Tuesday, January 21, 2020

The History of Kingston Penitentiary :: Canada

The History of Kingston Penitentiary Kingston Penitentiary is located on the shore of Lake Ontario in Ontario, Canada. It has served as the main symbol of punishment in Canadian society. Penitentiary Houses were first created in Great Britain in 1779. It was on June 1, 1835 that Kingston Penitentiary formerly known as the Provincial Penitentiary admitted its first six inmates. It represented a new world of confinement that removed the convict from his community and regimented his life. It introduced society to a new notion of punishment and reform. (Curtis et al, 1985) People expect a penitentiary to hold inmates, especially dangerous ones, for as long as the court determines they should serve. Kingston Penitentiary has been doing that for many years. But it has also dedicated to the reform of inmates. What that means has changed dramatically over time. (Curtis et al, 1985) The first inmate to enter Kingston Penitentiary was Mathew Tavender who was sentenced to serve three years for grand larceny. He was placed in cell number four and was put two work as a stonecutter two days later. He was whipped on August 30, 1835 which was three months after his arrival, along with inmate number two, John Hamilton. John Hamilton was sentenced to three years for felony. He was made a stonecutter on his third day and then a mason. Both he and Mathew Tavender were whipped together which may imply they tried to make contact with each other, this was strictly forbidden. Inmate number three was Edward Middlehurst who was sentenced to five years for grand larceny but was actually released. He was the first carpenter at the penitentiary but after a year got sick and was moved to another cell. He is not on record on the roster after he was sick for three months, so whatever he had must have been contagious. He may have received a pardon which was a common way to deal with sick convicts. It was felt that it was better for diseased people to stay outside of the prison walls so the sickness would not spread to the others. The penitentiary was not equipped to deal with death because it had no cemetery but still had to pay for a gravedigger if someone died on the inside. John O'Rourke, inmate number four was sentenced to five years for grand larceny. He received his first rawhide beating two short weeks after his arrival.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.