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Crime and punishment

Our topic for this paper is Crime and Punishment. There are several different

issues on this subject. We chose three main points to talk about: The Crimes, the People

who solved them, and the different types of punishments. These are the topics we chose

for our report.

Crime in the nineteeth century was rapid though out London. But because of all

of the poverty and sickness in the streets, crime was the only way to survive. Most of the

crimes that took place in London were crimes that involved stealing. Pickpocket gangs

and street gamblers were a regular sight when walking down a major London street.

Prostitution was also a big money maker on the streets, done by both girls and boys. But

crimes though out the middle class and rich were mostly property crimes and disputes

which made up 90% of all crimes committed by the upper-class. In Victorian England

and

like today there a two categories which crimes fall under. "Indictable" which is the same

as our felony crimes that make up all of the major crimes. These crimes consist of:

Murder, armed robbery, burglary, larceny, rape, and assaults on the police. The next

called category is called " Summery " crimes which is equal to our misdemeanor crimes.

Summery crimes were all minor crimes such as: Property crimes, Vagrancy,

Drunkenness,

Prostitution, Minor Larceny , and all other minor offenses.

Probably the most famous criminal in the Victorian period was " Jack the Ripper ".

Jack the Ripper was " the first modern sexual serial killer" ( Sugden, pg.2) Jack's

trademark was the killing of female prostitutes. But not only did he kill them, he would

surgically remove organs and intrails and place them near the dead body. "Jack the

Ripper" wasn't his only nickname, he was also called " the Whitechaple murder " because

the body's were found near the Whitechapel Road, and " The Leather Apron" because of a

man that would come by and beat up the prostitutes for no reason. Jack the Ripper is

credited for 9 killings, but police think that he might be responsible for more. All of

the killing accrued with in one square mile. Jack is described as carring a long knife in

which he would cut open his victims, and a black Gladstone bag, the contents of which

is unknown. ( Sugden, pg.1) Jack the Ripper's identity is unknown which is

probably why this case is so famous. It is rumored that Jack the Ripper was a member of

the royal family, and that people knew of his identity but wanted to keep it a secret.

The London Metropolitan Police system was created in 1829, after the public

need for security has been told to the government. The Police Department consisted of

3000 policemen. The Policeman then were poorly paid. A constable's usual pay was 19

shillings, a week. An inspector got around 2 pounds, and some of that money was taken

off for the cost of there uniform. There uniform was a blue tail coat with there number

and letter of their division on the collar and hat. There only weapon was a short wooden

baton. The government had a hard time finding recruits. Most of there men were old

soldiers, and many of them were dismissed from the force for drunkenness. Later on the

force started to become a real Police force, and the people of London appreciated it. The

officers also were given many nicknames such as: Blue devils, peeler, and bobby. In 10

years the London Metropolitan Police Force cut the number of crimes in London by half.

The crimes in Victorian England did not go without it's punishments. In early

Victorian England Public hanging's were watched by many people, and the stocks were

placed in the center of town where people would look at you and even beat you and

humiliated you. But in 1838 the ending of all public tortures and executions gave way

and became out lawed.

These things lead to the building of prisons. In 1730 the prisons were at there

worst and were not made for long term offenders. These prisons were so bad because

they were privately owned and the owners used the inmates for working purposes. They

also shipped these men to other businesses for money paid to the prisons by the

companies who needed cheap workers. The prisons lacked sewage and heat which made

for horrible working conditions sometimes deadly working conditions.

The prisoners life was a horrible one. They worked fourteen hours a day taking

only short breaks for lunch and dinner. You only got lunch and dinner if you had money

to pay for it or unless someone gave you some of their food or a visitor gave you some

food. It was awful because these prisons were there to make money through any way

they could by having inmates pay to get there shackles off or paying for a private room or

for a room with your friend it was usually a pretty bad room but it was still better than the

others. Due to the new law of no more public hangings there was a great amount of over

population. This over population meant trouble for the prisoners because the prisoners

who really didn't commit bad crimes were killed in jail by the guards. So now the

prisoners who went to jail were there to be executed or if they weren't there for that it

would mean they were shipped to factories, Australia or new prisons set up the Queen or

King of England. It's a shame these men women and children were so mistreated over

such little crimes but it made the crime rate go down. ( Mitchell pg's 638-41 )

That's the end of our paper on crime and punishment, and prisons. I hope you liked it a

lot.



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