Front Page Titles (by Subject) LETTER XII.: CONTRACTOR'S CHECKS. - The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 4
LETTER XII.: CONTRACTOR’S CHECKS. - Jeremy Bentham, The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 4 
The Works of Jeremy Bentham, published under the Superintendence of his Executor, John Bowring (Edinburgh: William Tait, 1838-1843). 11 vols. Vol. 4.
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- A View of the Hard-labour Bill; Being an Abstract of a Pamphlet, Intituled, “draught of a Bill, to Punish By Imprisonment and Hard Labour, Certain Offenders; and to Establish Proper Places For Their Reception:” Interspersed With Observations Relative T
- Panopticon; Or, the Inspection-house: Containing the Idea of a New Principle of Construction Applicable to Any Sort of Establishment, In Which Persons of Any Description Are to Be Kept Under Inspection; and In Particular to Penitentiary-houses,
- Letter I.: Idea of the Inspection Principle.
- Letter II.: Plan For a Penitentiary Inspection-house.
- Letter III.: Extent For a Single Building.
- Letter IV.: The Principle Extended to Uncovered Areas.
- Letter V.: Essential Points of the Plan.
- Letter VI.: Advantages of the Plan.
- Letter VII.: Penitentiary-houses—safe Custody.
- Letter VIII.: Uses—penitentiary-houses—reformation.
- Letter IX.: Penitentiary-houses—economy—contract—plan.
- Letter X.: Choice of Trades Should Be Free.
- Letter XI.: Multiplication of Trades Is Not Necessary.
- Letter XII.: Contractor’s Checks.
- Letter XIII.: Means of Extracting Labour.
- Letter XIV.: Provision For Liberated Persons.
- Letter XV.: Prospect of Saving From This Plan.
- Letter XVI.: Houses of Correction.
- Letter XVII.: Prisons For Safe Custody Merely.
- Letter XVIII.: Manufactories.
- Letter XIX.: Mad-houses.
- Letter XX.: Hospitals.
- Letter XXI.: Schools.
- Postscript, Part I. Containing Further Particulars and Alterations Relative to the Plan of Construction Originally Proposed; Principally Adapted to the Purpose of a Panopticon Penitentiary-house. *
- Section I.: Principal Particulars. Principal Particulars Either Settled Or Altered, Since the First Hasty Design, As Described In Letter II. And Imperfectly Represented In Plate I. See Plate II. †
- Section II.: General View of the Whole Edifice. In a General View of the Whole Building, According to Its Present Form, Three Very Different, Though Connected Masses, May Be Distinguished.
- Section III.: Annular Well. Annular Well, Instead of Stories of Intermediate Annular Area.
- Section IV.: Protracted Partitions Omitted. Protracted Partitions Omitted; Or Rather, Taken Into the Cells.
- Section V.: Cells, Double Instead of Single.
- Section VI.: Dead-part.
- Section VII.: Chapel. Chapel Introduced. *
- Section VIII.: Inspection-galleries and Lodge.
- Section IX.: Of the Communications In General.
- Section X.: Communications. Prisoners’ Staircases.
- Section XI.: Communications—inspectors Staircases.
- Section XII.: Staircase For Chapel Visitors, and For the Officers’ Apartments.
- Section XIII.: Cell-galleries.
- Section XIV.: Doors.
- Section XV.: Diametrical Passage.
- Section XVI.: Communications—exit Into the Yards.
- Section XVII.: Exterior Annular Well. ‡
- Section XVIII.: Windows Reaching Low, and Glazed; Instead of High Up, and Open.
- Section XIX.: Materials. Arched Work—much Iron—plaster Floors.
- Section XX.: Outlets, Including Airing-yards.
- Section XXI.: Approach and Fences.
- Section XXII.: Means of Supplying Water.
- Section XXIII.: Of the Mode of Warming the Building.
- Section XXIV.: Of the Economy Observed In the Construction.
- Postscript—part II. Principles and Plan of Management.
- Section I.: Leading Positions.
- Section II.: Management—in What Hands, and On What Terms.
- Section III.: Of Separation As Between the Sexes.
- Section IV.: Of Separation Into Companies and Classes.
- Section V.: Employment.
- Section VI.: Diet.
- Section VII.: Clothing.
- Section VIII.: Bedding.
- Section IX.: Health and Cleanliness.
- Section X.: Of Airing and Exercise.
- Section XI.: Schooling and Sunday Employment.
- Section XII.: Of Ventilation, Shading, and Cooling.
- Section XIII.: Distribution of Time.
- Section XIV.: Of Punishments.
- Section XV.: Mode of Guarding On the Outside.
- Section XVI.: Provision For Liberated Prisoners.
- The Following Note Respecting This Work Was Given By Bentham to Dr. Bowring, 24 Th January 1821.
- Panopticon Versus New South Wales: Or, the Panopticon Penitentiary System, and the Penal Colonization System, Compared.
- A Plea For the Constitution: Shewing the Enormities Committed, to the Oppression of British Subjects, Innocent As Well As Guilty;
- Section I.: Subject Matter—object—plan.
- Section II.: Power of Legislation—its Necessity In New South Wales.
- Section III: Legislation—how Far Lawful In New South Wales.
- Section IV.: American, &c. Legislation No Precedent For New South Wales.
- Section V.: Even In America, the Crown Had No Right to Legislate Without Parliament.
- Section VI.: Nullity of Legislation In New South Wales, For Want of an Assembly to Consent.
- Section VII.: Nullity of Governor’s Ordinances. For Want of a Court to Try Offences Against Them.
- Section VIII.: King’s Law-servants Not Infallible.
- Section IX.: Nullity of New South Wales Legislation, Proved By the Granada Case.
- Section X.: Governor’s Illegal Ordinances Exemplified.
- Section XI.: Governor’s Illegal Ordinances Exemplified.
- Section XII.: Expirees Forcibly Detained.
- Section XIII.: Expirees, During Detention, Kept In a State of Bondage.
- Section XIV.: Statutes Transgressed By the Legislation and Government of New South Wales.
- Draught of a Code For the Organization of the Judicial Establishment In France: With Critical Observations On the Draught Proposed By the National Assembly Committee, In the Form of a Perpetual Commentary.
- Bentham’s Draught For the Organization of Judicial Establishments, Compared With That of the National Assembly, With a Commentary On the Same.
- Emancipate Your Colonies! Addressed to the National Convention of France, Anno 1793.
- Jeremy Bentham to His Fellow-citizens of France, On Houses of Peers and Senates.
- Papers Relative to Codification and Public Instruction: Including Correspondence With the Russian Emperor, and Divers Constituted Authorities In the American United States.
- Part I.—: On Codification.
- No. I.: To the President of the United States of America.
- No. II.: James Madison, Then President of the Congress of the American United States, to Jeremy Bentham, London.
- No. III.: Albert Gallatin, Minister Plenipotentiary From the American United States to the Court of London, to Simon Snyder, Governor of Pennsylvania, Introducing a Letter From Jeremy Bentham to the Said Governor.
- No. IV.: Jeremy Bentham, London, to Simon Snyder, Governor of Pennsylvania.
- No. V.: Simon Snyder, Governor of Pennsylvania, to David Meade Randolph, Esq. Williamsburgh, Virginia, On the Subject of the Above Letter of Jeremy Bentham.
- No. VI.: Extract From a Printed Paper, Signed Simon Snyder, Dated Harrisburg, December 5 Th 1816, James Peacock, Printer, Intituled “ Governor’s Message to the Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, ” Containing Seve
- No. VII.: Circular. — to the Governor of the State of
- No. VIII.: Jeremy Bentham, an Englishman, to the Citizens of the Several American United States.
- No. IX.: Jeremy Bentham to James Madison, Late President of the American United States.
- No. X.: Jeremy Bentham to the Emperor of All the Russias.
- No. XI.: Alexander I. Emperor of All the Russias, to Jeremy Bentham, London—written With His Imperial Majesty’s Own Hand, In Answer to the Above, [no. X.]
- No. XII.: Jeremy Bentham to the Emperor of All the Russias.
- No. XIII.: Prince Adam Czartoriski, of Poland, to Jeremy Bentham, London. *
- No. XIV.: Jeremy Bentham, London, to Prince Adam Czartoriski of Poland.
- Part II.: Public Instruction.
- No. I.: ( Circular. )— Letter From His Excellency Wilson Cary Nicholas, Governor of Virginia, On the Subject of Public Instruction.—addressed (the Copy of Which This Is a Transcript) to His Excellency John Quincy Adams, Minister Plenipotentiary From the U
- No. II.: ( Circular. )— to the Governor of the State of
- No. III.
- No. IV. Notice Concerning Chrestomathia, By the Paris Lancasterian Instruction Society. Report of the British and Foreign School Society to the General Meeting, Dec. 12, 1816.—EXTRACT.
- Codification Proposal, Addressed By Jeremy Bentham to All Nations Professing Liberal Opinions; Or Idea of a Proposed All-comprehensive Body of Law, With an Accompaniment of Reasons, Applying All Along to the Several Proposed Arrangements:
- Part I.—ARGUMENTS.: Positions, With Reasons For Proofs.
- Section 1.: In Every Political State, the Greatest Happiness of the Greatest Number Requires, That It Be Provided With an All-comprehensive Body of Law. All-comprehensiveness, Practicable, and Indispensable.
- Section 2.: The Greatest Happiness of the Greatest Number Requires, That Such Body of Law Be Throughout Accompanied By Its Rationale: an Indication of the Reasons On Which the Several Arrangements Contained In It Are Grounded. Rationale, Though Unex
- Section 3.: The Greatest Happiness of the Greatest Number Requires, That Those Reasons Be Such, Throughout, As Shall Show the Conduciveness of the Several Arrangements to the All-comprehensive and Only Defensible End Thus Expressed. Rationale, Indicat
- Section 4.: The Greatest Happiness of the Greatest Number Requires, That, of This Rationale, the Several Parts Be Placed In the Most Immediate Contact With the Several Arrangements to Which They Respectively Apply. Rationale, Interwoven, Not Detached.
- Section 5.: The Greatest Happiness of the Greatest Number Requires, That For the Function Exercised By the Drawing of the Original Draught of Such a Code, the Competitors He As Many As, Without Reward At the Public Expense, Can Be Obtained: and So, For T
- Section 6.: The Greatest Happiness of the Greatest Number Requires—that, For the Drawing of Any Such Draught, No Reward At the Public Expense Be Given. At Additional Expense, Reward None.
- Section 7.: The Greatest Happiness of the Greatest Number Requires—that Every Draught, So Given In, Be, From Beginning to End, If Possible, the Work of a Single Hand. Hands Not More Than One.
- Section 8.: The Greatest Happiness of the Greatest Number Requires—that Such Original Draught, Being the Work of a Single Hand, Be Known to Be So. Hand, Known to Be But One.
- Section 9.: The Greatest Happiness of the Greatest Number Requires, That the Work, Being the Work of a Single Hand, and Known to Be So, It Be Known Whose the Hand Is. Hand, Known Whose It Is.
- Section 10.: The Greatest Happiness of the Greatest Number Requires, That, For the Drawing of the Original Draught, All Foreigners Be Admitted Into the Competition: and That, In So Far As Applicable, Unless It Be In All Particulars Taken Together Decid
- Section 11.: On the Part of an Individual, Proposing Himself As Draughtsman For the Original Draught of a Code of Laws, Willingness Or Unwillingness to Interweave In His Draught a Rationale As Above, Is the Most Conclusive Preliminary Test, and That
- Section 12.: On the Part of a Ruler, Willingness Or Unwillingness to See Established an All-comprehensive Code, With Its Rationale As Above, and to Receive Original Draughts From All Hands, Are Among the Most Conclusive Tests of Appropriate Aptitude,
- Part II.—TESTIMONIALS.
- I. England
- II. Geneva
- III.: Spain.
- IV.: Portugal.
- V.: Italy.
- VI.: France.
- VII.: Anglo-american United States.
- VIII.: Greece.
- IX.: South America.
The point, then, being settled, what trades the people may be employed in, another question my contractor will ask is, what powers he is to have put into his hands, as a means of persuading them to betake themselves to those trades? The shortest way of answering this question will be to tell him what powers he shall not have. In the first place then, he shall not starve them. “What then,” you will say perhaps, “do you think it likely that he would?” To speak the truth, for my own part I have no great fear of it. But others perhaps might. Besides, my notion is, that the law, in guarding itself against men, ought to do just the contrary of what the judge should do in trying them, especially where there is nothing to be lost by it. The business, you know, of the judge, is to presume them all honest till he is forced to suspect the contrary: the business of the law is to conclude them all, without exception, to be the greatest knaves and villains that can be imagined. My contractor, therefore, I make myself sure, would starve them—a good many of them at least—if he were let alone. He would starve, of course, all whom he could not make pay for their board, together with something for his trouble. But as I should get nothing by this economy, and might lose some credit by it, I have no mind it should take place. Bread, though as bad as wholesome bread can be, they shall have, then, in plenty: this and water, and nothing else. This they shall be certain of having, and, what is of full as much consequence, every body else that pleases shall be certain of their having it. My brethren of the would-be-reforming tribe may go and look at it at the baker’s: they may weigh it, if they will, and buy it, and carry it home, and give it to their children or their pigs. It shall be dealt out by sound of trumpet, if you please; and Christian starers may amuse themselves with seeing bad bread dealt out to felons, as Christian ambassadors are entertained with the sight of bags of bad money counted out to Janissaries. The latter wonder I saw: the other I assure you would give me much more pleasure.
With this saving clause, I deliver them over to the extortioner, and let him make the most of them. Let him sell porter at the price of port: and “humble port” at the price of “imperial tokay:” his customers might grumble, but I don’t think you would, and I am sure I should not: for it is for that they were put there. Never fear his being so much his own enemy, as to stand out for a price which nobody will give.
In the next place I don’t know that I should be for allowing him the power of beating his boarders, nor, in short, of punishing them in any shape. Anywhere else, such an exemption must have been visionary and impracticable. Without either punishment, or interest given him in the profits of his labour—an interest which, to get the better of so many adverse motives, must have been a pretty strong one, how could you have insured a man’s doing a single stroke of work? and, even with such interest, how could you have insured his not doing all sorts of mischief? As to mischief, I observed to you, under the article of safe custody, how easy their keeper might make himself upon that score: and as to work, I flatter myself you perceive already, that there need be no great fear of a want of inducements adequate to that purpose.
If, after all, it should be insisted that some power of correction would be absolutely necessary—for instance, in the case of a prisoner’s assaulting a keeper or teacher at the time of receiving his food or his instruction (a case which, though never very probable, would be always possible)—such a power, though less necessary here than anywhere else, might, on the other hand, be given with less danger. What tyranny could subsist under such a perfect facility of complaint as is the result of so perfect a facility of inspection? But on this head a word is sufficient, after what I have said in considering the general heads of advantage dependent on this principle. Other checks assistant to this are obvious enough. A correction-book might be kept, in which every instance of chastisement, with the cause for which it was administered, might be entered upon record: any the slightest act of punishment not entered to be considered as a lawless injury. If these checks be not enough, the presence of one or more persons, besides him by whom the correction was actually administered. might be required as witnesses of the mode and quantum of correction, and of the alleged cause.
But, besides preventing his starving them or using them ill, there is another thing I should be much inclined to do, in order to make it his interest to take care of them. I would make him pay so much for every one that died, without troubling myself whether any care of his could have kept the man alive. To be sure, he would make me pay for this in the contract; but as I should receive it from him afterwards, what it cost me in the long run would be no great matter. He would get underwriter’s profit by me; but let him get that, and welcome.
Suppose three hundred prisoners; and that, out of that number of persons of their ages, ten, that is, one out of thirty, ought to die every year, were they taken at large. But persons of their character and in their condition, it may be expected, will die faster than honest men. Say, therefore, one in twenty, though I believe, as jails stand at present, if no more than one in ten die, or, for aught I know. out of a much smaller number, it may be thought very well. Give the contractor, then, for every man that ought to die, for instance ten pounds: that sum, repeated for every man in twenty among three hundred, will amount to a hundred and fifty pounds. Upon these terms, then, at the end of the year make him pay ten pounds for every man that has actually died within that time; to which you may add, or escaped, and I dare say he will have no objection. If by nursing them and making much of them he should find himself at the end of the year a few pounds the richer by his tenderness, who would grudge it him? If you have still any doubt of him, instead of the ten pounds you may put twenty: you will not be much the poorer for it. I don’t know, upon second thoughts, whether somewhat of this sort has not been put in practice, or at least proposed, for foundlings. Be that as it may, make but my contractor’s allowance large enough, and you need not doubt of his fondness of these his adopted children; of whom whosoever may chance while under his wing to depart this vale of tears, will be sure to leave one sincere mourner at least, without the parade of mourning.
Some perhaps may be for observing, that, upon my own principles, this contrivance would be of no use but to save the useless, since the contractor, of himself, knows better things than not to take care of a cow that will give milk. But, with their leave, I do not mean that even the useless should be starved; for if the judges had thought this proper, they would have said so.
The patrons of the hard-labour bill, proceeding with that caution and tenderness that pervades their whole system, have denied their governor, as they call him, the power of whipping. Some penal power, however, for putting a stop to mischief, was, under their plan, absolutely necessary. They preferred, as the mildest and less dangerous power, that of confining a man in a dark dungeon under ground, under a bread-and-water diet. I did then take the liberty to object against the choosing, by way of punishment, the putting of a man into a place which differed not from other places in any essential particular, but that of the chance it stood of proving unwholesome; proposing, at the same time, a very simple expedient, by which their ordinary habitations might be made to receive every other property of a dungeon; in short, the making of them dark.
But in one of my brother’s inspection-houses, there the man is in his dungeon already (the only sort of dungeon, at least, which I conceive any man need be in,) very safe and quiet. He is likewise entertaining himself with his bread and water, with only one little circumstance in his favour, that whenever he is tired of that regimen, it is in his own power to put himself under a better: unless my contractor chooses to fine himself for the purpose of punishing his boarder—an act of cruelty which I am in no great dread of.
In short, bating the checks you have seen, and which certainly are not very complicated, the plan of establishment which such a principle of construction seems, now at least, if not for the first time, to render eligible, and which as such I have been venturing to recommend, is exactly upon a par, in point of simplicity, with the forced and temporary expedient of the ballast-lighters—a plan that has the most perfect simplicity to recommend it, and, I believe, not much else. The chief differences are, that convicts are not, in the inspection-houses, as in those lighters, jammed together in fetters under a master subject to no inspection, and scarce under any controul, having no interest in their welfare or their work, in a place of secret confinement, favourable to infection and to escapes.