By Norval Morris
In 1840, Alexander Maconochie, a privileged retired naval captain, turned at his personal request superintendent of 2 thousand twice-convicted prisoners on Norfolk Island, 1000 miles off the coast of Australia. In 4 years, Maconochie remodeled what used to be the most brutal convict settlements in background right into a managed, strong, and effective surroundings that accomplished such luck that upon unlock his prisoners got here to be referred to as "Maconochie's Gentlemen". the following Norval Morris, one in all our most famed criminologists, deals a hugely creative and interesting account of this early pioneer in penal reform, bettering Maconochie's existence tale with a trenchant coverage twist. Maconochie's existence and efforts on Norfolk Island, Morris indicates, offer a version with profound relevance to the working of correctional associations this day. utilizing a different blend of fictionalized historical past and significant remark, Morris provides this paintings a strong coverage impression missing in most traditional educational money owed. In an period of "mass incarceration" that competitors that of the cost of Australia, Morris injects the query of humane remedy again into the controversy over felony reform. Maconochie and his "Marks approach" performed an influential position within the improvement of prisons; yet for the final thirty years legal reform has been ruled via punitive and retributive sentiments, the normal knowledge maintaining that we want 'supermax' prisons to manage the 'worst of the worst' in solitary and cruel stipulations. Norval Morris argues on the contrary, conserving up the instance of Alexander Maconochie as a simple substitute to the "living hell" of criminal structures this present day.
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Additional resources for Maconochie's Gentlemen: The Story of Norfolk Island and the Roots of Modern Prison Reform (Studies in Crime and Public Policy)
The midshipman appointment followed. And this in turn led to his meeting with Lord Nelson. Yes, that’s right, Lord Nelson. When he ﬁrst mentioned this I thought he was teasing me and I asked had he also met Lady Hamilton. He blushed. Replied with a curt “No,” but went on to describe how he had indeed met the great sailor. Well, “met” was perhaps not precisely the word. Father had served in the West Indies on a ship commanded by Admiral Cochrane, when Nelson and the ﬂeet were in pursuit of the French ﬂeet.
And I took another early decision—Major Simmonds said a premature decision—about life for convicts on the island. If I was to make an impact with my Marks System on a deeply ingrained and brutal regime, I should give prompt talisman of the direction of my intentions. I ordered the cessation of any work by chain gangs. Chain gangs came to the world, I suspected, with the ﬁrst strong metal chain. They were not invented in New South Wales, but chain gangs came to an evil ﬂowering in the penal colonies of New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land, and they had spread luxuriantly on Norfolk Island.
Eventually a cart-like vehicle, covered by an ill-ﬁtting tarpaulin, and drawn by two heavy, mud29 MACONOCHIE’S GENTLEMEN bespattered horses, came for us and our personal luggage. The tarpaulin kept out some of the rain, but the rest blew in. The horses labored up the substantial incline from the beach to the small hill on the top of which our new home sat. It was not a happy arrival. What was called “Government House” was large enough for our family, with sufﬁcient public rooms, but it was furnished more like a barracks than a home, and the iron-barred windows and the two small cannon at the entrance were far from reassuring.