By John W. Ekstedt
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Extra resources for Corrections in Canada. Policy and Practice
In an attempt to improve the conditions of confinement, a provincial penitentiary was opened in 1844 to which the majority of offenders were sent. However, as the following description reveals, conditions in this institution soon deteriorated as well: Within five years, prison life had tumbled to the lowest common denominator. Singing, whistling, smoking, cursing, drunkenness, and sloth became the order of the day. Gaol keepers fraternized with prisoners and often came to work drunk and disorderly.
In construction... in the sanitary arrangements and . . in the means of reforming'. . " While the legislation enacted in 1859 had included provisions for monitoring the construction and operation of gaols in Ontario, Splane (1965,156) notes that in 1866, "The inspectors no longer believed that the existing legislation was capable of achieving its intended purpose. . " Following Confederation, the province of Ontario passed the Prison and Asylum Inspection Act in 1868, which required inspectors ".
Such a view, however, is evident in the works of Gosselin (1982) and Smandych and Verdun-Jones (1982). Perhaps the most radical perspective on the development of the Canadian penitentiary has been proposed by Gosselin (1982). Proceeding from a radical-elitist perspective similar to that of Scull (1977a, 1977b), Gosselin's (1982,88) interpretation of the events in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries that precipitated the creation of the penitentiary in Canada is in sharp contrast to the views of other observers: The country was racked by deep economic crisis and successive waves of popular unrest (which took the form of land occupations and tax revolts) that posed a serious threat to the new State.
Corrections in Canada. Policy and Practice by John W. Ekstedt
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