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ber of children who attend the several schools. Truants and cases of short sentences are retained in school during the summer months as being the means of supplying what they most need, and they are not employed upon the farm in the summer, as most of the larger boys are. The younger boys are kept in school throughout the year.
A serious revolt in the House of Reformation occurred on the tenth of February last, during the absence of the superintendent for a few days. The instigators of the same, comprising some of the larger boys, were tried in the Superior Court, and seven of the number were sentenced to the House of Correction, for periods varying from two to three years.
In the chapel, the usual Sabbath services are held by the chaplain. The organ, which from extreme age had become nearly useless, is to be replaced by a new one of moderate size, but sufficient for all purposes required.
The building for the children of the Almshouse department, erected three years since, has proved very useful, and in every respect answers all expectations. In this connection the Board would recommend a change in the ordinance relating to "Neglected Children." Under the present law, these children, by reason of the crime, drunkenness or vice of their parents, are committed to the House of Reformation for Juvenile Offenders, and are thus associated in the reformatory with those who are sentenced for their own misdeeds. It is suggested that the ordinance be modified so as to commit these children to the custody of the Board of Directors, to be placed in such of the institutions as in the discretion of the Board may be for their best interests. The buildings are all in good condition and well cared for. There has been but a limited amount of sickness during the past year, and nothing of an epidemic character. It is a cause of congratulation that among so large a number of people of this class there should have been such a freedom from disease.
During the year there have been but few cases of severe sickness, and no material change in the course of quarantine duties.
A neat and commodious house for the officers has been erected, which is well located, and has long been needed to take the place of the old dilapidated building formerly occupied by them.
By recent orders of the Board of Aldermen, the custody of Gallop's Island was transferred from the Board of Directors, and has been reassumed by the Board of Health, the same to take effect from the first day of May of the present year.
The appeals which the Board have so frequently made in behalf of this institution have not been answered, nor is the condition of the unfortunate inmates materially changed.
Owing to the crowded condition of the hospital, the City Council, in December last, adopted an order requesting the authorities charged with the commitment of the insane, to send all cases of insanity having a settlement in Boston to State institutions, instead of the Boston Lunatic Hospital. Acceding to the request of the government, the Judge of Probate designated the Taunton Lunatic Hospital, and since December our insane have been committed to that institution.
Many cases arise wherein this arrangement is regarded alike by the authorities and the friends of the patient as an extreme hardship, especially in the cases of old and infirm people, or those much prostrated by physical weakness, but more particularly in regard to those who have been former inmates, and who by recurrence of disease are obliged to seek an asylum, and who shrink from entering a hospital, among entire strangers, where their condition may not be fully known. It is often difficult to explain to those who insist upon their right and privilege as tax paying
citizens the reason why their friends are deprived of the benefits of an institution for whose support they are taxed. They desire to be informed why one portion of our insane are cared for by the city in the immediate vicinity of home, while their friends are sent to a distant hospital, where visiting is attended with great inconvenience and expense, and from whom they can receive only weekly reports.
These citizens do not ask that their friends be placed in hospitals, near or distant, whereby they can simply be cheaply maintained, but they desire that those thus afflicted should be afforded every means for restoration, whether they be rich or poor. The mere cost of board is not and should not be a criterion to judge of the sucoessful care of the insane either by the city in its own institutions or by the State. The question should not be, can the inmates be cheaply maintained, but, whether they can be successfully treated and cured. As a municipality we are abundantly able, and, as humane people, we ought willingly to provide for our insane citizens as well as other large cities of our land. We should furnish, not only the ablest professional skill, but all the conveniences and facilities for reaching a favorable result.
Dr. Walker, the superintendent, with a humanity and sympathy which is highly commendable, does all in his power to alleviate the distress of those under his charge, and render them comfortable.
We recommend the perusal of the able report of the superintendent for further information as to the situation of affairs at the hospital.
Dr. Geo. H. M. Rowe ably assists the superintendent, and the faithful discharge of his official trust deserves the commendation of the Board.
HOUSE OF CORRECTION.
Although, since the fire which occurred in February, 1871, fifteen months ago, the former facilities of this department have not been restored, yet it makes a good exhibit of profit, and is not only self-sustaining, but during the last year realized an income, exceeding the current expenditure, of nearly twelve thousand dollars. A year's official labor of the master has confirmed all the Board expected of him and proved that their confidence has not been misplaced.
The erection of buildings necessary to the employment of prisoners has been delayed in consequence of the agitation of the subject of an early removal of the institution to some other locality. During the past year the City Council appropriated the sum of forty-eight thousand dollars for the erection of a suitable chapel and workshop building. Plans for this structure having been prepared the work of rebuilding will soon be commenced, and it is believed the structure will be completed during the present season.
The want of such a building has long been seriously felt, especially upon the Sabbath. There is no room of sufficient size to assemble the prisoners for religious service, although such services have been held in the old workshop for the female prisoners, and in the upper part of the new workshop for the males; but this has been attended with considerable inconvenience.
It is intended that the prison shall be heated by, steam apparatus, rather than by means of stoves, as at present. This is an improvement much to be desired, and the appropriation will admit of the expenditure.
Rev. J. H. Clinch, chaplain of the institution for several years, continues his valuable and devoted daily labors among the prisoners, and justly receives the commendation of the Board.
J. P. BRADLEE,
N. B. Messrs. Cobb and Webster dissent from that portion of the Report relating to the Lunatic Hospital.
REPORTS OF THE SUPERINTENDENT OF
THE DEER ISLAND INSTITUTIONS.
TO THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS FOR PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS :
Gentlemen, - The reports of the Deer Island Institutions, for the financial year ending April 30th, 1872, are submitted as follows, viz. :
There were remaining May 1, 1871:
Men, 102; boys, 56; women, 68 ; girls, 24. Total, 250. Admitted from May 1, 1871, to April 30, 1872, inclusive :
Men, 298 ; boys, 25; women, 91; girls, 16. Total, 430. Discharged from May 1, 1871, to April 30, 1872, inclusive :
Men, 287; boys, 30; women, 101; girls, 8. Total, 426.
Remaining May 1, 1872:
Men, 113; boys, 51; women, 58; girls, 32. Total, 254. Deaths during the year :
Men, 14; women, 23; boys, 2; girls, 1. Total, 40.
The adult Almshouse department is still under the same roof with the House of Industry. Every available part of the building is crowded. Almshouse inmates under the physicians' care have to be placed in hospital with prisoners.
The increased number of inmates in the Houses of Indus