CONDITIONS IN PRISONS
[To the Editor of TIIE SPECTATOR.] Sra,—I again beg the hospitality of your columns as my remarks are fair comment on matters of public interest. Visiting Justices do not get the opportunity to see below the surface, but if Mr. Charles Wright will visit Brixton in the
guise of a debtor he will find that when the cell doors arc opened in the early morning the prevailing conditions are
reminiscent of the days of the Fleet Prison. One lavatory serves the inmates of some twenty-five cells. I agree with Mr. Wright that the Governor and Warders (the latter with very few exceptions) arc excellent men. They are, however, bound by rules presumably drawn by a higher authority. These may be bad, and they will say that neither they nor the prisoners have the power to alter them.
I received a letter dated December 22nd from a complete stranger, from which I quote :
"I have suffered the same galling indignities which you describe in your letter to The Spectator, the incidents which roused my anger Was the insensate brutality of the doctors. On arrival I was examined, and as I did not at once grasp what was required of me I was roared at and pushed into the required position. I wrote complaining to the Head Medical Officer who replied that I could write as many letters as I cared to, it mattered not to them."
It is time the veil was drawn aside and inquiries instituted into our prison system and civil law reform in general, and for this to produce any results these inquiries should be made by a board on whom are a number of non-legal representatives.
—I am, Sir, yours faithfully, G. W. PENRICE.
The Croft, Ash Green.