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A Model Swiss Prison.

A Geneva correspondent writes that the looseness with which the custody of convicted criminals is administered in the canton of Schwytz is simply appalling. If the facts were not avouched by a trustworthy paper published in the district, the Frein Schweitzer, it would be difficult to believe that the state of things it describes could exist in any European country. The only prison in Schywtz is an old farmhouse. In it are confined malefactors of both sexes and every class, if they can be said to be confined, for it would seem they only remain where they are because they find themselves better off than they wotdd bo at their homes—those of them who have any. The care of these criminals is confided to a head jailer, a serjeanfc of police and a nun. As, however, the two men spend nearly all their evenings and a good part of the days at the baths of S woe won, the duties of the establishment devolve principally on their lady colleague. The prisoners are permitted to go out and come in at their pleasure, and the mm is in the habit of making occasional pilgrimages with repentant infanticides to a neighbouring shrine. Only one man, a creature named Maechler, who eighteen months ago was condemned to imprisonment for a murder of unspeakable brutality, seems to have been kept under bolt and bar. But little by little he insinuated himself into his jailor’s good graces, persuaded her by protestations of repentance and a show of religious zeal to relax her vigilance, and in tho end she actually allowed him to work outside tho house like tho others. Early one morning a short time since, he was sent to fetch water, but quietly walked off in the direction of Sweowcn. AVhen ho did not return the sergeant of police ordered a strong detachment of jail-birds to follow and bring him back. Late in the evening they returned, after an unsuccessful chase. The next day the head jailer himself, with four prisoners, went oft'in quest ; but they were not more successful than the others, which, if the statement of the Preie Schweitzer that they came back far from sober be true, is perhaps not very surprising. It is scarcely necessary to say that Maechler is still at large.

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A Model Swiss Prison. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 221, 20 December 1880

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