21 NOVEMBER 1908, Page 13

Recidivism. By F. Sutherland, M.D. (Green and Sons, Edinburgh.)—This volume

contains the conclusions at which, after many years of study, Dr. Sutherland has arrived. He sees in the recidivists two types,—the habitual criminal and the petty delinquent. It is the former who represents the really dangerous element, but it is comparatively small. He takes a total of 166,180 apprehensions in Scotland, but reduces this to 36,170 individual prisoners ; of these 1,700 are of the worst type. This is not a formidable number, and it would be possible—whether it would be expedient or not, we do not say—to shut them all up for the rest of their lives. Our present system is certainly futile. The statistical part of the subject is well illustrated by a map, in which the depth of shading represents the average of criminality. The black region consists of Glasgow City, Lanarkshire, and Lin- litbgowshire, Glasgow having a sinister pre-eminence with ninety- five per ten thousand. At the other end we have Perth, Ross, Banff, Berwick, Kirkcudbright, Nairn, Sutherland, Orkney and Shetland. Here the percentages vary from fourteen to five, this minimum being credited to the three last on the list given above. We must be content with a general commendation of this valuable work.