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Pollard den Dank der Versammlung. Das Wort hat jetzt Herr Dr. Jur. Groot für seinen Vortrag über:

Release on probation of offenders guilty of drunkenness or of offences committed under the influence of drink.

Mr. H. C. J. Groot, (Haag): Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen.

The principle underlying the practice of release on probation is simply the common experience gathered in all civilised countries, that short terms of imprisonment are both useless and dangerous. Useless, because the effect is neither improving nor deterrent; dangerous, because the offender so very easily comes under the bad influence of his fellow-prisoners.

Dr. Adolf Wach expresses this very neatly when he says: „In den Statten der kurzzeitigen Freiheitsstrafen empfangen die Neulinge des Verbrechens in verderbenstiftender Gemeinschaft unter der Leitung ergrauter Sünder die eigentliche \ erbrechersignatur. Das vielgehörte Schlagwort von Elementarschulen des Verbrechens trifft die Wahrheit.". l)

It indeed stands quite to reason, that they who come more closely in contact with offenders against the criminal law, have tried to find the means by which they might protect such fii st offenders against the evil consequences of short terms of imprisonment. In doing this, they not only conferred a great benefit on the offenders themselves, but a far greater still on society in general and this, the public good, ought to be the leading sociological principle of every member of society. If the question be asked, whether release on probation is a legitimate means to obtain the end indicated, I feel bound to

answer in the affirmative.

The good of society in general is not only the end, but likewise the determinating factor of punishment. Punishment no doubt

i) In the goals, where they serve their short terms of imprisonment first offenders receive the real criminal stamp by the baneful contact with the hoary old sinners steeped in crime. The term so frequently applied to such places, nurseries of crime, simply conveys the plain truth about them.

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