No. 37
1st May 1865
I have the honor to forward answers to the interrogatories enclosed in your Circular despatch of the 16th of January 1865.
2. I have read with deep attention your despatch, but the replies I now forward willshowManuscript image show that crime in this young Colony is not one of the great difficulties we have to contend with. The comparatively mild treatment inflicted upon our criminals is sufficient to deter others from breaking the law, and to induce those who have been exposed to the lenient punishment to behave better in future or leave the Colony. Though I observe no painful despondency or loss of self respect in those undergoing punishment,theManuscript image the dread of imprisonment is greater here than I have observed in other places. Where wages are enormously high and tempting Gold fields within the reach of all, labour coupled with disgrace and loss of pay is a sufficient deterrent from crime. You will observe that but one white man has been twice convicted.
3. The prison is clean, healthy, and well managed. It is gratifying to see that nowomanManuscript image woman has yet undergone imprisonment. Drunken squaws have, for their own protection, and that of the public decency been locked up until sobered.
4. No person has yet been flogged in the prison.
5. The laws affecting imprisonment for debt have been amended during the last Session. Where no fraud is proved, imprisonment for debt virtually exists no longer.
6. ThereManuscript image
6. There has been but one escape, even temporarily, from the gaol. A little Indian Boy scrambled over the wall and got away, but was brought back the same day.
7. No person has become insane in the gaol. Two Lunatics have recovered their reason there and been discharged.
8. There have been no suicides in the prison.
9. It may be mentionedinManuscript image in connection with the subject of this despatch, that there is not in the Colony a single pauper supported at the public expense.
10. Such of the small prisons as I have visited in the mining and rural districts appeared to me clean and well managed. The criminals sentenced to long periods of imprisonment are transferred to the Gaol at New Westminster.
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I have the honor to be,
Your most obedient
humble Servant
Frederick Seymour
Minutes by CO staff
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GG 10 July
Refer to Mr Wright.
HT 11 July
TFE 12/7
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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"Interrogatories respecting the Construction, State, Discipline, and Management of each Prison, House of Correction, Lock-up House, Convict Depot, Penal Settlement, or other place of Confinement in the Colony of British Columbia," with answers appended thereto (37 questions, 37 pages).
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New Westminster Gaol Regulations, April 1862.