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in the outward signs of repentance and altered

principles, for his long experience had taught him,


that the only proof of a prisoner's sincerity, which
could be depended on, is, that he does not long
to leave the prison.
M:r Aylies proposes, as a medium, that those
who are condemned for life ought not to receive
any remission till after twenty years imprisonment,
and that there ought not to be any question of
shortening the period of confinement for those who
are condemned only to five years and under.
The new law-project proceeds from about
the same point of view, as it is said in the
motives Chap. 2 of the Penal-division: "That, when
the prisoner has gained a good character for
industry and obedience to the regulations appointed
at the establishment, and in other respects shown
such proofs of an improved disposition of mind,
that there is reason for a diminution in the time
of confinement, the direction should report the
same to the king, on whose pleasure the exercise
of the right of pardon depends.
To prevent, however, the prisoners' being able, by a pretended
improvement, to obtain too early a remission, the regulation has been
considered necessary, that an application for pardon ought not to be
made, before fifteen years have passed for him who has been condemned
to the first degree of punishment, or three fourths of the term of
punishment for other prisoners, and that should not take place unless
these three fourths amounted to one year."
Although I, for my own part, entertain much doubt as to the utility of
these pardonings, as well with regard to their influence on the
improvement of the prisoner, as their effects in general, after a more
rational theory of punishment has been a- dopted, and I should
consequently be inclined to limit it to the first degree of
punishment, after the expiration of fifteen years, 1 nevertheless do
not intend to oppose the above mentioned authorities, and only wish
that the abridgement of the term of imprisonment may be granted as
sparingly as possible, and after the most careful examination.
The directions of all the prisons for penal- labour, ought, within a
given time, to deliver annually to the Department of Justice
(Justitie-De- partementet), a complete and detailed report on the
management of the prisons, the principal results, financial position,
such remarks as the penitentiary treatment may lead to, the prisoners'
state of health, how they have conducted themselves, how employed
&c. These reports should be arranged according to given formules, in
order that a comparison may be made between them. They ought to be
printed, and distributed with the news-papers.