Juvenile Crime and Criminals.

[...] The subject of crime and criminals is a difficult and painful one; it is fortunately engaging much thought at this period in the civilized world, and should always be approached in the spirit of calmness and benevolence. We are at present only to deal with juvenile crime, - the most melancholy of all.

Crime, and youthful crime, is on the increase, especially in our larger towns and cities, and demands earnest inquiry into its causes and cures. It ought to be the highest aim of every government to render property as secure as possible, and the noblest form of safety would be to have a people who scorn vice and voluntarily abstain from the infringement of law. The realization of such a state of things is like a romance: it may come at some era of the future, but assuredly it is not at hand. Nevertheless, we must have a beginning - as large an instalment in our day as is practicable.

We are disposed to think that a considerable proportion of the crime perpetrated by our youngsters would be avoided if education was more general and better enforced. It is scarcely conceivable how deplorable is the benightedness in many cases manifested by those who early violate the order of society and the laws of their country. They have no thought of duty pressed on their notice - no stimulus to virtue given them - no insight into the consequences of a wicked run of life. [...]

Source: Unknown, "Juvenile Crime and Criminals," London Free Press, March 10, 1856.

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