Ancestry UK

Rules, House of Detention, Clerkenwell, London, 1862


Prisoners Committed for Trial — for Examination or want of Sureties, and those Committed as Deserters, or under the Hackney Carriage Act.

1. All prisoners shall, on admission, be placed in a separate cell. They shall be strictly searched by the governor, or by an officer appointed by him for that purpose, or by tho matron and a female officer, or by two female officers appointed as aforesaid, if a female prisoner. All knives, sharp instruments, dangerous weapons, or articles calculated to facilitate escape, or otherwise desirable in the discretion of the governor to be removed, shall be taken from them; all money and other effects brought in with them, or subsequently sent in for their use and benefit, shall be taken care of for them. The governor shall take charge of such money and effects, and make an inventory of them, to be entered in the prisoners' property book.

2. Every prisoner shall be examined by the surgeon before being passed into his or her proper cell; having been examined, they shall be cleansed in a warm or cold bath, as the surgeon may direct. The hair of female prisoners shall only be cut in cases when necessary for the removal of dirt, or the extirpation of vermin, or when the medical officer deems it requisite on the ground of health; male prisoners shall be shaved at least once a week, and their hair cut when necessary for the preservation of health and cleanliness. No prisoner shall be stripped or bathed in the presence of any other prisoner.

3. The wearing apparel of every prisoner shall be fumigated and purified; and if the surgeon thinks it necessary, wearing apparel may be burned. Prisoners before trial may wear their own clothes, if sufficient and proper; but if the wearing apparel of prisoners before trial be insufficient, improper, or necessary to be preserved for the purposes of justice, such prisoners may be furnished with a plain suit of coarse cloth.

4. As convenient places for the prisoners to wash themselves are provided, with a sufficient allowance of water, soap, towels, and combs, every prisoner shall be required to wash thoroughly once a day, and his feet at least once in every week.

5. Every prisoner shall be provided with a separate hammock, in a separate cell. Every prisoner shall be provided with sufficient bedding for warmth and health; and, when ordered by the surgeon, with two sheets and a pillow in addition. The whole shall be kept properly clean.

6. No tobacco shall be admitted for the use of any prisoner, except by written order of the surgeon.

7. No prisoner shall be permitted to see any visitor out of the place appropriated for that purpose, except in special cases under a written order, signed by a visiting justice; and in the case of prisoners seriously ill, by a written order of the governor and surgeon. Male prisoners are to be visited in the presence of the governor or subordinate officer; female prisoners in the presence of the matron or other female officer. This rule is not to extend to prisoners when they see their legal advisers. The governor may require the name and address of persons presenting themselves as visitors, and when he has any grounds for suspicion, may search, or cause to be searched, male visitors; and may direct the matron, or some other female officer, to search female visitors; such search, whether of male or female visitors, not to be in the presence of any prisoner; and in case of any visitor refusing to be searched, the governor may deny him or her admission to the prison.

8. Any near relation or friend may be allowed to see a prisoner dangerously ill, under an order in writing, signed by the governor and surgeon.

9. Any prisoner of a religious persuasion differing from that of the Established Church, may, on request to the governor, be visited by a minister of his persuasion on Sundays, or on any other days, at such reason able hours as may not interfere with the good order of the prison; the name and address of such minister to be left in the governor's office, and to be communicated by him to the visiting justices. Any books which such minister may wish to supply to the prisoners of their persuasion, must be first submitted to a visiting justice for approval.

10. No prisoner shall receive or send any parcel, or receive any food, clothing, or other articles, without previous inspection by the governor, or by an officer appointed by him.

11. Officers on duty shall attend to complaints of prisoners, and report the same forthwith to the governor.

12. If a prisoner complain of illness, the case shall be reported without delay to the governor and surgeon.

13. All prisoners shall regularly attend Divine Service, unless prevented by illness, or permitted to be absent by the governor or a visiting justice.

14. Prisoners of the Established Church shall be provided with books and tracts of religious, moral, and useful instruction, under the directions of the chaplain; and prisoners of persuasions differing from the Established Church, under the direction of the visiting justices. Each prisoner who can read shall be furnished with a Bible and Common Prayer Book in his cell.

15. All prisoners are bound to obey the rules of the prison, and the lawful orders of the governor and other officers, and not to treat with disrespect any of the officers; nor to be absent from Divine Service, unless prevented by illness, or excused; they are to behave properly during its performance; they are not to be guilty of swearing, or of indecent or disorderly conduct; nor to commit any kind of nuisances, nor wilfully damage any bedding, any part of the prison, or any article or property therein.

16. Singing, whistling, or shouting in the cells, rooms,or yards, is strictly prohibited; and the following are declared to be acts of disorder, and to be punishable as such, viz.:-Any attempt to barter or exchange provisions; any marking, defacing, or injuring the doors, walls, or chairs, tables, clothes, bedding, books, or utensils whatsoever, of the prison; any secreting of money, tobacco, or forbidden articles; any purloining, or contriving to purloin, provisions, books, combs, or any other article; or any wilful disobedience of such orders oft he governor or officers of the prison as shall be in accordance with law and the rules of the prison. The governor may examine any persons touching such offences, and may determine thereupon, and may punish all such offences by ordering any offender to close confinement in a refractory or solitary cell, and by keeping such offender on bread and water only, for any term not exceeding three days; but he shall not determine any of these cases without previous examination; neither shall he delegate his authority in these matters to any other person. No punishments or privations of any kind shall be awarded, except by the governor.

17. Prisoners going to chapel, to the airing yards, or to any other part of the prison, shall be attended by one or more officers, and silence maintained.

18. Prisoners shall make their own beds, and clean their own cells. Prisoners shall not be compelled to work or labour, but may have the option of employment. But nothing in this rule shall prevent the governor from requiring prisoners of these classes to make their own beds; and clean the cells, wards, yards, and passages of the division of the prison to which they belong.

19. Prisoners shall be permitted to maintain themselves, and to procure and to receive at proper hours, a reasonable quantity of cooked provisions, and malt liquor not exceeding one pint in any one day of twenty four hours; and any linen, clothing, or other necessaries (subject to a strict search, and under such regulations as may be deemed expedient, in order to prevent extravagance and luxury in a prison), and such articles so procured, may be paid for out of the monies belonging to such prisoners in the hands of the governor. No part of such food, malt liquor, or other articles, shall be given, sold to, or exchanged with any other prisoner; and any prisoner transgressing this rule shall be prohibited from procuring any food, other than the prison allowance, or other articles, for such a period as a visiting justice may direct.

20. Prisoners shall not receive the prison allowance of food on the days whereon they procure or receive food from their friends under the foregoing rule.

21. Prisoners who do not maintain themselves shall receive the regular prison allowance of food.

22. Prisoners shall be permitted to see their relations or friends on any week day, without any order between the hours of twelve and two in the afternoon; and at any other time on a week day, by an order in writing from a visiting or committing justice, unless a visiting or committing magistrate shall have issued an order to the contrary, or unless the governor shall know sufficient cause why any person should not be admitted, in which case the name of the applicant, together with the name of the prisoner whom he applied to visit, and the date of the refusal, shall be entered by him in his journal. But no prisoner shall be allowed to see more than two visitors on any one day, nor shall any visitor be allowed to remain longer than twenty minutes with a prisoner, without the especial permission of the governor, in which case the extended visit shall be considered as a second visit to the prisoner. The names and addresses of all such visitors, with the relationship to the prisoner, if any, shall be inserted in a book to be kept for that purpose; and the prisoners shall be permitted to see their legal adviser (by which is to be understood a certificated attorney or his authorized clerk) on any day at any reasonable hour, and in private if required. Prisoners may write or receive letters, to be inspected by the governor, except any confidential written communication prepared as instructions for their legal adviser; such paper to be delivered personally to the legal adviser or his authorized clerk, without being previously examined by any officer of the prison: but all such written communications, not personally delivered to the legal adviser or his clerk, are to be considered as letters, and are not to be sent out of the prison without being previously inspected by the governor. Any person presenting himself for admission as the clerk of an admitted attorney, shall in the absence of his principal, produce to the governor, in such case, evidence (satisfactory to such governor) of his being such an accredited agent; and the legal adviser or his clerk shall name the prisoner whom he wishes to visit.

23. Any person bringing or attempting to bring into the prison, contrary to the rules, any spirituous or fermented liquor, may be apprehended and taken before a police magistrate, and upon conviction, committed to prison for three months, unless such offender shall immediately pay down such sum of money, not exceeding twenty pounds, nor less than ten pounds, as the magistrate shall impose.

24. Every prisoner in separate confinement shall be supplied with the means of enabling him to communicate at any time with an officer of the prison.

25. Every prisoner shall be supplied with, and have the option of employment.

26. Every prisoner shall be furnished with the means of moral and religious instruction, and with suitable books.

27. Every prisoner shall have the means of daily taking as much exercise in the open air as the medical officer shall deem necessary.

28. The governor shall cause copies of such of the rules as relate to the treatment and conduct of the prisoners (printed in legible characters) to be fixed up in each cell, and the same shall be read to each prisoner within twenty-four hours after admission.

29. Prisoners committed for want of sureties, on summary orders, and deserters, shall be allowed to associate in the exercise yard for three hours daily, should the weather or other circumstances permit; in other respects they shall be treated as prisoners for trial or for examination.

30. If the governor shall at any time deem it improper or inexpedient for a prisoner to associate with the other prisoners of the class to which he or she may belong, it shall be lawful for him to continue such prisoner with any other class or description of prisoners, or in any other part of the prison, until he can receive the directions of a visiting justice thereon, to whom he shall apply with as little delay as possible, and who, in every such instance, shall ascertain whether the reasons assigned by the governor warrant such deviation from the established rules, and shall give such orders in writing as he shall think fit, under the circumstances of the particular case.

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