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Home > Crime and Punishment in Durham > Prison Reform
 

 Prison reform and reformers

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Find out more about prison life

Go to section on the history of Durham Prison

 

 

Montage of images showing Elizabeth Fry, cover of the Rule Book for 1819 and extract from Fry and Gurney's report.

Montage of images showing Elizabeth Fry, cover of the Rule Book for 1819 and extract from Fry and Gurney's report.

 

There was little interest in prison reform until the end of the eighteenth century. Up until that time, imprisonment had never been seen as a mode of punishment so nobody took much notice of what went on in gaols. However, as the population started to rise and more crimes started to be commited, more and more people found themselves in prison. Bad conditions were made worse by the influx of inmates. Slowly, the situation started to draw the attention of concerned individuals, some of whom started to tour the country visiting gaols, Bridewells and Houses of Correction. Their resulting publications brought the subject of prison life to a wider audience prompting a campaign for prison reform.

We are going to find out more about prison reform by looking at the work done by John Howard, Elizabeth Fry and Joseph Gurney, considering the impact of the reform campaign on prison rules issued in 1819 and 1865 and by studying the development of the new prison in Durham.

Find out more about John HowardFind out more about Fry and GurneyFind out more about the Prison Rules of 1819

Find out about the Prison Rules of 1865Find out more about the design of Durham Prison

 

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