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A Short, Sharp Shock Text  This is a letter written in January 1828 by General William Dyott of Freeford, chairman of the Staffordshire justices' gaol committee in the 1820s and 1830s. In it he sets out his view of how juvenile crime should be dealt with.

"The spurious benevolence of modern days, frustrates the means of making prison discipline of that nature to work amendment in the existing depravity acquired in large manufacturing districts, which can alone be assailed by severity of treatment, so as to occasion dread in the individual to incur the consequence of a repetition of crime."

Dyott believed that a spell not exceeding 6 months in the house of correction under a regime of

"solitary confinement, corporal punishment & the strictest discipline as to regularity of conduct would effect a more certain reduction of the inmates of a prison than seven years confinement on the present principle."

He was not the only one in the 19th century concerned about the possibly harmful effect of imprisonment in the absence of the proper separation of inmates, as you will see by clicking on Bad Girls.

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