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

By Peter H. Hennessy

A record in 1833 by means of a committee of 3 revered Kingston colonials known as for the development of a limestone penal complex on Hatter’s Bay to the west of the city. Their record contained those phrases of recommendation for its destiny governors: "…[shall] be a spot through each potential no longer merciless and never affecting the well-being of the criminal, [but] can be rendered so irksome and so bad that in his lifetime he could dread not anything a lot as a repetition of the punishment…" the most obvious contradiction inside of this ancient mandate of Canada’s giant condo has bedevilled the total background of the detention center. Its unique excessive ethical goal - penitence via silent mirrored image - drifted away into the foggy realm of legitimate delusion nearly once the 1st convicts arrived in 1835.

This semi-documentary learn of the Kingston prison by way of a neighborhood author and historian lays naked in cool prose the swift descent from puritanical objective to in basic terms punitive administration. For the 1st seventy five years, repression was once permitted because the norm, even applauded, by way of the neighborhood electorate, 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 end result, the large condo at Kingston has turn into virtually unmanageable. What to do with it? The query nonetheless hangs within the air.

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Sample text

The Foreman turned to me to speak about another man. As he was about to go away, Bramfield made some insulting remarks. I said you should not do that, it will only get you into trouble. He replied, it is none of your "God dam business" and struck me twice knocking me down and started to kick me but A KINDER, GENTLER JAIL — FOR A WHILE 63 was prevented from doing so by Convicts Demarteau and Brown.... Bramfield has always been a very bad man ... and I do not consider him a safe man to be in the Shops.

In the process he fell and hurt his leg, but not so seriously as to prevent him from stealing some money from the clerk's office. He was able to get to the horse stable where he stayed in hiding for many hours. Hardy was tried and sentenced to do further time in the prison. One result of the Hardy escapade was a new regulation which forbade stacking any material against the outer side of the prison wall. STABILITY AND, YES, A TOUCH OF HUMANITY 45 Other persons reporting in 1858 were the chaplains, the surgeon and the schoolmaster.

He was under instructions from the two-man board of inspectors to make the place self-sufficient. This was to be achieved by letting out to outside contractors the labour of convicts and the extensive shop space of the prison. P. Ross for shoes; J. S. T. Drennan, also for cabinet-making. 9 The cabinet-maker Samuel Drennan gained a contract in early 1860 to refurbish Alwington House on King Street in anticipation 36 CANADA'S BIG HOUSE of the visit of the young Prince of Wales, who would ultimately become King Edward VII after succeeding his mother, Queen Victoria.

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