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Describe the main features of the reforms passed by the government in the 19th century that affected prisons

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Introduction

Describe the main features of the reforms passed by the government in the 19th century that affected prisons As we can see from question one prisons needed serious reform. This is because the purpose of prison was to hold people until they were hung or transported therefore no one cared about reforming them. So the purpose of prisons has to change for the conditions to change. This is because if the purpose changes from holding prisoners till death to holding prisoners until there sentence is up people will put more effort into reforming them so the conditions will get better and the way to do this is for people like Elizabeth Fry to implement the changes needed. One reformer was John Howard he was a man that came up with ideas to reform. Howard recommended separation on the grounds that it will help stop the spread of diseases such as typhus and smallpox. He also said that each room was to be small and the prisoners were to be separated so that they could reflect on their crimes and hopefully repent and turn to God. ...read more.

Middle

She wanted the opportunity while women and children were in prison to try to teach them. She also wanted to try to bring the faith of Christianity into their lives in order to try to reform and turn them into better people. She also believed in segregation and women's rights along with female jailors. She wanted this because she wanted to stop disease and corruption; female jailors were also suggested because she wanted the women to have privacy. I have discussed what Elizabeth Fry wanted but she wanted all these changes because she believed that the way to change these people in to better members of society was to turn them to God. She believed that prayer was the way to reform prisoners. As a result of these three reformers the government had to take note and do something. The thing that the government did was they introduced news laws or acts. There were four laws that each developed upon each other to help reform the appalling prison conditions. The first act was 'Pophams act of 1774', which said that prisoners were to be kept clean and a doctor was to visit the prison regally. ...read more.

Conclusion

The next act was the 'Prison act passed in 1835'. This act was an encouragement for all prisons because the government offered grants for the upkeep of prisons and they appointed inspectors of prisons to see that all laws were obeyed to the letter. This was the better law as it appointed people to reinforce laws and it also provided an incentive to prisons to reform. The final act was that called 'The act of 1877'. This act put the home-secretary in direct control of prisons. This meant with one person in control they will all be of the same standard. This will ensure that all prisons are reformed and turned into better places. To conclude prisons needed to reform prisons because ultimately the purpose of prisons was changing with help from reformers such as John Howard. The purpose was changing from detaining prisoners till death to trying to reform prisoners into better members of society. The purpose was changing because there were two hundred fewer offences that you could be hung for and as transportation ended in 1852 an alternative form of punishment had to be found. The alternative punishment was prison of which now prisoners were sent to prison to be rehabilitated. Mathew Atkinson 10B History Coursework -1- ...read more.

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