Australia’s Female Convicts.


Re-enactment Photo.
An Extract from an 1850s Document:
“We are gratified to observe that a better system is to be pursued in reference to these women, and that they are to obtain what they have not hitherto very clearly possessed – a personal interest in their own good conduct.
(Why they ever were supposed to be cured by merely singing psalms is still a mystery).
The aggregation of several hundreds for years together could never be expected to teach them anything but vice and crime.
The rational views of punishment disclosed by the new regulations is promising to the future; and it would be not less proper to give male offenders an opportunity to earn by good conduct a few leaps towards liberty.
It is very true that, while heavy sentences are supposed to be executed, it will look like a lottery when a very different fate attends different prisoners; but England must give up the notion of deterring by severity, at least in the colonies.
However, we presume we have almost done with it. We trust we shall never be so base as to be at any time the agents of penal laws”.
Read on via History | Australian Female Convict Database.

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