By Peter H. Hennessy
A document in 1833 through a committee of 3 revered Kingston colonials known as for the development of a limestone reformatory on Hatter’s Bay to the west of town. Their file contained those phrases of recommendation for its destiny governors: "…[shall] be a spot through each skill now not merciless and never affecting the wellbeing and fitness of the criminal, [but] will likely be rendered so irksome and so poor that in his lifetime he could dread not anything rather a lot as a repetition of the punishment…" the most obvious contradiction inside this ancient mandate of Canada’s immense condominium has bedevilled the complete background of the reformatory. Its unique excessive ethical goal - penitence via silent mirrored image - drifted away into the foggy realm of professional fable virtually once the 1st convicts arrived in 1835.
This semi-documentary examine of the Kingston prison through an area author and historian lays naked in cool prose the swift descent from puritanical function to only punitive administration. For the 1st seventy five years, repression was once permitted because the norm, even applauded, via the neighborhood voters, the various inmates, and the political institution. over the past hundred years, repressive practices at Kingston Peneitentiary were publicized, analyzed, and more and more denounced. within the final result, the massive residence at Kingston has develop into virtually unmanageable. What to do with it? The query nonetheless hangs within the air.
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Extra info for Canada's Big House: The Dark History of the Kingston Penitentiary
No officer shall hold any conversation with another officer in the presence of a convict, except in relation to the work in hand. 277. An officer shall not make any familiarity with any convict nor permit any to be used toward him by any convict, to the slightest extent. 278. Officers shall abstain from all hasty or opprobrious language towards convicts, as entirely unbecoming their position and character. 279. No officer is permitted to strike a convict ... except in self-defense, or to suppress revolt, prevent escape, or as a punishment ordered by the Warden.
Fryer (artist unknown). The Warden's Report for 1858 listed 211 convicts at shoemaking, 55 at cabinet-making, 63 at blacksmithing, and 56 making agricultural implements. The contractors paid the warden one shilling and six pence per day per convict, money which went into the general revenue of the prison. In the middle 1860s, after the changeover to the dollar system, Drennan was paying 35 cents per convict per day; Thompson, Knox and Company paid 40 cents for each of a hundred convicts to make malleable iron for five years.
Ball and chain. 5. Ball and chain combined with one of the first three. 6. Confinement in the penal or separate cells with such diet as the Surgeon shall pronounce sufficient... 7. Penal or separate cell combined with one of the first three. 8. Flogging by the cats [cat-o'-nine-tails] under the restrictions set forth ... in these rules. 9. Flogging with rods of birch or other wood. 10. P. ] 11. Such other punishment as may be recommended by the Warden, approved by the Directors and sanctioned by the Governor in Council.