Link back to main ROSSBRET websitePrisons Timeline


Link back to main ROSSBRET websitePrisons Timeline


Prisons Timeline

1777 John Howard published his controversial report on the state of Prisons in England and Wales
1787 Transportation to Australia commenced 
1788 Philanthropic Society established 
1820 Select Committee Report leading to Gaol Act 1823 
1823 GAOL ACT; initiated by Sir Robert Peel, Home Secretary, sought to improve standards and uniformity in the operation of local prisons 
1835 THE PRISONS ACT; appointment of 5 Inspectors of Prisons
1835 Mary Carpenter (1807-1877) founded Working & Visiting Society 
1844 An Act to authorise the appointment of Surveyor General of Prisons and introduce controls for building new Prisons 
1846 Mary Carpenter opened a Ragged-School in Bristol
1847 JUVENILE OFFENDERS ACT; children under 14 to be tried summarily by 2 Magistrates 
1850 Age for children to be summarily tried raised to 16 
1851 Mary Carpenter published "Reformatory schools for the Children of the perishing and dangerous classes and for Juvenile offenders"
1852 Mary Carpenter established a Reformatory school for Boys in Bristol 
1854  Mary Carpenter established a Reformatory school for Girls in Bristol 
1868 PRISONS ACT; moved executions from Public places into Prisons
1876 EDUCATION ACT; introduced Industrial Day schools and Truant schools 
1877 Powers, Responsibilities and Cost transferred to Home Secretary from Local Justices. Administration delegated to The Prison Commission consisting of five members.
1895 The Gladstone Report; many recommendations made and incorporated by Prisons Act 1898 
1898  PRISONS ACT; radical changes in nature of prison labour. crank and tread wheel demolished. 
1902 Reform School commenced in Borstal, Kent 
1907 Probation introduced
1905 Children's Charter created Juvenile Court's 
1905 First Children's Court commenced in Birmingham 
1932 Reformatory Schools replaced by Approved Schools
1965 Corporal Punishment Abolished, except in cases of Treason and Violent Piracy. 

This Timeline is in it's infancy, please do let me know if you have any additions to make. Just send an email to  

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Page updated Wednesday March 12, 2008