Premium Essay


In: Business and Management

Submitted By poppafred
Words 1155
Pages 5
Frederick Hammond
English 111
13th February 2011
Crime & Punishment In The Victorian Era The stripping of a person’s freedom has been used since ancient times as a punishment. However, until the late eighteenth century ( Victorian era) in England, it was unusual for guilty people to be imprisoned for long terms. Hanging and transportation (deportation) were the main punishments for serious offences. Prisons served as lock- ups for debtors and holding cells were the accused were kept before trial. However, by the Victorian era, prison had become an acceptable punishment for serious offenders and it was also seen as a means to prevent crime. It had become the primary form of punishment for a wide range of offences from stealing bread to adultery. As towns grew to cities and villages grew to towns the crime level increased dramatically in England, citizens became more and more worried about how criminals could be kept under control. There was also public unease at the number of people being hung. By the 1830’s, many areas in Australia were refusing to be the dumping-ground’ for Britain’s criminals. There were more criminals than could be transported. The answer to this problem was to reform the police and to build more prisons: 90 prisons were built or added all across Britain between 1842 and 1877. This was a massive building program, costing the crown millions of pounds. By the mid Victorian period, there were two distinct prison systems in England. There were the county and shires gaols, administered by the Justices of the Peace. These ranged from small lock ups to large ‘County Gaols’ or ‘Houses of Correction’. The second system was the ‘ Convict Gaols’ run by the central government in London. Gradually, the utilization of convict gaols came to include holding prisoners as part of the process of transportation to other countries. Newgate was...

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