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Memorandum from Wilfrid Scawen Blunt (Newbuildings Place, [Southwater, West] Sussex) [to WSC] on the subject of prison reform and the treatment of political prisoners. Blunt stresses the need for prison reform caused by the imprisonment of suffragettes. His observations are based on his experiences in Galway [Connaught, Ireland] and Kilmainham [Meath, Ireland] gaols in 1888. He describes the gaols' physical conditions and advises that solitary confinement should only be inflicted on the most serious criminals. The conditions he experienced in solitary confinement in Galway prison are described as quite humane compared to those in Kilmainham, "a gaol of the scientific modern type". He also describes the indignity of prison dress, and encloses a photograph [marked "w 12B"] of himself wearing a "skirted dress" which he was given after objecting. Blunt proposes that there should be three categories of prisoners, each treated differently. Hardened criminals would receive severe corporal punishment; a second class of prisoners would be treated less harshly and be given time for instruction; and political prisoners would be treated similarly to prisoners of war. Blunt advises that forcible feeding should be stopped. Signed typescript with handwritten corrections, dated 24 February 1910 with note that it was sent on 25 February. Covering letter at CHAR 12/4/2.
|Publication:||Published: Winston S Churchill : Companion Volume II, Part 2, pp 1144-8 (part)||Alternative format:|