e2bn E2BN
Victorian Crime and Punishment
HomePrisoner case studiesPrisoners19th Century JusticeTeachers Area

19th Century Justice homepage

Gaol Routine

An Overview of Distractions and Visitors

In many gaols family visits were allowed only twice a year. In the early years of the 19th century it had been necessary for relatives to bring food and clean clothing to the prisoners. Now this was provided from the rates there was no longer any necessary for relatives to visit.

The authorities believed that the convicts should be kept away from the influence of their families. The only visitor was the chaplain, who encouraged them to repent the sins they had committed.

The writing and receiving of letters was also restricted, normally to one letter a quarter. This isolation from contact with their families proved very difficult for some prisoners. Indeed those prisoners awaiting transportation knew that they would probably never see their families again.