In Russian and French Prisons

In Russian and French Prisons

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In Russian and French Prisons by Peter Kropotkin

Published:

1887

Pages:

172

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2,153

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In Russian and French Prisons

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Book Excerpt

most of them. The arbitrary despotism of the directors of prisons had no limits, and the dreadful tales which circulated in Transbaikalia about one of them--Razghildeeff--were fully confirmed. Terrible epidemics of scurvy swept away the prisoners by hundreds each year, that a more active extraction of gold was ordered from St. Petersburg, and the underfed convicts were compelled to overwork. As to the buildings and their rotten condition, the overcrowding therein, and the filth accumulated by generations of overcrowded prisoners, the reports were really heartbreaking. No repairs would do, the whole had to undergo a thorough reform. I visited a few prisons, and could but confirm the reports. The Transbaikalian authorities insisted, therefore, on limiting the number of convicts sent to the province; they pointed out the material impossibility of providing them not only with work, but even with shelter.

Things were no better with regard to the transport of exiles. This service was in the most deplorable c

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