PROPOSAL FOR A NEW AND LESS EXPENSIVE MODE OF EMPLOYING AND REFORMING CONVICTS.
THE Author, having turned his thoughts to the Penitentiary System from its first origin,
and having lately contrived a Building in which a number of persons may be kept within
the reach of being inspected during every moment of their lives, and having made out, as he
flatters himself, to demonstration, that the only eligible mode of managing an Establishment
of such a nature, in a Building of such a construction, would be by Contract, has been induced
to make public the following Proposal for Maintaining and Employing Convicts in
general, or such of them as would otherwise be confined on board the Hulks, for 25 per
cent. less than it costs Government to maintain them there as present ; deducting also the
average value of the work at present performed by them for the Public : upon the terms
of his receiving the produce of their labour, taking on himself the whole expence of the BUILDING,
fitting up and stocking*, without any advance to be made by Government for that purpose,
requiring only that the abatement and deduction above mentioned shall be suspended for the
Upon the above-mentioned Terms, he would engage as follows:
I. To furnish the Prisoners with a constant supply of wholesome Food, not limited in
quantity, but adequate to each man's desires.
II. To keep them clad in a state of tightness and neatness, superior to what is usual
even in the Improved Prisons.
III. To keep them supplied with separate Beds and Bedding, competent to their situations,
and in a state of cleanliness scarcely any where conjoined with liberty.
IV. To insure to them a sufficient supply of artificial warmth and light, whenever the
season renders it necessary : and thereby save the necessity of taking them prematurely
from their work, at such seasons (as in other places) as well as preserve
them from suffering by the inclemency of the weather.
V. To keep constantly from them, in conformity to the practice so happily received,
every kind of strong and spiritous liquor ; unless where ordered in the way of medicine.
VI. To maintain them in a state of inviolable, though mitigated seclusion, in assorted
companies, without any of those opportunities of promiscuous association,
which, in other places, disturb, if not destroy, whatever good effect can have been expected from occasional solitude.
VII. To give them an interest in their work, by allowing them a share in the produce.
VIII. To convert the prison into a school, and, by an extended application of the
principle of the Sunday Schools, to return its inhabitants into the world
instructed, at least as well as in ordinary schools, in the most useful branches
of vulgar learning, as well as in some trade or occupation, whereby they may
afterwards earn their livelihood. Extraordinary culture of extraordinary
talents is not, in this point of view, worth mentioning : it would be for his
own advantage to give them every instruction, by which the value of their labour
may be increased.
* All these articles taken into the account, the originally-intended Penitentiary-House, on the late Mr. Blackburne's plan,
would not have cost so little as £.200 per man :—for 1000 Prisoners, £.200,000 : exclusive of the whole annual expence of
maintenance, &c. to an unliquidated amount.
Identifier: | JB/115/025/001
"JB/" can not be assigned to a declared number type with value 115.
proposal / for / a new and less expensive mode / of / employing and reforming convicts
/ c2 / c3
see note 4 to letter 1340, vol. 6