ized in the subordinate centres the cultivation of the senses are
necessary antecedents to the due formation and operation of the
will." $ We must therefore distinctly accept as an established
* Maudsley, Physiology and Pathology of the Mind, pp. 54, 55.
f Id. 60. | Id. 92, 93.
THE JUKES. 57
educational axiom, that the moral nature which really means the
holding of the emotions and passions under the dominion of the
judgment by the exercise of will is the last developed of the ele-
ments of character, and, for this reason, is most modifiable by the
nature of the environment.
Leaving this branch of the inquiry we now come to the con-
sideration of some of the English experience in the study of crime
which bears on this question. Dr. Neison,* classifying the total
population of England and Wales so as to divide them into succes-
sive terms of life as follows, from loto 15, from 15 to 20, from 20 to 25,
from 25 to 30, from 30 to 40, from 40 to 50, from 50 to 60, found
that age affected the tendency to crime in a remarkable degree.
The maximum proportion of male criminals he found between the
ages of 20 and 25, where the percentage of crime, as compared to
the total male population of the same age, is .77.02 per cent, while
between 50 and 60 the percentage to total population of the same
age is only .16.94 per cent. Also the same law holds good for
women but in different ratios, and here the tendency to crime at
each successive term of life above enumerated decreases from 20
years at the rate of 33.333 per cent for males and 25 per cent for
females. Now this gradual decrease is precisely what might be ex-
pected from the operation of the law of cerebral development
above explained. From 15 to 20 the emotions and sensations are
more active proportionately than they are at a later age. It is not
that temptation is stronger, but that the will has not yet become
fully organized, and therefore fails to govern the conduct. The
formation of the character up to this time has been largely through
precept and example ; experience has not yet come to teach, in its
fulness, that a present self-denial may lead to a future greater ad-
vantage. But after twenty the formation of the character depends
more upon experience, for the man of 25 does not find the same ex-
cuse granted for his misdeeds that the lad of 20 did ; the will now
begins to be organized under what might be called social compul-
sion so as to become an efficient factor in conduct, and as it grad-
ually strengthens by wider experience, the grown man sees the short-
* F. G. P. Neison, Vital Statistics, p. 404.
5 8 THE JUKES.
sighted policy of a criminal career and accommodates himself to
This demonstrates that the natural process of the development
of nerve tissue is a spontaneous and enormous force, capable of
assisting in the work of reforming vicious and criminal lives. So
long as there is growth, there can you produce change. Per contra,
wherever you can change the environment so that the sensations,
the experience, the habit of steady attention become automatic, you
have at your disposal the means by which this will can be so devel-
oped, organized and made steady, that it can serve as a guide and
as a restraint in the future career of the person so transferred to
new environment. Here is the probable explanation of the spon-
taneous reform of the criminals whose cases are recited above. In
spite of early training which was vicious ; in spite of our penal ser-
vitude, which is execrable, and not in consequence of it, we find
that the disadvantages of criminal life have been weighed against
the advantages of liberty and good repute, and a new course adopt-
ed after the twenty-fourth year, without any adventitious encourage-
ment from reformatory institutions. The law would seem to be that
development is in the direction ot least resistance. Hence the
value of good environment and the power of skilful training which
removes obstacles to sound physical and mental organization and
to an extent artificially contrives to open up the direction of least
resistance in the channel of the established laws of social order.
But the statistical proof of a steady decrease of crime among
males of 33 per cent for every term after 20 years of age, which, it
has just been argued, is accounted for by growth of the will up
to maturity, does not account for the decrease after that time. The
facts collected in this report show that the essential characteristic
of aggressive crime in the meridian of life is vitality ; that impris-
onment causes and hastens induced pauperism ; and as life wanes
the criminal tends to become a permanent public charge. Thus we
get a gradual substitution of careers, from the criminal to the pau-
per, which glide into each other in so natural and steady a proces-
sion, that the ratio of decrease in crime, according to successive
terms, as pointed out by Dr. Nelson, is progressively continued to
THE JUKES. 59
the end of life. We must not lose sight of a very important ele-
ment in this connection. Although we have very little positive
knowledge of the death-rate among criminals, we do know that
fatal diseas ;s are much more prevalent among them than with the
average of men, and the great number of orphans in their ranks
indicate how large a proportion of them are probably short lived
by inheritance. But this inherited brevity of life and this diseased
condition, we have already found, are merely the physiological aspect
of what we call pauperism in its social aspect, and premature death is
merely its terminal point. We may say, therefore, for convenience,
that the ratio of decrease in crime at successive periods is affected by
death, pauperism and reform, the degree of importance which they
respectively play being in the order stated.
Intermittent industry. After disease, the most uniformly notice-
able trait of the true criminal is that he lacks the element of con-
tinuity of effort. Steady, plodding work, which is the characteristic
not only of honest and successful individuals, but also of all nations
that have made a mark in history, is deficient in him, and needs to
be organized as a constituent of his character.
Max was " a hunter and a fisher," and in his industrial habits
he is not only the type of his descendants but the organizer of their
unfavorable condition. The great mass of them are of the grade of
laborers,, engaged in what maybe called intermittent industries. Of
the whole number of men, not 20 are skilled workmen, and of these,
10 have learned their trades in State prison. The industries which
most of the " Jukes ' pursued leave from three to four months of
idle time during the winter season. Idleness results, and they rely
on town help to pull through or take to tramping. This fluctua-
ting state is full of dangers, and tends to perpetuate their social
condition, which leads to the question of industrial training.
Industrial training. We have seen that disease produces a dead-
ening effect upon the moral sense, that intemperance results largely
from some form of waning vitality, actual or potential ; that pauper-
ism is due to the same process, and that the career of the criminal
frequently begins and ends in the poor-house, the middle of life,
when the vitality is strongest, being devoted to depredations. Behind
60 THE JUKES.
all this, and in a certain sense antedating it, is fornication, speading
diseases that undermine the vital force and literally create the idle-
ness which is fortified by the cessation of work, so that both sur-
roundings and proclivities become cumulative. The residuary
vital force having ceased to be expended in labor, must find another
mode of activity, and the one which presents itself as the most
alluring is sexual excess, which thus completes a vicious circle,
making idleness and fornication reciprocal causes of each other as
hereditary characteristics which can only be eliminated from society
by the advent of uncompromising death the wages of sin. The
argument for early marriage previously alluded to is strengthened
by the fact that it brings with it the cares and obligations of rearing
the family, and this is labor both physical and mental, which has a
salutary effect in this respect upon women as well as upon men.
In the training of certain idiots, one of the great impediments in
ameliorating their condition is found in the sexual orgasms to which
they are addicted, the practice of which perpetuates their idiocy.
The first step in improvement is to check their vice, and the main
reliance to this end is occupation for mind and muscle, medication
being only an auxiliary. In the institutions for the training of these
unfortunates they are constrained to activity of some kind, their
inert limbs are made to move, sometimes by the nurse, sometimes
by mechanical contrivances which compel the flexion of the members,
and their senses are gradually developed by being arbitrarily excited
in a way appropriate to their nature. The result of this close, con-
tinuous and systematic turning of their attention to objects of the
external world, unfolds their stunted minds, and produces fatigue, so
that when laid down they fall to sleep at once without chance of
sexual abandonment. It is the duty of the nurse to assure that
each evening, and be ready to occupy the patient on the moment of
his waking. Without this there is no cure. The lesson is, that the
expenditure of the vital force in the direction of occupation sub-
tracts just so much from sexual indulgence and reduces it to healthy
The direct effect of industrial training is to curb licentiousness,
its secondary effects to decrease the craving for stimulants and nar-
THE JUKES. 6 1
cotics, to reduce the number of neglected children, to stimulate new
sets of wants which will express themselves in a higher standard of
living, and, concomitantly, promote the habits of industry which
will enable those wants to be satisfied, thus completing a healthful
circle in which labor and'abstinence will become reciprocal causes of
each other as hereditary characteristics which will promote longevity
and enjoyment. In this way the log huts and hovels which now
form hot-beds where human maggots are spawned, will disappear
In their stead will be erected houses that will admit of separate sleep-
ing apartments for the sexes, the mental attributes will gradually
develop, aesthetic tastes take the place of debauchery, and a new
social equilibrium be established.
How is this change to be effected ? In the first place, we have
seen what a powerful agency is environment in determining the
career ; therefore, any child of habitually criminal parents should be
withdrawn from the influence of such a home, and the younger the
child, after it is weaned, the better the chances of success. In the
second place, the family is the fundamental type of social organiza-
tion, and, as we found it was necessary to take the family in its
successive generations as the only proper basis for a study of our
subject, so have we found, in those cases where the established
order of society has spontaneously produced amended lives, that
the family hearth has formed an essential point of departure.*
Accepting this as a lesson and a model, any institution that proposes
to deal with the reformation of delinquents must adopt some scheme
which shall embody this fundamental relationship, remembering
that love of home and pride in it are the most powerful motives in
checking vagrancy, and in organizing the environnent that can
perpetuate these essential domestic sentiments.
When the term "industrial training" is used, much more is meant
than formal instruction in a trade. It is contemplated that, in a proper-
ly ordered scheme of reformation, something like a general training
of the faculties must be provided for. Our Reformatories must reform
and develop the senses of touch, hearing, sight, smell and taste, so
that the mind shall be filled with the knowledge of things, instead
* See cases 3, 6, 36.
62 THE JUKES.
of being left vacant of everything except a memorizing of words.
With the use of the faculties will gradually be developed varieties
of emotion and intelligence, which, tending to activities in their own
direction, will reorganize the career of the individual so that criminal
or vicious courses can be supplanted by automatic virtue. Every
reformatory should take for its model of school training, either the
kindergarten education or the method of object lessons, or some
modification of these which is practicable, for the potential thief, if
not a moral imbecile, is a moral infant. The advantage of the kind-
ergarten instruction rests in this, that it coherently trains the
senses and quickens the spirit of moral accountability, building
them into cerebral tissue. It thus organizes new channels of ac-
tivity through which vitality may spread itself for the advantage
of the individual and the benefit of society, concurrently endowing
each individual with a governing will. Such an energetic, judicious
and thorough training of the children of our criminal population
would, in fifteen years, show itself by the great decrease in the
number of commitments, and at a less cost in money than their
adult depredations. Such training is not to be found in our reform-
atories conducted upon the congregate system, and still less in
our prisons, penitentiaries and jails.
Indeed, so conspicuous is the failure of the entire machinery of
the punitive and reformatory institutions of our State, that we
cannot call these establishments the results of the wisdom of our
generation, but rather the cumulative accidents of popular negligence,
indifference and incapacity. A survey of the field of reform, and of
those to be saved, has profoundly shaken my faith in the sufficiency
of any mere institution, as an agent to reform the erring, without
the active co-operation of the public.
Tentative Inductions in Reform.
1. The formation of character depends upon an orderly and well-
defined development of faculty from youth to maturity.
2. This development is a spontaneous force capable of facilitating
3. This metamorphosis operates most powerfully in the moral
field from the twenty-third to the thirty-first year.
THE JUKES. 63
4. It partially explains the proportionate decrease of crime in
successive terms of life, as shown by Dr. Neison.
5. With the advance of age the effects of imprisonment and
disease cumulate. They produce induced pauperism which acts as
a substitution of careers, from criminal to pauper condition.
6. This accounts for another portion of the decrease of crime
ratio among criminals.
7. The vices of criminals so disease them that the average death-
rate is raised, and this rate increases in an accelerated ratio, espe-
cially from the thirty-fifth year.
8. This explains another proportionate decrease of crime.
There is another tendency among criminals that affects the pro-
portionate decrease of crime, which it may be well to state here,
although the evidence of it is not gathered from the " Jukes," but
from the "Further Studies of Criminals," and is here stated.
9. That the tendency of many criminals from the age of twenty-
five is to change from executors of crimes to contrivers of the same,
from the thirty-fifth to the forty-fifth to become crime capitalists
or the keepers of liquor shops or brothels where crimes are planned.
They thus measurably avoid arrest and imprisonment.
10. Reform is more probable with adult criminals than adult
11. The law of human development is in the direction of least
12. Effective methods of reform require that obstacles to sound
physical and mental organization should be removed, so that the
direction of least resistance shall, by artificial design, be opened up
in the channels of social order.
13. The " Jukes " are conspicuous for lack of continuity of effort
* When I first made this statement in the edition of 1875, J thought it was new
to me. During a visit to Dr. E. Van de Warker, of Syracuse, the subject of the direction
of least resistance came up in conversation. Then I recollected that I was indebted to Mr.
Herbert Spencer for the idea. Many years ago I had read his Physiology of Laughter, and
had forgotten it so completely that, unconsciously, I adapted the illustration of the distribu-
tion of nervous force contained in that essay to the explanation of the social phenomena I
was comparing the relations of harlotry, pauperism and crime.
6 4 THE JUKES.
and for precocious sexual excitability which are both of them such
14. These two features react on each other as cause and effect,
stimulate crime and induce pauperism.
15. The foundation of their education should be sexual training
from early childhood.
16. This involves, ist, Separation from contaminating example
to control the moral environment : 2d, Industrial training with
culture of the aesthetic tastes.
17. Separation from parents should be secured by placing the
children to be so trained in good families or in institutions that are
conducted on the family system.
1 8. The culture and industrial training are best secured by
Institutional life, which helps to break down the self-reliance of
inmates, must be superseded by dispersion into good families. I
now have in mind an extensive employer of labor, located near the
original settlement of the "Jukes," and who employs several members
of it. His rule is to treat them with firmness and unvaryingly
scrupulous fairness. He never swerves from what he says, never
evades a promise made. This establishes over them an empire that
makes them trust him, and when they get into difficulties, they come
to him for advice. He acts as their banker, encourages them to
save, and in the case of boys from 13 to 15, who have formed ac-
quaintance of licentious women, he interposes his authority and
checks their career of licentiousness by establishing a bond of
mutual good faith between himself and the offender, the latter prom-
ising to discontinue his courses if his former conduct is not reported
to his parents. In this way an ascendency is gained that tends to
check many an incipient crime ; but he never lets his relations with
them fall into the weakness of patronage. He is school trustee, and
where widows depend upon their boys for support, he arranges that
they shall work for him, and go to school alternate weeks. He has
not taken up this work as a "mission," but strictly as a business
man, who, finding himself placed where he must employ the rude
laborers of his locality, deals with them on the sound and healthy
THE JUKES. 65
basis of commercial contract, honesty carried out and rigidly en-
It is such a class of employers who are needed to deal with the
criminally inclined ; men who understand human nature, rightly
estimate the lack of social opportunity which encompasses a popu-
lation of "Jukes," and can make allowances for the shortcomings
and frailties of a class who are less evil in nature than they are un-
trained in conduct. If such prudent persons could be enlisted in the
work, they would prove the most efficient of all reformers, because
reform would be secured under liberty, the only ultimate test of self-
1. Tentative Generalizations on Heredity and Environment.
Where the organization is structurally modified, as in idiocy and
insanity, or organically weak as in many diseases, the heredity is
the preponderating factor in determining the career ; but it is, even
then, capable of marked modification for better or worse by the
character of the environment. In other words, capacity, physical
and mental, is limited and determined mainly by heredity. This is
probably because it is fixed during the period of ante-natal organiza-
2. Where the conduct depends on the knowledge of moral
obligation (excluding insanity and idiocy), the environment has
more influence than the heredity, because the development of the
moral attributes is mainly a post-natal and not an ante-natal forma-
tion of cerebral cells. The use to which capacity shall be put is
largely governed by the impersonal training or agency of environ-
ment, which is itself very variable.
3. The tendency of heredity is to produce an environment which
perpetuates that heredity : thus, the licentious parent makes an ex-
ample which greatly aids in fixing habits of debauchery in the child.
The correction is change of environment. For instance, where
hereditary kleptomania exists, if the environment should be such as
to become an exciting cause, the individual will be an incorrigible
thief ; but if, on the contrary, he be protected from temptation, that
individual may lead an honest life, with some chances in favor of
the entailment stopping there.
66 THE JUKES.
4. Environment tends to produce habits which may become
hereditary, especially so in pauperism and licentiousness, if it
should be sufficiently constant to produce modification of cerebral
If these conclusions are correct, then the whole question of the
control of crime and pauperism become possible, within wide limits,
if the necessary training can be made to reach over two or three
5. From the above considerations the logical induction seems to
be, that environment is the ultimate controlling factor in determin-
ing careers, placing heredity itself as an organized result of invari-
able environment. The permanence of ancestral types is only another
demonstration of the fixity of the environment within limits which
necessitate the development of typal characteristics.
Extension of the field of Genealogical study. The " Jukes ' take
in only a fraction of the domain of investigation into crime, its
cause and cure. The essential characteristics of the group are great
vitality, ignorance and poverty. They have never had a training
which would bring into activity the aesthetic tastes, the habits of rea-
soning, or indeed a desire for the ordinary comforts of a well-ordered
home. They are not an exceptional class of people : their like
may be found in every county in this State. For this reason an ex-
haustive analysis of this family is valuable, because the inductions
drawn from their careers are applicable to a numerous and widely
disseminated class who need to be reached by similar agencies.
The study here presented is largely tentative, and care should
be taken that the conclusions drawn be not applied indiscriminately
to the general questions of crime and pauperism, for we are here
dealing mainly with blood relations living in a similar environment,
physical, social and governmental, in whom the order of events
noted may be hereditary characteristics special to themselves, and
not of unvarying recurrence.
Nevertheless, it opens the way and supplies the method for a
otudy of other cases, supplementing and complementing this one,
and presenting a different point of departure, whether it be the
progeny of influential landed proprietors who lapse into pauperism,
THE JUKES. 67
or the children of people of culture and refinement who become
felons ; or again, of the converse of these, of children whose parents
were criminals, and yet have re-entered the ranks of the repu-
Different kinds of crime need special study. Thus crimes of
contrivance in their various forms, as burglary, embezzlement ;
crimes of education, as forgery ; crimes of brutality, as malicious
mischief and murder ; crimes of cunning, as pocket picking, false
pretenses ; crimes of weakness, crimes of debauchery, crimes of am-
bition, crimes of riches, crimes of disease. Pauperism also needs a
series, and this and crime need to be compared to each other, and, re-
spectively, to a third series, investigating the growth and permanence
of generations morally developed. The study of human nature thus
pursued would give us a classified variety of characters, conditions
and tendencies covering gradations so perfectly distributive that we
could take any typical case, follow from this as a central point in
any direction and note the shades of change which lead to other
typical cases and so get a right conception of the continuity and es-
sential unity of sociological phenomena, and perhaps discover a law
of social equivalents. Such a series would form a body of evidence
which would furnish data enabling us to pronounce judgment upon
any scheme put forth to counteract the increase of crime, and sup-
plant the empirical method now in vogue, by one of exact and well-