Background Reading

Prisoners, Insanity and the Pentonville Model Prison Experiment

pentonville chapelThe relationship between prisoners and mental illness has preoccupied prison administrators, physicians and reformers from the establishment of the modern prison service in the nineteenth century to the current day … [Read more …]


Insanity and Separate Confinement at the Liverpool Borough Gaol

Walton_Gaol_1910The ‘purest’ form of separate confinement, introduced at Pentonville Prison in 1842, was a ‘failed experiment’, which was modified significantly after 1847 … [Read more …]

Suicide and Self-Harm Amongst Juvenile Prisoners in the British Isles, 1870–1980

Borstal Look Out 1902Suicide in prison has long functioned as both symptom and symbol of underlying and intractable problems in the penal system.This is yet more clearly the case when a young person in detention takes their own life … [Read more …] 

Crisis and Controversy: Prison Mental Healthcare in the Late Twentieth Century

Prison DocIn the latter part of the twentieth century, the health of prisoners posed major problems for the prison authorities, and was a subject to which prison reform campaigners repeatedly returned. This was partly related to the substantial overcrowding in the prison estate … [Read more …]