Established in 1853, after the end of penal transportation to Australia, the convict prison system and the sentence of penal servitude offered the most severe form of punishment - short of death - in the criminal justice system, and they remained in place for nearly a century. Penal Servitude is the first comprehensive study to examine the convict prison system that housed all those who were sentenced to penal servitude during this time. Helen Johnston, Barry Godfrey, and David Cox detail the administration and evolution of the system, from its creation in the 1850s and the building of the prison estate to the classification of prisoners within it. Exploring life in the convict prison through the experiences of the people who were subjected to it, the authors shed light on various details such as prison diet, education, and labour. What they find reveals the internal regimes; the everyday endurances, conformity, resistance, and rule breaking of convicts; and the interactions with the warders, medical officers, and governors that shaped daily life in the system. Reconstructing the life histories of hundreds of convict prisoners from detailed prison records, criminal registers, census data, and personal correspondence, Penal Servitude illuminates the lives of those who experienced long-term imprisonment in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
About the Author
Helen Johnston is professor of criminology at the University of Hull. Barry Godfrey is professor of social justice at the University of Liverpool. David J. Cox is reader in criminal justice history at the University of Wolverhampton.
- Contributor: Helen Johnston
- Imprint: McGill-Queen's University Press
- ISBN13: 9780228008422
- Number of Pages: 264
- Packaged Dimensions: 152x229mm
- Format: Hardback
- Publisher: McGill-Queen's University Press
- Release Date: 2022-01-15
- Series: States, People, and the History of Social Change
- Binding: Hardback
- Biography: Helen Johnston is professor of criminology at the University of Hull. Barry Godfrey is professor of social justice at the University of Liverpool. David J. Cox is reader in criminal justice history at the University of Wolverhampton.