The courts have special functions to perform in the suppression of crime. The first of these is to enforce the laws impartially and justly. Incidental to this duty much original information comes to the judges of our courts, and it has been the policy of the Municipal Court to make public such incidental information, as the relationship between degeneracy and crime and their relationship to heredity, through the reports of its Psychopathic Laboratory.
In the performance of this duty the Municipal
Court of Chicago has pointed out the need of the permanent segregation
of incorrigible defectives, which serves three purposes: First, the protection
of society from the individual offender; second, the protection of
the individual from himself, and, third, the restriction of propagation of
the defective type due to heredity. The alternative to segregation is to
continue to do what we have been doing, that is, incarcerate the offender
for a time, more or less brief, and then permit him freedom to repeat his
offense, and to propagate his kind.
Segregation is necessary, even though sterilization were invoked.
Sterilization protects future generations, while segregation safeguards
the present as well. The segregation of incorrigible defectives on farm
colonies as a measure of crime prevention is urgently needed in the State
of Illinois. However, in a number of states, fifteen up to the present
time, experiments have been made with sterilization. The two theories
of segregation and sterilization are not antagonistic, but both may be