Maconochie's Gentlemen: The Story of Norfolk Island and the Roots of Modern Prison Reform / Edition 1

Maconochie's Gentlemen: The Story of Norfolk Island and the Roots of Modern Prison Reform / Edition 1

by Norval Morris
     
 

In 1840, Alexander Maconochie, a privileged retired naval captain, became at his own request superintendent of two thousand twice-convicted prisoners on Norfolk Island, a thousand miles off the coast of Australia. In four years, Maconochie transformed what was one of the most brutal convict settlements in history into a controlled, stable, and productive environment… See more details below

Overview

In 1840, Alexander Maconochie, a privileged retired naval captain, became at his own request superintendent of two thousand twice-convicted prisoners on Norfolk Island, a thousand miles off the coast of Australia. In four years, Maconochie transformed what was one of the most brutal convict settlements in history into a controlled, stable, and productive environment that achieved such success that upon release his prisoners came to be called "Maconochie's Gentlemen".

Here Norval Morris, one of our most renowned criminologists, offers a highly inventive and engaging account of this early pioneer in penal reform, enhancing Maconochie's life story with a trenchant policy twist. Maconochie's life and efforts on Norfolk Island, Morris shows, provide a model with profound relevance to the running of correctional institutions today. Using a unique combination of fictionalized history and critical commentary, Morris gives this work a powerful policy impact lacking in most standard academic accounts.

In an era of "mass incarceration" that rivals that of the settlement of Australia, Morris injects the question of humane treatment back into the debate over prison reform. Maconochie and his "Marks system" played an influential role in the development of prisons; but for the last thirty years prison reform has been dominated by punitive and retributive sentiments, the conventional wisdom holding that we need 'supermax' prisons to control the 'worst of the worst' in solitary and harsh conditions. Norval Morris argues to the contrary, holding up the example of Alexander Maconochie as a clear-cut alternative to the "living hell" of prison systems today.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195146073
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
09/01/1901
Series:
Studies in Crime and Public Policy Series
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 5.60(h) x 0.87(d)
Lexile:
1310L (what's this?)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsvii
Author's Noteix
About the Authorxiii
Mapsxiv
Part 1 Norfolk Island, 1840-18441
Part 2 Maconochie and Norfolk Island after 1844161
Part 3 Why Do Prison Conditions Matter?171
Part 4 Contemporary Lessons from Maconochie's Experiment177
Fixed or Indeterminate Sentences and "Good Time"178
Graduated Release Procedures and Aftercare195
"The Worst of the Worst"197
Punishment and the Mentally Ill203
Deterrence, Rehabilitation, and Prison Conditions208

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