By Professor Helen Johnston and Dr Jo Turner

The Victorian period has often been depicted as one where people with disabilities were viewed as a burden to their families and their communities, and social policies aimed at helping these individuals were virtually nonexistent.

In fact, a fundamental response to people with either physical or cognitive impairments was to either ignore them or lock them up in asylums or workhouses.

But many people with disabilities were incarcerated in the convict prison system during this period. So what was prison like for these individuals? And how did the authorities respond to and deal with members from these often marginalised groups?

Using case studies of prisoners with physical disabilities, Prof Helen Johnston and Dr Jo Turner try to uncover the hidden experiences of a life of penal servitude, providing a glimpse of what is was like to be both disabled and a convict during the nineteenth century.

The article is published in the Prison Service Journal.


Read the full article

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Actually this from 1947 is also pretty familiar then reflecting fears of ‘open’ prisons @YvonneJewkes @carceralgeog @drjamiebennett @crewebencrewe @drdommoran @tcguiney

On next page of scrapbook ‘prison staff complain of attacks’ and another story ‘hose turned on 100 boys: disturbance in approved school’ 1945 @YvonneJewkes @carceralgeog @drjamiebennett @crewebencrewe @drdommoran @tcguiney

Today I’m reading newspapers strikingly familiar tone ... ‘Blow up the Old Gaols’ Home Sec Morrison plans ‘revolution in the penal system, scrapping all the old prisons & the old methods’ Year? 1944 @YvonneJewkes @carceralgeog @drjamiebennett @crewebencrewe @drdommoran @tcguiney

This lovely picture shows a charwoman in 1855. A charwoman was a part-time cleaner, different to a maid in that they did not live in the house. Were any of your ancestors domestic servants?
Ref DE/Bi/4/54 #archives #servant #photography

Prison Service Journal: 246 ⁦@PSJ_UK⁩ great to see this new collection of historical perspectives on prison from ⁦@RhiannonPickin⁩ ⁦@allan_brodie54⁩ ⁦@tcguiney⁩ edited by ⁦@interwarcrime⁩ and Alana Barton https://www.crimeandjustice.org.uk/publications/psj/prison-service-journal-246

NEW policy paper - Historical content matters: a response to the critical thinking skills agenda by @KatieEBarclay http://www.historyandpolicy.org/policy-papers/papers/historical-content-matters-a-response-to-the-critical-thinking-skills-agenda

Martin Waters poignant poppy displays return to @HullMinster, as we remember those who gave so much. The installation is at the Minster until the end of November.

Our @histassoc Teacher Fellowship has been inspired by the excellent @teachlearnwar & @ein_haus research on WWI in the classroom, and informed by excellent new work by @JJtodd1966

Teachers – has the First World War centenary given your teaching a creative boost?

#LestWeForget

#Barmouth Roundhouse, 1833. This lock-up held 2 drunks - having a curtain wall to separate males and females. Its circular design was to 'make sure that the Devil would have no corners to hide in!' More info: https://buff.ly/2Nv9diD #prisonhistory #lockup

Back in the murder files I've been reading the heart-rending accounts of the systematic abuse of young men at sea, which often resulted in death. Bodies were often buried overseas, which made bringing the perpetrators to justice difficult. #detectivehistory #PhD