15 DECEMBER 1855, Page 2

While the Assizes are proceeding, two subjects, of juvenile re-

form and ticket-of-leave outrages, have regained public attention. Both are rendered rather conspicuous by discussion. The ticket- of-leave point, indeed, receives little new light. It is proved that the convicts are not retained under sufficient surveillance,—which everybody knew ; and Western Australia has reminded the Go- vernment, through the newspapers, that she is prepared to receive transported convicts,—quite prepared to renew that convict system in the West of Australia which was put down as an intolerable curse in the East and South. It is impossible, however, that the ticket-of-leave question can be settled now. The new plan of home custody for convicts has been a compromise between the old system of permanent imprisonment and some reformatory adjunct. The convicts are not kept long enough, or strictly enough, to be reformed ; the power of revoking tickets-of-leave has been little exercised; and it is probable that in their professional training thieves learn the expediency and convenience of behaving well in prison, the quicker to regain their freedom for action out of doors. The system as it was carried on is condemned for its imperfections, not for any inherent fault in a probationary ticket-of-leave system properly carried out. What Government has done has been to simPend, the system, and the question is handed over to Parlia- ment next session.

Meanwhile, the Reformatory system is extended. Twenty-five counties now have Reformatories; and in Warwickshire a Roman Catholic meeting, headed by Viscount Camden and Bishop Ulla- thorne, has taken steps to establish a Juvenile Reformatory in the Forest of Charnwood, under the Cistercian monastery of St. Ber- nard. This is a new form of Papal activity, which we can heartily welcome. If the Roman Catholics endeavour to preserve or ex- tend their influence by joining in an agitation to do good, they will attain their object, and they will attain it in a manner which must disarm suspicion.