Prisons in Scotland
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IV - Scotland Northumberland and Durham
Many of the prisons are now provided with good little libraries, though there are still some prisons without a library, and others where the books are too much of one class. Nearly all of the most intelligent and zealous chaplains whose opinions I have taken agree in considering a library a very useful instrument of good in a prison, and in thinking it important that the library should contain many books which , while they are of course free from anythiing immoral or irreligious, are at the same time interesting, and some even entertaining, so as to create a real taste for reading, and to give the mind cheerful subjects of thought in addition to those of a serious cast. It is very satisfactory too, to be able to state that these gentlemen are of the opinion that a mixture of cheerful books, instead of interfering with reading of a serious and religious character, gives greater zest to such reading. And this evidence of the chaplains is confirmed by that of many governors, keepers, matrons and other officers. Much is now done in many of the prisons in Scotland by giving the inmates an interest in their work, by the frequent visits of kind and good officers, and by libraries and other means, to prevent anything like heavy gloom and despair; and to this I attribute the very small number of cases of insanity or suicide which have appeared.
Lerwick p 43
Aberdeen p 46
Glasgow p 67-8
Hamilton p 63
Kirkaldy p 74
Edinburgh p 80
Source: From PP 1842 Vol XX Vol 6 of 11 Volumes
Seventh Report of the Inspectors of Prisons
From PP 1842 Vol XXI Vol 7 of 11 Volumes
Reports from Commissioners - Prisons
Submitted by Alan Longbottom
March 12, 2008
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Page updated March 12, 2008
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