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Home > Crime and Punishment in Durham > Prison Reforms > The work of John Howard

 The work of John Howard

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Extract from Howard describing prisons

Extract from Howard describing prisons

Extract from Howard describing prisons

Extracts from The State of Prisons in England and Wales by John Howard, 1777 (DUL ref: Winterbottom+ K2/1)


In addition to reporting on the state of individual prisons in England and Wales, Howard also made general observations about the prison system. Read the source very carefully (an enlarged version and transcript are available) and then try to answer the following questions.

1. Make a list of all the things that Howard thinks are wrong with prisons.

2. How many of these faults did he find when he inspected the old Gaol at Durham?

3. What does this comparison tell you about the need for a new prison in Durham?

4. Using your answer to question 1, make a list of the reforms that Howard might have campaigned for.

5. Using information on this site and other sources of information, find out if Howard's campaign for an improvment in prison conditions was successful.

Once you have finished, find out if there had been any improvements by looking at what Fry and Gurney discovered when they visited Durham Gaol.

Find out about Fry and Gurney's visit to DurhamGo back to Howard's report on Durham gaol.


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