HC Deb 16 July 1877 vol 235 cc1323-4

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether it is the intention of the Government that the State should assume the custody and bear the cost of maintenance of insane as well as of sane prisoners; and, whether, in the event of this not being so, the local authority on whom the cost of maintaining insane prisoners falls is entitled in the case of such prisoners to the Government allowance of four shillings per week which is given in the case of lunatic paupers?


, in reply, said, he must divide these prisoners into two classes. The first were those acquitted on the ground of insanity, but detained during Her Majesty's pleasure. Those properly were not criminal prisoners, and the fact that they were detained could make no difference. The Prisons Act made no change with regard to their maintenance. With regard to those persons who were convicted and afterwards became insane, so long as they were in detention under their sentences the whole expenditure would be borne by the State. When their sentences expired, owing to their being lunatics, it might be necessary to keep them in detention. They would then become pauper lunatics and chargeable to the county, and the Government allowance for pauper lunatics would, of course, be made in such cases.