From the POLICE MAGISTRATE,
To the CAPTAIN OF THE PRISON GATE BRIGADE.
Dated, Colombo, October 30th, 1889.
Subject—Habitual Offender, Dana.
I have the honour to inform
you that a man named Dana, produced
before me this day, charged with being a habitual thief, has
expressed a wish to be admitted into the Prison Brigade Home.
I shall be glad if you afford
him an opportunity to redeem his
I am, Sir, Your obedient Servant, E.W.M., Police Magistrate.
The past year was suitably finished up by providing a special feast to which only ex-convicts were admitted. No less than 150 accepted the invitation.
About this branch of our work a leading daily paper, the Ceylon Independent, writes as follows.—
Most of our readers have read in our columns of the good work the Army is doing at the Prison Gate, in reclaiming from criminal courses the discharged prisoners who have served their time of confinement. In that critical moment, when the wide world is once more before the newly discharged culprit, when he emerges from confinement to overwhelming temptation, big it may be with fresh schemes of crime, armed with enlarged experiences to aid in its accomplishment, to be met, taken kindly by the hand, and led gently to the pleasanter and more peaceful path of honesty, industry, and virtue, is a surprise that is calculated to disarm temptation at least for a moment, and thus virtue gains time for thought.
The success of the Prison Gate Brigade has hitherto been surprising, and quite beyond its founders’ anticipation. It has been especially useful in reclaiming juvenile offenders, of whom a large number have been induced to take to the honest means of livelihood, chiefly carpentry, which the Home provides.
This work in Bombay was commenced some two years ago at the instance of a leading Parsee gentleman, with a generous subscription of Rs. 1,200. Owing partly to the fact that we have been hitherto unable to secure suitable premises and partly to the entire absence of any assistance on the part of Government, the work in Bombay has been much more uphill and discouraging than in Ceylon. Nevertheless we have persevered in the teeth of all sorts of difficulties, and the results have been very encouraging. Recently in one week no less than three of the inmates of our Bombay Home were accepted as cadets, to be trained up as future officers. Previously to this nine others had been similarly accepted. One of these, Lieut. Hira Singh, is now himself taking an active part in the rescue of other convicts, while another is sucessfully working in Gujarat. Accounts of their lives are given further on.
Indeed Bombay has proved itself to be an even richer field than Colombo itself; and now that some of the peculiar difficulties that have hitherto hindered the work, are one by one being removed, there is every reason to believe that this work will soon make rapid progress.