No. 34, Miscellaneous
3rd June 1865
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your Circular Despatch, 16th January 1865, covering printed Interrogatories respecting the construction, state, discipline and management of the Prison in this Colony, which I now return with replies thereto.
I fear it will be gathered from this document that the Prison, and system of penal servitude as carriedoutManuscript image out in this Colony are capable of very great improvement.
The condition of the Gaol until recently placed under the control of the present Superintendent of Police was simply disgraceful. Its order and cleanliness are now unexceptionable, but the building itself is wholly unsuitable for the purpose to which it is devoted, and without sufficient laws to conduct it. I regret that I cannot at present see my way to procuring the enactment of suitable laws or the means to provide a new building.
ThereManuscript image
There are no means of carrying out the Separate System of which all observing men must concur in the advantages.
Until very recently sane and insane persons were sometimes confined in the same cell.
The labour exacted is that of the ordinary kind, such as cleansing, digging, quarrying, road making &c being the only kind at present practicable.
Baths, washhouses &c have been recently added to the Prison.
I need scarcely state that I amdeeplyManuscript image deeply impressed with the importance of this subject and the great necessity which exists for reformation in all connected with the custody and management of criminals in this Colony, and with that object I hope to submit measures for the adoption of the Legislature in the next Session.
I have the honor to be,
Your most obedient Servant
A.E. Kennedy
Minutes by CO staff
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GG 29 July
Refer to Mr Wright.
HT 30 July
At once.
FR 31/7
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 Depôt, Penal Settlement, or other place of Confinement in the Colony of [Vancouver Island]," with answers appended thereto (37 questions, 37 pages).
Minutes by CO staff
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Very straightforward answers. Sensible—a formerly very bad prison
recently improved in administration.