[...] It may be fairly questioned whether Mr. Blake's Bill will accomplish all that is expected of it; but any experimental measure calculated to reduce the rapidly-increasing list of crimes and criminals in the country, should receive the approval and support of Parliament. There is no denying that crimes of a serious nature have of late years been alarmingly on the increase; and it is the duty of the Government, while endeavoring as far as possible to investigate the causes, to provide in the meantime some means to remedy this state of affairs. In our own Province alone, we find that the number of commitments to jail during the year 1877 has been considerably more than double what it was in 1870, an increase out of all proportion to the material progress of the country. What may be the true cause of this abnormal development of the criminal classes is not so easy to determine, though the commercial depression during the past four or five years, and the consequent scarcity of employment, may have had something to do with it. Nor is evidence wanting to show that our criminal population is largely reinforced from the neighboring States, which, since the war especially, have had a superabundance of those who preferred to make a living by any processes involving the least possible amount of labor. [...]

Source: Unknown, "Increase of Crime," Listowel Banner, March 5, 1880.

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