Walsh, Richard Hussey. 'A deduction from the statistics of crime for the last twelve years'. - Dublin: Dublin Statistical Society,Vol.1, Part VII, 1856, pp385-393
Journal of the Dublin Statistical Society Vol.1, Part VII, 1856
Both in ancient and modern times it has been generally believed
that want is unfavorable to virtue, and privation (malesuada fames)
an incentive to crime. But a counter-theory is now growing up,
and becoming, in fact, "rather a favourite one with chaplains,
magistrates, and police officials. "According to this, the belief that
want is the parent of crime must be numbered among popular
fallacies; and statistics are relied on to prove that prosperous years
are more prolific in vice than years of distress. The Rev. Mr. John
Clay, for example, chaplain of Preston gaol, countenances this view
in his "Reports on Crime and its Causes" and Mr. Waddington,
Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, cites, with
apparent concurrence, an opinion to the same effect, in his
evidence before last session's Parliamentary Committee on Transportation.
The evidence upon which this doctrine is based is of a most inconclusive
and unsatisfactory nature. The statistics employed relate
to very limited districts, and hence it is hardly safe or fair to apply
to the entire population of the country the inference they seem to
Read before the Statistical Section of the British Association, Cheltenham,
August 11th, 1856
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