reformation of offenders.
Although Crofton thought it applicable to all prisoners, the systemwas established to deal with
’ In this context ‘convict’
referred to those sentenced to
‘penal servitude’, a type of prison sentence
used as a substitute for transportation.
the sentence of ‘imprisonment’
as it normally involved a longer time in (often state-run
‘government’ rather than local)
Attempts to use prison as an instrument of reformation date from the late Eighteenth Centuryand the Crofton system shared many of the features and aims of earlier projects.
In the firststage the prisoner was placed in
‘separate’ confinement i.e.
in a cell on their own and allowedcontact with prison staff but not other prisoners.
The aim was that pursued by earlier
, pp. 41-42, pp. 65-
66, Beverly A. Smith, ‘The Female Prisoner in Ireland, 1855
, 54(4) (1990), p. 74,
Richard S. E. Hinde, ‘Sir Walter Crofton and the Reform of the Irish
Convict System, 1854-61-
pp. 123-124, Walter Crofton,
The Criminal Classes and their Control. PrisonTreatment and its Principles. Addresses by Sir Walter Crofton, C.B
....(London, 1868), p. 3, Walter Crofton.
Convict Systems and Transportation, A Lecture Delivered at the Philosophical Institution Bristol, on the 22
December, 1863, by Sir Walter Crofton, C.B
.....(London and Bristol, 1863), p. 3.
This included those who had been originally sentenced to transportation whose sentenced were ‘converted’ to
penal servitude and those sentenced to penal servitude because the option to sentence them to transportation nolonger existed, Walter Crofton,
The Criminal Classes
, p. 10, Tim Carey,
, pp. 41-42, SeánMcConville,
A history of English prison administration, Volume I, 1750-1877
(London, Boston, Massachusetts,and Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, 1981), pp. 381-
387, Rena Lohan, ‘The treatment of Women Sentenced to
Transportation and Penal Servitude, 1790-
1898’, Unpublished M.Litt. Thesis (Trinity College Dublin, 1989)
, National Archives of Ireland (hereafter NAI), Chief Secretary’s Office Registered Papers,
SORP/1858/1244, Circular ‘Dublin Castle July 1857’, letter from Walter Crofton ‘Government Prisons Office,Dublin Castle 19 January 1858.’
Beverly A. Smith, ‘The Female Prisoner in Ireland’, pp. 70
-74, Tim Carey,
, pp. 117-118, it shouldbe noted that not everyone sentenced to penal servitude passed through the Crofton system partly due to a lack of facilities,
Report of the Board of Superintendence of the City of Dublin Prisons, To the Right Honorable the Lord Mayor, Aldermen and Burgesses of the Borough of Dublin...
(Dublin, 1863), p. 7, pp. 12-13, Rena Lohan,
reatment of Women’
, pp. 15-16.
, pp. 2-3, pp. 7-8, pp. 24-29, pp. 44-48, p. 66, Seán McConville,
A history of English prison administration,
pp . 4-5, p. 325, the ideas behind the Crofton system were also influenced by thedevelopment of reformatory schools, something with which Crofton himself was closely involved, LawrenceGoldman,
Science, Reform, and Politics in Victorian Britain, The Social Science Association 1857-1886
(Cambridge, 2002), pp. 143-144, p. 146-147, pp. 155-156,
Reformatory Schools, Return to an Address of the Honourable House of Commons, dated 15 June 1860..
(n.p. , 1860), p. 6,
First Report of the Inspector Invited to Visit the Reformatory Schools of Ireland..
(Dublin, 1862), p. 8, Martin McElroy, ‘Crofton, Sir Walter,Frederick.’
NAI, Chief Secretary’s Office Official Papers, OP/1869/38, ‘Letter
from Patrick Murray to the Under
Secretary’ 10 June 1869,
Observations on the Treatment of Convicts in Ireland, With Some Remarks on theSame in England, By Four Visiting Justices of the West Riding Prison at Wakefield
(London, 1862), pp. 2-4, pp.20-22,
Second Annual Report of the Director of Convict Prisons in Ireland for the Year Ended 31
December 1855; with Appendix
(Dublin, 1856) .p. 36, Tim Carey,
, pp. 67-71.