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and forty, imported operatives from France and Germany and started for them a silk factory in the city of St. Petersburg, which is in a flourishing condition at the present time and gives employment to at least two thousand persons. He also had another factory erected in Poland, and went so far as by proclamation to exempt all bis subjects from military duty who were willing to learn the art of silk weaving. The history of France, Italy and England in regard to this enterprise bas been already explained in my prospectus. And furthermore, I invite your attention to what the Eastern States have accomplished towards the encouragement of silk culture and manufacture.
I am informed on reliable information, that at the time of the “ multicaulis speculation,” some States gave as much as six dollars per pound for sewing silk as a premium.
And now, in conclusion, I sincerely and earnestly pray that your bonorable body will take this matter under advisement and place such a premium on silk manufacturing as to induco capital to come forward and assist in this valuable and most important enterprise.
All of, wbich is most respectfully submitted,
To the Hon. the Assembly of California:
MR. SPEAKER: The undersigned Committees on State Prison beg leave to report that, in pursuance of the duty assigned them, they bave visited the prison and made an examination of its condition.
In the pursuit of their investigations, several witnesses were sworn and examined, both at the prison and at San Francisco, and your committee submit the conclusions herein as founded upon the facts elicited by such examinations.
Your Committee had under investigation the various charges of speculation alleged by common rumor against the Warden and Commissary of the prison. They found no evidence to sustain such charges, and the facts show that whatever fault is to be found with the management at the prison is really with the system, and not with the officers. The buildings are not adapted to the classification, and at the same time the safe keeping of prisoners. The workshops are miserable structures, with no advantages for the economical employment of prison labor. There is not the necessary supply of water for manufacturing purposes and the proper cleansing of the cells and grounds of the prison. The prisoners are not properly fed. The diet should be more varied—the ration fixed and established by law. And the cooking department or kitchen should be under the direction of a free man, instead of a convict as at present.
Flogging should be abolished, and the discipline prescribed and made absolute by law. The tannery should be removed from its present location; in the crowded state of the prison yard it amounts to a nuisance. Supplies for the prison sbould be purchased by contract, open to all bidders by advertisement. There should be a resident Chaplain at the prison.
Upon the question of tbe erection of a branch prison, your Committee express the opinion that the State must of necessity, within a few years, prepare for the erection of such a building, and it is important when projected that the serious mistakes made in the building of the present prison buildings should be avoided. The two brick buildings erected during the years eighteen hundred and sixty-four and eighteen hundred and sixty-five, to meet tbe urgent necessity of increased cell room, are but poorly adapted to the safe keeping of prisoners. The testimony of officers of the prison is unanimous to the effect that these buildings are constructed of such materials as to afford no security for confining the large number of hardened criminals under their charge, necessitating the confining of this class entirely in the old building or stone prison. This building contains forty-eight cells and seven large rooms, and in these apartments are confined three hundred and eighty-four of the whole number of prisoners The seven rooms mentioned each contain thirty or forty prisoners, while the two brick prisons, containing three hundred and ninety-six cells, are used for the confinement of but two hundred and eighty-eight, a large proportion of whom are Chinese, who seldom attempt escapes.
Thus it will be seen that the unfitness of the new brick buildings for the uses for wbich they were designed renders the crowding of the worst class of convicts into the secure cells and rooms of the old building and "prevents that classification and separation of prisoners so desirable in carrying out reformatory measures. Your Committee have had propositions submitted for their consideration with reference to the establishment of a branch prison at the granite quarries owned by the Natoma Land Company.
The owners propose to cede to the State a site for a prison, with inexhaustible quarries and sufficient land for cultivation, in consideration of the sum of fifteen thousand dollars, to be paid for in convict labor. This location we regard as a desirable one for this purpose, being connected by the company's road with the Sacramento Valley Railroad. The supply of water is abundant for the most extensive manufacturing purposes, and the labor of the prisoners in working the quarries, it is claimed, would always yield a profitable return to the State. It is a question whether the diversion of one hundred convicts would not at the same time relieve the old prison, and such labor be profitably employed in laying the foundation for a new and permanent one. The last report of the Board of Prison Directors shows that on the first day of November, eighteen hundred and sixty-seven, there were fifty-one prisoners under sentence for one year, and one hundred for two years. Two hundred and twenty-one were twenty-five years old or less; sixty-six bad not reached the age of twenty, and one was but sixteen years old. Five hundred and sixty-four were serving out their first term, many of them for their first offence against the law. When we consider the fact that in the same institution there are many who have grown old and are bardened in crime, some of them serving out their fourth or fifth terms, some means of separating these classes becomes a matter of serions importance. We call attention to the recommendations of Governor Low, in his last Biennial Message, upon this subject. The workshops are in a dilapidated condition. Originally badly designed and poorly built, they are totally unsuited to the profitable employment of prison labor. The evidence of the contractors and the officers of the prison is to the effect that the erection of new shops would largely increase the value of the privileges. The principal contractors testify that with convenient shops and store rooms, they would employ one-tbird more labor at an advanced rate of wages. In otber words, give the contractors sufficient room, so arranged that they can supervise and control the force employed by them, and they will employ from one-third to one-balf more labor, at fifty cents per day instead of thirty.
The increase of prisoners and constant enlargement of manufacturing pursuits within the prison necessitates the erection of new buildings adapted for the purpose. In this connection, your Committee remark