The almost exclusive preoccupation of criminal courts with the question of guilt and punishment has led to their overlooking largely the important relationship which there is between vice and crime and mental disorders.1 The evidence of such a relationship between prostitution and mental defectiveness has already been given in the preceding section of this chapter, in connection with the discussion of the prophylaxis of syphilis.

Equally striking is the evidence of the relationship which exists between mental disorders and crime. As regards feeble-mindedness alone, for instance, Goddard2 cites the following statistics of percentages of defectives found in various reformatories and institutions for delinquents by the systematic application of Binet tests: Railway Reformatory, New Jersey, 46; Geneva, Illinois, 89; Ohio Boys' School, 70; Ohio Girls' School, 70; Virginia, three reformatories, 79.

The statistics of the United States Census pertaining to insanity and crime are also of interest in this connection.

1 A. J. Rosanoff. A Program of Psychiatric Progress. Med. Record, Feb. 20, 1915.

2 H. H. Goddard. Feeble-mindedness. New York, 1914.

The States of this country may be divided into two groups according to the number of inmates in insane hospitals in proportion to the general population. Since, for the present purpose, this is done to facilitate the study of the relationship which exists between crime and insanity, it would seem best to take into consideration only the male population at large and the male asylum and prison inmates: crime is not nearly so common, whether as a neuropathic manifestation or otherwise, among women as among men, the counterpart among women being sexual immorality, prostitution, illegitimacy, etc.

The first group of states, comprising Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming, has a total male population 10 years of age or over of 9,705,527; each of these states has less than 200 male asylum inmates per 100,000 of the male population 10 years of age or over, the average for the entire group being 140.9.

In this group of states the number of inmates in prisons, penitentiaries, jails, and workhouses, not including juvenile delinquents, is 31,290, i.e., 322.4 per 100,000 of the general population 10 years of age or over.

The second group of states, comprising Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin, has a total male population 10 years of age or over of 27,190,148; each of these states has more than 200 male asylum inmates per 100,000 of the male population 10 years of age or over, the average for the entire group being 304.7.

In this group of states the number of inmates in prisons, penitentiaries, jails, and workhouses, not including juvenile delinquents, is 71,482, i.e., 262.9 per 100,000 of the general population 10 years of age or over.

The contrast between the two groups of states as regards the relative number of prisoners is sufficiently striking as revealed by the census statistics. But it is probable that the excess of crime in the first group of states is but partly revealed in these statistics; for it seems reasonable to assume that the facilities for the detection and prosecution of crime are in these states, like other social institutions, inferior as compared with those of the second group of states, so that a greater amount of crime remains undetected, and unrepresented in the statistics of penal institutions.

However this may be, it seems certain that the inadequacy of the provisions for the care and custody of cases of mental disorder in the first group of states, regarded from its financial aspect alone, does not carry with it the advantage of economy, for what may be saved in expenditures for the maintenance of the insane is lost in increased expenditures for the maintenance of convicted criminals; it is, indeed, not unlikely that the loss is far greater than the saving.

To give the student a more direct view of the evidence showing a relationship between crime and mental disorders we could do no better than to quote from a report prepared by Dr. Anne Moore, in which several pages are devoted to a consideration of the crime of arson.1

"Arson is a common crime among the feeble-minded. . . . Many times thousands of dollars' worth of property are destroyed and many lives endangered before legal proof of guilt is established. On conviction these persons are often committed to penal institutions, only to be paroled and set free to repeat the crime; or they are left to serve long sentences which on their release do not act as a deterrent. The Fire Marshal of New York City tells me that a sufficient number of cases of pyromania have come to his attention to fill a special institution. Two cases have come to my knowledge in which feebleminded children have set fire to the clothing of other children with fatal consequences.

1 The Feeble-minded in New York. A report prepared for the Public Education Association of New York by Anne Moore. New York, 1911.

"Between the dates of February 1, 1910, and July 12, 1910, sixteen fires occurred in the district bounded by Fifth and Lexington avenues and 108th and 119th streets, all in twenty-family, five-story tenements, and all of similar incendiary origin. These fires were traced to a feebleminded youth who had no motive for the deed except a desire for excitement. When he visited one of the buildings to deliver goods his method was to light a bundle of papers which he had previously saturated with kerosene from a bottle which he carried with him, and leave them in the hallway, in a corner of the stairway, or in the cellar. He was caught and convicted on the sixteenth fire. He was declared insane and is now confined in the Central Islip State Hospital.

"A feeble-minded man, 25 years of age, started 45 fires within three months. The loss was estimated at a quarter of a million dollars. He usually left something burning in the airshaft or wood-bin. At his trial he was declared sane and was sent to Elmira. After 13 months he was released on parole and won his absolute release.

"A feeble-minded boy, living in Massachusetts, set fire to his grandfather's house. He saved himself by jumping from the upper window into a cherry tree. Afterwards, he set fire to a stable in Gloucester, Mass., and was sent to a reform school for two and a half years. After his release he set on fire, one by one, a row of houses owned by different clergymen, called ' holy row.' Later he burned a house belonging to the father of the district attorney, was caught, and convicted. He spent four years in Charlestown Prison. He became religious and was paroled on condition that he go to another state. He carqe to New York and for a time was under Mrs. Booth's care. Afterwards he set fire to a barn and to the Bayside Yacht Club. He was caught and convicted. He is now in Sing Sing.

"What this means in money may be gathered from following the evidence and proceedings in any case of arson, a common crime among mental defectives.

"(1) A building is set on fire with attendant danger to its dwellers, and loss of property to them and the owner.

"(2) The fire department is called out. Usually six companies, involving one battalion chief, 72 men, 4 engines, and 2 trucks, the police reserves, usually about 20 men, and an insurance fire patrol wagon with an officer and 10 men, respond to an alarm.

"(3) The offender is arrested by a police officer, after examination of material witnesses by a fire marshal.

"(4) After being taken to the station house the incendiary must go before the magistrate; and if brought to trial, with its attendant delays, much time of many different salaried officers is consumed as well as that of the material witnesses.

"(5) After conviction and before sentence is passed a probation officer may be asked to look into the history of the case, which will take at least a week. The sentence may be any length of time, up to 40 years. "All this expensive machinery need not have been used in the case of feeble-minded incendiaries if they had been cared for in institutions at the proper time."