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Rules for the Construction and Internal Arrangements of the Prison

Rules and Regulations to be observed in the Gaol and House of Correction for the County of Huntingdon - 1863 1.- There shall be distinct divisions of the Prison appropriated to Male and Female Prisoners, so as to prevent them seeing, conversing, or holding any intercourse with each other. the locks and keys of the wards, cells, yards &c., of the division for Females shall be different from those of the wards, cells, yards &c., of the division for the Males.

2.- The several wards, cells, yards, &c., within the Prison shall be appropriated to distinct classes of Prisoners; such wards, cells and yards being marked with alphabetical letters according to the several classes prescribed by the Rules of the Prison; if the wards and cells appropriated to any class of Prisoners should be crowded, while other wards and cells are unoccupied, the Governor may use such spare room for Prisoners of another class, provided the Prisoners of different classes are prevented from associating together.

3.- There shall be a sufficient number of reception cells.

4.- There shall be one bath or more for the cleansing and bathing of Prisoners when necessary.

5.- There shall be an oven applicable to the purpose of fumigating, cleansing and disinfecting (when necessary) clothes, linen or bedding.

6.- There shall be an adequate number of solitary cells for the reception of Prisoners sentenced to solitary confinement; from these cells the bedding shall be removed during the day.

7.- There shall be an adequate number of dark or refractory cells for Prisoners under punishment for Prison offences.

8.- There shall be one or more visiting rooms for visitors to Prisoners; the space allotted to the visitors is to be divided from that allotted to the Prisoner, so as to prevent the reception of prohibited articles.

9.- Proper yards shall be provided for air and exercise.

10.- Separate rooms shall be provided as infirmaries or sick wards.

11.- There shall be a chapel so arranged that Male and Female Prisoners may be effectually screened from each other, and so that several classes of Prisoners may be separated as far as practicable.

12.- Each sleeping cell shall be provided with a bedstead or hammock, with suitable bedding, with night buckets and covers, and with other necessary conveniences.

13.- there shall be constantly provided sufficient supply of mops, brooms, brushes &c., for cleansing the wards, passages and cells; and regular arrangements shall be made for the daily removal of dust and ashes, and for emptying the night buckets, for the washing and stoning of floors, cells and passages, for the frequent cleansing and fumigating of the reception cells, bedding, &c., and for fumigating the Prison in case of infectious disorders. There shall be stated seasons for scraping and lime-washing the walls and ceilings of the Prison.

14.- There shall be an adequate supply of wash and foot-tubs, and of water, soap, towels, and combs, for the use of the Prisoners.

15.- Arrangements shall be made for the proper warming of the cells and other apartments of the Prison.

16.- Arrangements shall be made for the proper ventilation and drainage of the Prison.

17.- An alarm-bell shall be provided, together with a regulator or watch-clock.

18.- There shall be surveys of all Prison buildings by the County Surveyor or other proper officer, and regular reports are to be made to the Visiting Justices as to the condition of the buildings and the repairs which may be necessary.

Visiting Justices

19. At each Court of Quarter Sessions, three or more Justices are to be appointed to visit the Prison during the ensuing quarter....


52. There shall be for the Prison a Governor, Chaplain, Surgeon and a Matron; the Chaplain, Surgeon and Matron are to be appointed from time to time by the Court of Quarter Sessions.

53. Subordinate Officers are to be recommended by the Visiting Justices, and appointed by the Court of Quarter Sessions.

54. There shall be a sufficient number of subordinate Officers for effective supervision by day, and a night watch when deemed necessary by the Visiting Justices.

61. Female Officers shall in all cases attend Female Prisoners; they only are to search Female Prisoners or Female Visitors to Prisoners. They shall always attend Male Officers and Visitors on their visits to the Female Prison; they are to retain the keys of the wards, yards and cells, allotted to Female Prisoners, the locks of which shall be different from those securing the wards, yards and cells, allotted to Male Prisoners....

The Governor

74. He shall not be absent from the Prison for a night without permission, in writing, from a Visiting Justice......

76. He ought to exercise his authority with firmness, temper and humanity, abstain from all irritating language, and not strike a Prisoner: he must enforce similar conduct on the Subordinate Officers.

79. He shall visit and inspect every ward, cell, yard and division of the Prison, and see every Prisoner once at least in every twenty-four hours...He shall, at least once during the week, go through the Prison at an uncertain hour of the night...

80. He shall take every precaution necessary for preventing escape, and give orders for the daily examination of the cells, bars, bolts, locks &c.; he shall direct an examination of all parcels, letters and articles, brought into the Prison, and such an examination of visitors to Prisoners as he may deem requisite in particular cases; he shall adopt proper precautions against fire.

81. He, or an Officer, shall search every Male Prisoner on his admission, excepting Debtors, and after the Prisoner has been examined and passed by the Surgeon, the Governor shall dispose of him according to the appointed rule of separation or classification.

86. .....No Prisoner, not sentenced to hard labor, shall be placed on the tread-wheel with or without his consent.

111. The Prison shall be locked for the night and the keys of the outer gate delivered to the Governor, at ten o'clock each night....The keys shall be kept by the Governor until the hour of unlocking in the morning....

115. He shall not allow convicted Prisoners to see their relations and friends until after the expiration of the first three months of their imprisonment....

120. ....He shall....allow convicted Prisoners to send and receive one letter in the course of each quarter of a year.

124. He shall direct that every Prisoner wash himself thoroughly at least once every day, and his feet at least once each week....

125. He shall direct that all Prisoners, except debtors and Misdemeanants of the first division,....go into a tepid bath at least once on each month....

132. He shall direct the distribution of food according to the prescribed scales of diet.....

135. He shall direct that no Prisoner be set to work immediately after any meal.

136. He shall see that thermometers are placed in different parts of the Prison, and that a daily record is kept of the degree of temperature.

137.He shall direct that.....12,000 feet be the maximum height which any one Prisoner shall ascend on the tread-wheel in any single day; and that measures be taken to prevent the exposure of Prisoners to cold on leaving the tread-wheel.

Subordinate Officers

161. They shall count the Prisoners at locking and unlocking time, and shall regularly report to the Governor, the numbers present at each time.