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a hard and unfeeling gaoler is not now to be taken as a fair specimen of the class, but may rather be considered as an exception to the general rule.

The alteration, which has taken place in the character and disposition of these officers, is probably owing in a great degree to the circumstance of their being in constant communication with gentlemen of the first respectability, under whose immediate direction and control they act, and whose approbation and favorable report to the quarter sessions they are naturally anxious to secure, by conforming to their views and principles.

It would, however, increase the respectability of this class of men, and operate as an additional inducement to persons who are not of the lowest order, to become keepers of prisons, if some prospect were held out to them of being allowed to retire with a decent provision towards the close of life, in case of ill health, age, or infirmity.

There is no description of public servants, which has a better claim to a retiring pension, after long and faithful service, than gaolers, nor any, whom it is more decidedly a measure of good policy to superannuate at a fit season. Gaolers, like other men, must be expected to become less active, both in mind and body, as they advance in years; and there will probably be a period of time in the life of an officer of this description, who shall grow old in his vocation, during which the Magistrates who act as visitors in the goal, must see that he is unequal to the trust reposed in him, without having any such instance of misconduct to allege against him, as would form a satisfactory ground for recommending it to the Justices in sessions to remove him, if the effect of his removal must be to deprive him entirely of his livelihood. It is evidently inexpedient that a prison should, in such case, be left in the charge of an incompetent person, until proof of his incompetency shall be furnished by some instance of indiscretion or neglect, which will probably be no less injurious to the public than discreditable to the individual; and it would therefore, I conceive, be proper for the Legislature to allow the Justices in quarter sessions to grant out of the county-rates to a keeper of a prison, who should have served the county in that situation for a certain number of years, a pension not exceeding a proportion of his salary to be limited in the Act, on a certificate by the visiting Justices of the prison, of his having in their opinion become incompetent to perform the duties of his office, from ill health, age, or infirmity; provided no such grant should be made without previous notification of its being intended to bring the subject under the consideration of the quarter sessions, or without the concurrence of a certain proportion of the Justices who should attend upon that question. In

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the local Act for the regulation of the prisons in the county of Gloucester, the Justices are empowered to grant to the keeper of the gaol, who shall have become incompetent to the personal discharge of his duties, from sickness, age, or infirmity, an annuity not exceeding 50l. per annum; and may either deduct the amount from the salary allowed to the officiating gaoler, or order the payment of it out of the county-rate.

The 31st Geo. III. cap. 46, sect. 6, enacts that rules and regulations shall be made for the government of the gaols within England and Wales, and of the prisoners to be therein confined, in the same manner as is appointed by an Act passed for the relief of debtors in the preceding reign, (32 Geo. II. cap. 28.) under which Act rules (relating I apprehend to debtors only,) were to be framed by the Justices of the Peace at their quarter sessions, in the first instance, but were afterwards to be reviewed and might be altered, if necessary, by the Judges of assize.

The rules and orders for houses of correction, laid down in the 22d Geo. III. cap. 64, with the powers given to the Justices to make additions thereto by their own authority, were not affected by this statute, except with reference to such prisoners as were confined in those houses considered in the light of Penitentiary Houses, for the treatment of which prisoners the Justices were required, by the second section of the 31st Geo. III., to make rules at some quarter sessions, at which five Justices at least were to be present; but they were to have regard, in making such rules, to the discipline and directions contained in the 19th Geo. HI.: and it was moreover provided, that such rules should not begin to have force until they had been submitted to the Justices of assize, and until such Justices should have subscribed a declaration, that they did not see in them any thing contrary to law. I mention this provision here, (although, as I shall have occasion to observe hereafter, there are now no prisoners to whom it applies,) because these words, which were taken originally from the 19th Geo. III. and which have since been used in the Act, (25th Geo. III. cap. 10,) for building and regulating the prisons in the county of Gloucester, with respect to the rules to be made for the Local Penitentiary to be established under that Act, and also in the Acts under which the National Penitentiary has been lately established at Millbank, appear to me to place the sanction of the Judges to

'I presume that the directions given in 32 Geo. II. cap. 28, had reference to such parts only of the gaols as were occupied by debtors, the Act itself purporting in its title and preamble to be made for the relief of debtors, and not adverting to ther prisoners: but the words" gaols and prisons" are there used without any limitation.

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the rules of a prison upon a better footing than either the 32d Geo. II. cap. 28, under which rules are made for county gaols, or the words now proposed in the Bill on the Table of the House of Commons.

By this provision, (31st Geo. III. sect. 2,) the Judges were not, I apprehend, to have any share in making the rules, nor were they called upon to approve of them, or to give any opinion in regard to their fitness or expediency: the duty imposed upon the Judges, in regard to these rules, was only to see that they contained nothing contrary to law-to take care, that the arrangements made by the Justices of the Peace did not subject the prisoners, for whom they were intended, to any hardships which the law did not warrant, or withhold from them any privilege or advantage, to which they were legally intitled; whereas, under the 32d Geo. II. respecting gaols, the Judges are to review, and may alter, the rules submitted to them.

In the Bill now proposed, all distinction between gaols and houses of correction, in regard to the manner in which rules shall be made, is done away; and it is provided, that the Judges shall revise and approve" (it is not said that they may alter,) the rules and regulations for every description of gaol or prison. Under this provision, unless the Judges shall concur in the wisdom and expediency of the rules and regulations proposed by the Justices of the Peace, for the houses of correction (the propriety of which may often depend upon local circumstances, or upon the peculiar construction of the prison, which the Judges may have had no opportunity of seeing), it will be impossible that any rules should be made, and the Justices may be left under great difficulties, as to the manner in which their prisons are to be managed, the general rules and directions given for that purpose by the 22d Geo. III. cap. 64, being by the present Bill repealed. The same inconvenience would not be felt in the gaols, where the gaoler, acting under the sheriff, would govern his prisoners by the powers derived from that authority, without any written rules, as is, I suspect, now done in many gaols, and was the case, till very lately, in Newgate. But such government is in itself a great inconvenience; and I am strongly inclined to think, that instead of making it necessary that the Judges should concur in the expediency of the rules to be made by the County Magistrates, for the houses of correction, it would be advisable to take away the necessity of such concurrence in regard to the rules made for the common gaols, and to adopt the provision made on this head in the Acts relative to penitentiaries for both descriptions of prisons; directing the Justices of the Peace to frame rules and regulations for each, and limiting the duty of the

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Judges in respect to each, to the task of taking care that there is nothing in the arrangements made by the County Magistrates contrary to law.

Upon the subject of the common gaols, however, I wish to go one step further, and to ask why the criminal prisoners in the gaol should not be placed under the management of the Justices of the Peace as fully as those in the house of correction; and why all interference with these prisoners on the part of the Sheriff, as well as his responsibility for their escape, (which latter has virtually ceased to exist,) should not be altogether taken away? The common gaol is now a divided empire, in which the portion of power remaining to the Sheriff is but small. The Justices of the Peace make orders on matters relating to the health of the prisoners (under the 14th Geo. III. cap. 59.); they alter the construction

the gaol at their pleasure; they appoint the chaplain and the surgeon; and though they do not possess any power by law to no➡ minate the gaoler, yet the appointment of that office is virtually in them, since they appoint his salary, and may vary it from time to time; and it is not likely that the sheriff should insist upon his right to name his own gaoler at the risk of paying him an addition to his salary' out of his own pocket, and throwing all the arrangements of the goal into confusion. The Justices of the Peace may also, as has been already stated, with the concurrence of the Judges, make whatever rules they think fit. Upon all points, however, on which the gaoler is not directed or controlled by such rules, he must still be considered as acting under the sanction of the Sheriff; and if that officer chooses to interfere in the management of the gaol in a matter not so provided for,I apprehend he is at liberty to do so. If I am not misinformed, a Sheriff has very recently interfered in one of our best regulated county gaols, in opposition to the visiting Justices, and in a manner very injurious to the discipline of the prison, though perhaps not in violation of any existing law. I am told, that a person who was convicted some short time since of a libel, and who is now under sentence of imprisonment for that offence, having been in the habit of giving entertainments (dinner parties) within the prison to his friends, not being prisoners, to an extent which was disapproved of by the visiting Magistrates, and they having directed the keeper of the gaol to put a stop to that practice, the prisoner applied to the sheriff for permission to continue it, and the sheriff gave an order for its continuance.

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'To most of the modern gaols a house of correction is attached; but the Sheriff's gaoler would of course only receive such salary as might be fixed by the Justices for the gaoler, the Sheriff having nothing to do with the house of correction.

direction given by the visiting Magistrates is not a rule or order under the 31st Geo. III., not being made at the quarter sessions or with the concurrence of the Judges, it can only operate as a recommendation to the keeper of a prison, which, if not complied with in the house of correction, would be disregarded by him at his peril; but in the gaol, as the law now stands, he would not, I apprehend, be justified by the opinion or direction of any number of Justices of the Peace, either written or verbal, in disobeying the orders of his lawful superior, the Sheriff. Even where no such interference takes place on the part of the Sheriff, but the gaoler is acting as his officer by virtue of the legal relation which subsists between them, the management of the gaol is often much less correct than it would be if the gaoler had no other source of authority than the Justices of the Peace; and many things are done which the Justices of the Peace would not authorise by written regulations, but for which, as being done under the powers derived by the gaoler from the Sheriff, they do not consider themselves to be responsible. Of this description are the practice of subjecting the letters of prisoners committed for trial to the inspection of the gaoler, before they are sent out of the prison, and that of placing fetters on whole classes of prisoners as yet unconvicted of any offence, as well as that of obliging such prisoners to wear party-colored dresses. These are practices so inconsistent with the situation of prisoners committed for trial, who are merely placed in confinement for safe custody, and ought not to be subjected to any unnecessary humiliation, or to any restraints but such as are required for the preservation of good order in the prison, or for the prevention of escape, that they would hardly receive the sanction of the Justices of the Peace in the shape of a written rule.

While, however, I am satisfied that such practices ought not to continue, I am strongly inclined to think, that the Legislature will better provide for the removal of them by placing the gaols more completely under the care of the proper Magistrates, and by a general declaration of the light in which prisoners committed for trial should be viewed, and of the principles which should govern the treatment of them; leaving the application of those principles to the persons who are to frame the rules, than by laying down particular directions, or enacting positive prohibitions, on the subject of the evils alluded to. It is hardly possible to make rules and regulations, which shall be applicable to all prisons, by Act of Parliament. Many circumstances connected with the management and treatment of prisoners, even the restraints to which those committed for trial should be subjected, must often depend in part upon the construction of the building in which they are placed,

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