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Gaol Routine

In a Convict Gaol - 1865

Description of the daily routine in a convict gaol. Thornton Smith, 'The English Convict System', in Cornhill Magazine, July 1865.

The routine of the day is this:- At 6 o'clock the prisoner is roused. Half an hour is allowed for him to dress, to clean himself and his cell, and to prepare for work. From 6.30 to 7.30 he works in his cell. Half an hour is then allowed him for breakfast. The next hour, including the muster and return to cell, is devoted to the chapel. During each of the next two hours, half of the prisoners are taking their school instruction, and half are taking exercise. From 11 to 1 is devoted to work in the cell. An hour is allowed for dinner; the next after it for exercise; from 3 to 5.30 work; half an hour for supper; from 6 to 8, work; one hour for reading and writing; and bed at 9 o'clock.