Some six or seven, Prisoners’ Homes have been established in Australasia. The Victorian Government give an annual grant of L1,000, to assist us in this branch of our work. Special facilities are afforded to our Officers in visiting the prisoners, and in some of the jails printed notices are posted up by the authorities to the effect that any prisoner, previous to discharge, may communicate with the officers in charge of our Home, with a view to making a fresh start in life.
The testimony of Sir Graham Berry, Agent General, the Chief Secretary, the Inspector General of Penal Establishments, and the Chief Commissioner of Police, proves conclusively how much good has thus been done. The following extracts from their letters are copied from our Australasian Prison Gate report:—
H.E. SIR H.B. LOCH, K.C.B., G.C.M.G., writes through his Private Secretary to express “his approval and appreciation of the work done by the Salvation Army in connection with the Prison Gate Brigades and Rescued Sisters’ Homes, and has great pleasure in expressing his belief in the good which has resulted from the philanthrophic endeavours of the Salvation Army to rescue and afford material assistance to those in whose interests these organisations have been formed.”
SIR GRAHAM BERRY, Agent General for Victoria, writes:—“I have confidence in the permanent results of your labours, because you, treat these unfortunates as if they were human beings and capable of better things. I believe your organisation is a very powerful agency for good among that class which is practically neglected by others.”
CHIEF JUSTICE HIGGINBOTHAM says that “it is only proper to mention that there is no better nor more useful work done in rescuing discharged prisoners from relapsing into crime, than that effected by the Prison Gate Brigade of the Salvation Army.”
Similar letters have also been received from the following gentlemen:—
The Hon. ALFRED DEAKIN, M.L.A., Chief Secretary.
The Hon. JAMES BALFOUR, M.L.C.
The Hon. M.H. DAVIES, M.L.A. (Speaker of the Legislative Assembly).
The Hon. F.F. DERHAM, M.L.A., Postmaster General.
The Hon. H.T. WRIXON, M.L.A., Attorney General.
The Hon. W.F. WALKER, M.L.A., Commissioner of Customs.
Mr. JUSTICE KERFERD.
The Bishop of MELBOURNE.
W.G. BRETT, Esq., Inspector General, Penal Department.
H.M. CHOMLEY, Esq., Chief Commissioner of Police.
A. SHIELDS, Esq., M.P., Medical Officer, Melbourne Jail.
THE DRUNKARD’S BRIGADE.
Hundreds of habitual drunkards have been soundly converted and reformed in connection with our ordinary spiritual work in India. Probably there are not less than 500 such enrolled in our ranks in this country, and turned into staunch and perpetual abstainers.