Story: Prisons

Exercise yard, Mt Eden, from the Hume era

Exercise yard, Mt Eden, from the Hume era

These exercise yards at Mt Eden Prison were designed when Captain Arthur Hume was inspector general of prisons, from 1880 to 1909. The yards contain 'bull rings', around which inmates marched in silence. Hume believed that prisons should be a 'reformative deterrent', with harsher conditions than those experienced on the outside. He tried to restrict all communication between prisoners, but this proved hard to police with the overcrowded conditions in most prisons.

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Department of Corrections
Reference: Greg Newbold, The problem of prisons: corrections reform in New Zealand since 1840. Wellington: Dunmore, 2007, p. 26

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How to cite this page:

Peter Clayworth, 'Prisons - Developing a national prison system, 1880–1949', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 28 September 2023)

Story by Peter Clayworth, published 20 Jun 2012