Wednesday, November 18, 2009

1800's Punishment Types
Punishment for crimes has changed drastically since the early 1800's. Hangings were extremely common for those convicted of crimes. Crime was soaring because of a rise in population and wealth. The worst of this crime was between 1820-1840. Jails were overflowing which resulted in a lot escapees. There were riots over food costs and availability. The wealthy began carrying guns for protection from thieves.But it was not only thieves who were punished by banishment to reformat institutions and work houses. Children of all ages that were considered "at risk" of becoming a problem to society were treated and punished as if they already committed a crime. Punishment was cruel. Whipping posts sat around town. Adulterers and bigamist received more lashes of the whip than manslaughter. If a woman was believed to have been unfaithful she received thirty lashes and a big A was branded on her forehead with a hot iron so every one that saw her would know what she had done. She also had to wear a heavy device around her neck.

Prison Punishment

Hard physical labour and extreme solitude formed part of the punishment for 19th century Victorian prisoners.

In Victorian prisons in the 1800s, the most common form of punishment was the lash. Prisoners received 25 lashes for minor infringements and 50 for more serious crimes. They were tied to a three-beamed triangle – known as being ‘married to the three sisters' – and dealt the blows. Lashings would often strip the flesh from a man's back, and many became seriously ill or died as a result.One ‘innovative' form of punishment was the treadmill: a long, cylindrical wheel on which a row of prisoners were mounted and secured to a handrail. By pedalling the wheel – like a mouse playing in its cage – the men ground up large blocks of bluestone into gravel.The men would form blisters on their hands and injure their feet and legs as they kept pedalling. Not surprisingly, some prisoners refused, accepting time in solitary confinement instead.