Discipline in New Lanark

The New Views of Mr Owen of Lanark

He [the manager] soon discovered that theft was extended through almost all the ramifications of the community, and the receipt of stolen goods through all the country around. To remedy this evil, not one legal punishment was inflicted, not one individual imprisoned, even for an hour; but checks and other regulations of prevention were introduced: a short plain explanation of the immediate benefits they would derive from a different conduct, was inculcated by those instructed for the purpose, who had the best powers of reasoning among themselves. They were at the same time instructed how to direct their industry in legal and useful occupations; by which, without danger or disgrace, they could really earn more than they had previously obtained by dishonest practices. Thus, the difficulty of committing the crime was increased, the detection afterwards rendered more easy, the habit of honest industry formed, and the pleasure of good conduct experienced.

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