HC Deb 19 February 1908 vol 184 cc813-4

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, in prisons where convicts are sentenced by the visiting justices to be flogged, warders are employed to do the flogging at the rate of 5s. per dozen strokes; whether he has any official information showing that warders often provoke prisoners to sin in order to get the flogging fee; and whether, in the interests of humanity, he will consider the advisability of arranging that trials before visiting justices for prison offences should be open to the public.


The payment for carrying out a sentence of corporal punishment in convict prisons is 2s. 6d. to each officer irrespective of the number of strokes. I am certain there is not the slightest ground for the suggestion that prison officers provoke convicts to commit acts of violence or mutiny in order to obtain this small fee. I see no reason for departing from the present arrangement for the adjudication upon serious offences in convict prisons by a Board of independent Visitors, unconnected with the official administration, which was sanctioned after full discussion in Parliament by the Prison Act, 1898.

MR. PIRIE (Aberdeen, N.)

Is it the case that the payment of warders for that purpose is proportioned by the number of strokes, and will not the right hon. Gentleman take into consideration the desirability of engaging these warders on an entirely different footing?


If a better system can be devised I will consider it. The payment is made only to the warder who takes part in the actual punishment.


But is the amount governed by the number of strokes?


No, Sir.

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