Canada's Big House: The Dark History of the Kingston by Peter H. Hennessy

By Peter H. Hennessy

A document in 1833 via a committee of 3 revered Kingston colonials referred to as for the development of a limestone detention center on Hatter’s Bay to the west of the city. Their file contained those phrases of recommendation for its destiny governors: "…[shall] be a spot by means of each skill no longer merciless and never affecting the future health of the criminal, [but] can be rendered so irksome and so bad that in his lifetime he may well dread not anything lots as a repetition of the punishment…" the most obvious contradiction inside this ancient mandate of Canada’s giant condominium has bedevilled the full background of the detention center. Its unique excessive ethical objective - penitence via silent mirrored image - drifted away into the foggy realm of authentic delusion virtually once the 1st convicts arrived in 1835.

This semi-documentary examine of the Kingston penal complex via an area author and historian lays naked in cool prose the quick descent from puritanical objective to basically punitive administration. For the 1st seventy five years, repression was once accredited because the norm, even applauded, through the neighborhood electorate, many of the 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 condo at Kingston has develop into nearly unmanageable. What to do with it? The query nonetheless hangs within the air.

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Ditto combined with any of the preceding. 8. Forfeiture of days of remission of sentence.... PRISON ROUTINE 364. Summer in any rule means March 1 to October 31 and Winter means November 1 to the last day of February. AFTER SIXTY YEARS 59 365. m. m. m. 367. m. m. in winter; Dinner at 12:15 noon and Supper in the cells after closing. 369. m. m. in Winter. When the bell is rung, convicts shall undress and hang their clothes upon the pegs. 370. The lamps allowed for good conduct convicts to read, shall be extinguished on the ringing of the last bell.

Dark Cell 50 hours and 24 hours. 10 days RT lost. 1883. Convict Cardinal - for stricking [sic] convict J. Hawson with a shovel at casting time in the foundry. — Judgement suspended. 64 CANADA'S BIG HOUSE 1883. Convict Brown - for smocking [sic] in the kitchen. This is not the first time doing so. — Dark Cell 48 hours. 1883. Convict Hubbs - for refusing to put up 80 moulds for a day's work. Hubbs says he will put up 70 moulds and do them good but says he cannot put up 80. — I have inquired and believe that Hubbs can put up 80 good moulds in 4 hours.

White bread or 3 qtrs. Ib. potato, half Ib. beef, mutton or pork. Females: One pint soup, qtr. Ib. brown bread and qtr. Ib. white bread or half Ib. potato, three-eighths Ib. beef, mutton or pork. SUPPER Males: 10 oz. white or brown bread, 1 pt. coffee sweetened OR 1 pt. of mush [corn meal porridge] with half gill of molasses. Females: 6 oz. white bread, 1 pt. of tea sweetened OR 1 pt. of mush with half gill of molasses plus vegetables in season. The reader will have noted how Victorian morality constituted the warp and the woof of the regulations of 1868.

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