HC Deb 06 July 1888 vol 328 cc571-2

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, If it is the case that Michael Goldman, who is undergoing a term of 10 years' imprisonment in Portsmouth Prison, and was pronounced a permanent invalid by the medical gentleman of Chatham Prison three years ago, and can do no work, is unable to obtain sufficient marks for the yearly reduction of three months; whether, under these circumstances, any mitigation of the term of sentence could be procured; whether it is the case that many Petitions have been sent by his relations to the present and preceding Home Secretaries, to which the reply has been that the Home Secretary was well aware of Michael Goldman's health and condition; and, if, considering the fact that the prisoner has become a burden on the rates, and that his friends are well-to-do people and can support him, he can see fit to order a remission of his sentence?


Goldman is suffering from chronic complaints; but his health has not been injuriously affected by his imprisoment. It is true that he is at present unable to do work, and is, therefore, unable to obtain the same marks as a prisoner who is at work. The Rule which allots to a prisoner in hospital fewer marks than to a prisoner at work is a very important and necessary Rule in prison discipline; and I cannot undertake to dispense with it altogether. The utmost I can do is to say, that when the minimum period of imprisonment due to Goldman's sentence has expired—which will be some six months hence—I will consider whether any relaxation of the Rule is possible in his case. The fact that his friends are well-to-do people is not an element of importance in such a case.