the prisoner, it is well, after the first period has been 
gone through, to mitigate the severity of the cellular system by 
allowing the prisoners to work together in small groups, accord- 
ing to the necessities of their occupation. 

The work must not, however, be made a pretext for too many 
privileges, granted either generally or individually. Mareska 
attributes much recidivism to the privileges given to certain 
clerks in prison. He heard one day one of these say to a new- 
comer: "You fool, with a little scribbling you are better off in 
here than outside," ^ — words which recall those of the Sicilian 
prisoner to the judge (Part I, Ch. XVII), and explain the 
fact, known by many prison directors, that the worst rogues 
are the most docile in the prisons, and in appearance the most 

§ 1 88. Wages and Savings 

A further means of moral reform has been suggested by De 
Metz and Olivecrona to prevent the recidivism of freed convicts. 
They advise that the money earned in prison, which is generally 
turned over to the prisoners when discharged and often becomes 
their capital for criminal enterprises, should be deposited as a 
guarantee of their good behavior and as a forced means of sav- 
ing. It could be lodged with the government of the munici- 
pality to which they go or with the employer, and the 
interest alone paid to them. In Belgium and Holland seven- 
tenths of the wages of those condemned to compulsory labor is 
retained, six-tenths in the case of those sentenced to sohtary 
confinement, and five-tenths in the case of those in the simple 
prisons; the rest is divided into two parts, of which one may 
be used in prison and the other on going out. In England the 
money is handed over to the released prisoner with his ticket, 
if it does not exceed £5. When it exceeds this amount it is 
paid in instalments upon certificate of good conduct. 

§ 189. Homes, etc., for Released Convicts 

Many advise also homes for the reception and employment 
of released prisoners, but, aside from the fact that they cannot 
1 "Des Progres de la Reforme," 1838, III. 


be applied upon a scale corresponding with the need, experi- 
ence has shown to those who study these institutions in the 
w orld and not in books that they have no value in the case of 
adults, but, on the contrary, very often increase the tendency 
to idleness, and are rendezvous for criminal associations. 

"Out of a hundred liberated convicts, twenty to forty years 
of age, received in the 'patronage' at Milan," writes SpagHardi, 
"only the youngest, and few even of those, responded at all 
to the immense efforts made for their restoration. 

"The tendency to idleness and to libertinage, increased by 
the privations they had undergone, and the fact that they 
could come and go at pleasure decided them, after two or three 
months, to leave the asylum, the more so as they did not see 
in the director the man who was sacrificing himself for their 
good. He was to them only an enemy, and almost a tyrant. 
Hence there was a silent war against him carried on by insults, 
insubordination, violence, and threats." 

This is why the statistics of these institutions are so limited 
and so deceptive. In France out of 16,000 convicts released 
from prison 363 were assisted. In England 48 societies extended 
aid to 12,000. In general it is considered unwise to establish 
institutions for more than temporary help or to give help in 
money. Instead, food and lodging should be given for future 
work, and the society should dismiss those who are lazy and also 
keep informed of the conduct of the persons whom they recom- 
mend to positions. For this purpose a special agent is necessary.^ 
Maxime du Camp ^ also recognizes the uselessness of assistance 
rendered to born or habitual criminals, while it may be very 
useful with accidental criminals. 

" Among the criminals," he rightly says, " there are those 
who become drunk on a glass of water; cashiers who make 
errors in figures ; clerks who become confused about prices and 
end by committing irregularities, which appear dishonest and 
bring them before the courts, where they become still more 
confused and are convicted. These, once liberated, will not 
fall again into guilt, if they find an employment suited to their 
limited intelligence." 

1 Lemarque, "La Rehabilitation, etc.," Paris, 1877; Brown, "Sugges- 
tions on the Reformation of Discharged Prisoners," 1870. 

2 "Revue des Deux Mondes," 1889. 


For these, I admit, assistance is necessary. Further, there 
are occasional criminals, who, having been tempted by some 
opportunity for pleasure, have stumbled the first time and 
robbed their employer. Such persons, if they are not assisted 
when they come out of prison, will look upon society only as an 
enemy, and one who was filled with remorse at having stolen 
twenty francs comes not to be dismayed at burglary and 

§ 190. Deportation 

There is in Europe a party which see in deportation the 
only remedy against crime. ^ It has been asserted that a great 
part of the flourishing American colonies, and ancient Rome 
itself, owed their origin to a kind of penal immigration. This 
is an historical error. For Rome it is enough to recall the 
immortal pages of Virgil; and as for America, we must re- 
member that if the third expedition of Columbus was made up 
of malefactors, among whom, however, were reckoned many 
heretics and adventurers, in the first and second only men of 
honor took part. Under James II deportation was forbidden; 
and on the other hand, many of the colonies of North America 
owed their origin to very respectable men, like the Quakers of 
Penn and Fox. From the influence of transported convicts 
in Australia Victoria, South Australia, and New Zealand must 
be altogether excluded; and if New South Wales and Tas- 
mania owe their origin to transportation, it is a great error to 
suppose that they owe their prosperity to it. This is so true 
that the great philanthropists, Howard and Benthara, pro- 
tested against transportation almost immediately, and shortly 
afterward the colonists themselves did the same; so that in 
1828 its abolition was voted by Parhament. The prosperity 
of Australia is due to its fertile meadows and the trade in wool, 
which has brought in crowds of free men. The wealth of Mel- 
bourne and Sydney began just when the tr&,nsportation of 
convicts ceased. 

In New South Wales the population increased only at the 

* Beltrani-Scalia, "Rivista di Disciplina Carceraria," 1872-74; Tissot,. 
"Introduction au Droit P^nal," 1874. 


rate of 2000 persons a year from 1810 to 1830, when transpor- 
tation was at its height; while from 1839 to 1848 the exporta- 
tion of wool increased from 7 to 23 milhon pounds, and the 
population from 114,000 to 220,000, although transportation 
had ceased in 1840. While it lasted, brigandage raged on a 
large scale. The convicts did not work, and those who were 
employed in the construction of roads had to be watched by 
guards and soldiers, who treated them worse than beasts, chased 
them with dogs, chained and flogged them. Those who had been 
set free sold the land the government had given them for the 
purpose of starting them at honest work, and joined their old 
accompUces in new crimes. We need not be astonished that 
the mortality of this part of the population reached 40%, while 
that of the free population was hardly 5%; and if the criminality 
in England was 1 to 850 inhabitants, in New South Wales it 
was 1 to 104, and in Van Dieman's Land 1 to 48. Finally, while 
the crimes of violence in England were to other crimes as 1 to 
8, in New South Wales they reached 50%. In 1805-06 with 
an average deportation of 360 prisoners a year, there were 
2649 convictions in England; and in 1853-56, with an average- 
of 4108 deportations, there were 15,048 convictions. These 
facts show what sort of advantages are to be looked for from 
deportation, without counting the enormous expense and the 
crimes which criminals sometimes commit in order to be de- 
ported. In 1852, in fact, there were 3000 criminals in France 
who asked to be deported, and, what is worse, some of them 
committed new crimes to attain their end.^ While in England 
the expense of supporting a delinquent is £10, this expense 
rises in the colonies to £26, £35, and £40. 

In Guiana there is supposed to be a profit of £1511 with 
deportation; but dividing this by the number of days of work 
it is reduced to 54 centimes a head in 1865, and to 48 centimes 
in 1866; and there are 5% of escapes and 40%, of deaths re- 
corded. Each criminal costs 1100 francs a year, three times 
as much as a convict in prison; and the transportation cost 
reaches 400 francs.^ By the French law of May 30, 1874, the 

1 Stevens, "Reg. des Etabliss.," 1877. / n^-„;npllpfl " 

2 BonneviUe de Marsangy " D ' Amdhovation des Lois CnmmeUes, 
II, 95. 


deported convicts were to be employed at the hardest labor of 
the colony, while efforts were to be made to reform them. They 
were given the means of living honestly, something an honest 
man does not always get. A savings bank subsidized by the 
government was started for them; lands of the best quality, 
often cleared, were given them, which became their own after 
five years. While working the land they have a right to food, 
clothing, agricultural implements,^ and hospital care; in the 
case of married persons, the wife has the same rights, besides 
150 francs at the time of marriage, and complete furnishing. 
It is not only the environment that is changed, for everything 
that would occasion a relapse into crime is carefully removed. 
But we know that while a change of surroundings may reform 
an occasional criminal, it has no effect upon real born criminals, 
who make up the greater part of the deported convicts. In 
fact, according to official reports, — and the officials have an 
interest in conceaUng the truth — we see crime breaking out 
again in plain dayUght, so that honest men, and the very officials 
themselves who send to the government their garbled reports, 
are often the victims of these pretended sheep returned to the 
fold. Thomas, an impartial foreigner, thus describes the 
situation from his own experience : ^ 

". . . It is impossible to imagine the degree of infamy to 
which they have come. In 1884 one of the criminals tried to 
cut his wife's throat after having been married to her for 48 
hours; surprised at the time, he afterw^ard fled to the natives, 
who shot him. But the savages themselves are often the vic- 
tims of these miserable men. Impunity and indulgence have 
given rise to real anarchy, to a veritable hell upon earth." 

According to Mancelon,^ criminals who had been condemned 
to death at least three times were finally set at liberty. A 
deported convict thus described to Laurent one of the marriages 
which the governor, M. Pardon, in his official capacity (1891), 
has mentioned with so much admiration : * 

1 "Circular of Ministers," Jan. 6, 1882. 

* "Cannibals and Convicts," 1886. 

* "Les Bagnes et la Colonisation Penale," 1886. 
« Laurent, "Les Habitues des Prisons," 1890. 


"I was present on the Isle of Nou at a curious ceremony, the 
marriage of two of my fellow prisoners. The bridegroom was 
a man sentenced to five years at hard labor for a murder. To 
choose his wife he had gone to the convent of Bourail and 
selected an old prostitute, sentenced to eight years at hard labor, 
for giving aid in robbing and murdering a man in his own house. 
The marriage took place. After the mass the priest spoke to 
the newly married couple of pardon, redemption, and the 
forgetting of injuries, but the wife kept repeating in her argot, 
'Ah, how he wearies me!' 

"After mass a very 'wet' banquet took place. The witness 
drank so much that while he slept he was robbed of his pocket- 
book. The husband also became so intoxicated that the next 
morning he awoke without his pocket-book, with a black eye, 
and without news of his wife, who was absent until the next 
morning with another convict. He took it in good part, however, 
and even found it natural. 

"Although married, this woman became the concubine of 
freed convicts, and of the prisoners themselves. One day she 
lured an Arab, whom she knew to be rich, into a secluded spot, 
w^here her husband robbed him and then killed him with a 
hatchet; but the wife, horrified, denounced the murderer, and 
he was condemned to death. Thus ended this happy match." 

In the monograph, "Travaux Forces Fin de Siecle," * we are 
told of a certain DevillepoLx, condemned to hard labor for life 
for two rapes upon minors followed by two homicides, who 
married as his second wife an infanticide. Some time after- 
ward he set fire to the houses of his neighbors without reason, 
and also burned a plantation. He prostituted his wife to the 
first comer in order to live more comfortably. He was con- 
demned to death. 

"In 1881 the minister of marine complained that of 7000 
persons, without counting freed convicts, only 360 could be 
employed upon the construction of the roads. All the others 
were wandering about at random, entirely unrestrained, nomin- 
ally taking up land or working for private individuals. Thus 
there was no more discipline or prison. In 1880 there were only 
640 to 700 escapes; in 1889 these had reached the constant 
figure of 800. 

"The notorious bandit, Brodeau, who had escaped several 
times, killed an old woman and devoured a portion of her flesh. 

1 "Nouvelle Revue," 1890. 


Under the knife of the guillotine he mocked at the law, and with 
a loud voice himself gave the signal for the knife to fall. 

"Besides, who could restrain those depraved individuals, 
when they perceived that the prison, that scarecrow of the 
criminal codes, was nothing but a jest? 

"The council of war loses its time with sentencing and re- 
sentencing convicts already condemned to life imprisonment. 
Additional sentences have been given of 10, 20, 100, and 200 
years in prison. 

"In Noumea there are individuals who have been condemned 
to death three times and afterwards pardoned and left at liberty 
for the rest of their lives. 

"In 1891 the maritime tribunal of Noumea condemned to 
death a convict named Jamicol, who, in consequence of sentences 
incurred in the colony, would not have been freed before the year 
2036, that is, in 145 years! 

" A woman named Mace, sent to New Caledonia after having 
killed her two children, married, got a land grant, and killed 
another child. An old potter of Bourail, who had been sen- 
tenced for the rape of an older daughter, was rejoined by his 
wife, his victim, and by another younger daughter. He drove 
the older to the lowest prostitution, prepared the younger for 
the same mode of life, and went on with his flourishing pottery 
trade." ^ 

The effects of such colonial organization are evident. A 
quarter of a century has already elapsed since the arrival of 
the first convoy of convicts in New Caledonia. Yet there are 
still no roads there; Noumea has neither sewers, embankments, 
nor docks; in a short time all the land will be in the hands of 
incendiaries and murderers. We can see from this how much 
confidence ought to be placed in reports of inspectors who 
maintain that "the holders of the land-grants are true farmers, 
some of whom might with perfect safety be pardoned and set 
at liberty." 

I have reported the facts scrupulously in order that they 
may serve to counterbalance the assertion that is constantly 
being made: "Change the environment, and the criminal 
disappears." Now, here everything is changed, race, climate, 
conditions — all the causes of crime are removed — and in 
spite of everything the born criminal continues his series of 
crimes, while the honest man pays the expenses! What better 
' Laurent, op. dt. 


proof could we have of the supremacy of organic action over 
environment ! 

These facts show further a long series of deceptions on the 
part of bureaucrats, who represent the most deplorable measures 
as excellent. In fact, M. Pardon, the governor of New Cale- 
donia, in his report for 1891, praised the system in use there, 
and stated that he had employed 1200 convicts upon the roads 
and placed 630 at agricultural labor with the farmers, declaring 
that they were watched by the guards without any danger. The 
holders of land-grants had increased to 123; the penalties were 
respected, and did not even arouse feelings of revolt; while 
industry prospered.^ The truth, he should have added, is that, 
aside from the enormous expenses for the support of the crimi- 
nals (not less than 900 francs a head), he fails to take into 
account the great proportion of the criminals who commit 
their crimes only to get themselves sent to this Eden. 

In order to understand the economic harm done by penal 
colonies, it is necessary to note that the delinquents who are 
not peasants are more than half of the criminals deported. 
Now it is not at 25 or 30 years of age that one learns a new 
trade; moreover, the sluggishness, the repugnance to work, 
which is one of the characteristics of the born criminal, is some- 
thing which we can hardly hope to see bettered in a hotter 
climate, itself an incentive to crime, nor in the neighborhood 
of savage populations, whose tendencies are so nearly allied to 
those of the born criminal. It is, then, natural that recidivism 
should increase instead of diminish; for we know that this is 
the rule and not the exception with the born criminal. 

It is advantageous to sentence to deportation, therefore, 
only occasional criminals and criminals by passion.* 

§ 191. Surveillance 

All those of us who know anything of dehnquents and of the 
police, know that surveillance occupies a large part of the 
time of the officers of public safety,' and this, with an expense 

1 "Bulletin des Prisons." 

2 See Chapters XII and XIII. .. . „t^ „ ^ , • j 11. 

3 G. Curcio, "Delle Persone Pregiudicate," in "Delle Colonic e deU 
Emigrazione d' Italiani all' Estero" (Carpi), Milan, 1876. 


of more than four millions, without any real advantage; for 
the crimes are in great part committed by the persons who are 
being watched. But the surveillance itself is a cause of new 
crimes, and it certainly is a cause of the distress of delinquents; 
for by denouncing them to respectable people through their 
personal visits, the police prevent their getting or keeping 
employment. Crime, as Ortolan has truly said,^ leads to sur- 
veillance; and this prevents those who are watched from find- 
ing work, a circle that is even more fatal when they are sent 
to a residence far from their native country. 

"The penalty of surveillance," says Fregier, "has accom- 
plished nothing since its introduction, it offers no guarantee, 
and it holds out the promise of a security that does not exist." ^ 

Add to this the enormous number of arrests, the loss to the 
government on account of the expense of imprisonment, the 
arbitrary arrests for forgetting to salute an oflScer, for address- 
ing a suspect, or for being out a few minutes after hours, which 
reduce these unfortunates to the position of slaves in the hands 
of the police (Curcio.) "Enemies," says MachiavelH, "must 
be conciliated or exterminated." By surveillance we do 
neither the one nor the other, we only irritate them; and it is 
to this, or little more than this, that all our institutions for 
the repression of crime amount in the end. 

* "figments de Droit Penal," chap. 7, tit. v. 

* "Lea Classes Dangereuses," 1868. 



§ 192. 

OUR methods and expedients in criminal procedure are no 
better than we have seen our penal institutions to be. 
Decisions in criminal cases are nothing more than a game of 
chance, where nothing is certain but the publicity which leads 
to new crimes. 

§ 193. The Jury 

The lack of uniformity in the verdicts brought in by juries 
in different years and in different countries shows the ineflBciency 
of the institution. Thus, Cagliari reckons that there are 50% 
of acquittals, while upper Italy shows but 23%.^ Venice 
shows a difference of 9% to 15% as we pass from the small 
towns to the large ones. "The cultivated classes," says Tai- 
ani, "are never represented on the jury," and in fact numerous 
cases prove to us only too clearly the complete ignorance of 
jurymen. Thus in a vote with regard to a homicide a ballot 
was found on which was written "Yes or no." It was counted 
in favor of the prisoner. When the juror was asked why he 
had written so strange a vote, he answered, "Because the 
ballot had printed on it, *The juror must answer: yes or no.' " 

There is no guarantee of the incorruptibility of the juryman, 
who, having no account to render and nothing to lose by an ac- 
quittal, often levies tribute upon justice, as is proved by numer- 
ous acquittals secured by bribery even after the criminal has 
confessed. More than this, the jury of itself is a cause of 
popular corruption. Borghetti 2 notes that many respectable 
peasants are corrupted by serving on the jury, and he adds: 
"It is the arena where the Mafia achieves its triumphs." More- 

^ Lavini, "Del Modo con cui e Amministrata la Giustizia," Venice, 

» "Relaz. della Giunta per 1' Inchiesta sulle Condizioni della Sicilia." 


over the injustice towards the poor that springs from that 
corruption is a great cause of immorahty, for the poor accused 
person, seeing that justice is quite other than equal for all, 
believes himself almost justified in indemnifying himself at the 
expense of a society which has condemned him, and regards 
his sentence as unjust, even when it is not. 

In answer to those who maintain that juries are a guarantee 
of free goverimaent, we may recall that the history of England 
shows us how often juries change their opinion according to the 
will of the government. But besides, what has this argument 
to do with cases that are not pohtical? Furthermore, in those 
cases where the government remains quite indifferent, public 
opinion, to which the most respectable juries are involuntarily 
subservient, is often easily misled by criminals and their de- 
fenders. And where will you find a greater tyranny than that 
of ignorance? "The jury," writes Pironti, "often acquits the 
man, who steals the pubhc money, for the purpose of protest- 
ing against the government, or perhaps acquits a criminal 
because he was a brave soldier." I will add that this excessive 
mildness in dealing with criminals leads them to new crimes; 
and we may understand why in a brawl a comrade of the 
aggressor said to him, "Kill him, and you will have a jury 
trial. If you merely wound him, you will go to the police 
magistrate." ^ Where a matter must above all be decided on 
its merits without any reference to feeling, is it not the direct 
opposite of justice to leave it to be decided by popular instinct, 
by the feeling that happens to predominate in the crowd at the 
moment? And what can be done about the errors of the jury, 
springing often from causes that it is impossible to foresee, as 
in the Galletti case in Brescia, where a blot of ink upon the 
"Yes" of a juryman caused the acquittal of a man who ought 
to have been condemned to death? 

It is vain to urge in support of the jury the necessity of 
modernizing the processes of justice, as well as other institu- 
tions. The jury existed already, though in rudimentary form, 
at the time of the Twelve Tables and the Germanic "Gerichte." 
It is just as modern as cremation, — that pretended innova- 
1 "Eco Giudiziario," 1878. 


tion of the modern pseudo-hygienists, which was ah-eady ancient 
in the time of Homer — and quite as commendable in practice. 

Have we not done everything to bind upon magistrates the 
duty of justifying and giving the reasons of their decisions and 
of not giving them in the form of oracles — this notwithstanding 
the guarantees offered by their past, by their special studies, 
by their experience, and by the fact that appeal may be taken 
from their decisions? And then we think we have discovered 
a new source of liberty and justice in permitting men without 
experience, without responsibility, to sentence by a simple yes 
or no, like children and despots, without giving any reason for 
their acts; and in Italy we aggravate the evil by decreeing 
that this irresponsible sentence shall be irrevocable when it is 
in favor of the criminal, and only subject to appeal when it is 
against him! Every magistrate must justify the condemna- 
tion or acquittal which he pronounces for Ubel, theft, or assault. 
But when it is a question of robbery or murder, the popular 
magistracy gives its decision without any other guarantee or 
reason than yes or no} Worse than that, the juror may still 
more easily let the criminal go unpunished by casting a blank 
ballot, which, even if the law does interpret it as a definite 
expression, in the conscience of an ignorant juryman, who is 
inclined to make mental reservations, is always a compromise 
between truth and injustice. 

If even those precautions prescribed by law to prevent the 
inconveniences of the jury system were only observed! One 
of the most important assuredly is that the jury shall communi- 
cate with no one until they have pronounced their verdict. 
They take an oath to observe this obligation, but in reality, as 
all the world knows, they do not keep it, and communicate, 
even publicly, with the counsel for the defense. Why, on the 
other hand, should the right of exclusion without cause be 
given to the defendant, who challenges the better jurors — 
just those who by their honorable character and their intelli- 
gence would be most capable of resisting seduction and rhetoric? 
How can we believe that an ignorant man could follow a trial 
like that at Ancona, in which 147 witnesses were interrogated 
1 "Eco Giudiziario," 1875. 


and 5000 questions laid before the jury? Furthermore, how 
shall those who have nothing to lose by acquitting resist threats 
of death, when even responsible judges allow themselves to be 
intimidated? And, finally, if tried judges, if an assembly of 
experts, can in certain crimes hardly disentangle the truth, 
which can only be understood through a knowledge of toxi- 
cology, surgery, and psychiatry, how can it be done by indi- 
viduals who are not only not specialists but quite ignorant of 
any science whatever? And this at a time when division of 
labor is required in things much less important than justice! 
Are we not abandoning to chance something that ought to be 
conducted according to the strictest rules? 

Objection is made, it is true, that the average number of 
acquittals in jury trials is no larger than in those cases decided 
by the judge. But this objection is far from being exact, for 
the average in some regions is twice as great. Even if it were 
true, there is a great difference between the two cases. Before 
a case is brought to trial before a jury it has already been sub- 
mitted to a long series of tests and judgments such as those 
of the praetor, the examining judge, the royal procurator, the 
section of accusation, the president of the court, the procurator 
general, experts, etc. After all these it is difficult for any proof 
of the innocence of the accused person to arise. Further, it is 
not so much in regard to number as to quality that the acquit- 
tals are at fault. They show a deplorable generosity toward 
murderers, homicides, and those guilty of insurrection; and also, 
by an unfortunate perversion, toward forgers and persons who 
steal public money, a fact which is certainly one of the causes 
of the constant increase of crimes of this kind. 

The objection that in England and America the jury system 
works well has no weight. In the Anglo-Saxon race the feeling 
for justice and duty does not fail as often as it does with us. 
Further, they do not try by jury those who have con- 
fessed their guilt, while with us these cases, which amount 
to half the total number, give rise to the greatest scandals. 
Then there is a smaller number of criminals tried by jury 
in England, 1 to 132,770 inhabitants, while in Italy there is 
1 for each 8931, — an enormous difference not sufficiently 


accounted for by our greater criminality. In England, moreover, 
in many cases such as insurrections, bankruptcies, etc., there are 
special juries, and the habeas corpus does not forbid (as some 
imagine) preventive arrests by the police, but gives the accused 
the right to secure within 24 hours the intervention of the magis- 
tracy (the High Court of London, or the County Court) to 
decide whether his detention should be continued or revoked. 
In all difficult cases the Coroner calls about him a veritable 
jury of specialists, physicians, or chemists. The jurors, more- 
over, take oath to conform to the instructions of the judge with 
regard to the law, and keep the oath scrupulously, thanks to 
their respect for the law. Public opinion in England, moreover, 
would revolt against a perjured verdict in which the instructions 
of the judge on points of law were disregarded. Besides this if 
the verdict appears unjust, the judge can suspend the execution 
of it, at least until it has been sanctioned by his colleagues.^ 
We may add that the jury cannot leave the Court House until 
the verdict has been rendered, a measure that prevents many 
bad influences. 

But even in England the jury system is not without its ob- 
jectors. As early as the time of Elizabeth they used against the 
jury the words hurled by Cicero against corrupt magistrates: 
"Quos fames magis quam fama commoverit." ^ And in 1824 
the " Westminster Review " attacked the jury system violently, 
and went so far as to call it the phantom of justice. 

§ 194. Appeal 

"Injustice makes judgment bitter," wrote Bacon, "delay 
turns it sour." As much may be said in our day, when, thanks 
to appeals, the penalty is no longer either prompt, certain, or 
severe. And whereas the judgment of the trial court is pre- 
ceded by a regular and complete argument, that of the appellate 
court is based merely upon a written statement of the case 
often very irregularly and incompletely drawn up. This fatal 
edifice is crowned by the most ample right to reverse the de- 
cisions of the lower court, not based, as would be just (and as is 

» Glaser, "Schwurgerichtliche Erorterungen," Vienna, 1876. 
2 Who are more influenced by hunger than by good repute. 


the practice in America, England, and even France) upon sub- 
stantial errors and errors of fact; but almost always upon matters 
of form, on account of which a very costly judgment may be 
reversed for a simple mistake in grammar made by an unfortu- 
nate clerk. 

§ 195. Pardon 

As if the right of appeal were not enough, we have also the 
right of pardon so profusely employed in Italy that pardons 
are here a hundred times as numerous as they are in France.^ 
Now, how can we reconcile this clemency with the rarity of cases 
of moral reform? Who is not aware that criminals Uberated 
after having passed through the graduated prison system (which 
is much more of a test than simple imprisonment) still give 
very poor results? How can we say that justice is equal for 
all, that it is destined to bring the disturbed juridical condi- 
tion into equiUbrium, and that it is based upon fixed, immuta- 
ble laws, free from all personal influence, when all that is needed 
to blot out the whole thing is a simple stroke of the pen, — the 
signature of a man who may be the best man in the country, 
but is after all only a man? The system of pardons is founded 
upon the supposition that the right to punish exists only in 
the mil of the ruler. "But we use it to mitigate justice when it 
is too severe," answers Friedrich. Very well, if that is so, you 
have not true justice, and you ought to change its methods. 
Says Filangeri:^ "Every pardon granted to a criminal is a 
derogation of the law; for if the pardon is just, the law is bad, 
and if the law is just, the pardon is an attack upon the law. 
By the first hypothesis, laws should be abolished, and by the 
second, pardons." We may add as a last consideration that 
pardons are contrary to the spirit of equality that animates 
modern society; for when it favors the rich, as is too often the 
case, it makes the poor suspect that there is no justice for them. 
Rousseau's words in this connection may be remembered: "Fre- 
quent pardons atmounce that crimes will soon have no further 
need of them, and everyone knows whither that leads." 

* "Relazione del Ministero di Grazia e Giustizia," 1875. 
« "La Scienza della Legislazione," Bk. Ill, Pt. iv, Ch. 57. 


§ 196. Criminological Prejudices 

It is still worse that there should be instilled into judicial 
practice a series of prejudices which make every judgment 
useless. We deplore, for example, the principle that when there 
is a doubt as to the intent of the criminal, he must be presumed 
to have had the less evil intent; and that when we cannot prove 
which of two crimes he was aiming at, we must always presume 
that it was the less serious. Now it is the exact contrary of 
this that is the case with born criminals. The law, then, by 
following an hypothesis that is the direct opposite of the fact, 
endangers the safety of society. 

But it is stiU worse when the law is more lenient with at- 
tempted crimes, when it denies the intention, even where the 
criminal has betrayed it by his threats and by the steps which he 
has taken to put it into execution. Thus, one who administers 
a substance that he believes to be poisonous, when it is not, is 
guilty from the point of view of common sense, which does not 
stop for the magic formulas of the old jurists; for he is as dan- 
gerous as if he had administered a real poison, the more so 
since we know the pertinacity with which poisoners repeat 
their crimes on a large scale. To take the opposite position is 
virtually to insist on seeing the victim quite dead before taking 
steps to protect him. This is to rob ourselves, through love of 
abstract theories, of a practical and concrete means of protec- 
tion, — so much the more since we know the tendency of the 
born criminal to divulge his own crimes before committing them.^ 
Further, it is absurd that our laws should be milder towards 
recidivists who do not fall again into the same crimes. They 
are no less dangerous on that account, but quite the contrary. 
The English statistics show that those who have committed 
crimes against persons, upon relapsing, commit more especially 
crimes against property, in order to escape justice. The crim- 
inal who always relapses into the same crimes is almost always 
a semi-imbecile, perhaps less dangerous. For such the increase 
of the penalty is less urgent; while the man, who at short inter- 
vals commits several kinds of crimes, shows greater intelligence 
1 "Homme Criminel," Vol. I, Pt. 3. 


and greater versatility in crime. Such were Lacenaire, Gaspa- 
roni, Desrues, and Holmes, who knew how to combine theft, 
swindling, and poisoning, with forgery and assassination. Men 
of this sort are the most dangerous, and the hardest to recognize 
and arrest. 

Again, the importance that is assigned to public trials is an 

" The public trial is almost always only a useless and often 
dangerous repetition of the recorded results of the preliminary 
investigation; for the witnesses simply repeat their depositions, 
which are already in the record. Now it is difficult for the 
memory not to become confused before an imposing tribunal, 
where the crowd is annoying and the lawyers ask captious, or 
even threatening, questions ; while it is much easier to recollect 
and recount a fact exactly in a small room before two or three 
persons only." ^ 

The same may be said of the arguments of prosecution and 
defence, — and this with the more reason because the written 
argument, which is an immense advance on the spoken one, is 
permanent, and the memory for words is much weaker than 
that for things. According to the experiments of Miinsterberg 
and Bigham, the average of errors of memory is greater for the 
auditory series (31.6%) than it is for the visual series (20.5%). 
The vaunted oral trial is, then, absolutely contrary to modern 
progress, however much it may have been regarded as one of 
the pillars of justice. 

Finally, when we cannot clearly prove that the person accused 
is a recidivist, or even when his crime has been committed in 
youth, we should at least take account of all his evil antecedents, 
in order to class him among suspects. What we want to arrive 
at is the degree of fear with which the individual must be in- 
spired to keep him from doing harm, and if the legislator does 
not believe that anthropological and psychological character- 
istics may be of service to him in sohang the question, he ought 
not, at least, to reject demonstrated criminological facts. 

^ Ferrero, "Lea Lois Psychologiques de Symbolisme," 1890. 


§ 197. Erroneous Theories 

There are many jurists, who are deeply versed in scientific 
matters and in the current of the scientific movement with re- 
gard to the criminal, who have not been able to gauge its depth 
accurately for want of physiological ideas or of direct contact. 
These men have maintained that the great numbers of insane 
and feeble-minded to be found among criminals, and consequently 
the limited responsibility of many criminals for their crimes, lead 
inevitably to the reduction of the penalty. They do not under- 
stand that the new anthropological notions, while diminishing 
the guilt of the born criminal, imposes upon us at the same time 
the duty of prolonging his sentence, because the more irrespon- 
sible criminals are the more they are to be dreaded, since their 
innate and atavistic criminal tendencies can be neutralized only 
by selection and sequestration. These tendencies are like a 
swelling wave, which is turned back upon itself when it encoun- 
ters a strong dike, but which sweeps on and becomes threaten- 
ing if nothing checks it. Our jurists have not imitated the 
Dutch, but have thought that they check the evil by lowering 
the dikes more and more; hence the increasing tendency to give 
every opportunity of defense to the criminal and to facilitate 
pardons, while nothing is done to increase the security of society 
and the certainty of the repression of crime. Now, if a general, 
relying upon the power of philosophy, allowed himself to be 
guided solely by that, or by an abstract strategy, founded upon 
the history of ancient battles, without regard for modern bal- 
listics, is it not certain that he would conduct his unfortunate 
soldiers to an inevitable death.'' Now, penal justice requires at 
least as much practical knowledge as does military strategy. 
Metaphysics in this matter can be only a negative resource, 
yet the practical results must often depend upon the opinion of 
persons, venerable indeed but inclined to substitute metaphysics 
for strategy, who dream with open eyes of free-will independent 
of matter and of a right to punish based not upon pressing social 
necessity but upon abstract violations of juridical order. Not 
only do they not think of eliminating the true causes of crime 
(such as alcoholism, associations of children, etc.), but, by intro- 


ducing precipitately all the innovations that the civilized world 
has contrived in favor of the criminal, they forget the pre- 
cautions necessary to mitigate the evil consequences of these 
(intermediate institutions for conditional liberation, etc.), and 
they forget, finally, the new means devised for the defense of 

It is also to be deplored that the high-priests of justice regard 
the form of procedure of more importance than the protection 
of society; so that it has passed into a proverb that the forms 
more than the substance of the procedure are the supreme 
guarantee for both parties, and that "forma dat esse rei," — 
four words that are the greatest proof of human blindness in 
juridical matters. 

§ 198. Causes of this State of Things 

The cause of this fatal retrogession toward theory is to be 
sought, first of all, in that law of inertia and exaggerated con- 
servatism by means of which a man, when he has been drawn 
along by extraordinary circumstances or by bold and fortunate 
rebels, turns back with terror from every change, however 
simple and logical; and if in some cases men submit to the 
change, notwithstanding their repugnance, it is because the 
time is so ripe, and the innovation so apt, that they are carried 
along in spite of themselves and forced to accept it. But here, 
as in reUgion and philosophy, the truth is hidden by formulas, 
whose mystic and imposing appearance prevents the discovery 
of their insubstantial character. Whoever, with uplifted re- 
ligious feelings, hears for the first time rabbis or brahmins re- 
citing mysteriously their Hebrew or Sanscrit prayers, attaches 
to them a profound significance, whereas if translated into the 
vulgar tongue they would appear quite simple. In the same 
way the public does not understand the legal vocabulary, and 
finds the jurist the more profound the less it understands him. 
Often jurists do the same, and think more of themselves, the 
more they entangle themselves in their hieroglyphics. We 
understand from this why it is that the public cannot take 
jurists seriously when they affirm, for example, that to author- 


ize another person to commit a crime is not to be guilty of an 
overt act; or that when a convict's second offense is different 
from the first he is not a recidivist. 

Ferrero finds another cause for these errors,^ in ideo-emotional 
inactivity, in the tendency of the human mind to reduce to a 
minimum the number of mental associations necessary for any 
work whatever. In practice, then, the literal interpretation of 
the law prevails over all considerations of justice. 

" This is the case with the bureaucrary of great governments. 
We know that the most common vice of this class of function- 
aries is the habit of applying Uterally the rules and laws given 
for their guidance; whHe these can be but the imperfect inclica- 
tion of the will of the law-makers, who, not being able to foresee 
everything, can only lay down general rules. The official ought 
to interpret these general rules according to the particidar 
case, but, instead, the letter of the rule becomes standard, 
truth, and even reason itself. The employee of a private estab- 
lishment, with an eye to his own interests, does not let himself 
so easily fall into the habit of carrying out a general rule with- 
out reflection, but interprets the directions he receives accord- 
ing to the circumstances of the case." 

Now, what happens to codified laws, which are supposed to 
serve merely to guide the magistrate in particular cases, is that 
they become justice to him even when applied to the letter. To 
decide conscientiously the judge ought to make himself a per- 
sonal criterion for the special case that he has under his eyes, 
and judge it according to the general spirit that emanates from 
the written law. The Roman jurisconsults also recognized that 
the civil law needed to be supplemented by what they called the 
natural law, which was nothing else than the expression of that 
feeling of justice that revolts against the application of general 
rules to particular cases to which they are not adapted. But 
all this requires an intense intellectual effort, a fatiguing labor 
accompanied by a tormenting sense of responsibility. It is 
much easier and more convenient to apply the general directions 
of the law by deducing their logical consequences. As soon as 
the mind has become accustomed to this way of working, a 
professional ideo-emotional stagnation is produced, which leads 
1 "Les Lois Psychologiques du Syxnbolisme," supra. 


the judge to consider the Hteral application of the law as his 
whole duty. He soon comes to exclude every collateral idea 
that might lead to an equitable solution of the question. The 
amount of injury suffered by the victim and the causes which 
brought about the crime are not in any way taken into account. 
These considerations help us understand why the sciences 
all began with the deductive method. Even the physical sci- 
ences, which from the nature of their subject would naturally 
hold themselves closer to nature, started with deduction. Prim- 
itive physics and chemistry, for example, consisted of a series 
of deductions drawn by force of logic from a principle established 
by the observation of facts at random. It was only later that 
men came to recognize the fact that to learn the laws of nature it 
is necessary to reason less and to observe more. In the begin- 
ning pure logic was preferred to observation and experience, 
because it was a less fatiguing psychological process, exacting 
the presence of a smaller number of intellectual elements in the 

"The employment of pure logic is, then, the effect of an 
ideo-emotional inactivity proper to the period of infancy, which 
appears in the period of old age by the well-known law of degen- 
eracy and atavism. What is the science of the Middle Ages 
but an invasion of Greek subtilty into the field which the thought 
of antiquity properly submitted to the method of observation.'* 
Just so the absolutism of the deductive method in modern 
juridical science is a sign of decrepitude. The law of ideo- 
emotional inactivity explains to us why so often the law 
of rude and barbarous peoples is distinguished by a certain 
sound common sense, as compared with the marvelously logical 
but marvelously absurd subtilties of the law of the most civil- 
ized peoples." ^ 

* Ferrero, "Les Lois Psychologiques du Symbolisme," Paris, 1894. 

iJart Cftree 



§ 199. 

A LL that I have set forth in the present book and in those 
-^*> which preceded it (Vol. I and II of the " Homme Criminel ") 
proves clearly the insecurity of the ancient criminological scaf- 
folding. Have I succeeded in substituting a more solid edifice.?* 
If pride in a long and painful task has not bhnded me, I think 
that I can answer in the aflSrmative. The fundamental pro- 
position undoubtedly is that we ought to study not so much 
the abstract crime as the criminal. 

§ 200. Atavism 

The born criminal shows in a proportion reaching 33% nu- 
jmerous specific characteristics that are almost always atavistic. 
Ijrhose who have followed us thus far have seen that many of 
the characteristics presented by savage races are very often 
found among born criminals. Such, for example, are: the slight 
development of the pilar system; low cranial capacity; retreat- 
ing forehead; highly developed frontal sinuses; great frequency 
of Wormian bones; early closing of the cranial sutures; the 
simplicity of the sutures; the thickness of the bones of the skull; 
enormous development of the maxillaries and the zygomata; 
prognathism; obhquity of the orbits; greater pigmentation of 
the skin; tufted and crispy hair; and large ears. To these we 
may add the lemurine appendix; anomalies of the ear; dental 
diastemata; great agility; relative insensibility to pain; dullness 
of the sense of touch; great visual acuteness; abihty to recover 
quickly from wounds; blunted affections; precocity as to sensual 


pleasures; ^ greater resemblance between the sexes; greater in- 
corrigibility of the woman (Spencer); laziness; absence of re- 
morse; impulsiveness; physiopsychic excitability; and esjje- 
cially improvidence, which sometimes appears as courage and 
again as recklessness changing to cowardice. Besides these 
there is great vanity; a passion for gambling and alcoholic 
drinks; violent but fleeting passions; superstition; extraordinary 
sensitiveness with regard to one's own personality; and a special 
conception of God and morahty. Unexpected analogies are 
met even in small details, as, for example, the improvised rules 
of criminal gangs ; the entirely personal influence of the chiefs ; ^ 
the custom of tattooing; the not uncommon cruelty of their 
games; the excessive use of gestures; the onomatopoetic lan- 
guage with personification of inanimate things; and a special 
literature recalUng that of heroic times, when crimes were cele- 
brated and the thought tended to clothe itself in rhythmic 

This atavism explains the diffusion of certain crimes, such as 
the pederasty and infanticide, whose extension to whole com- 
panies we could not explain if we did not recall the Romans, the 
Greeks, the Chinese, and the Tahitians, who not only did not 
regard them as crimes, but sometimes even practiced them as 
a national custom. Garofalo has admirably summed up the 
psychical characteristics of the born criminal as being the ab- 
sence of the feelings of shame, honor, and pity, which are those 
that are lacking in the savage also.' We may add to these the 
lack of industry and self-control. 

To those who, like Reel us and Krapotkin, object that there 
are savage peoples who are honorable and chaste, we must 
reply that a certain degree of density of population and of 
association among men is necessary for crimes to develop. It is 
not possible for example, to steal when property does not exist, 
or to swindle when there is no trade. But the proof that these 
tendencies exist in germ in the savage, is that when they begin 
to pass from their stage of savagery and take on a little civili- 
zation they always develop the characteristics of criminality 

1 "Homme Criminel," Vol. I, pp. 136 to 579. 

2 Tacitus, "Germ.," VII. 

» "Criminologie," 2d ed., 1895. 


in an exaggerated form. As Ferrero has pointed out to us, even 
when honor, chastity, and pity are found among savages, 
impulsiveness and laziness are never wanting. Savages have a 
horror of continuous work, so that for them the passage to 
active and methodical labor lies by the road of selection or of 
slavery only. Thus, according to the testimony of Tacitus, 
the impulsiveness of the ancient Germans frequently resulted 
in the murder of slaves, committed in a fit of anger, an act which 
was not regarded as culpable. Tacitus notes also their lack 
of capacity for work. 

"They have," he says, "large bodies, effective for sudden 
effort, but they lack the patience necessary for regular work. 
When they are not at war they do nothing . . . they sleep 
and eat. The strongest and most warlike live in idleness, 
leaving the care of the house and the field to the women, the 
old men, and the weak, becoming themselves .brutalized in sloth." 

At times, on the other hand, impulsiveness, rather than 
sluggishness, seems to ally itself with a ceaseless need of 
movement, which asserts itself in savage peoples in a life 
of incessant vagabondage. Thus the Andaman Islanders, as 
Hovelacque tells us, have so restless a disposition that they 
remain not more than two or three days in the same place, and 
their wanderings have no other reason than the need of move- 
ment. This attitude seems to be the result of a passage be- 
tween physiopsychic inertia and an intermittent need of 
violent and unrestrained physical and moral excitation, which 
always goes with inertia and impulsiveness. Thus it is that 
those peoples who are normally most lazy and indolent have 
the most unrestrained and noisy dances, which they carry on 
until they get into a kind of delirium, and fall down utterly 
exhausted. "When the Spaniards," writes Robertson, "first 
saw the American Indians, they were astonished at their mad 
passion for dancing, and at the dizzy activity which this people, 
almost always cold and passive, displayed when they gave them- 
selves up to this amusement." "The negroes of Africa," 
writes Du Chaillu, "dance madly when they hear the sound of 
the tom-tom, and lose all command of themselves." "It is," 
says Letourneau, "a real dancing madness, which makes them 
forget their troubles, public or private." 


We may add that the atavism of the criminal, when he lacks 
absolutely every trace of shame and pity, may go back far 
beyond the savage, even to the brutes themselves. Patho- 
logical anatomy helps prove our position by showing in the 
case of the criminal a greater development of the cerebellum, a 
rarer union of the calcarine fissure with the parieto-occipital, 
the absence of folds in the passage of Gratiolet, the gutter- 
like shape of the nasal incisure, the frequency of the olecranial 
foramen, extra ribs and vertebrae, and especially the histo- 
logical anomalies discovered by Roncoroni in the cortex of 
the cerebrum of criminals, that is to say, the frequent absence 
of granular layers, and the presence of nerve cells in the white 
matter, and immense pyramidal cells. In seeking for analogies 
beyond our own race we come upon the explanation of the 
union of the atlas with the occipital bone, the prominence of 
the canine teeth, the flattening of the palate, and the median 
occipital fossa, occurring among criminals as with the lemurs 
and rodents; ^ as also the prehensile foot, the simplicity of the 
lines of the palm, motor and sensory left-handedness. We 
recall also the tendency to cannibalism even without desire for 
vengeance, and still more that form of sanguinary ferocity, 
mingled with lubricity, of which examples are furnished us by 
Gille, Verzeni, Legier, Bertrand, Artusio, the Marquis of Sade, 
and others, with whom atavism was accompanied by epilepsy, 
idiocy, or general paralysis, but who always recall the pairing 
of animals, preceded by ferocious and sanguinary contests to 
overcome the reticence of the female or to conquer rivals.^ 

These facts prove clearly that the most horrible crimes have 
their origin in those animal instincts of which childhood gives 
us a pale reflection. Repressed in civilized man by education, 
environment, and the fear of punishment, they suddenly break 
out in the born criminal without apparent cause, or under the 
influence of certain circumstances, such as sickness, atmospheric 
influences, sexual excitement, or mob influence. We know 
that certain morbid conditions, such as injuries to the head, 
meningitis, and chronic intoxication, or certain physiological 

» "Homme Criminel," Vol. I, pp. 160, 217, 176, 182. 
2 "Homme Criminel," Vol. I, pp. 449, 513; Vol. II, pp. 95, 96, 123, 139, 
144, 147. 


conditions like pregnancy and senility, produce derangements 
in the nutrition of the nervous centers, and in consequence 
atavistic retrogressions. We can see, then, how they may 
facilitate the tendency to crime, and when we take into account 
the short distance that separates the criminal from the savage, 
we come to understand why convicts so easily adopt savage 
customs, including cannibalism, as was observed in Australia 
and Guiana.^ When we note, further, how children, until they 
are educated, are ignorant of the difference between vice and 
virtue, and steal, strike, and lie without the least compunction, 
we easily understand the great precocity in crime, and see 
why it is that the majority of abandoned children and orphans 
end by becoming criminals.^ Further, atavism shows us the 
inefficacy of punishment for bom criminals and why it is that 
they inevitably have periodic relapses into crime, so that the 
greatest variation shown by the number of crimes against 
persons is not more than ^, and by those against property 
not more than ^.^ 

We see, as Maury very truly remarks, that we are governed 
by silent laws, which never fall into desuetude and rule society 
much more surely than the laws inscribed in the codes. 

§ 201. EpUepsy 

The same phenomena which we observe in the case of born 
criminals appear again in the rare cases of moral insanity,^ but 
may be studied minutely, and on a large scale, in epileptics, 
criminal or not,^ as the table given below will prove. There 
we shall see that not one of the atavistic phenomena shown by 
criminals is lacking in epilepsy; though epileptics show also 
certain purely morbid phenomena, such as cephalea, atheroma, 
dehrium, and hallucination. In born criminals also we find, 
besides the atavistic characteristics, certain others that appear 
to be entirely pathological, or which at first sight seem more 
neariy allied to disease than to atavism. Such are, for example, 
in the anatomical field, excessive asymmetry, cranial capacity 

1 Bouvier, "Voyage ^ la Guyane," 1866 

2 "Homme Criminel," Vol. I, pp. 92 to 108 

3 Maury "Mouvemente Moral de la Soci6t^," Pans, 1860. 

4 "Homme Criminel," Vol. II, PP- 2-13 

6 "Homme Criminel," Vol. II, PP. 50-201. 


and face too large or too small, sclerosis, traces of meningitis, 
hydrocephalous forehead, oxycephaly, acrocephaly, cranial de- 
pressions, numerous osteophytes, early closing of the cranial 
sutures, thoracic asymmetry, late grayness of hair, late bald- 
ness, and abnormal and early wrinkles; in the biological field, 
alterations of the reflexes and pupillary inequalities. To 
these we may add peripheral scotomata of the visual field, 
which one never finds in savages, with whom, on the contrary, 
the field of vision is remarkably wide and regular, as we see 
in the case of the Dinkas. There is also to be added the altera- 
tion of hearing, taste, and smell, the predilection for animals, 
precocity in sexual pleasures, amnesia, vertigo, and maniac 
and paranoiac complications. These abnormalities, which are 
found in greater proportion among idiots, cretins, and degener- 
ates in general, are to be explained by the fact that in these 
cases alcohoHc intoxication is added to the effect of atavism, 
and still more to that of epilepsy. 

However, the participation of epilepsy in producing the effect 
does not exclude atavism, since they equally involve character- 
istics at. once atavistic and pathological, like macrocephaly, 
cranial sclerosis. Wormian bones, rarity of beard; and in the 
biological field, left-handedness, analgesis, obtuseness of all 
senses except that of sight, impulsiveness, pederasty, obscenity, 
sluggishness, superstition, frequent cannibalism, choleric and 
impetuous disposition, tendency to reproduce the cries and 
actions of animals; and especially the histological anomalies 
of the cortex, which we have noted among criminals, and which 
reproduce the conditions of the lower animals; and finally 
anomalies of the teeth. These latter might appear to have no 
connection with the brain, but are, on the contrary, intimately 
connected with it, since the teeth proceed from the same em- 
bryonic membrane as the brain does.^ 

We may recall here that Gowers, having often noted in epi- 
leptics acts peculiar to animals, such as biting, barking, and 
mewing, concludes from this "that these are manifestations 
of that instinctive animalism which we possess in the latent 
state." 2 

1 "Homme Criminel," Vol. I, p. 232, n. 

2 "Epilepsy," London, 1880. 




'Volume too great 

Volume too small 




Median occipital fossa ... 
Cranial index too great . . . , 
Strongly arched brows . . . , 
Low, retreating forehead . . , 
Hydrocephalous forehead . . 

Cranial osteophytes 

Numerous Wormian bones . . 

Frontal suture 

Early synostosis 

'^ Oblique orbits . . 

Lemurine appendix 

Maxillaries too large 

Large and prominent zygomata 
Large, outstanding ears . . . . 

Facial asymmetry 


Masculine face in women . . . 

Dental diastemata 

Anomalies of bones of nose . . 

Anomalies of teeth 

V Bones of face too large . . . . 

/•Anomalies of fissures 

I Small weight 

■< H^-pertrophy of cerebellum . . 
I Histological changes of cortex . 

l.Traces of meningitis 

^Asymmetry of thorax 

Prehensile foot 



Simplicity of lines of palm . . . 
Visceral lesions 























































































S-0 a 

B 4) U 




















If fully developed epileptic fits are often lacking in the case 
of the born criminal, this is because they remain latent, and 
only show themselves later under the influence of the causes 
assigned (anger, alcoholism), which bring them to the surface. 
With both criminals and epileptics there is to be noted an 
insufficient development of the higher centers. This manifests 






{Abnormal wrinkles 
Sparse beard 
Yellowish tint 
Crispy hair 

f Left-handedness and ambidextry 
J Abnormalities of reflexes . . . 

I Unequal pupils 

^Abnormal agility 

/Obtuseness of sense of touch . . 

Relative insensibility to pain 

Great visual acuteness .... 

Obtuseness of hearing, taste, and 

Sensorial left-handedness . . . 

Peripheral scotomata of the field 

. of vision 

Ximited intelligence 


Emotional obtuseness 

Lack of moral sensibility . . . 

Absence of remorse 

Cannibalism, ferocity, lack of 

Pederasty, onanism, obscenity . 

Exaggerated religious beliefs . . 


Sexual precocity 



Laziness, inertia 



Passion for gambling 

Mania, paranoia, delirium . . . 


( Heredity (alcoholism, insanity, 
s epilepsy, old age of parents) . 
' Alcoholism, etc 






2t3 a 

C 4) 4J 

an C 

PU o 















itself in a deterioration in the moral and emotional sensibilities, 
in sluggishness, physiopsychic hyperexcitability, and especially 
in a lack of balance in the mental faculties, which, even when 
distinguished by genius and altruism, nevertheless always 
show gaps, contrasts, and intermittent action. 


§ 202. Combination of Morbid Anomalies with Atavism 
Very often, moreover, certain common characteristics of 
criminals and epileptics have been classed as abnormal or 
morbid and not as atavistic, entirely because of the insuffi- 
ciency of our embryological and phylogenetic knowledge. 
Many of the characteristics given in the preceding table (which, 
however, is only schematic) are atavistic and morbid at the 
same time, such as microcephaly, cranial sclerosis, etc. Facial 
asymmetry would also appear to be atavistic when we recall, 
for example, the flat-jBshes (Penta) ; so likewise the abnormally 
wrinkled face, taking us back to the Hottentots and the apes. 
Hernia, also, as Fere rightly remarks, recalls conditions that 
are normal in the lower vertebrates and in the embryo. 

Very often morbidity and atavism go back to a common 
cause, as Wagner ^ observes in a magnificent dissertation. 

"The idea," he writes, "that the atavism of criminals is 
associated with some specific disease of the fcBtus has been 
completely confirmed by the discoveries ofj Ettinghausen. If, 
for example, we freeze the roots of an oak so as partly to kill it, 
the following year it will put out leaves that are not like the 
leaves of the modern oak, but like those of the oak of the ter- 
tiary period. This fact explains the reappearance of inter- 
mediate and indistinct fossil forms. We see very clearly, then, 
that influences capable of producing a disease can bring about 
atavistic morphological retrogressions." 

The epileptic background upon which the clinical and ana- 
tomical picture of the moral lunatic and the born criminal is 
drawn (a picture that would otherv/ise be lost in vague semi- 
juridical, semi-psychiatric hypotheses) explains the instan- 
taneousness, periodicity, and paradoxical character of their 
symptoms, which are doubtless their most marked character- 
istics. Note, for example, in this class, the coexistence and 
interchange of kindness and ferocity, of cowardice and the 
maddest recklessness, and of genius and complete stupidity. 
§ 203. The Criminaloid 

Criminaloids, while quite separable from born criminals, do 
not lack some connection with epilepsy and atavism. Thus 

1 Wagner von Jauregg, "Antrittsvorlesung an der Psychiatrischen 
Klinik," Vienna, 1895. 


there are more epileptics among them (10% among pickpockets) 
than among normal men, and a greater proportion of criminal 
types (17%), but there are also certain specific anomalies, such 
as left-handedness, common among swindlers,^ 

In the biology of the criminaloid we observe a smaller number 
of anomalies in touch, sensibility to pain, psychometry, and 
especially less early baldness and grayness, and less tattooing. 
But, on the other hand, we meet with a larger number of 
strictly morbid anomalies, depending upon the abuse of alco- 
holic drinks, such as atheromata, paresis, and scars. Psychic 
anomaUes are especially less frequent with the criminaloid, 
who has not the cynicism of the born criminal nor the passion 
for doing evil for its own sake; he confesses his fault more 
easily and with more sincerity, and repents more often. But 
he is more lascivious, and more often given to alcoholism; and 
the criminaloid women are more susceptible to suggestion. 
The criminaloid is more precocious and relapses oftener, — at 
least this is the case with pickpockets and simple thieves. They 
are often drawn into crime by a greater opportunity, although 
the lack of self-control which makes the epileptic commit 
crime without reason is sometimes found in the criminaloid 
also. We may recall how Casenova confessed that when he 
committed a fraud he never premeditated it, but "seemed to 
yield to a superior will." A pickpocket said to me, "When the 
inspiration comes to us we cannot resist." Dostojevsky depicts 
smugglers of the prison as carrying on their occupation almost 
without returns, notwithstanding the grave risks they run and 
in spite of repeated promises not to relapse. Mendel and Ben- 
edict describe the impulsive nature of the vagabond, which 
keeps him moving without object and without rest. 

Criminaloids, then, differ from born criminals in degree, not 
in kind. This is so true that the greater number of them, 
having become habitual criminals, thanks to a long sojourn in 
prison, can no longer be distinguished from born criminals 
except by the slighter character of their physical marks of 

Still less different from born criminals are those latent crimi- 
1 "Homme Criminel," Vol. II, pp. 216, 514, 518. 



nals, high in power, whom society venerates as its chiefs. They 
bear the marks of congenital criminaHty, but their high posi- 
tion generally prevents their criminal character from being 
recognized. Their families, of which they are the scourges, 
may discover it; or their depraved nature may be revealed all 
too late at the expense of the whole country, at the head of 
which their own shamelessness, seconded by the ignorance and 
cowardice of the majority, has caused them to be placed. Even 
this strange species of criminal monomaniac, who seems to 
differ from the epileptic in the motive of his crime and the 
manner of carrying it out,^ shows nevertheless the epileptic 
and atavistic origin of his criminality by obsessions, interrupted 
periods of ideation, lack of self-control, exaggerated importance 
given to certain details, exhaustion after his criminal crises, 
fondness for symbolism, excessive and intermittent activity, 
and finally by hereditary stigmata. 

§ 204. Criminal Insane 

Even among the true insane criminals those forms predom- 
inate which we may call the hypertrophy of crime, the exagger- 
ation of the born criminal, not only in bodily and functional 
characteristics but also in the manner of committing the crime 
and in conduct afterward.^ These serve to explain to us the 
extent of the impulsive, obscene, and cruel tendencies of the 
criminal insane, who are almost always obscure epileptics or 
born criminals upon whom melancholia and monomania have 
grafted themselves, according to the natural tendency of dif- 
ferent forms of psychic disorders to take root together upon 
the corrupted soil of degeneracy. We have seen, likewise, 
how hysterical persons, alcoholics, dipsomaniacs, pyromaniacs, 
kleptomaniacs, the temporarily insane, reproduce many of the 
characteristics of the epileptic. Even the mattoid, who on 
account of his habitual calm and the absence of signs of degen- 
eracy and heredity, seems far removed from epilepsy, yet shows 
at times this epileptic form, which we have seen to be the ker- 
nel of crime. ^ 

1 "Homme Criminel," Vol. II, pp. 94, 97, 418. 

2 "Homme Criminel," Vol. I, pp. 34 to 228; Vol. II, p. 213. 
» "Homme Criminel," Vol. II, p. 646. 


§ 205. Criminals by Passion 

Criminals of this class form a species apart, and are in com- 
plete contrast with the born criminal, both in the harmonious 
lines of the body, the beauty of the soul, and great nervous 
and emotional sensitiveness, as well as in the motives of their 
crimes, always noble and powerful, such as love or politics. 
Nevertheless they show some points of resemblance with epi- 
leptics, such as their tendency to excesses, impulsiveness, 
suddenness in their outbreaks, and frequent amnesia.^ 

§ 206. Occasional Criminals 

Occasional criminals, or better, pseudo-criminals, are those 
who do not seek the occasion for the crime but are almost drawn 
into it, or fall into the meshes of the code for very insignificant 
reasons. These are the only ones who escape all connection 
with atavism and epilepsy; but, as Garafalo observes, these 
ought not, properly speaking, to be called criminals. 

§ 207. Causes 

The study of the causes of crime does not lessen the fatal in- 
fluence to be assigned to the organic factor, which certainly 
amounts to 35% and possibly even 40%; the so-called causes 
of crime being often only the last determinants and the great 
strength of congenital impulsiveness the principal cause. This 
we have proved in some cases by the continual relapses occa- 
sioned by very small causes, or even without causes, when not 
only the economic environment has been changed, but when all 
the circumstances that might encourage crime have been re- 
moved; and we have proved it especially by the increasing 
recidivism in London, notwithstanding the great efforts made 
by Great Britain to suppress the causes which produce crime. 
Finally, we have seen that certain circumstances have so strong 
an action upon criminaloids that they are equivalent to organic 
causes, and we may even say that they become organic. Among 
these circumstances should be noted the effect of excessive 

» "Homme Criminel," Vol. II, p. 226. 


heat upon rapes, assaults, assassinations, and revolts, and the 
effect of alcohol and heredity upon the whole gamut of crime; 
and to these must be added the effect of race, which in Italy- 
through the Semitic race, and in France through the Ligurian 
race, increases the crimes of blood. 

A fact of the greatest importance is that the same causes 
which diminish certain crimes increase others, making it difficult 
for the statesman to devise a remedy. Thus we have seen that 
education and wealth cause a decrease in certain brutal crimes, 
especially homicides and assassinations, but at the same time 
increase others, or even create new crimes, such as bankruptcy 
and swindling. And if, for example, too great a density is the 
cause of many crimes, such as frauds and thefts, a sparse popu- 
lation, in its turn, favors brigandage and crimes of blood. Scar- 
city favors thefts from the forests, forgeries, insurrections, and 
incendiary fires, while cheapness of grain multiplies the rapes, 
homicides, and crimes against persons genefally. 

Alcohol, which next to heat is the most powerful crime-pro- 
ducer, increases, when it is cheap, all the crimes against persons 
and against the public administration; and if it is dear, all the 
crimes against property. Yet it presents this strange contra- 
diction, that the more serious crimes are least numerous where 
alcohol is most abused, doubtless because this abuse takes place 
in just those localities where there is a higher degree of civiliza- 
tion, and this, by favoring inhibition, decreases the more bar- 
barous crimes. 

The school, likewise is a cause of crime, but where education 
is most general it diminishes the number and seriousness of the 

§ 208. Necessity of Crime 

Statistics as well as anthropological investigations show ua 
crime, then, as a natural phenomonon, — a phenomenon (some 
philosophers would say) as necessary as birth, death, or con- 

This idea of the necessity of crime, however bold it may ap- 
pear, is nevertheless not so new nor so heterodox as one might 
believe at first sight. Centuries ago Casaubon expressed the 


same truth when he said, "Man does not sin, but he is coerced 
in various degrees"; and St. Bernard hkewise said, "Which one 
of us, however experienced he may be, can distinguish among 
his own wishes the influence of the morsus serpentis from that of 
the morbus mentis?" And further: "The sin is less in our heart, 
and we do not know whether we ought to ascribe it to ourselves 
or to the enemy: it is hard to know what the heart does and 
what it is obliged to do." St. Augustine is still more explicit 
when he says: "Not even the angels can make the man who 
wills evil will the good." The boldest and most ardent de- 
fender of this theory is a fervent Catholic and a priest of the 
Tyrol, Ruf.i 

The defenders of theories quite opposed to our own also 
aflSrm it indirectly by the contradictions into which they fall 
in their definitions. If we compare the different attempts at 
criminal codes we see how difficult it is for the legal expert to 
fix the theory of irresponsibility and to find an exact definition 
for it. "The whole world knows what a good or a bad action 
is, but it is difficult, even impossible, to tell whether the de- 
praved act has been committed with a full, or only an incom- 
plete, knowledge of the evil," says Mittermayer. Way ^ writes: 
"We have not yet any scientific knowledge of responsibility." 
And Mahring says:^ "Irresponsibility is a matter which crim- 
inal justice cannot decide with certainty in any special case." 
In fact, there are men who are afflicted with incipient insanity, 
or are so profoundly predisposed to it that the slightest cause 
may make them fall into it. Others are driven by heredity to 
eccentricity or to immoral excesses. "Knowledge of the act," 
says Delbriick, "with an examination of the body and the mind 
before and after it, is not enough to clear up the question of 
responsibility; it is necessary to know the life of the criminal 
from the cradle to the dissecting table." ^ Now as long as the 
criminal is living it is hardly possible to dissect him. Carrara 
presumes "absolute responsibility where both intellect and will 

^ G. Ruf, "Die Criminal justiz, ihre Widerspriiche und Zxikunft,"^ 
Innsbruck, 1870. 

* "Die strafrechtliche Zurechnung," 1851. 

3 "Die Zukunft der peinlichen Rechtspflege," p. 188. 

< "Zeitschrift fiir Psychiatric," 1864, p. 72. 


combine in the accomplishment of a criminal action," but he 
adds immediately afterward, "upon the condition that the action 
of the will has not been lessened by physical, intellectual, or 
moral causes." Now we have seen that there is no crime in 
which these causes are lacking. 

§ 209. The Right to Punish 

Some one replies to us: "But if you deny responsibility, what 
right have you to punish? You proclaim that a man is not 
answerable for his conduct, and yet you exact a penalty. How 
inconsistent, and how harsh!" I shall never forget how a ven- 
erable thinker shook his head when he read these pages, and 
said to me: "Where will you arrive, with such premises? Must 
we let ourselves be pillaged and murdered by brigands upon the 
pretext that we cannot decide whether they know they are doing 
wrong?" I answer: nothing is less logical than to try to be too 
logical; nothing is more imprudent than to try to maintain 
theories, even those which are apparently the soundest, if they 
are going to upset the order of society. If a physician at the 
bedside of a patient, when there is grave danger, must proceed 
cautiously even with the best established system of medicine, 
the sociologist must observe still greater circumspection, for if 
he puts into operation innovations of an upsetting nature he 
will simply succeed in demonstrating the uselessness and inef- 
ficiency of his science. 

Scientific knowledge, however, is happily not at war but in 
alliance with social order and practice. If crime is a necessary 
thing, so also is society's resistance to crime, and, consequently, 
the punishment of crime, which must be measured by the amount 
of apprehension with which it inspires the individual. Punish- 
ment thus becomes less hateful, but also less contradictory and 
certainly more efficacious. 

I do not believe that any theory of punishment has a sound 
basis, except that of natural necessity and the right of self- 
defense. This is the old theory of Beccaria and of Romagnosi,^ 

^ "Society has the right to make punishment follow upon crime as a 
necessary means for the preservation of its members." (''Genesi (Icl 
Diritto Penale.") "Penalties which go beyond the necessity of preserving 
the pubUc weal are unjust." (Beccaria, "Dei Dehtti e delle Pene. ) 


of Carmignani, and, in part, of Rosmini, Mancini, and Ellero, 
and it has now valiant defenders in Ferri, Garofalo, and, above 
all, Poletti. In Germany we see this theory put forward by 
Hommel, Feuerbach, Grollmann, and Hottzendorff; in England 
by Hobbes and Bentham; and in France by Ortolan and Tissot. 
Tissot declares that it is impossible to find any moral relation- 
ship between crime and punishment.^ In France a state prose- 
cuting attorney has said: 

"Man has no intrinsic right to punish; in order to have this 
right he would have to have the knowledge of absolute justice. 
If it were not in the name of the most absolute necessity, how 
could a man arrogate to himself the right of judging his fellow 
man? From the fact that man cannot defend himself without 
inflicting punishment, the conclusion has been drawn that he 
has the right to punish; but that he really does not have it 
may be seen from the fact that when this pretended right is 
taken by itself without reference to the concrete need it ceases 
to be valid." 

Rondeau, governor under Joseph II, in his "Essai physique 
sur la peine de mort," ^ denied the freedom of the will, repudi- 
ated the universally accepted notions of good and evil, merit 
and demerit, and in speaking of repressive justice he declared: 

"Crime does not exist in nature; it is the law alone that im- 
poses this unjust designation upon acts that are necessary and 
inevitable. The innumerable and diverse causes which produce 
the pretended criminality are all material and all independent of 
our will, like the miasma that produces fever. Anger is a passing 
fever, jealousy a momentary deUrium, the rapacity of the thief 
and swindler an aberration of disease, and the depraved pas- 
sions that drive men to sins against nature are organic imper- 
fections. All moral evil is the result of physical evil. The 
murderer himself is a sick man like all other criminals. Why, 
and in the name of what principle, could they be punished, 
unless it is because they disturb the regular course of the social 
life and impede the normal and legitimate development of the 
species? On this groimd society, or, better, the government, 

"The reason for the state's calling a criminal to account is not to exact 
vengeance for the crime, but to bring it about that crime shall not be 
conmiitted in the future." (Carmignani.) 

1 "Introduction Philosophique k I'Etude du Droit Penal," 1874, p. 375. 

* Frasati, "La NuovaScuolo di Diritto Penale in Italia ed all' Estero," 
Turin, 1891. 


had the right to place an obstacle in the way of the fatal con- 
sequences of their acts, just as a landowner has a right to build 
a dike against the flood which tiireatens to inundate his fields 
The social power can, then, without scruple andiwithout hesi- 
tation, deprive malefactors of their liberty; but the moment 
that all crime is recognized as the natural product and logical 
consequence of some disease, punishment must become only a 
medical treatment. We shall cure the thief and the vagrant 
by teaching them the joys of honest work. If by an exception, 
which is unhappily too frequent, they show themselves insensible 
to medical cure, they must be separated from their fellow 

We see here that our boldest conclusions are already more than 
a century old. 

One might question whether it is from wickedness or from 
the effect of their own organism that wild beasts devour man; 
but notwithstanding this doubt, no one would abstain from 
killing them and tamely allow himself to be devoured by them. 
Nor would any one, because of a beUef in the right of domestic 
animals to life and liberty, refrain from harnessing them up for 
work, or slaughtering them for food. And what right have we 
to confine the insane, if it is not for self-defense? By what 
other right do we deprive the conscript soldier of his most holy 
and noble right of forming his own home and family, and send 
him, many times in spite of himself, to death? 

It is just because the principle of punishment is based upon 
the necessity of defense that it is really not open to objection. 

Formerly, punishment, which was made to correspond to the 
crime and like it had an atavistic origin, did not attempt to 
conceal the fact that it was either an equivalent ^ or an act of 
vengeance. The judges were not ashamed to carry out the 
sentence themselves, as the members of the holy Vehme did. 
Crime was considered not only as an evil, but as the worst of 
evils, which only death could pay for. If the guilty did not 
confess, torture was used. When torture was dispensed with, 

1 iroiu-^, poena, compensation. In the Iliad, Achilles killed twelve 
Trojans in return for the death of Patroclus. The compensation for the 
death of a Frank was 200 sous, and thefts also could be paid for. Slaves 
lost their lives for the same crimes which cost a free man only 45 sous. 
(Del Giudice, "La Vendetta nel Diritto Longobardo," 1876.) 


witnesses sufficed. Later mere presumptions were sufficient, — 
and such presumptions ! Not only did the judges kill the crim- 
inal, but they wanted him to taste death slowly. This cruelty 
did not diminish crime, but it was logical, nevertheless. The 
theory does not contradict the practice. The conception was 
that the criminal never improves, and that he begets children 
like himself. The death of the criminal alone prevented recid- 
ivism. Men of that day obeyed the instinct that impelled them 
to punish one offence by committing another; but they did not 
conceal this view. But our logic, our sincerity in penal matters, 
where is it.-* 

We still have this primitive instinct. When we are trying a 
criminal, we have always a tendency to measure his punishment 
by the degree of repugnance and horror with which his crime 
inspires us and to be filled with indignation against the man 
who has confessed it. So we not infrequently see representa- 
tives of the law forgetting their abstract theories and demanding 
in loud tones that the vengeance of society be visited upon the 
offender. Yet the same men, when inditing a book upon crim- 
inal law or sitting to legislate on the same subject, would repu- 
diate such an attitude with horror. And what logic is there in 
the theory, which is being brought into vogue again by Roeder, 
Garelli, Pessina, that punishment is for the purpose of reform, 
when we know very well that the reform of the guiltj^ is always 
or nearly always an exception, while the prison not only does not 
improve him but even makes him worse. Besides, how, with 
such a theory, could one justify the punishments inflicted for 
political crimes, or crimes committed through excitement or 
passion, followed as they almost always are by spontaneous 
and complete repentance? Oppenheim, after having written 
that every crime should be followed by a proportionate penalty 
and that the penalty should not only be an evil but should 
appear as such, goes on to say (with Mohl and Thur) : "Punish- 
ment should have for its only aim the reformation and employ- 
ment of the criminal." But is not this an obvious contradiction.'* 
How can you reconcile the theory which has the criminal dis- 
honored with that which pretends to improve him? How can 
you brand him upon the brow with iron, and say to him, "Make 


yourself better "? What are the theories of Herbert, Kant, 
Altomid, and Hegel, but the ancient ideas of vengeance and the 
lex talionis disguised in modern dress? 

And with all this the State does not thmk of the morrow. It 
shuts the prisoner up, and when he has served the term of his 
sentence it sets him at liberty again, thus increasing the danger 
of society, for the criminal always becomes more depraved in 
the promiscuity of the prison, and goes out more irritated and 
better armed against society. With this theory it is not pos- 
sible to justify the increase of the penalty in the case of recid- 
ivism nor the adoption of preventive measures. 

Some legislators maintain that a criminal ought to be made 
to expiate his crime. But the conception of expiation is eccle- 
siastical, and how can we say that a criminal expiates his crime, 
when it is by force that we take away his life or his liberty.? 

The theory of intimidation in its turn offers numerous con- 
tradictions. Our predecessors cut off nose and ears, quartered, 
boiled in water and in oil, and poured melted lead down the 
throat. But they succeeded only in multiplying crimes and 
making them more horrible, for the frequency and ferocity of 
the punishments hardened men; in the time of Robespierre 
even the children played at guillotining.^ But what do men 
expect to accomplish by intimidation nowadays, when penal- 
ties have been made so much milder and the prisons are almost 
Uke comfortable hotels? And then, what sort of justice is that 
which punishes a man, less for the crime he has committed than 
to serve as an example to others? 

Further, the right to punish, based upon the nature of the 
deed itself, has nothing absolute in it, since we see the penalty 
varying according to the temper and habits of the particular 
judge. Breton affirms that a judge accustomed to deal with 
great crimes will inflict punishments relatively more severe 

^ The death penalty was visited in France as late as 1100 upon 116 
kinds of crimes; thieves were broken on the wheel, murderers were hanged; 
later all were broken on the wheel. Between 1770 and 1780 a certain L. 
was broken on the wheel for stealing linen, and another thief for having 
stolen cheese. In 1666 in Auvergne there were 276 individuals hanged, 
44 beheaded, 32 broken on the wheel, 3 burned, and 28 sent to the galleys. 
In a single province there were more persons executed than are now con- 
victed in all France. 


when he comes to deal with minor offenses; he will give months 
in prison instead of days. No judges, moreover, even in the 
same country and when it is a question of identically the same 
crime, agree exactly upon the sentence. Is it possible to believe 
in an eternal and absolute principle of justice among men when 
we see this pretended justice vary so greatly within a brief 
interval of space or time; when we see bigamy and rape punished 
so differently in England and in Germany; when we see that not 
so many years ago a Jew who accosted a Catholic prostitute 
was condemned to death, as was likewise a Catholic who al- 
lowed an involuntary blasphemy to escape him, while infanti- 
cide, incest, and rape were tolerated? Do we not even to-day 
see the right of pardon and the theory of limitations still in 
force, as if the favor of the king or the lapse of time could change 
the depraved nature of the criminal or make him less likely to 
relapse into crime? 



§ 2X0. 

OF all the criticisms raised by punishment the most impor- 
tant is surely that which concerns its application, especially 
since the fruitful labors of Ferri, Garofalo, Van Hamel, Viazzi, 
and Sighele have not only corrected what there was irrational 
about repression, but have brought it into harmony with our 
juridical ideas. Now, when once it has been demonstrated that 
the penalty is not an equivalent of compensation to offended so- 
ciety, or a sort of excommunication inflicted by lay priests with 
more thought of the crime than of the criminal, we see that 
punishment must change its character. We must have in view 
the welfare of society more than the punishment of the crim- 
inal, and the criminal and his victim more than the crime. The 
fear inspired by a man who suddenly commits a murder for a 
question of honor, or for a political idea, is very different from 
the fear we have of a man who puts a climax on a life of crime 
with an assassination for the purpose of theft or rape. In the 
first case the punishment is almost useless, the crime itself 
being so grave a punishment that it is certain the offender will 
never repeat it. In the second case every delay and every 
mitigation of the penalty is a peril for honest men. 

Thus in cases of assault it is absurd to establish, as the codes 
do, a great differentiation according to the seriousness and du- 
ration of the effects, especially since antiseptic methods now 
hasten the cure; for the murderer does not measure his blows, 
and it is only purely by chance if they are not mortal. On the 
contrary, in crimes of this kind we must observe carefully to 
see whether the guilty person is a respectable man and whether 


he had serious provocation. If this is the case, he belongs in 
the category of criminals of passion; while if the crime has a 
slight motive, or has been premeditated with accomplices, and 
the persons in question are habitual criminals, the slightest 
assault, the unsuccessful attempt, ought to be punished as a 
serious crime, in order to prevent fatal relapses into crime. In 
this case we ought to take no account of the quarrel of the two 
parties, who are not at all interested in what happens to others, 
for the State has the general welfare to care for. 

"It is impossible," says Ferri, very rightly, "to separate 
the crime from the criminal, as it is impossible, in drawing up 
a penal code, to suppose an average criminal type, which, in 
reality, one never meets in any case. Now what does the judge 
do.f* Before him is a pair of scales. In one of the pans he puts 
the crime, in the other the penalty. He hesitates, then dimin- 
ishes one side and adds to the other, expecting thus to measure 
the social adaptibility of the criminal. But, having once 
pronounced the sentence, the judge does not concern himself 
to know whether the person condemned falls again into the 
same crime. What does he know of the application of the 
penalty, and of the effect that it has upon the criminal to be 
deprived of his liberty? Further, when a criminal is sentenced 
for 20 years but reformed in 10, why keep him there for 10 
years longer, when another, to whom it would be useful to 
remain in prison longer, is liberated at the end of 5 years .5* 
Crime is like sickness. The remedy should be fitted to the 
disease. It is the task of the criminal anthropologist to deter- 
mine in what measure it should be applied. What should we 
say of a physician who, stopping at the door of a hospital ward, 
should say to the patients brought to him, 'Pneumonia? Syrup 
of rhubarb for 15 days. Typhus? Syrup of rhubarb for a 
month ' ; and then at the end of the time named turn them out 
of doors, cured or not?" 

In order to avoid these faults the penalty should be indeter- 
minate, and should be subdivided according to the principle of 
Cicero: "A natura hominis discenda est natura juris." ^ We 
must make a difference according to whether we have under 
our eyes a born criminal, an occasional criminal, or a criminal 
by passion. In the case of every criminal in whose case the 
crime itself and the personal conditions show that reparation 

^ "The nature of law is to be learned from the nature of man." 


of the damage is not a sufficient social sanction, the judge 
should give sentence of imprisonment for an indeterminate 
time in a criminal asylum, or in the institutions (agricultural 
colonies or prisons) for occasional criminals, adults or minors. 
The carrying out of the sentence should be regarded as the 
logical and natural continuation of the work of the judge, as 
a function of practical protection on the part of special organs. 
The commission for carrying out penal sentences should include 
expert criminal anthropologists, representing the judge, the 
defense, and the prosecution. These men, together with ad- 
ministrative officers, would stand, not for neglecting and for- 
getting the prisoner as soon as sentence is pronounced, as 
happens now, but for a humanitarian work which would be 
efficacious for the protection, now of society against the libera- 
tion of dangerous criminals, now of the individual against the 
execution of a sentence which, in his case, has been proved to 
be excessive. It is apparent, then, that conditional liberation 
is bound up with the principle of the indeterminate sentence. 

§ 211. Penalties other than Imprisonment 

We ought as much as possible to avoid the short and repeated 
sentences to prison, which, as we have seen, is the school of 
crime, and especially of associated crime, the most dangerous 
of all. "They prevent any cure, they render impossible any 
continuous effort, and they give the criminal a sort of dis- 
tinction, for there are many prisoners who mark on their caps 
the number of their sentences."^ "We might say," writes 
Krohne,2 "that most countries have adopted the principle of 
sending to prison as many men as possible, as often as possible, 
and for as short a period as possible." He might have added 
that they do this in a way to make the prison do as little good 
as possible and as much harm as possible. I have seen in 
prison 11 children arrested under the very grave charge of being 
a band of malefactors, for having stolen a herring, and 4 others, 
who had stolen a bunch of grapes. At the same time three 
ministers in the legislative chamber were defending a thief 

» Aspirail, "Cumulative Punishments," London, 1892. 
« "Handbuch der Gefangnislcunde." 


who had stolen 20 millions. According to Joly there have 
almost always been in France as many as 3,000,000 men who 
have passed at least 24 hours in prison. Each year more 
than 100,000 individuals step in to keep up or raise this 
formidable number by taking the places of those who die. 
Berenger reckons that the isolation (and we may add, the im- 
prisonment) of half the persons sentenced might be dispensed 
with. Of 300,000 persons convicted 57,000 were for violation 
of police ordinances, etc.; 7000 or 8000 imprisoned for debt; 
5500 foreigners expelled from the country, and 13,000 or 14,000 
awaiting transfer; and 12,000 serving sentences of less than 
six days. The short sentences, almost always served in com- 
pany with habitual criminals, can have no intimidating effect, 
especially with the ridiculously short sentences of one and three 
days possible under the penal codes of Holland and Italy. 
The effects, on the contrary, are disastrous, since they make it 
impossible for justice to be taken seriously. By taking away 
all fear from the minds of the persons convicted, they drive 
them irresistibly to new offenses, on account of the dishonor 
already incurred. 

Accordingly, other repressive measures must be substituted 
for imprisonment for minor offenses, such as confinement at 
home, security for good behavior, judicial admonition, fines, 
forced labor without imprisonment, local exile, corporal pun- 
ishment, conditional sentence. Let us look into these new 

§ 212. Corporal Ptinishment — Confinement at Home 

Corporal punishment for minor offenses would be an excel- 
lent substitute for imprisonment, if applied in a manner in 
harmony with our civilization. Fasting, the douche, and hard 
labor would be incontestably very efficacious, and at the same 
time less costly and easier to apply in varying degrees. In 
England whipping has been reintroduced, and, according to 
Tissot, with success. Not less useful would be the confinement 
of the guilty person in his own home, a measure already em- 
ployed in the army. 


§ 213. Fines 
After corporal punishment the penalty which is most easily- 
adjusted and most efficacious, provided it is guaranteed by 
bond, is a fine. Applied in proportion to the wealth of the 
culprit, it would contribute to diminish the enormous judicial 
expenses, while striking the criminal rich, who escape punish- 
ment most easily on their most vulnerable side, the side from 
which they are most often impelled toward evil. Bonneville 
de Marsangy truly remarks that a fine is the most liberal, the 
most divisible, the most economical, the most completely re- 
missible punishment, and therefore the most efficacious. The 
more we advance, he says, the more value money has in this 
sense, that the number of pleasures it can buy becomes il- 
limitable. Further, the number of those who use money for 
pleasure increases also, so that the more we advance the 
more useful a fine becomes. Fines ought aways to be employed 
for the punishment of those guilty of minor offenses, thus di- 
minishing greatly the number of imprisonments. According 
to the code of criminal procedure in Holland, proceedings 
against a person guilty of a misdemeanor are not begun ii 
the offender on being called is willing to pay the maximum 
fine. The case goes on only in the event of refusal to pay. 
For offenses for which the penalty would be not more than a 
month's imprisonment, this function could be exercised by the 
Chamber of Advice, which could stop the proceedings upon 
the payment of a fine by the defendant. Those who refused 
to pay would be sentenced to labor; and if they refused to 
submit to this, they would have to serve a prison sentence 
made as severe as was consistent with health and life. 

As for the objection that the fine is difficult to proportion, 
it does not deserve to be taken seriously, for while a rich man 
does not care as little for one day in prison as a vagrant does, 
a fine of 10,000 francs from him would be the equivalent of a 
few francs from a poor man. 

§ 214. Indemnity 

A fine permits also the indemnifying of the victim, and in 
this way we strike at the root of crime, so much the more since 


the greatest number of criminals from cupidity are drawn 
from the professional and other well-to-do classes. The penal 
judges themselves should be obliged to fix the amount of 
damages to be paid, in order to avoid the delay and discomfort 
of a new trial in the civil court, and the public prosecutor by 
virtue of his office should call for the fixing of damages in cases 
where, whether through ignorance or fear, the victims take no 
action. Bonneville de Marsangy proposes to grant the victim 
a special lien upon the property of the convicted person. The 
indemnity should be collected by the state along with the 
expenses of the trial, and, if necessary, a part of the returns of 
the prisoner's labor should be retained in favor of the 

§ 21$. Reprimand and Security 

The judicial reprimand as substitute for punishment in the 
case of minor offenses is already admitted in the codes of Italy, 
Russia, Spain, and Portugal; also in the canton of Vaud, and 
in the Roman law which prescribed, "Moneat lex antequam 
puniat." ^ However, if admonition can be efficacious in cases 
of the pranks of the young, brawls, and insults, it is not serious 
enough for the offenses of criminaloids without security, which 
is really a suspended fine. The magistrate obliges the culprit 
to deposit a sum of money which shall guarantee society against 
his relapse. The deposit is made for a definite time, after 
which it is restored to him if his conduct has been irreprehen- 
sible. This practice is allowed in the United States and in 
Denmark, and it is certain that the obligation to deposit a 
sum of money and the fear of losing it in case of relapse are 
much more eflFective in preventing rioting and violence than 
a few days in prison. 

The security for good conduct is no less useful. "When the 
magistrate, in place of inflicting punishment demands of the 
defendant a guarantee that he will not disturb the peace of 
another, or that he will maintain good conduct, or abstain from 
certain definite acts, he warns him that in case of a new offense 
he will be subjected to a more severe penalty than would have 

^ "Let the law warn before it punishes." 


been inflicted for the first transgression." This measure has 
been adopted into the Spanish code; and in England it has 
been in operation from early times under the form of "recog- 
nizances to keep the peace," and of "good behavior," demanded 
by the justice of the peace from bad characters, or from a per- 
son who has threatened another, always upon the demand 
of the person threatened, supported by evidence. The same 
method has been authorized since 1861 as an accessory penalty 
in convictions for crime. 

§ 2i6. Probation System— Conditional Sentence 

The best preventive institution for minor or occasional 
criminals is the probation system, widely used in the United 
States, especially for young criminals. A young criminal, not 
a recidivist, is not put into prison, but receives an admonition 
from the judge, who warns him that at the first relapse he will 
be sentenced; and he is placed under the surveillance of a 
special officer of the state. If this officer finds that in his 
family he is not receiving a proper education or sufficient over- 
sight, he is put into a special home for neglected children. If 
he commits a fresh offense he is again brought before the court 
and sent to a reform school. 

This system has given such excellent results in Massachu- 
setts that the idea was suggested of extending it to adult 
criminals, and the law of 1878 instituted a special official, the 
" probation officer." This officer is supposed to inform himself 
with regard to all persons convicted of misdemeanors by the 
courts of Boston, and to determine, by the aid of the informa- 
tion received, whether the offenders are capable of being re- 
formed without the need of the infliction of a penalty. He is 
present at the trials of all those for whom repressive measures 
do not seem to be necessary, and after having made known the 
results of his investigations (of which the principal aim is to 
discover whether there has been a previous conviction), he asks 
that the culprit be released on probation. If the court con- 
sents to this the culprit is put on probation for a period which 
may vary from two months to twelve, under conditions imposed 
by the court. The probation officer formally undertakes to 


see that the conditions are carried out, and has the right at 
any time during the period of probation to arrest the culprit 
for any cause whatsoever, and to bring him before the court 
again in order to have him undergo the sentence which had 
been suspended. When the term of probation has expired, the 
probation officer asks that the sentence be annulled, but in cer- 
tain cases he may ask that the time first fixed be prolonged. 

The number of persons released on probation in the city of 
Boston, guilty of drunkenness, receiving stolen goods, petit 
larceny, and assault and battery, reached 2803 during the 
period from 1879 to 1883. Of these, 223 did not conduct 
themselves properly during the term of their probation, were 
brought to court again, and had to undergo the penalty; 44 
took flight, and could not be apprehended. In 1888 out of 
244 persons put upon probation, 230 appeared to be reformed. 
Many of these promises, without doubt, have not been kept, 
but on the whole the desired effect seems really to have been 
attained. The officer declared that nearly 95% of the persons 
under his charge the previous year had maintained good con- 
duct and had been released; only 13, recognized as incorrigible, 
had had to undergo punishment. The experiment has been 
so successful that the law of 1880 extended the application of 
it to the whole state of Massachusetts. 

An analogous system was put into operation in England by 
the "Probation of First Offenders Act" of 1887; but while in 
America the concurrence and cooperation of the probation 
officer guarantee the good conduct of the culprit, in England 
the pledge of the offender himself is required, or at least the 
concurrence of a bondsman whose assistance will be most 
efficacious, since he is stimulated by the thought that a fresh 
offense will forfeit the bond. Further, the Enghsh law demands 
special grounds for a release on probation, and allows the 
magistrate to fix the time without the intervention of any 
special officer. According to a letter of Colonel Howard pub- 
lished by Professor von Liszt, the number of persons condi- 
tionally released between 1887 and 1897 reached 20,000, with 
9% of recidivisms.^ 

1 "Bulletin of the International Union of Criminal Law," May, 1897. 


In Belgium this institution, introduced by law in 1888, bore 
immediate fruit. The minister of justice reported to the 
chamber in 1891 that of 449,070 persons convicted, 27,564 were 
conditionally released and only 2% relapsed into crime. These 
persons admitted to probation had been convicted for damage 
to property, blackmail, fraud, breach of trust, defamation of 
character, seduction of minors, marriage brokage, indecent 
exposure, threats, adulteration, unintentional injuries, appro- 
priation of lost objects, mendicity, vagabondage, the carrying 
and sale of forbidden weapons, unintentional homicides, kid- 
napping, attempted rape, arson, and fraudulent bankruptcy. 
The crimes handled in this fashion, then, were mostly those 
that are committed by occasional offenders, and only a few 
such as born criminals commit. 

In France also this new institution has been tried since the 
passage of the Berenger Law in 1891. M. Dumas, director 
of penal affairs, reported in 1893 upon the first nine months' 
experience with the law. The correctional tribunals had pro- 
nounced 11,768 conditional sentences, of which 7362 were for 
imprisonment and 4406 were fines. This was out of a total of 
162,582, of which 97,245 were prison sentences and 15,337 were 
fines. Hence the sentences suspended represented 7.5% of the 
prison sentences and 6.7% of the fines. 

In New Zealand and Australia in the first period of two 
years, according to the report of the minister of justice, the 
results of the experiment were excellent. Of 121 persons 
admitted to probation, 58 had conducted themselves properly, 
9 had not fulfilled the obligations imposed, 1 had taken flight, 
and 53 were still in a state of probation at the end of the second 
year. From the 1st of October, 1886, to the 31st of Decem- 
ber, 1888, in New Zealand, according to the report of Captain 
Hume, sentence was suspended and replaced by probation for 
203 persons, of whom 70% appeared to be reformed and 5% 
were arrested again. 

§ 217. The Reformatory at Elmira 
Another method of applying the principle of which we have 
been speaking is found in the Elmira Reformatory, which was 


created by Brockway under the inspiration of my "Homme 
Criminel," as he himself says, and of which Winter, Way, and 
ElHs have given good descriptions.^ To this estabHshment are 
regularly sent only young men between 16 and 30 years of age, 
guilty for the first time of a minor offense. The law grants 
unlimited authority to the board of directors, ^ who may set 
the prisoners at liberty at any time before the expiration of 
the sentence. The liberation is to be based upon a strong 
conviction that the culprit is reformed. The only formality 
which accompanies it is the word of honor that he gives the 
superintendent. However, though the board can shorten the 
sentence for the better prisoners, it cannot lengthen it for 
the others. 

Brockway concentrates all his efforts upon gaining A knowl- 
edge of the young criminal, of his psychological conditions, of 
the environment in which he has Hved, and of the causes which 
have contributed to debase him. From these he deduces the 
means to bring about his reformation. He sets himself to 
develop the criminal's muscular system by douches, massage, 
gymnastics, and by a proper dietary, and to strengthen his will 
by making him take part in procuring his own liberation. 
Immediately upon arriving at the prison the prisoner takes a 
bath, is then clothed in the uniform of the prison, is photo- 
graphed, examined, and vaccinated. For two days he is shut 
up in his cell to meditate upon his crime and to prepare him- 
self for reformation. The third day he is brought before the 
superintendent, who places him, according to his tendencies 
and schooling, in a school or industrial class; and he is made 
to understand his duties and the conditions upon which he 
may regain his liberty. He is instructed in a trade (more than 
75% of the prisoners know none) which shall permit him to 
earn his living after his liberation. This is the first care of the 

1 Alexander Winter, "The New York Reformatory at Elmira," with 
preface by Havelock Ellis, London, 1891; "Fifteenth Annual Report of 
the Board of Managers of the New York State Reformatory at Elmira," 
Jan., 1891. 

2 The board of directors consists of the superintendent and five other 
members appointed ^by the governor of the state with the consent of the 


The young prisoners are divided into three classes,— the good, 
the medium, and the bad or least corrigible. Each prisoner 
is marked monthly according to conduct, work, and progress 
in school, with a maximum of three for each; and to pass to 
the highest class he must obtain the maximum of nine marks 
each month for six months. Promotion to the first class 
carries with it certain advantages, especially with regard to 
correspondence; such as receiving visits, having books, and 
eating at a common table instead of in a separate cell. Finally 
the better prisoners are permitted to take walks together in 
the field, and responsible tasks are given to them, such as 
superintendence of the other prisoners. But just as they may 
win a place in the first class, so by neghgence or bad conduct 
they may fall out of it. In this case they are put back into 
the third class, and must submit to harder work in order to 
regain their position. Brockway, taking account of the apti- 
tude and physical strength of each prisoner, fixed at the begin- 
ning of each month the amount of work that he must accomplish 
in order to obtain the maximum number of good marks. 

Each week there is published in the reformatory the "Sum- 
mary," a paper conducted exclusively by the prisoners them- 
selves. It contains a review of the political events of the 
week, taken from the better American newspapers; in addition 
there are items with regard to the life in the institution itself, 
lectures that have been held, promotions and degradations, and 
the hberation of prisoners. I have been receiving this paper 
for a year, and find that no juristic organ in Italy or France 
is so rich in news and especially in information as regards 

All the work of the institution, even to the superintendence 
and guarding, is done by the prisoners themselves, so that the 
expense is reduced to a minimum. At the same time the work 
of the prisoners is chosen with a view to fitting them for life in 
society, and not to making the institution pay a profit. The 
prisoners in the first class are intentionally exposed to various 
kinds of temptations. After six months Brockway proposes 
to the board that they be given conditional liberty. The board 
has a right to refuse permission, but, as a matter of fact, always 


authorizes the hberation when Brockway considers it advis- 
able. The release takes place, however, only after permanent 
employment has been found for the prisoner. After being 
liberated he must give account of himself regularly for the first 
six months at least, and receives complete liberty only at the 
end of a year of good conduct. 

This is, then, the probation system perfected. No one is a 
warmer partisan than I myself of this reform, which is the 
first practical application of my studies. I believe firmly that 
the individual and physical study of each criminal, with prac- 
tical, individualized instruction, can but have excellent results 
when applied to criminaloids. In these it will inculcate espe- 
cially the habit of working. 

But for born criminals this method does not seem to me 
equally efficacious. When I see that 49% of the inmates of the 
Elmira Reformatory are completely lacking in moral sensibility, 
that 12% have left home before they were 14 years old, that 
37% come from drunken or epileptic parents, and that 56% 
show no signs of repentance, I do not believe that they can be 
reformed by hot and cold baths, great activity, and a sound 
education. I feel this the more since the more promising chil- 
dren are there in limited numbers and are mingled with the 
adults. In fact, if we examine the detailed statistics of 1722 
prisoners set at liberty after remaining at Elmira for an average 
of 20 months, we find that 156 are settled in other states; 10 
are dead; 128 have not yet finished the term of their probation; 
185 could not be liberated until the expiration of their full sen- 
tence; 271 have been given partial liberty after having com- 
pleted six months' probation satisfactorily; 47 were arrested for 
other oflFenses during the time of their probation; 126 did not 
furnish the reports required, and disappeared; 79 have had to 
be returned to the reformatory; 25 returned voluntarily, having 
lost their employment. Leaving out the 10 who died, we have 
533 who were not reformed, that is to say 31%, a proportion 
closely approaching that which I have given for born criminals. 
Moreover, the supervision of the individuals under probation 
is so superficial, that if we count as recidivists those who have 
been lost sight of, we shall approach much more nearly to the 


reality than if we presume that they are reformed as Brockway 

But notwithstanding these defects this system, together with 
the agricultural colony system, is the best possible substitute 
for the prison. 

§ 218. Asylums for the Criminal Insane 
There is another institution which we believe destined to pro- 
mote harmony between humanitarian impulses and the safety 
of society; namely, asylums for the criminal insane. We might 
argue indefinitely upon the abstract theory of punishment, but 
the whole world is agreed upon one point: that among real or 
supposed criminals there are many who are insane. For these, 
prison is an injustice and liberty a danger to which in Italy we 
have opposed only half -measures, such as violate both mo- 
rality and the social safety. The English, who have arrived at 
reforms by the practice of true liberty, have been trying 
for a century to fill up this most dangerous gap in the social 
structure, and have in large measure succeeded through the 
institution of asylums for the criminal insane. Beginning with, 
1786, dangerous lunatics were confined in a special ward in 
Bedlam, from which they could not be released except by the 
authority of the Lord Chancellor.^ In 1844 this measure ap- 
peared to be insufficient, and the state resolved to confine 235 
of the criminal insane in the private institution of Fisherton 
House. But the number of these unfortunates increased con- 
tinually, and special institutions were finally erected at Dun- 
drum in Ireland in 1850, at Perth in Scotland in 1858, and at 
Broadmoor in England in 1863. New laws ordered that not 
only those should be received there who had commited a crime 
in a state of insanity, or had become insane during their trial, 
but also all prisoners who, whether from insanity or from idiocy, 
were incapable of undergoing prison discipline. These last are 
separated from the others and placed in particular sections; if 
cured they are returned to prison; the others remain in prison 
as long as a royal order does not authorize their release. The 

^ Stat. 34 George III, ch. iv: "Whoever has committed manslaughter 
or high treason shall be kept in a place of safety during the pleasure of 
His Majesty." 


number of these criminal maniacs in 1868 was 1244.^ The 
character of the attendants, the attention to the comfort of the 
inmates, and the arrangements for their employment and en- 
tertainment are all excellent, yet many English philanthropists 
think that they have not yet done enough, and complain that 
there are many persons in the ordinary prisons who should be 
confined in these asylums instead. 

In America there are similar institutions, including an annex 
to the great penitentiary at Auburn. 

Now I ask myself: Is it possible that an institution, which 
has been found useful by the most oligarchical nation in the 
world and also by the most democratic, which in 24 years has 
been so greatly extended without yet fully meeting the demands 
upon it, — is it possible that this is a mere luxury, a caprice of 
Anglo-Saxon race? Does it not rather correspond to a sad 
social need, and ought not we, here in Italy, desire to see it 
take root and spread abroad in our land.'^ If in Italy and in 
France the number of the criminal insane appears to be much 
smaller, this is because the public mind has not yet grasped the 
fact that a great number of criminal acts proceed from morbid 
impulses. If at times insanity is recognized as the sole cause 
of a crime and the trial is stopped, the authorities do not con- 
cern themselves further. Besides, many of these unfortunates 

^ On Jan. Ist, 1868, there were in Broadmoor 616, of whom 506 were 
men and 110 women. These had committed: 

Men Women Total 

Capital crimes 188 69 257 

Simple crimes 152 52 204 

Attempted suicide 74 29 103 

Already epileptic 43 6 49 

" maniacs 81 20 101 

From 1862 to 1868 there were 770 entries, 39 persons were cured, 55 
died, and 5 escaped. 

In Dundrum (Ireland), from 1850 to 1863 there were received 250 
insane criminals, of whom 173 were men and 77 were women. Of these 
38 were cured, 41 died, and 3 escaped. Their crimes were as follows: 

Homicide 79 

Burglary 72 

Assault 30 

Theft 12 

Minor offenses 32 

See Pelman, " Psychiatrische Reiseerinnerungen aus England," 1870; 
"Seventh Report on Criminal Lunatics," 1869. 



have periods of rationality in the midst of their insanity, and 
are supposed on this account to be merely feigning.^ 

From another point of view the presence of these unfortunates 
in penal institutions is an oflFense to the moral sense, and it is 
not without danger, both for society and for disciphne; they 
can neither be cared for nor watched properly because of lack 
of fit quarters and of a suitable organization. Further, they 
often act violently and without sense of shame toward the other 
prisoners, and are so much the more dangerous since they have 
sudden fits of excitement, often for the most trivial reasons. 
Thus an insane prisoner killed another of the con\'icts because 
he would not black his shoes for him. At the same time they 
obstinately resist the prison discipline, show themselves indif- 
ferent to punishment, discontented, and defiant, and make 
themselves the center and pretext of continual insurrections. 
If they are kept isolated and chained in cells, as is too largely 
the custom, inaction, and insufficient food and light soon make 
them the prey of disease, even if they do not themselves put an 
end to their unhappy existence. On the other hand, to send 
them to ordinary insane asylumns gives rise to other incon- 
veniences. They take their vices with them, and become the 
disseminators of sodomy, flight, rebellion, and theft, to the 
detriment of the institution and of the other patients, who are 
terrified by their savage and obscene manners and by the 
unhappy reputation that has preceded them. 

There is another class of the insane who, at a certain period 
of their fives, have been victims of a criminal impulse. These 
have not the depraved tendencies of the first class, but they are 
not less dangerous, for they are often irresistibly driven to sav- 
age and unforeseen acts. They wound persons and burn build- 
ings, surmounting with remarkable clearness of mind all the 
obstacles that oppose them. There are those of them who feign 
the most perfect tranquiUity in order to obtain their Uberty or 
to combine secretly for an escape or a plot. They do not avoid 
society as other insane persons do, but tend to associate among 
themselves; and, as they preserve the restlessness of mind that 

1 Lombroso, "SuU' Istituzione dei Manicomi Criminali," 1872; Tam- 
burini, "Siii Manicomi Criminali," 1873. 


they had before they became criminal or insane, they continu- 
ally imagine that they are maltreated or insulted, and succeed 
in inspiring others w4th their false ideas and in giving form 
little by little to plans for flight or rebellion. This again differ- 
entiates them from ordinary lunatics, who are quite incapable 
of such enterprises, but, like somnambulists, live isolated in an 
imaginary world. 

All alienists are in agreement as to these facts, and I myself 
have had direct proof of them in the institutions of which I 
have been director. Thus Er., an insane person already im- 
prisoned for receiving stolen goods, complained incessantly of 
the injustice of the courts and of our treatment of him, which 
he did not find sufficiently respectful. He wrote absurd letters 
of protest to the King and to the prefect. One day he appeared 
entirely changed, he had become humble and well-behaved; he 
had set himself to plotting with three other patients for a slaugh- 
ter of the attendants, and a Uttle later, while the attendants 
were engaged in distributing the soup at noon, he and his com- 
panions tore up part of the paving of the court and began to 
throw the stones in all directions. A few years later an epileptic 
homicide did the same thing and nearly succeeded in putting 
the whole force of attendants to flight. Another insane crim- 
inal, a homicide with hallucinations, was so intelligent, that 
although he was a poor shoemaker without education, he was 
able to wnie his autobiography in a style worthy of Cellini. 
This man conducted himself properly for two years, but one 
day there was discovered hidden in his bed a bar of iron which 
he had prepared for the express purpose of striking myself. 
Another day, having made a picklock of some pieces of wood, 
he opened two doors, let himself dowTi from a wnndow, and es- 
caped. All investigators who have treated of this subject give 
examples of the danger of unexpected relapse into morbid ten- 
dencies on the part of individuals apparently harmless.^ The 
burgomaster of Gratz some years ago became the victim of a 
religious monomaniac, who had already threatened the life of 

* "Annales Medico-psychologiques," 1846, p. 16; Falret, "Sur les 
Ali^n^s Dangereux," 1870; Solbrig, "Verbrechen und Wahnsinn," Munich, 
1870; Delbriick, "Zeitschrift fur Psychiatric," XX, p. 478. 


another person. Hatfield, before making his attempt upon the 
life of George III, had attempted to kill his wife and three chil- 
dren. Confined in Bedlam, he there killed an insane person. 
Booth, the assassin of Lincoln, had once thro^vTi himself into 
the sea, to speak, as he said, with a colleague who had droT\-ned 

The harm of the unrestrained Hberty given to insane crim- 
inals ends by extending itself to the whole nation. This is not 
simply because these unfortunates turn their homicidal thoughts 
towards the heads of the nation, but especially because, being 
endowed with a very clear mind and a tendency to form associ- 
ations, they succeed, when the moment is favorable, in forming 
a partisan band. This is the more dangerous because the leaders, 
lacking balance of mind, are unable to control themselves, but 
act upon the mind of the mob by the very fascination of their 
strangeness, and succeed in drawing them bhndly after them. 
They are, we might say, ferment germs, powerless by them- 
selves, but terrible in their effects when they can act at a given 
temperature and upon a predisposed organism. Historic ex- 
amples of this are to be found among the epidemics of insanity, 
in the INIiddle Ages, among the Mormons and Methodists in 
America, in the incendiaries of Normandy in 1830, and in those 
of the Commune in Paris. We know now that, leaving aside the 
influence of certain rare idealists, the Commune was the effect 
of an epidemic delirium called forth by defeat and the abuse 
of absinthe, but especially by the great number of the insane, 
ambitious, homicidal, or even paralytic, freed too soon from the 
asylums, who, finding in this over-excited population a propi- 
tious soil, united and put into action their disastrous dreams. 
Laborde ^ cites at least eight members of the Commune who 
were notoriously insane. Such were Eude, Ferre, Goupil, 
Lunier, and Flourens, and such was B., who nevertheless was 
elected by 10,000 votes. The horrors of the French Revolution 
also were often provoked by the delirium of homicidal mono- 
maniacs hke Marat and Teroigne. The Marquis de Sade was 
president of the section of the "Pikemen." 

1 "Lea Homines de I'lnsurrection de Paris devant la Peychologie," 


The one remedy for all these evils is unquestionably the in- 
stitution of asylums for the criminal insane. If these received 
legal recognition and their position were unequivocally fixed, 
the continual conflict between justice and public safety would 
cease, a conflict which now is renewed every time one of these 
unfortunates comes to trial and an attempt is made to deter- 
mine how far he was driven by morbid impulses and how far 
by the perversity of his own will. In doubt the judges extri- 
cate themselves, now by an injustice, now by an imprudence — 
the latter when they lighten the sentence of a man who appears 
insane, or acquit him altogether; the former, when as, alas, too 
often happens, they condemn, perhaps to death, one whom an 
alienist would recognize at once as insane. 

Many will object, it is true, that if we allow ourselves to be 
led by these considerations we shall end by punishing no one. 
But the same objections were raised against those who opposed 
the burning of those insane unfortunates whom men called 

This position should not be ascribed to a sentimental pity, 
dangerous to others, for the measure is preventive even more 
than humanitarian; since if those unjustly convicted are nu- 
merous, those imprudently acquitted are not less so. The thing 
to be done, then, is to prevent them from returning to society, 
to which they are a great source of danger, until we have every 
assurance that they have become perfectly harmless. 

It may be objected again that it is easy to confuse those who 
feign insanity with those who are really insane; and, in fact, 
the number of these is very great among criminals. But the 
most recent studies have shown us that mistakes are made only 
because so many observers are ignorant of the connection 
between moral insanity and crime; and because, moreover, it 
is very difficult to make a true diagnosis, since many of the 
persons pretending insanity are really predisposed to it, so that 
in a short time they become actually insane, or are genuine 
insane persons who, ignorant ot their true disease, easily pre- 
tend an artificial one. Further, these patients often present 
very rare forms of mental disturbance, and on this account the 
distrust of the physician is quite rightly aroused. Jacobi tells 


that he had to change his opinion four times about an insane 
person who appeared to be feigning insanity but proved to be 
really insane. A thief who was pronounced by Delbriick to be 
feigning insanity starved himself to death. Another pretended 
that he had in his right leg a disease that he had in reality in 
his left. A homicidal monomaniac imitated in prison a form of 
insanity which he did not have, and did this, as he told me, to 
escape sentence. But if some criminals really succeed in feign- 
ing insanity, the perpetual seclusion in a hospital for the insane 
wall be punishment enough, even if modern society, not content 
with defending itself against them, still wishes to revenge itself 
upon them. Insane criminals, in fact, complain incessantly of 
being kept in the hospitals, and demand with loud cries to re- 
turn to prison. There is, for example, the case of Trossarello, 
who would not allow his counsel to defend him as insane, pre- 
ferring to be executed to being immured in an insane asylum. 
Would not the asylum for the criminal insane be the best means 
of making such criminals harmless? I do not know whether 
Vacher merely pretended to be insane, or was really so; but 
if he had been permanently confined in an insane asylum the 
lives of several men would have been spared. 

Wiedemeister objects, further, that the asylums for the crim- 
inal insane in England are often the theater of sad scenes of 
blood, and require for their maintenance three times the expense 
of the others. This is true, for the tendency to make plots, 
very rare in the ordinary asylums, is, on the contrary, very 
frequent in the criminal asylums, since the inmates know that 
they will never be released, and furthermore, being conscious 
of their impunity, destroy clothing and utensils, attack the at- 
tendants, wound, and kill. In 1868 there occurred at Broadmoor 
72 cases in which attendants were injured, two of them very 
seriously; and the daily expense, especially great because of the 
damage done by the insane and the high pay given the attend- 
ants, reached five francs for each insane person. There is 
nothing, however, to wonder at in that, nor should it cause 
any serious opposition, for it is natural that the bringing to- 
gether of so many dangerous individuals should bring great 
dangers with it, especially to the poor attendants, who, not- 


withstanding their high wages, seldom remain long in the ser- 
vice.^ But if it were not for the asylums for the criminal insane 
these things would occur in the ordinary asylums. Besides, 
the subdivisions recently introduced by Orange at Broadmoor 
have greatly improved conditions. First the convicts are sep- 
arated from the others; then those who have been indicted but 
not convicted; finally the ordinary prisoners, who have been 
sentenced to short terms for crimes of little moment, are re- 
turned to the county asylums. The government has carried 
the reform to completion and removed all inconveniences by 
setting aside one wing of the Woking prison for convicts who 
become insane while in prison. 

The statistics of asylums for the criminal insane show that 
they have a noticeably lower mortality rate than the general 
asylums. This is an encouragement to establish more of these 
institutions, and at the same time a proof that conditions in 
them are not as bad as has been represented. 

The expense does not appear to be so excessive when one 
compares it with the cost of caring, not for ordinary insane 
persons, but for the violent insane, who, needing double watch- 
fulness, occasion a considerable expense. It is necessary also 
to take into account the expense occasioned by escapes, fre- 
quent in the case of the violent. In Massachusetts this expense 
has been estimated at not less than $25 a day while the escaped 
lunatic is at large. This is even one of the reasons that led the 
state to erect an asylum for the criminal insane. We may add 
that the expense could be considerably diminished by trans- 
ferring to the asylum a number of the better penitentiary 
guards at an advanced pay; in this way the frequent changes 
of attendants would be avoided, and at the same time men 
accustomed to this sort of danger and not easily intimidated 
would be secured. Finally, the number of inmates might be 
cut down by removing criminals who become inoffensive, by 

1 Attendants receive an average compensation of from £30 to £40, the 
head attendant from £150 to £175, his assistant from £40 to £60. Those 
who are married have a family apartment, a school for their children, a 
library, reading-room, and smoking-room. Yet in 1867 69 gave up their 
positions, and 64 in 1868. In Broadmoor there is 1 attendant to 5 patients, 
in Dundrum 1 to 12. The expense for clothing destroyed reached £512 in 
one year. 


eliminating those who come from prison in an acute state of 
insanity and are therefore, as the experience of Gutch in Bruch- 
sal shows, more likely to be cured, and also by retaining in the 
prison infirmary, under strict surveillance, those prisoners who 
are suspected of feigning insanity. 



§ 219. Sex 

AS I have shown in Chapter XIV, and in my "Female 
Offender," we may conclude that the true born criminal 
exists among women only in the form of the prostitute, who 
already finds in her lamentable calling a substitute for crime. 
Most female criminals 

" are only criminals from accident or passion, passing fre- 
quently from one to the other of these two classes. They very 
rarely show the type and tendencies of the criminal, and com- 
mit only from 11% to 20% as many crimes as men. They 
lead, it is true, in poisoning, abortion, and infanticide; but of 
the highway robberies only 6% to 8% are committed by 

We may add that the crimes which are more essentially 
feminine, such as abortion and infanticide, are just those for 
which there is least need of punishment, being almost always 
committed at the suggestion of the lover or husband. It is 
often sufficient to separate the criminals. 

The penalty for the greater number of female criminals could 
be limited to a reprimand with suspended sentence, except in 
the very rare cases of poisoning, swindling, or homicide, in 
which it would be necessary to confine the offender in a con- 
vent, where, on account of their great susceptibility to sugges- 
tion, religion could be substituted for the eroticism that is the 
most frequent cause of their crimes. I have had proofs of this 
in a cellular prison under my charge, where, however, the nuns 
in attendance were not especially well fitted for their duties. 
As for those who relapse two or three times into sexual crimes, 
the only method would be to enroll them in the official list of 


prostitutes, which would have the advantage of preventing 
clandestine prostitution, much the most harmful sort. 

Recognizing the great importance which women attach to 
dress and ornament, we may often in minor offenses, such as 
thefts, brawls, and slanders, replace a prison sentence by penal- 
ties which will touch female vanity, such as cutting the hair, 
etc. In adopting special penalties for women we shall only be 
returning to usages of the ancients, the Jews, and the Germans. 
In Russia in the Middle Ages a woman who struck her husband 
had to ride upon an ass with her face toward the tail. In 
England women who quarreled among themselves had to go 
through the village with a weight chained to their foot; sland- 
erers and busybodies had to wear a muzzle.^ Konrad Celtes 
writes in his "De Origine, Situ, Moribus, et Institutionibus 
Germanise" : 

" Women who have been brought into disrepute because of 
witchcraft or superstitious practices, or have been guilty of 
infanticide or abortion, have various punishments inflicted 
upon them; being either sewed up in sacks and drowned, or 
even burned to death, or buried alive. Yet these cruel pun- 
ishments are not sufficient to prevent their continually adding 
crime to crime." ^ 

§ 220. Abortion 

The crimes of abortion which do not have professional gain 
for their object ought to be punished only by reprimand or 
putting upon probation. It is to Balestrini that the credit is 
due for demonstrating that the procuring of an abortion ought 
not to be treated as a crime; ^ for the lawmaker cannot in 
this matter pretend to be protecting the family, since this 
crime is most often committed by unmarried mothers just with 
the object of not creating an illegitimate family. Regarded as 
a defense of the person, such a law would have no force except 
where the abortion was procured without the consent of the 
mother. The abstract legal object is equally without standing, 

1 "Revue des Revues," 1895. , t^ .. .• /-. » loor.. 

2 Lombroso, in "Proceedings of Second Penitentiary Congress, 189o, 
Moraglia, in "Archivio di Psichiatria," 1894-95. . . „„ j-Tr,fonf^ » 

3 RaffkeUo Balestrini, "Aborto, Infanticidio, ed Esposizione d Infante. 


since society has nothing to gain from the birth of illegitimate 
children. The fiction of civil law which extends personality 
to unborn children cannot be carried over into criminal law. 
The legal existence of the foetal life as a part of the social 
structure is, moreover, very contestable; an embryo does not 
represent a real human being, but a being stiU at the stage of 
animahsm, or rather a lower animal, which, in the earlier months, 
it would take an embryologist to recognize as human at all. 
No right is injured, then, by an abortion produced by a woman 
upon herself, not even by the danger which she incurs, no one 
being able to prevent another from injuring himself. 

We may add that indictments and, still more, convictions are 
very rare, and that there is the risk of an unjust conviction 
from the difficulty of obtaining certain proof except in very 
rare cases.^ In Italy in 1863 out of 9 women tried 4 were 
acquitted; in 1870 there were 4 acquittals to 8 indictments, 
and in 1881 the same number to 13 indictments.^ In Eng- 
land from 1847 to 1849 there were only 3 cases of abortion 
tried, in 1850 there were 5, in 1851 4, in 1852 9, in 1853 
17, out of which number there were 12 acquittals. In 1853 
there was not a single trial for abortion in Scotland, and the 
same was true in Wurtemberg in 1853-54. And the rarity 
of convictions (28%) not only casts ridicule upon the law, 
but also makes it appear that there is injustice in the rare 
cases where the penalty is exacted.' 

§ 221. Infanticide 

All these arguments are applicable to infanticide also. Birth, 
the later development of the embryo, is only an unjust cause of 
infamy to the woman without being any advantage to society, 
to which on the contrary it becomes a charge; for if the infant 
is abandoned it is received into a foundling asylum, where it 
is legally assassinated, the mortality in these establishments 
being so great as to be like a permanent epidemic. Thus in 
Syracuse the mortality of foundlings reaches 73%, at Modica, 
99%, and at Turin, 50%. 

* Raffaello Balestrini, op. cit. 

2 "Statistiche Giudiziarie Penali." 

' Beccaria, " Dei Delitti e delle Pene." 


It may be objected that we ought not to interfere with the 
increase of the population, but in that case we ought to pass 
laws against onanism. All thinkers recognize that law is a 
relation of man to man, having for its object to make possible 
the existence of man in society; that it has two terms, man and 
society, but man only in so far as he is a member of society. 
In the case of the foetus, and in the case of the newly born 
child as well, we can recognize only one of these two terms 
fully; we may even say that the social element is completely 
lacking. "It is evident, in fact, that both are rather under 
the guardianship of the mother, who constitutes their whole 
environment, than under that of society, of which they are 
still not directly a part." ^ The alarm of society for the life of 
an infant of whose existence it is still ignorant (for infanticide 
"honoris causa" must necessarily take place before the birth 
of the infant is known) ought to be much less than that for the 
loss of an adult in the flower of his age.^ 

We must, then, deduct from the theoretical evil caused by 
the murder of the new-born child, the amount of certain or 
probable evil which would come from the preservation of a life 
which exposes the father and mother to an irreparable loss of 
honor, compromises the peace of one family and sometimes of 
several, or, at least, in case the child is deserted, puts society 
in a perplexing situation; for, on the one hand, the imperious 
voice of charity imposes upon society the necessity of receiving 
the innocent foundling, while on the other hand reason and 
experience teach that, by constantly accepting the bringing up 
of these children as an obligation, it incurs the risk of encour- 
aging desertion and makes charity degenerate into a reward 
of immorality.^ 

As for the direct harm caused by infanticide, it consists in 
the suppression of an existence so threatened, by the frequency 
of still-births and the great mortality of foundlings, that it 
does not all approach the harm done by an ordinary homicide. 

It is hardly necessary to add that a penitentiary sentence 

1 Tissot, "Introd. Philosoph. k I'fitude du Droit Pdnal." 

» Balestrini, op. cit. . 

» Boccardo, "Dizionano di Economica Politica. 


would have the infallible effect of depraving the woman, and 
of taking from her, together with the habit of housework, the 
means of rehabilitating herself when her term had expired. On 
the other hand, if we base the penalty upon the fear of a relapse, 
it can have no hold upon the infanticide, who is almost invari- 
ably a criminal by accident or by passion, rarely a recidivist. 
Probation, with security for good behavior, is here, then, very 
generally sufficient. Limiting in this way the repressive meas- 
ures against women, we shall prevent those decisions of judges 
and juries which seem so unjust when we compare the treat- 
ment of women with that of men. Out of 100 of each sex who 
came to trial at the Assizes in Italy, 34 women and 31 men 
were acquitted; 31 women and 19 men before the Tribunal; 
and 8 women and 6 men before the justices of the peace. In 
France, 25 women and 50 men were acquitted at the Assizes ;^ 
and in Russia, 31 women and 34 men.^ 

§222. Age — Youth 

Prison is still less the proper expedient for the youth of 
either sex. I have shown that there are offenses which belong 
physiologically to childhood, such as cruelty to animals, theft 
of food, and cheating.^ What is really useful in these cases is 
what we may call moral nurture, putting them into the care 
of respectable and kindly families, where the children will be 
well treated, and where they will be submitted to the proper 
sort of suggestion, so powerful at that age. Here they will be 
stimulated to continued activity for the satisfaction of their 
proper pride, and at the same time will be withdrawn from 
dissipation and idleness. Charitable institutions, agricultural 
colonies, and reform-schools like Barnardo's and that at Elmira, 
rendered more useful by the application of new ideas drawn 
from psychology and psychiatry and by emigration to agri- 
cultural centers, will prevent the occasional crimes so frequent 
at that age and will succeed in certain cases, if not in correcting, 
at least in usefully transforming, the born criminal, and in any 
case will prevent him from contaminating others.^ 

1 Bosco, "La Statistica Civile e Penale," Rome, 1898. 

2 "Homme Criminel," Vol. I. 

' I have read in the "Bulletin de rUnion des Soci6t& de Patronage,"' 


For this purpose it is necessary to avoid the detention prison, 
which is the greatest source of corruption for youth. 

"We speak," says Joly, "of the prisons of the Middle Ages, 
where they found a dead man between two sick men in the 
same bed. What we still do in our prisons is destined, I believe, 
to cause quite as much astonishment by and Ijy. We put a 
person awaiting judgment, who is innocent or perhaps only an 
occasional criminal, in contact with hardened offenders. . . . 
France, with such promiscuities, transforms into malefactors 
children who have no tendency to crime." ^ 

And all this has not even the advantage of making a selection, 
since, as Joly very well observes, the children acquitted are 
worse than those convicted. 

It is for this reason that every violent correctional measure 
ought to be regarded as harmful and we should turn to milder 
measures. Especially, remembering the great precocity of 
criminals, the limit of age at which we begin their application 
ought to be set at some little time before nine years, and pro- 
longed in the case of infantilism to a period considerably beyond 
that set by law. The limits should vary, also, according to 
climate, race, profession, etc. The Semitic and southern races 
are, for example, much more precocious in crimes of blood and 
in sexual crimes; and the poor and those who live in the coun- 
try are slower to develop than the city dwellers and the rich. 

§ 223. Old Age 

The old man unable to do harm ought, like the child, to be 

spared the prison sentence. In his case the common refuge, 

the workhouse, is sufficient. Here such inmates should be kept 

in separate apartments, with special precautions to prevent 

the contagion of evil and also escape. Only when the crime 

shows an unconquerable perversity should the old man be 

incarcerated in a regular prison. 

Oct., 1897, that the Tribunal of the Seine in passing judgment upon 
minors inquires into the character of the parents. If this is good the 
child is returned to them (25%); or he is sent (73%) to the temporary 
asylum for minors founded by the government in 1893, and thus all but 
a small proportion (2% to 5%) are spared a penal sentence. A circular 
of the Minister of Justice, May 13th, 1898, extends this measure to the 
whole of France. ("Revue P^nitentiare," 1898, p. 871.) 
1 "Le Combat contre le Crime." 


§ 224. Criminals by Passion 

For true criminals by passion remorse for crime is already 
the greatest of punishments. A fine, a judicial reprimand, or 
removal from the city or from the persons injured will be suflfi- 
cient to protect society, to which they present no danger; and 
this treatment will leave them able to be useful, because of 
the great altruism which is characteristic of their class. 

§ 225. Political Criminals 

Much the same may be said of political criminals. If there 
is a crime which should be spared not only capital punishment, 
but even any severe punishment at all, it is that of the political 
criminal. This is especially true because many political crim- 
inals, if they are not criminals by passion, are insane and need 
the hospital more than the scafiFold; and because even when 
they are criminals their altruism renders them worthy of the 
greatest consideration, and often by having their altruism given 
another direction they may be made useful to society. Louise 
Micnel was called in New Caledonia "the red angel," so de- 
voted was she to the sick and unfortunate.^ Moreover, almost 
all political criminals are young, and it is in youth that heroism 
and fanaticism attain their highest degree. It is not possible 
to kill an idea by killing the man who has conceived it; on 
the contrary it grows and perpetuates itself better in the glow 
of the martyr's halo, all the more if it is true, while if it is false, 
it falls of itself. Furthermore, it is not possible to pass final 
judgment upon a man while he is alive, any more than a single 
generation can decide with certainty as to the falsity of an idea 
that has arisen under their own eyes. Russia has for a long 
time given us proofs of the uselessness of too severe laws against 
political criminals. Each of her terrible acts of repression by 
condemnation to a lingering death in the mines of Siberia has 
been followed by new and more violent reactions; and the same 
is true of France and Italy. Ravachol was not yet dead when 

* Lombroso and Laschi, "Le Crime Politique," Paris, 1890. 


he was turned into a demi-god, and hymns were sung in Paris 
in his honor instead of the Marseillaise.^ 

"There is nothing," writes one of our profoundest thinkers, 
G. Ferrero,2 "more potent in exciting revolutionary tendencies 
than those legendary martyrologies that stir the imagination 
of the numbers of fanatics with whom our society is swarming, 
and who are always an important element in all revolutionary 
movements. In every society there is a crowd of persons who 
need a martyr. They enjoy being persecuted and beheving 
themselves the victims of human wickedness. They enroll 
themselves in the political parties which offer the most danger, 
just as certain mountain-climbers choose the mountain that 
has the most dangerous precipices and the most inaccessible 
peaks. For all such there is no more powerful incentive to 
embrace revolutionary theories than violent persecutions; and 
nothing is more dangerous than to give these exalted imagina- 
tions the corpse of an executed leader." 

That which characterizes these political criminals especially 
is a lack, which we might call specific, of adaptability to the 
form of government under which they are living; while bom 
criminals show themselves unadaptable not only to the social 
environment of the nation in \#iich they are found, but also 
to that of any nation of the same degree of civilization. For 
this reason, while born criminals must be eliminated from the 
civilized world, political criminals, who are such by passion, 
need simply be removed from the governmental and social 
environment of the people to whom they have proved unable 
to adapt themselves. 

Exile, as it existed in Roman law and as it now exists in 
Abyssinia, and — in serious cases — deportation, are, then, the 
penalties most appropriate for this class of criminals. But 
these penalties ought always to be temporary and revocable 
every three or five years at the will of parliament; ^ for before 
the expiration of the sentence public opinion may very well 
have changed. It is just for this reason that our school, while 
opposed to jury trial for ordinary crimes, accepts it in the case 
of political crimes as the only means of diagnosis which permits 

1 Lombroso, "Les Anarchistes," Paris, 1896. 

' "La Riforma Sociale," 1894. 

» Lombroso, "Crime Politique," Pt. IV. 


the recognition of whether the public opinion regards the 
offense in question as a crime. It was thus that formerly 
heresy was punished as the gravest possible crime, while to 
punish it to-day would seem ridiculous. It will be the same in 
a short time with crimes of leze majesty, strikes, and the pre- 
tended offenses of socialistic thought. By this means we shall 
prevent those rare cases of rebellion which are, as we have seen, 
the begiiming of evolution; and this idea is neither revolution- 
ary nor new, for it has already been applied in different countries 
and epochs, and under really free governments; in Florence 
under the form of admonition, in Greece under that of ostra- 
cism, and in Sicily as petalism. In the constitution of the 
United States it is Congress itself which fixes the penalty for 
poHtical crimes; and the same situation prevailed in the Roman 

But if the punishment for crimes provoked by political pas- 
sion alone ought always to be temporary, in mixed political 
crimes, on the contrary, the penalty might be applied in a 
mixed form; that is to say, fixed for a certain term of years, 
corresponding to the legitimate social reaction, and indeter- 
minate for another series of years, in order that it may be 
possible to interrupt it when the attack upon the political 
organization is no longer considered in the country as a crime. 

§ 226. Occasional Criminals 

The same crime calls for a different penalty according as it 
is committed by a born criminal, a criminaloid, or an occasional 
criminal, and even at times in this latter case for no punish- 
ment at all. In this case it is essential to recognize the true 
motive. An offense that is really occasional, and which 
excludes the thought of punishment, is the theft of food by 
persons who are famished.^ Real punishment is equally inappro- 
priate in all cases of involuntary offenses, according to the opin- 
ion of Puglia, Pinsero, and Capobianco,^ the amount of the 
damages to be paid being left to the ci\Tl judges; for it would be 
unjust to regard a man as absolutely unfit to Hve in society,. 

» Cremani, "De Jure Criminali," 1748. 
» "Scuola Positiva," III and VII. 


simply for the reason that through neghgence or thoughtless- 
ness, or by a pure accident which could not be repeated, he has 
committed a harmful act. If the same thing occurs repeatedly, 
it is possible to add to the simple damages a fine, or suspension 
from the office, art, or profession which have been the cause 
of the blamable act. 

§ 227. Aid to Suicide 

Among the pretended crimes which the law punishes but which 
the public conscience absolves, are those which Garofalo calls 
"not natural" but juridical, and which we shall call conven- 
tional. Aid to suicide is an example. 

"If, leaving aside pure abstractions, we interrogate the 
science of life, we shall see," write Calucci and Ferri, "that 
the interest of society in the existence of each of its members 
is not absolute, but that it decreases greatly, and even ceases 
altogether, in the case of voluntary death. On its side biology 
shows us that in the struggle for existence it is the weakest, 
those least adapted to the social life, who succumb. Suicide 
is one of the forms of this defeat. It is, according to Hackel, 
a safety valve for future generations, to whom it spares a fatal 
heritage of nervous diseases with their consequent misery. It 
is, says Bagehot, one of the instruments for the amelioration 
of the human race by the road of selection." ^ 

Such is also the opinion of Morselli and of myself. I have 
shown with Ferri that suicide is opposed to homicide,* that it 
is a real safety valve, so that where the one increases the other 
decreases. On this side, then, suicide is of real advantage to 
the security of the state. 

"Either," continues Ferri, "you maintain that a man has 
not a right to dispose of his own life, and then you ought to 
punish the suicide, or else you recognize that suicide is not a 
crime. In that case how can you punish the man who takes 
part in the suicide by aiding in it, just for taking part in what 
is no crime? For, even if we cannot deny that the state exercises 
its repressive function for the purpose of defending its citizens 
as individuals in the case of crime against their safety, who 
does not see that real and voluntary consent of the victim re- 
moves every excuse for interference on the part of the state?" 

1 Ferri, "L' Omicidio-Suicidio," 1884. 
« "Homme Criminel," Vol. I. 


Wherein do we feel our safety threatened when we learn that 
an individual has been killed at his own request? The Church 
alone can pretend to save the sinner in spite of himself. 

§ 228. Defamation 

The same may be said of the penalties decreed by the Italian 
code against defamation having a political or social object, the 
work most often of men better than the normal who have the 
courage to reveal to the public facts that pass for defamation 
only because the persons accused are powerful. These noble 
defamers are not to be feared, and they do no damage. They 
disobey the law only because it is imperfect. They are, then, 
pseudo-criminals,^ more worthy of praise than punishment. It 
is enough to make them show their good faith by furnishing 
proof of the facts or by retracting if they are deceived, expecially 
since to lay bare our wounds is to begin their cure. 

§ 229. The Duel 

The situation is much the same with regard to the duel. 
Are we still subject to the tyranny of the custom which drove 
us to the duel in grave and exceptional cases when the services 
of the law became unavailing? If it is so, then we have before 
us, in persons guilty of duelling, harmless individuals, and we 
should be using an excessive and unjust zeal if we were to pun- 
ish them in order to escape a danger which in reality does not 
exist. On the other hand, is it the office of the criminal law to 
correct morals? Assuredly not, for morals and laws follow the 
natural trend of things and are both determined by environ- 
ment. It is enough to recall that duels raged most in the coun- 
tries where they were punished most severely, and that from 
the Middle Ages to our own time the number has decreased in 
measure as the laws against them became milder. But who ever 
believed that prejudices could be overcome by penalties? Have 
not the prejudices already gathered enough victims without 
having these useless punishments coming in and demanding 
new ones? The penal code ought to aim at defending society 

1 "Homme Criminel," Vol. II. 


by purifying it from the evil race of criminals. Now the duel- 
ist, at least in most cases, is rather a victim than a criminal, 
and if, on account of the means which science offers us, we are 
able to identify him as a criminal in those rare cases in which 
he is such, why should we offer him this honorable means of 
escape.? If he is not a criminal, why should we punish him for 
being the victim of the very prejudices which we wish to eradi- 
cate? But the prejudice will either die, or it will be stronger 
than the law; and the penalties which, on account of their 
severity, will not be applied, will render the impotent efforts 
of the lawmaker all the more ridiculous. 

§ 230. Adultery 

In the matter of adultery, again, the situation is much the 
same. That it should be punished as a crime in the canon law 
is doubtless justified, but in the modern code it can be classed 
at most only as a contravention. Adultery is assuredly im- 
moral, and it is certain that if a law could prevent it by punish- 
ment it would be welcome; but that it could do so is not the 
opinion of the majority. Moreover, in this kind of trial the 
victim suffers more than the culprit. It is useless, then, to 
have recourse to the law; and besides, the general and habitual 
impunity renders condemnation, in the rare cases where it takes 
place, all the more cruel. As Berenini rightly says in his mag- 
nificent monograph, "Offesa e Difesa," "The law cannot oblige 
a woman to love her husband or the husband his wife. It can 
only safeguard rights that may be exacted materially and by 
force. Love is not a right that either one of a married couple 
can require of the other, and the law cannot, in consequence, 
protect a right which does not exist for the person who claims 
to have been injured. Adultery, by dissolving the natural mar- 
riage, involves a moral divorce; why should it not also dissolve 
the civil marriage by a legal divorce? Why maintain forcibly 
the cause of the disturbance while aggravating its effects by the 
useless scandal of a trial and a condemnation?" 


§ 231. Criminaloids 

For criminaloids who are not recidivists and are without ac- 
compUces, it will be sufficient for the first time to suspend sen- 
tence, take security, and require the repayment of the damage, 
by work, where the culprit is not able to pay. This work should 
be in the fields when the offender is a peasant, or, in case of 
refusal to work, in a cellular prison. 

§ 232. Homo-sexxial Offenders 

Homo-sexual ofiFenders whose crime has been occasioned by 
residence in barracks, or colleges, or by a forced cehbacy, plainly 
will not relapse when the cause has been removed. It will be 
sufficient in their case to inflict a conditional punishment, for 
they are not to be confused with the homo-sexual offenders who 
are born such, and who manifest their evil propensities from 
childhood without being determined by special causes. These 
should be confined from their youth, for they are a source of 
contagion and cause a great number of occasional criminals. 

§ 233. Other Minor Offenses 

Many other punishable acts could be transferred from the 
penal to the civil code for fines and payment of damages. In 
this class come the violation of private correspondence, damages 
caused to the property of another, and bad treatment of other 
members of the family when not habitual or proceeding from 
depraved and truly criminal instincts. To this treatment we 
may add, in the case of husband and wife, separation and di- 
vorce. These disciplinary measures would be sufficient in the 
case of a violation of the duties proper to a public employee, 
and could be carried to the extent of dismissing him from his 
position. Simple threats, violation of domicile without crim- 
inal intent, insult, arbitrary taking of satisfaction, abuse of 
pasturage rights, and trespass would be sufficiently punished 
by payment of damages, which could very well be estimated by 
a civil judge.^ I would add to the list thefts of food of small 
value, provided that the small value of the articles stolen showed 

^ See Garofalo, "Riparazione alia Vittima del Delitto." 


the occasional character of the offense. Is it not a flagrant 
injustice that petty thieves, most often quite inoffensive (chil- 
dren who have stolen fruit, for example), should be punished as 
severely as real criminals who steal upon a large scale, or even 
more severely, since the latter often escape punishment alto- 
gether? I shall never forget how upon the day when five min- 
isters of the realm of Italy rose as one man in open Parliament 
to deny or to justify the thefts of Tanlongo and Company, 
running up to more than 30 millions, seven children were 
sent to weep for a month and a half in prison cells for having 
stolen a herring of the value of 35 centesimi. 

In these last cases I should wish to make a distinction 
between the really criminal "gang" having a common under- 
standing and a minutely detailed plan, and that accidental 
semi-comphcity which often has nothing criminal in it, being 
the effect of a simple caprice. The former I would punish very 
severely, while for the latter a simple reparation to the person 
injured, with a reprimand or a conditional sentence, would 

§ 234. Complicity 

The least dangerous criminals, those who are occasional 
criminals or criminals of passion, having for their psychologi- 
cal characteristic always to act alone without accomplices, it 
follows that complicity, at least in thefts, highway robberies, 
and murders,^ in the case of adults, must constitute by itself 
an aggravating circumstance; and in every case should not be 
looked into, as it is now, merely to determine what share in 
the guilt each member of the band had, but should be taken as 
a distinctive mark of criminals belonging to the most dangerous 

§ 235. Habitual Criminals 

As to recidivists and criminaloids who have become habitual 
criminals, they should be treated like born criminals but sub- 
jected to a less severe discipline, their crimes bemg almost 
always less serious (theft, swindling, forgery, etc.). Further, 

1 Sighele "La Teoria Positiva della Complicity," Turin, 1894. 

2 Fern, "Sociologie Criminelle," Pans, 1890. 


while in the case of the born criminal the first crime, if serious, 
is sufficient to have him sentenced to perpetual confinement, 
in the case of the habitual criminal it is necessary, before deter- 
mining upon this extreme treatment, to have the evidence of 
a number of recidivisms more or less great according to the 
kind of crimes and the circumstances under which they were 
committed. For the employment of these criminals there should 
be large workshops for those who come from the cities, and for 
those who come from the country agricultural colonies in the 
districts that need clearing, graded from the least to the most 
healthful according to the diflFerent categories of criminals. 
The colony of Castiadas, which has created an oasis in the most 
insalubrious district of Sardinia, and the miracles of the Trois 
Fontaines, prove how easy it is to put these organizations to 
practical use, diminishing the enormous expenses which re- 
spectable people have to pay for the punishment of criminals 
and at the same time making them of real service to the society 
which they have injured. 

§ 236. The Criminal Insane 

As for the criminal insane and the numerous bom criminals 
in whom epilepsy and moral insanity manifest themselves clearly 
by fits of mental disturbance, the only proper treatment is 
confinement in a criminal asylum. By means of such an insti- 
tution we take away from the criminal who might feign in- 
sanity all desire to do so; we prevent a criminal heredity derived 
from the inmates; we put an end to their forming criminal as- 
sociations (the criminal bands having almost all a prison origin) ; 
we prevent recidivism, and cut down the enormous expenses of 
trials and the imitative crimes which often result from trials. 
Wiedemeister ^ objects that these asylums will do an injury to 
justice in case the patient becomes cured. In reply we will re- 
mark in the first place that these cases are quite rare. The 
statistics of Broadmoor record but 5.5%. However this may 
be, the inconvenience may be remedied by granting liberty to 
those patients only who have shown themselves to be cured 
during a long period of observation. 

1 "Zeitschrift fiir Psychiatrie," 1871. 


"But as soon as a criminal has been recognized as insane," 
objects Falvet, "he is not to be considered as a criminal, but re- 
sumes his status under the civil law." To this we reply, that 
he cannot return to that status, because he has killed, ravished, 
and stolen, and cannot therefore be put on the same plane as 
the harmless insane; for as long as the danger persists, the right 
of defense remains. Aside from this, this method of reasoning 
is derived from a class of ideas which science will from now on 
eliminate; that is to say, that while insanity is a misfortune, 
crime is a perversity of the free will. Now, just as men came to 
recognize a century ago, contrary to the beliefs of the Middle 
Ages, that insanity did not depend upon free will, we must now 
recognize that neither does crime itself depend upon it. Crime 
and insanity are both misfortunes; let us treat them, then, 
without rancor, but defend ourselves from their blows.^ On 
the principles of the positivistic school, the objection cannot be 
maintained that the insane "so-called" criminal comes under 
the civil law simply. He comes under the law of self-defense as 
much as the true criminal. 

For this reason the objection falls that the insane person 
cannot be detained for an indeterminate time, and that when 
he is cured, even before the expiration of the term which he 
would have passed in prison in case of a conviction, he has the 
right to go free. This objection cannot be admitted, consider- 
ing the great number of relapses which have been shown to 
occur in all forms of insanity. There are misfortunes that are 
inexorable, and grant only a short respite; since we cannot de- 
liver the individual from them completely, let us try at least 
to prevent the family of the hapless wretch, and society in 
general, from being victims,^ 

Furthermore, all the more civilized nations show similar in- 

» Ferri, "Sociologie Criminelle." ^^^, , , ,, i. 

2 Recently Christiani ("Archivio di Psichiatna," 1896) has shown that 
incurability (82%) and death (17%) are the most frequent results; while 
cures are more rare (5% to 8%), and that with almost all there is to 
be observed a predominance of anti-social tendencies (87%). Nicholson 
found that 75% of ordinary criminals are such from cupidity, 15% from 
hatred, and 10% from immorality; while in the case of the criminal in^ne 
the last figure becomes 71%. (Journal of Mental Science, Oct., 1895.) 
It is these who are, then, the fiercest and most dangerous. 


stitutions. We have seen that in England they are already 
ancient. The criminal asylum exists also in Denmark; and it 
has been introduced into Sweden and Hungary. In France at 
the Prefecture of Police there is a permanent medical commis- 
sion, whose duty it is to separate immediately from the other 
persons arrested those who appear to be insane. In 1870 a real 
asylum for the criminal insane was erected as a part of the cen- 
tral institution at Gaillon. This department is kept under the 
discipline of the prison except as to the compulsory labor, and 
also as to the punishments, which can be inflicted only with the 
permission of physicians. Only those who have been sentenced 
to imprisonment for more than one year are admitted here, 
and they cannot be discharged without the authorization of 
the minister.^ All the other civilized peoples of continental 
Europe, if they have not regular criminal asylums, have laws 
and institutions which partly take the place of them. At 
Hamburg, Halle, and Bruchsal the penitentiaries have infir- 
maries which are reserved exclusively for the insane, with gar- 
dens, secure cells, and a special discipline, so that the insane 
can receive continual care there as in the regular asylums. In 
Belgium a law (1850) decrees that 

" Persons arrested, proceedings against whom have been 
suspended for the cause of insanity, shall be consigned to 
asylums designated by the Public Minister. These asylums 
must have special wards for maniacal prisoners, accused or 
convicted, who cannot be mingled with the other patients 
without a special authorization from the minister of justice. 
The physician in charge is responsible for the escape of dan- 
gerous or criminal insane persons, and, in case of flight, must 
take all the necessary steps to recover them." 

A new law, "la loi Lajeune " (1891), requires the appointment 
of three alienists as special inspectors of prisons, to discover, 
isolate, and care for the insane. In Hungary a kind of medical 
senate, composed of judges and physicians who are alienists, is 
charged with pronouncing upon doubtful cases. 

We may say, then, in summing up, that in these asylums there 

^ Hurel, "Le Quartier des Condamn^s Ali^nes Annexe k la Maison 
Centrale de Gaillon," Paris, 1877. 


should be received: 1st, all prisoners who have become insane, 
if they have criminal tendencies; 2d, all the insane who, on 
account of homicidal or incendiary tendencies, pederasty, etc., 
have been subjected to a judicial procedure which has been 
suspended upon the discovery of their insanity; 3d, all those 
charged with strange or atrocious crimes, committed without 
clear motive, in whose case has arisen the suspicion of insanity, 
or at least of a serious cerebral affection, as attested by three 
expert alienists; ^ 4th, in consideration of the extraordinary im- 
portance of epilepsy, all those who have committed crimes in 
a state of psychic epilepsy and criminals who have had epileptic 
fits; 5th, all those who, being of general good reputation, are 
driven to crime by an habitual and evident infirmity, such as 
pellagra, chronic alcoholism, and puerperal diseases, especially 
where they have insane or epileptic parents, or show numer- 
ous marks of degeneracy. In this connection we see the 
propriety of having special criminal asylums for the alcoholic, 
epileptic, etc. 

The insane coming from the prisons must be isolated from the 
others and placed in separate wards in the infirmaries annexed 
to the prisons. The discipline should be severe for all, and the 
vigilance greater than in the common asylums, more like that 
of the prisons, but the work should be proportioned to the 
strength and alternated with long periods of rest and amuse- 
ment. The direction should be medical, but the attendants 
should have prison training. 

The individuals who are recognized as habitually dangerous 
and have already been several times arraigned ought never to 
be liberated. Those who are affected with a transitory or inter- 
mittent form of insanity and show signs of a perfect cure should 
be selected for discharge after one or two years of observation, 

* At first sight this proposition appears absurd, and the absurdity haa 
been made use of to refute those who uphold the criminal asylum. But 
proper attention is not paid to the fact that it is just the doubtful cases, 
intermediate between reason and insanity, in which crimes without cause 
are most frequent and in which, therefore, the criminal asylums are most 
useful and of most service in guaranteeing the public safety. We may 
recall here that a crime without reason is of itself a sign of msanity. Bec- 
caria says that a sane man is not capable of useless cruelty not e.xcited by 
hate, fear, or self-interest. (See "Homme Crimmel," Vol. lU.) 


and subjected after their release to monthly medical visits for 
several years, as is done in Belgium. 

§ 237. Incorrigible Criminals 

We have seen that the best penitentiarj'^ system will not pre- 
vent recidivism, and that the individualized system has given 
unfortunate results in Denmark. On the other hand, we have 
seen that we have in the collective prisons the most frequent 
cause of repeated recidivisms and criminal actions,^ Further, 
what can one hope for from individuals, like those described by 
Breton and Aspirall, returned to prison 50 or 60 times in a 
single year? Such persons evidently find themselves better off 
there than outside, so that for them prison is no longer a pun- 
ishment but a reward and an encouragement to corruption? 
When no method is of service any longer, when the criminal is 
insensible to all the pains taken with him and relapses 10 or 
20 times, society ought not to wait while he perfects himself 
in crime by a new sojourn in prison, but should keep him shut 
up until assured of his reformation, or, better, of his powerless- 
ness to do harm. We should, for this end, establish special 
penal institutions, to which a jury composed of directors, phy- 
sicians, and judges shall consign all the individuals who, having 
from infancy shown an inclination toward crime, have relapsed 
several times, especially if they present those physical and psy- 
chical characteristics which we have seen to be marks of the 
born criminal. 

Even more important than the well-being of the inmates is 
the matter of making them useful that they may not occasion 
too great an expense, and also the matter of preventing the 
possibility of escape. For this reason islands or retired valleys 
offer the best locations. Here the prisoners may be occupied, 
if they come from the country, in work in the fields, which will 
be useful for their health and of advantage to the state, while 
those who come from the city may be provided for in workshops. 
Better still, disciplined military companies might be formed, as 
is the practice in Westphalia, and put to work to improve the 

1 See "Homme Criminel," Vol. I. 


roads and drain the marshes. They should be permitted daily 
to spend some hours according to their own taste, but they 
should be set at liberty again only after extraordinary proof of 
reformation. The cellular system should be inflicted upon them 
only in the case of a new relapse. In this way the prison would 
become purged of those criminals who take pride in vice and 
render all attempts at reform there impossible. In this way we 
shall apply anew to society the process of selection to which is 
due the existence of our race, and also probably the existence 
of justice itself,^ since it was the elimination of the more violent 
that gradually allowed justice to prevail. However high the 
expense of all this may be, it will always be less than the cost 
of new crimes and new trials. Thompson calculates that 458 
Scotch recidivists cost £132,000, of which £86,000 was for the 
cost of the trials alone. 

This proposition is not new, for in 1864 the House of Lords 
proposed to condemn criminals to penal servitude after a second 
recidivism. E. Labiste ^ proposes that after the expiration of 
his sentence, every individual whose total sentences exceed 
five years and who has relapsed for the tenth time, shall be 
permanently deported. The same reform is proposed by Bonne- 
ville,' Tissot,* and Doria Barini; ^ and it has already been put 
into operation in Belgium in the agricultural colony of Mexplas, 
which contains 4500 individuals. The buildings of this insti- 
tution were all erected by the labor of the convicts themselves 
under the superintendence of 30 or 40 foremen. Everything 
was constructed little by little according to the needs and re- 
sources, so that this magnificent establishment, which in other 
countries would have cost millions, has cost Belgium only the 
price of the land. Live stock multiplies upon the place, since 
the farms have their own bulls and stallions. The workmen are 
occupied only with the production of such things as have an easy 
sale, and in the making of which they may be useful. The 
inmates are divided into four classes: 1st, those who are re- 

1 "Homme Criminel," Vol. I., Ft. I- ^ „ . „ ,„,^ 

2 "Essai sur Ics Institutions Penales des Remains, 1875. 

3 "De rinsufficiance Actuelle de 1' Intimidation," p. 257. 

< "Introduction Philosophique k I'Etude du Droit P<5nal,' p. 433. 
" « See "Rivista di Disciplinia Carceria," 1876. 


fractory or dangerous, contact with whom might be harmful to 
the other inmates; 2d, recidivist convicts, under the surveil- 
lance of the police, those who have formerly escaped, and those 
who have had a bad record in the institution itself; 3d, men 
whose antecedents leave something to be desired, but who have 
never had to undergo severe punishment in the institution; 
4th, those who have not been deported to the colonies more 
than three times and whose conduct might be considered as 
good. The communes sometimes send their paupers there, pay- 
ing 65 centimes for those that are well and 85 for the sick. 
Those who refuse to work are kept in a cell three days upon 
bread and water. The inmates are paid for their labor in a 
currency which passes only in the institution but is exchanged 
for real money when they are discharged. In this way the danger 
of spending money in the neighboring hamlets is avoided.^ 

§ 238. The Death Penalty 

But when, in spite of the prison, transportation, and hard 
labor, these criminals repeat their sanguinary crimes and 
threaten the lives of honest men for the third or fourth time 
there is nothing left but the last selection, painful but sure, — 
capital punishment. Just as the death penalty is too largely 
inscribed in the book of nature, so is it in the book of history; 
and like all other punishments, it has a relative justice. Capital 
punishment assuredly ought to be found in the penal system of 
barbarous peoples, among whom prison does not inspire suflS- 
cient terror; but among civilized people the delicacy of feeling 
which wishes to abolish it is too respectable to be brushed aside, 
to say nothing of the fact that the singular prestige produced by 
a death inflicted in cold blood by judges, and at times met 
with bravado, often multiplies crimes by imitation and creates 
among the rabble a sort of worship of the unfortunate victim. 

But the opponents of this form of punishment do not think 
of asking: What means of defense is left to society against a 
man guilty of repeated murders who keeps his guards in con- 
stant danger of violence or death? Would it be more just or 
more humane to keep him bound hand and foot for life.'^ 
^ Joly, "Le Combat contra le Crime." 


Let no one advance the objection, with Ferri, that in order 
to make capital punishment effective it must become a regular 
butchery, a thing repugnant to modern thought. To retain the 
death penalty is not the same as multiplying it. It is enough 
that it should remain suspended, like the sword of Damocles, 
over the head of the more terrible criminals, when, after having 
been condemned to imprisonment for life, they have several times 
made attempts upon the Uves of others. Under these condi- 
tions there is no longer any weight to the otherwise funda- 
mentally sound objection which is so often put forward, namely, 
that this penalty is irreparable. I should also wish to have this 
punishment retained when the social system of a country is 
menaced by associated crime under the forms of brigandage, the 
Camorra, etc. From this point of view it seems to me that the 
civil conditions are absolutely equivalent to the conditions for 
which this penalty is reserved in time of war. \^^lat ! shall we 
be unmoved when by the right of conscription we condemn in 
advance thousands of men to an early death upon the battle- 
field, often for dynastic caprice or demagogic madness, and shall 
we hesitate when it is a question of suppressing some few crim- . 
inal individuals, a hundred times more dangerous and fatal than 
a foreign enemy, in whose ranks a chance bullet may strike a 
Darwin or a Gladstone? 

Assuredly if we take the point of vnew of strict abstract 
right, we do not believe ourselves to be God's vicars and there- 
fore have no absolute right over the life of our fellows. But 
urdess this right comes to us with the necessity of self-defense, 
neither have we any right to deprive men of liberty or to hold 
them accountable for the least misdemeanor. To claim that 
the death penalty is contrary to the laws of nature is to ignore 
the fact that this law is written in the book of nature in let- 
ters only too clear, and that the very progress of the organic 
world is entirely based upon the struggle for existence, followed 
by savage hecatombs. The fact that there exist such beings 
as born criminals, organically fitted for evil, atavistic repro- 
ductions, not simply of savage men but even of the fiercest 
animals, far from making us more compassionate towards them, 
as has been maintained, steels us against aU pity. Our love for 


animals (except among the fakirs of India) has not reached 
such a point that we are willing to sacrifice our own lives for 
their benefit. 

Here I can but recall the vigorous lines which Taine wrote 
to me shortly before he died: 

"When in the life and in the intellectual, moral, and emotional 
organization of the criminal the criminal impulse is isolated, 
accidental, and transitory, we can and even ought to pardon; 
but the" more this impulse is bound up with the entire fabric of 
the ideas and feeUngs, the more guilty is the man and the more 
ought he to be punished. You have shown us fierce and lubri- 
cious orang-utans with human faces. It is evident that as such 
they cannot act otherwise. If they ravish, steal, and kill, it is 
by virtue of their own nature and their past, but there is all 
the more reason for destroying them when it has been proved 
that they will always remain orang-utans. As far as they are 
concerned I have no objection to the death penalty, if society 
is likely to profit by it." 

Many of the measures which I have advocated may appear 
contrary to certain ideal principles which, while more noble 
than practical, are regarded by short-sighted intolerance as 
unassailable axioms. Further, they may be regarded, by those 
who are frightened at the first cost, as diflficult to put into prac- 
tice; but this is to lose sight of the economies which they would 
make possible in the future, especially if we should suppress, 
at least for recidivists, the costly and useless judicial proceed- 
ings based solely upon errors in form.^ In any case they can- 
not be accused of endangering that public safety which is the 
ultimate aim of all penal systems. 

' In France, where, aa De Foresta observes, the person has no right of 
appeal for merely technical errors, and each new trial or decision may 
bring an increase of the penalty, appeals are very rare and taken only for 
grave reasons. Out of the money thus saved it would be possible to 
support three criminal asylums and a large institution for incorrigibles. 




THE utility of these reforms is proved by the recent statistics 
of London and Geneva, where there has been a perceptible 
decrease in criminality, while, on the contrary, crime is increas- 
ing in countries like Italy and Spain, where such reforms have 
not been applied. 

In the period between 1829 and 1838 there were recorded at 
Geneva, for each 100,000 inhabitants, 79 criminals convicted 
by the Criminal Court and 1000 by the correctional tribunal, 
while between 1872 and 1885 there were recorded 12 of the 
former and 300 of the latter; that is to say, between the two 
periods the serious crimes decreased by five-sixths and the 
minor offenses by two-thirds. This is certainly a great honor 
to the city, and the facts are even stronger, for the crimes com- 
mitted by the Genevese themselves have decreased nearly nine- 
tenths in the last 80 years.^ 

What are the causes that make Geneva an oasis of morality 
in the midst of Europe? Guenoud attributes it in the first place 
to the fact that foreigners who have been for some time resi- 
dents in Geneva have taken up the customs and morals of the 
natives; and the observation of Joly ^ is to the same effect, 
namely, that the immigrants at first contribute largely to the 
criminality, but as they become established in their new country 
they gain in morality and honesty. But Ladame urges by way 
of objection,^ 

"The assimilation of foreigners to the natives does not pre- 
vent immigration; the same causes consequently continue to 

1 Guenoud, "La Criminality h Geneve au XIX SiScle," Geneva, 1891. 

2 "La France Criminelle." 

3 "Journal de Geneve," Feb. 4th, 1891. 


be active, and if, on one side, the population of Geneva annu- 
ally assimilates a certain number of foreigners, the resultant 
moral influence is neutralized by new immigrants whose influ- 
ence is the other way." 

Nor can we look for the cause in education, since we have 
seen that this very often increases at least the minor forms 
of criminality. 

The sole reason remaining is, then, that Geneva (see Pt. II, 
Ch. VI) is certainly that place in central Europe where there 
have been established the greatest number of institutions for 
mutual aid, which without degrading the recipients remedy the 
greatest evils of poverty, and also preventive institutions for 
children, for degraded women, against alcoholism, etc. 

The proof of this conclusion appears more clearly still in 
England, especially in London. If we compare the criminality 
there in the years 1892-93 with those of the ten years preced- 
ing, we find an increase of 28% in the offenses against persons 
and 18.9% in those against property, caused by a desire for 
vengeance and taking the form of arson or the destroying of 
crops. But in other crimes (theft, receiving stolen goods, 
forgery, offenses against the public order, etc.) the decrease was 
respectively 8.8%, 36.3%, 34%, and 22.2%, with a total ab- 
solute decrease of 8%.^ Now it must be noted that in these ten 
years the population increased 12%; so that even if there had 
been as much as an absolute increase of 12% in the criminality 
it would mean that relatively to the population crime was 
not on the increase in England. 

"The decrease there in the criminality of minors, which in 
Italy continues to increase, is still more remarkable. In 1868-69 
there was recorded the conviction of 10,000 children less than 
16 years of age; in the succeeding years the figures fell to 9700, 
and finally to 4000. Thus we find that, taking account of the 
increase in population, England recorded in 1868-69-70 46 
juvenile criminals to the 100,000 inhabitants; in 1893 there 
were only 14, a real decrease of 70%; while it appeared that 
in France in 1889 the number of juvenile offenders had in- 
creased 140% in 50 years. The criminal classes of England 
are composed of individuals at liberty, Icnown to be thieves 

1 Joly, "La Revue de Paris," Paris, 1891. 


or receivers of stolen goods, and of persons under suspicion. 
Here also there is an improvement. In 1867 this last category- 
comprised, taking prisoners and those at liberty together, 
87,000 individuals. This figure fell later to 50,000; in 1881 to 
38,960; and finally in 1891-92 to 29,826. The suspected houses 
fell from 2688 to 2360." ^ 

We do not have here those accidental variations in figures 
common in statistics, for they show such a decided difference 
that no doubt can remain,^ and they extend even to unpunished 

This great decrease in criminality is actually due to prevent- 
ive measures, especially those which have to do with children, 
and to the moral and religious fight against alcoholism. We 
find an incontestable proof of this in the great diminution of 
crime in London as compared with the smaller cities and with 
the country. This is exactly the opposite of what is observed 
elsewhere, since the general rule is the greater criminality of 
the principal cities. Now, while the city of London, which has 
the largest population of any city in the civilized world, records 
15 suspected persons to 100,000 inhabitants, the country shows 
61 and the other cities 50. Further, while London has 3.4 sus- 
pected houses to each 100,000 inhabitants, the country has 3.9 
and the other cities 8.4. 

We have another proof of the influence of preventive measures 
in the diminution of alcoholism which has taken place in just 
those districts of England and Switzerland where the religious 
and purely ethical societies vie with the state in striking at 

1 Joly, "La Revue de Paris," 1894. 

2 However, one remark must be made here: in the statistics for juvenile 
offenders in England we see — 

Juvenile Offenders (under 16) 

1864-68 1889-98 

Sent to prison 8,285 2,268 

" to reform schools 1,228 1,163 

" to industrial schools .... 966 8,737 

Sentenced to be whipped 685 3,028 

11,064 13,806 

We see that if the juveniles sent to prison or to the reform schools have 
decreased enormously (over 6000) the number sent to the mdustnal schools 
or sentenced to whipping has increased by 9300. 


the evil at its very source. While in France the sales of alcoholic 
drinks increased from 365,995 in 1869 to 417,518 in 1893, 
and from 1.82 litres to each inhabitant in 1830 to 4.20 in 1893, 
in England, on the contrary, the consumption per capita has 
fallen in recent years from 7 liters to 5, and in Switzerland 
from 11 liters to 7.^ 

§ 240. Bom Criminals 

It would be a mistake, however, to imagine that the measures 
which have been shown to be effective with other criminals could 
be successfully applied to born criminals; for these are, for the 
most part, refractory to all treatment, even to the most affec- 
tionate care begun at the very cradle, as Barnardo finally 
became convinced. Such was Jac , whom he placed in con- 
ditions best fitted to reform him, but who escaped repeatedly 
to live a life of vagabondage. While the less advanced peoples 
are lingering over the Utopias of the old jurists and, believing 
that reform is possible for all criminals, are taking no measures 
against the continually rising tide of crime, the English, more 
provident, have recognized that although they have been able 
by their efforts to eliminate the accidental criminal almost 
entirely, the born criminal still persists. They are the only 
nation to admit the existence of criminals who resist all cure, 
the "professional criminals," as they caU them, and the "crim- 
inal classes." 

It will not be useless, for the benefit of those who limit the 
causes of crime to education and environment, to verify this 
with figures. While crime in England has decreased by 8%, 
recidivism among male criminals has remained stationary or 
nearly so. The English statistics, in fact, show 41.7% of re- 
cidivism in 1892-93 and 45% in 1894-95.2 j^ ^he case of the 
women recidivism has increased from 54.6% to 60.4%, and this 
notwithstanding the fact that the preventive institutions for 
women in London are much more numerous than those for 
men; but all efforts break down against the corruption encour- 
aged by prostitution and against the increasing alcoholism of 

* "Revue du Christianieme Pratique," Nov., 1894. 
8 Paolucci, "Revue des Revues," May, 1896. 


women. "No one ever knew of a man," says Paolucei, "who 
has reached 500 convictions for drunkenness, Hke Tessie Jay, or 
even 250, hke Jane Cakebreade." We have seen, in this con- 
nection, how the introduction of agricultural colonies has les- 
sened theft and vagabondage in Westphalia. 

We must say, however, that this system can be of use only 
for occasional criminals, or for vagrants who are such from lack 
of work, while it is of no value for born vagabonds. We have 
a proof of this in an experiment which was tried in Paris. Ac- 
cording to the "ficonomiste Frangais" (1893), a certain person 
arranged to obtain positions in stores, factories, etc., at 4 francs 
a day, for all persons presenting a letter from himself. In 8 
months he offered this letter to 727 beggars who complained 
that they were starving because of lack of work. More than 
half (415) of these did not even call for the letter; 130 got the 
letter but did not present it to any employer. Others worked for 
half a day, drew their two francs, and did not return. In short, 
out of the whole 727, only 8 continued at work. Taking simply 
those who took the letter, we see that out of every 40 beggars 
able to work, only 1 had a sincere desire to do so.^ Even if the 
young people whom Barnardo sent to Canada were reformed, out 
of those who emigrated to the same country from the reform 
school at Redhill 42% returned worse than before, notwith- 
standing the £1000 spent for their reformation (Joly). 

1 See also Paulien, "Paris qui Mendie," 1890. 




ALL these facts prove abundantly that crimmal anthropology 
not only solves the theoretical problems of law, but 
suggests useful lessons in the struggle of society against crime; 
while ancient penal science, the more it rose into the exalted 
regions of jurisprudence, the more it lost touch with practice 
and the less it knew how to protect us. 

§ 242. Political Crime 

One of the newest and at the same time most practical appli- 
cations of criminal anthropology is that which takes into account 
the fact that men's hatred of the new is the juridical basis of 
political crime. From the study of the physiognomy and biology 
of the political criminal it establishes the difference between a 
real revolution, a useful and productive thing, and mere revolts, 
which are always sterile and harmful.^ It is a fact now defi- 
nitely recognized, and one of which I have given proofs in my 
"Crime Pohtique," that those who start great scientific and 
political revolutions are almost always young, endowed with 
genius or with a singular altruism, and have a fine physiognomy; 
and far from presenting the insensibility common in born 
criminals, they are, on the contrary, marked by a real moral 
and physical hyperesthesia. But if from the martyrs of a 
great social and religious idea we pass to rebels, regicides, and 
"presidenticides," such as Fieschi and Guiteau, to the pro- 
moters of the massacres of 1793, such as Carrier, Jourdan, and 
Marat, and to the anarchists, we see that all, or nearly all, are 
of a criminal type. These are rebels. 

» See "Homme Criminel," Vol. II, p. 255. 



§ 243. AppUcation to Psychiatric Expert Testimony 
Medical experts and practical penologists who have studied 
criminal anthropology have become convinced of the value of 
this science in recognizing the real culprit and in deciding how 
far an accomplice has participated in a crime. Hitherto 
these things have had to be determined from unreliable indica- 
tions, such as prison confessions and vague official information 
1 will cite as proof of this the following examples: 1 Bersone 
Pierre, 37 years of age, weU known as a thief, had been arrested 
under charge of having stolen 20,000 francs upon the raUroad 
In pnson he feigned madness, pretending that someone had 
poisoned him. It was soon plain that he had committed many 
other thefts, since he was found in possession of a number of 
documents and passports, among others that of a certain 
Torelli. The result of an anthropological examination was as 
follows: mean cranial capacity, 1589 c. c; cephalic index, 77; 
type of physiognomy, completely criminal; touch, nearly 
normal — tongue, L9 mm. (between points perceived sepa- 
rately), right hand, 2-3, left hand, 1-2 (with sensorial mancin- 
ism) ; general sensibility and sensibility to pain, very obtuse — 
48 mm. and 10 mm. respectively, on the adjustable Rhum- 
korff coil, as against 61 mm. and 24 mm. for the normal man. 
An investigation with the hydrosphygmograph ^ confirmed me 
in my observation of his great insensibility to pain, which did 
not change the sphygmographic hues. The same apathy per- 
sisted when he was spoken to of the robbery on the railroad, 
while there was an enormous depression — a fall of 14 mm. — 
when the Torelli theft was mentioned. I concluded, therefore, 
that he had had no part in the railway robbery, but that he 
had certainly participated in the Torelli affair; and my conclu- 
sions were completely verified. 

2. Maria Gall of Lucera, 66 years of age, was found 

dead in her bed, her face to the mattress, and her nostrils bloody, 
bruised, and lacerated inside. Suspicion at once directed itself 

^ An instrument by which tracings of the pulse and of alterations in 
the volume of the members under the influence of emotion may be ob- 
tained, and which expresses in millimeters the psychic reaction. 


against her two step-sons, M and F , men of bad reputa- 
tion, who had been seen roaming in the neighborhood during the 
day and alone had an interest in the death of the victim, since 
she was about to purchase a Hfe-annuity which would have 
disinherited them. At the autopsy there were shown to be 
all the internal marks of advanced putrefaction and of asphyxi- 
ation; and in the oesophagus was found an intestinal worm 
resting upon the opening of the glottis. Two experts pro- 
nounced it to be a case of asphyxia, produced by violent suffo- 
cation through the victim's being held with her face against 
the bolster, the worm having been drawn there only through a 
fit of coughing. Another expert admitted the asphyxia, but 
was not wUling to deny the possibility of its having been caused 
by the worm. Called in, in my turn, as a consulting expert, 
I was able at least to observe that death from asphyxia pro- 
duced by intestinal worms are found only in infants and insane 
persons, and that then marked phenomena of reaction appear, 
which in this case were completely wanting; further, that the 

witness C declared he had heard stifled cries and the sound 

of blows on the night of the crime in the direction of the chamber 

of the victim; and especially that M , the accused person, 

was juridically and anthropologically suspected of the crime, 
of which he had been openly accused by his brother, who, much 

less criminal than he, was less obstinate in his denials. M 

was, in fact, the most perfect type of the born criminal: enor- 
mous jaws, frontal sinuses, and zygomata, thin upper lip, huge 
incisors, unusually large head (1620 c. c), tactile obtuseness 
(4 mm. right, 2 mm. left) with sensorial mancinism. He was 

3. A rich farmer, S , returning from market with 2000 

francs about him, was asked by an unknown man seeking work 
to take him into the carriage with him. From then on this 
person did not leave him. They supped together and were 
seen towards evening going along the high road, where the 
following night the unfortunate farmer was found assassinated, 
bearing the marks of strangulation, his head shattered with 
great stones, and his purse empty. Four witnesses called the 
judges' attention to the sinister physiognomy of the unknown 


man, and a young girl declared that she had seen in the even- 
ing, sleeping near the murdered man, a certain Fazio, who was 
observed the next day hiding himself when the gendarmes 
approached the neighborhood. Upon examination I found 
that this man had outstanding ears, great maxillaries and 
cheek-bones, lemurine appendix, division of the frontal bone, 
premature wrinkles, sinister look, nose twisted to the right — 
in short, a physiognomy approaching the criminal type; pupils 
very slightly mobile, reflexes of the tendons quicker on the 
right side than on the left, great tactile obtuseness, more in 
the right hand (5 mm.) than in the left (4 mm.); motor and 
sensorial mancinism; a large picture of a woman tattooed upon 
his breast, with the words, "Remembrance of Celina Laura" 
(his wife), and on his arm the picture of a girl. He had an 
epileptic aunt and an insane cousin, and investigation showed 
that he was a gambler and idler. In every way, then, biology 
furnished in this case indications which, joined with the other 
evidence, would have been enough to convict him in a country 
less tender toward criminals. Notwithstanding this he was 

§ 244. Proof of Innocence 

Criminal anthropology can not only help us to discover the 
real culprits, but may also save, or at least rehabilitate, inno- 
cent persons accused or convicted. 

Such a case occurred where a Uttle girl, three and a half 
years old, was violated and infected by an unknown man, and 
her mother accused successively six young men who lived on 
the same staircase and were familiar with the child. They 
were arrested, but all denied the crime. I picked out immedi- 
ately one among them who had obscene tattooing upon his arm, 
a sinister physiognomy, irregularities of the field of vision, and 
also traces of a recent attack of syphilis. Later this individual 
confessed his crime. 

A case observed in my clinic and published by Rossi in "Una 
Centuria di Criminali" revealed the innocence of a convict. 
A certain Rossotto Giacinto, as a consequence of a series of 
false declarations and a letter received from his brother-in-law 


begging him to give false testimony, was condemned to impris- 
onment for life for highway robbery. Examining this man 
before my students, I found to my great surprise that this 
was the most normal individual I had ever investigated. He 
was 50 years old; his height was 1.73 meters; he weighed 74.5 
kilograms; his hair and beard were abundant; mean cranial 
capacity, 1575 c. c; cephalic index, 84; and he was without 
facial anomaly. His sense of touch was very fine, 1.1 mm. for 
the right hand, 1.0 for the left, and .5 for the tongue; his 
general sensibility was normal (50), and sensibility to pain 30. 
He was ignorant of thieves' slang and was not cynical. He 
showed the condition of mind common to the average man; 
he was fond of work, which had been his only consolation dur- 
ing the long years of his captivity. His conduct had always 
been exemplary; even in prison he had shown no vexation 
except at his unjust condemnation and at his separation from 
his family. Married at 19 years, he had never had intercourse 
with any other woman than his wife; and his family included 
neither insane persons nor criminals. While I was examining 
him, not yet knowing anything of his antecedents, I said to 
my students, "If this man had not been sentenced for life, he 
would represent to me the true type of the average honest man." 
It was then that the unfortunate man quietly answered, "But 
I am an honest man and I can prove it." He put into my 
possession numerous documents proving his perfect honesty, 
such as death-bed declarations of the real authors of the crime 
with which he had been charged, who swore before the justice 
of the peace that he had no part in the crime, attestations of 
prison directors, etc. His neighbors, of whom I made inquiries 
with regard to him, declared that he was a perfectly honest man. 

§ 245. Pedagogy 

To our school is owing still another application, direct and 
no less useful, namely, the application to pedagogy. Anthro- 
pological examination, by pointing out the criminal type, the 
precocious development of the body, the lack of symmetry, 
the smallness of the head, and the exaggerated size of the 


face explains the scholastic and disciplinary shortcomings of 
children thus marked and permits them to be separated in 
time from their better-endowed companions and directed 
toward careers more suited to their temperament; and some- 
times it may even point the way to a cure, through emigration, 
moral education, and medical treatment. 

§246. Art — Letters 

In literature itself we can see a last application of this new 
science, not only in the interpretation of masterpieces in which 
genius has already anticipated some of the results of criminal 
anthropology, as Shakespeare in "Macbeth" and "Lear," 
and Wiertz in the " Enthaupteten " ; but also in suggesting 
new forms of art, as in the admirable works of Dostojewsky, 
"Totenhaus" and "Schuld und SUhne," in Zola's "Bete Hu- 
maine," Garbarg's ^ " Kolbrottenbro og Andre Skildringer," 
Ibsen's "Hedda Gabler," and d'Annunzio's "Innocente." 

And why should we not count among our triumphs the new 
applications that have been made to the most distant branches 
of science? Thus Max Nordau has found in our science a 
basis for the criticism of artistic, philosophical, and literary 
creations; 2 in the same way Ferri and Le Fort have made an 
application of it to the criticism of the great masters of paint- 
ing and the drama; and now Sighele, Ferrero, and Bianchi 
have applied it to modern history and poUtics. 

When a collective crime rises suddenly as a strange, inex- 
plicable phenomenon in moder