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Borstals - Daily Mail web link - pictures and story

 
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PrivateDavId



Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Posts: 158
Location: West Country

PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:40 pm    Post subject: Borstals - Daily Mail web link - pictures and story Reply with quote

Its a bit of a filler article but interesting with lots of pictures and some nice shots of a modern young offenders jail to compare against.

It does has one comment which seems unlikely -
"Unlike British boarding schools, corporal punishment (birching) was barred except in special circumstances and with special permission."

Its possible they did mean birching alone as there certainly seems enough stories of the cane/belt and dap being used freely in the places.

No comments yet from readers but will be worth checking back on

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2121843/Brutal-exercise-hard-work-strict-education--topped-bit-musical-theatre-The-days-Borstals-knocked-yobs-shape.html
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Frankie



Joined: 26 Jul 2010
Posts: 509

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I am correct in saying that the only Borstals which permitted corporal punishment as a sanction for inmates were in Ireland, before partition.

The only way other Borstal lads could be awarded corporal punishment was via a further court appearance (before 1948), when the court could sentence a lad to whipping, (rather than the Borstal). The punishment was then the responsibility of the court, not the Borstal authorities.

I think there's stuff about this in the Corpun Archive, but haven't time at present to trawl through it.

By contrast, "Approved Schools" (for under-16 naughties) were, like all other schools, permitted to cane (but not birch) under specified conditions.

Correct me if I'm wrong.

O, and by the way, the Daily Mail is not a trustworthy authority, on this topic or any other, as has frequently been shown. They're in the entertainment industry, not historical research.
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colin



Joined: 29 Jul 2005
Posts: 234
Location: scotland

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i thought corporal punishment including birching was permitted in uk borstals up until the 1960s but i dont know for sure

i look forward to hearing from those who know and maybe a truthful account from a member who was in bosrstal and received such CP
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Frankie



Joined: 26 Jul 2010
Posts: 509

PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Further to my previous post, I have been provided with the following note (from www.corpun.com, which is an authoritative and reliable source):-

Quote:
"There were also Borstals, run by the Prisons Department, for older and more serious offenders. These were essentially prisons for young men: some inmates could be as old as 26 before leaving. Contrary to popular myth, there was officially no corporal punishment here except on the same terms as in adult prisons, i.e. extreme violence against an officer could be punished with a ceremonial birching by order of the Visiting Magistrates, but only on the signed approval in each separate case of the Secretary of State. In practice, this happened only rarely: the Cadogan Report (1938) found that the power had been used, in all the country's Borstals added together, on only 26 occasions between 1912 and 1936 -- an average of about one birching per year, most of which were administered at the Borstal Wing of Wandsworth Prison in London.

This supposed account [ref provided] of such an event therefore seems very likely to be fictional, and is in any event clearly highly embroidered; in particular, it is not credible that the authorities would have got away with inflicting an official birching in front of the assembled inmates, which would have been completely against the rules, or that the offender would be made to count out the strokes. And in my experience, people who really have received a severe punishment are rarely inclined to talk or write about it in this breathless and excitable manner, or to recall the events in such minute detail. Finally, it is claimed that the events described took place at Haslar Borstal in 1937, but Haslar was never a borstal; in 1937 it was a naval barracks." - Colin Farrell


The idea that the birch may have been applied unofficially may be discounted: (a) birches are too difficult to make (b) any lad who received such whipping would certainly have complained and got the "screw" responsible into deep trouble: they knew their rights.

I think this confirms pretty conclusively that accounts of (official) corporal punishment in Borstals must be regarded as fiction: amusing or exciting, perhaps, but strictly in the world of fantasy.

P.S.
Whether or not Borstal lads might have benefited from birching or caning as part of their punishment is of course quite another question.
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