Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
Crime and punishment
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Imprisonment for debt in 1847

The new instructions which were sent out to all prisons in 1847, including the three county jails in Powys, meant that people in jail for owing small sums of money would get better treatment.

In future they would not have to share cells with serious debtors or with criminals.

Debtors - people who owe money because of not paying bills etc.

Quarter Sessions entry
Quarter Sessions entry

This part of the official entry (in two parts because it is split over two pages) reads:
"1 - They shall, as far as the construction of the prison will allow thereof, be separated from other Debtors; but they shall not be placed in separate confinement, or with any class of Criminal Prisoners".

This was the beginning of a more considerate attitude to debtors which eventually resulted in the ending of imprisonment just for owing money.

More about debtors in Victorian prisons...


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