REPORT ON 243A, PRISON REGULATIONS

From The Tribunal 27th December 1917

This is a further update in a series of extracts from the No Conscription Fellowship’s journal, published in the Uk between March 1916 and November 1918
_For further extracts go to:_http://nfpb.org.uk/tribunal

UNDER WHICH CONCESSIONS ARE TO BE MADE TO C.O.‘S WHO HAVE SERVED ONE YEAR’S IMPRISONMENT AND GAINED A CERTAIN NUMBER OF MARKS: AS REPORTED BY C.O.‘S IN VARIOUS PRISONS

1. EXERCISE. – The period of exercise is extended from 40 minutes to one hour – 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the afternoon.

2. CONVERSATION. – Prisoners are allowed to converse with their partner during exercise. Before this regulation prisoners usually walked in single file, they are now to walk in pairs. In one prison at least the men are allowed to choose their partner for each period of exercise.

3. BOOKS. – Prisoners are allowed to have four books of their own in their cell. It appears that additional books may be sent to the prison, number depending on the accommodation in the library. These books must not deal with the war or current political matters.

4. LETTERS. – Prisoners to write and receive a letter once a fortnight instead of once a month, but such letters and the replies are not to exceed one sheet of notepaper of the ordinary size; as a general rule at the present prisoners are allowed to make their monthly letter somewhat longer than this.

5. VISITS. – Prisoners to be allowed a visit of 15 minutes once monthly instead of 30 minutes once a month. At Wandsworth the prisoners went “en bloc” to the Governor and pointed out that to reduce the length of the visit by half was an absurd “concession.” He wrote to the Home Office and has now informed them that they have 30 minutes as before. On the other hand, the Governor of Pentonville, in an official letter dated December 11th, 1917, stated that A———- “will be entitled to write and receive a letter once a fortnight, and a visit of 15 minutes once a month.”

6. CLOTHING. – Prisoners are permitted to wear their own clothing. In one prison they have permitted to keep their overcoats in their cells, and also have been informed that they can, if they like, wear the prison underclothing under their own suits. This is an advantage as men are only allowed one set of their underclothing, and at least they can have a change and send the prison underclothing to the prison laundry.

7. CLEANING CELL. – Prisoners are permitted to have the service of another prisoner if desired, to keep their cell and utensils clean at a small charge. In some prisons this is 6d. a day.

The above “concessions” seem to be general. But in addition in one particular prison the regulation has been applied to their work as as follows:-

“Work in the woodyard has been knocked off as too heavy: other work remains the same, and the men are still tasked the same amount per day, but they have been told that if anyone feels his task too heavy he is to report to the Governor.”

dove..