I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Homo Department how many convicted prisoners were certified to be unfit for prison discipline in the years 1904–5; and whether, seeing that persons so certified are constantly returned to prison, he will consider the advisability of some better way being found of dealing with them.
§ *MR. GLADSTONE
In 1903–4 the number of convicted prisoners received in prison was 190,791, and the number certified unfit for prison discipline was 345, the corresponding figures for 1904–5 wore 198,710 and 412. It is a difficult question what should be done with persons unfit for prison discipline who commit serious crime, or who are persistently guilty of minor offences. Those physically unfit for discipline are treated in the prison infirmary; those unfit through mental weakness are placed under the care of the medical officer and receive special treatment suitable to their condition. I hope that the Royal Commission on the Feeble-minded will be able to make recommendations which will be of material assistance in dealing with the latter class.