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confinement for three days. The door of one of these dark cells being opened, the poor fellow within immediately fell on his knees, most earnestly entreating that some alteration might be made in his situation.
The chaplain performs service twice on Sundays, and prayers are read on Wednesdays and Fridays.
The magistrates have for some time had the enlargement of this gaol under consideration, with the view of providing a more complete classification than the present state of the interior will admit of: they appear to be anxiously concerned to render the prison and its management as efficient as possible.
City Gaol and Bridewell.
Oct, 1823. The total number of persons committed in 1829 was ninetytwoj the greatest number in custody at one time in that year was thirty-six. No alteration has occurred in the management of the present gaol, a new prison being now in progress : it is to contain about forty cells, besides about fifteen rooms for debtors, and eight yards. The keeper's house will be placed in the centre, from which point the yards are to extend in a radiating direction to a circular range of building, which will occupy a segment of nearly two-thirds of a circle. This building will contain the wards, cells, &c. of the prisoners: the windows of these rooms will open into the yards; those of the night-cells will look upon the boundary-wall, which is only a few feet distant; and the turnkey's rooms are to be placed at the front lodge of the prison, a situation the most disadvantageous that could be pointed out, being at the greatest possible distance from the prisoners' departments! *
The Committee avail themselves of this opportunity to make a few remarks on the circular plan that has been chosen for this gaol; a plan against which they have long entertained decided objections, which have been strengthened by repeated observation and experience.
The most prominent error to be noticed is, that the quarters occupied by the prisoners are placed at a distance from those of their officers. The airingyards in such a prison will undoubtedly be under complete inspection from the central building, which the prisoners themselves will be well aware of; but they will also soon discover, that those very same yards serve most effectually to expose to their notice the approach of any officer who may be on his way to visit their secluded day-rooms. Hence one essential principle of prison architecture is lost, viz. unobserved facility of access into the prisoners' departments.
But where the buildings (occupied by the prisoners) are arranged in a posi
Oct. 1823. PREPARATIONS are now making by the magistrates (under the new Act) for the enlargement of this county gaol, and for its general improvement in the most complete manner.
tion radiating from a governor's residence in the centre, the entrance into every day-room, cell-gallery, and airing-yard may be brought very near one central station, from whence the officers may make immediate visits to any of the classes, whilst the probability of frequent visits becomes increased from the facility of access provided.
Another disadvantage of the circular building in a small prison like this at Worcester is, that it affords a great facility of vocal communication from one yard to the other, of sounds generally. From the same cause (viz. the confined arrangement) the airiness of the interior is also impaired: to counteract, in some degree, this last inconvenience, it will be necessary that the surface of every yard and area be well covered with good flagstone pavement.
Again, the situation of a circular range of building, as in the plan above described, is prejudicial to the security of a prison, by lessening the extent of inspection within its boundaries. Thus, the position of the circular building in question effectually conceals the outer wall, becoming, as it were, a screen, behind which preparations may be carried on for scaling that boundary, should the prisoners succeed in breaking through the outside wall of the building containing their secluded day-rooms, passages, and night-cells. But in the radiating plan, the position of the prisoners' buildings offers the least possible obstruction to the view from the centre over the whole enclosed area extending to the outer wall of the prison; and the arrangement of the wings and of the partition-walls of the airing-yards exposes to view nearly every boundary of the prisoners' respective departments. It thus happens, that a prisoner cannot attempt to pass one of those boundaries during the day, without a self-evident risk of being seen from the windows of the centre building. It is a very frequent objection to the radiating plan, that the prisoners in their airing-yards have no other boundary between them and the external wall of the prison, but an open iron pallisade; this is supposed to be a very insecure arrangement, as it allows them to see the obstacles laying in their way upon an escape, and thus an inducement is held out to them to make the attempt. The objection is, however, founded in appearances only, and in a total disregard of the excellent effect of inspection on a set of prisoners. They can never enter their yards without being palpably exposed to view from the centre building; and no prisoner who is ingenious enough to contrive a scheme for an escape, will not first look about him to see that the place he selects to accomplish his object will not manifestly expose him to view. At night the prisoner, in a radiating building, will have all the difficulty of escaping from his night-cell, and from the building itself, as he would have in a circular building : but in the former case he will have, in additton, an armed pallisade to clear before he can reach the outer wall of the prison : whilst from the converging form of the radiating wing, there is every advantage for the conveyance of sounds to the centre at night.
East Riding House of Correction.
Nov. 1823. No material alteration has taken place in the construction of this prison since last year: it contains 14 day-rooms, 10 workrooms, 14 wards, 14 airing-yards, and 63 night-cells. The greatest number of prisoners at one time last year was 76; the total number of committed, 305.
The chapel is well constructed, as described last year. The governor reads prayers every morning; the chaplain performs service on Sunday mornings, and has prayers in the afternoon, and then catechises the prisoners; and on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, he devotes one hour at least each day to the school, and catechising the prisoners.
No irons are used on any occasion.
The tread-mill is contracted for, to be completed in January, 1824, calculated to hold at one time about fifty-eight, in eight classes. It is proposed to employ it in the manufacture of whiting.
The school continues to be kept up; and one of the prisoners, a misdemeanant, is employed in instructing the rest.
A matron is under appointment, in consequence of the late enactment to that effect. .
The dietary is as follows:
Breakfast every morning-One quart of oatmeal pottage, and half a pound of bread.
Dinner-Sunday and Tuesday.-One quart of stew of heads and bones, &c. with half a pound of potatoes. Monday, Wednesday and Saturday-One quart of oatmeal pottage, and half a pound of bread. Thursday.-Half a pound of boiled beef, one pound of potatoes. Friday.-One quart of broth, from beef of yesterday, &c. half a pound of bread, with leeks or onions, and a quarter of an ounce of oatmeal for each prisoner.
Supper-Same as breakfast.
Nov. 1823. The following is a copy of an order made by the magistrates of this Riding at their last quarter sessions, relative to the enforcement of tread-mi?l labour.
“At the general quarter sessions of the peace, holden at Northallerton, in and for the North-Riding of the county of York, on the 13th day of October, 1823, it was ordered as follows:
That the tread-mill, with due graduation and classification, is applicable both as hard labour in the cases of such prisoners as are sentenced thereto, and for the employment of other prisoners.
That the present dietary be continued for all convicted prisoners; regard being had by the visiting justices, to the nature and degree of labour required from them; and that the same dietary be also allowed for such prisoners, of every description, as are not able to work, or, being able, cannot procure employment sufficient to sustain themselves by their industry; or, who may not be otherwise provided for: and that persons committed for trial, who are able to work, and have the means of employment offered them by the visiting justices, by which they may earn their support, but who obstinately refuse to work, shall be allowed bread and water only.*
That all persons committed for trial, who shall be willing to be employed in such work, in this prison, as shall be offered to them by the visiting justices, shall be allowed in addition to the regular dietary, one-half of their earnings, as and for wages for their work, to be paid on their discharge.
By the Court,
Deputy Clerk of the Peace. The dietary is as follows:
Breakfast every morning, a quart of oatmeal porridge, and one pound and a half of bread.
Dinner.—Sundays and Thursdays, six ounces of boiled beef, and a quart of potatoes with salt. Mondays and Fridays, a quart of stew made of beef, ox-heads, bones, vegetables, oatmeal, and onions, with pepper and salt. Tuesdays, a quart of boiled rice and milk, or a quart of stew same as Monday. Wednesdays and Saturdays, a quart of broth thickened with oatmeal, onions and vegetables, with pepper and salt.
Supper,-Every evening a quart of oatmeal porridge.
No other means of employment are found for any description of prisoners but the tread-mill, unless for shoemakers and tailors, who are sometimes employed at their own trades before trial. At present there are only two unconvicted prisoners working at the tread-mill, one on a charge of felony, and the other for want of sureties. Those who may“ obstinately refuse to work"
* One pound and a half of bread per day.
at the tread-mill, have the limited allowance of one pound and a half of bread and water. *
The earnings of the prisoners are divided as follows: if committed to hard labour, one-fourth part to the prisoner, twofourths to the Riding, and one-fourth to the gaoler: when not committed to hard labour, or before trial, two-fourths to the prisoner, one-fourth to the Riding, and one-fourth to the gaoler.
Oct. 1823. This prison is only used as a place of confinement for prisoners till they can be examined and disposed of by the sitting magistrates; therefore, when a person is either committed for trial or (in consequence of a conviction upon a penal statute) for a limited period by way of punishment, such persons are immediately conveyed to the house of correction at Wakefield. The same observation will apply to prisoners after a conviction at the sessions.
The period of confinement in Leeds prison seldom exceeding a day or two, there is no chaplain or chapel. The cells are indiscriminately used night and day; there are no work-rooms, nor are irons used except where immediate apprehensions of escape are entertained. Indeed this prison may be considered as little more than a lock-up house, but upon a more extensive scale than many, having an open yard, to which the prisoners have access in the day-time.
Sept. 1823. No alteration in the construction of the borough prison in Doncaster has taken place within the last twelve months. There are two day-rooms and two upper rooms, each of them 13 feet, besides which there are no other day or night-cells : the airing
: * For the rate of labour imposed on the male and female prisoners, those for hard labour and before trial, see the Table of Tread-mill labour; by which it will appear that the untried prisoners at this house of correction have to perform a heavier rate of labour than is enforced at many other prisons on criminals sentenced to hard labour.