Mettray, Reformatory of

Mettray, Reformatory of.

This noted institution for the reformation of juvenile delinquents is the parent of all institutions of this character, and deserves our notice therefor. The object of the Reformatory of Mettray and other like institutions, which have, especially of late, been fast multiplying, is the mild punishment and ultimate restoration to society of juvenile delinquents. The founder of the reformatory — whose labors, like those of the prison reformers of our day, deserve to be cherished forever — was M. Demetz, a French lawyer, a member of the Parisian bar, who, struck with the evils and hardships attending the committal to prison of young persons, and considering the training and habits of scarcely responsible criminals, condemned to languish hopelessly for a time, incapable of producing results other than their emerging worse than when they entered, resolved, in conjunction with the vicomte Bretigneres de Courteilles, to found a school which should have for its object the reformation of this class of offenders. In 1839, accordingly, the Reformatory, or, as it is called, the Colony of Mettray, was set on foot, about five miles from the city of Tours, in France. From that day to this, M. Demetz has, by his assiduous labors and self- devotedness, rendered to France and Europe one of the greatest benefits that could be conferred on society, proving that, by agricultural and other labors of industry, and well-considered rules of organization and discipline, the neglected and criminal may be trained to take their place honestly and honorably in society; the relapses into crime being in the institution of Mettray only 3.81 per cent. SEE PRISON REFORM. (J.H.W.)

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