Maconochie's Gentlemen : The Story of Norfolk Island and the Roots of Modern Prison Reform
Maconochie and his "Marks system" played an influential role in the development of prisons; but for the last thirty years prison reform has been dominated by punitive and retributive sentiments, the conventional wisdom holding that we need 'supermax' prisons to control the 'worst of the worst' in solitary and harsh conditions. Norval Morris argues to the contrary, holding up the example of Alexander Maconochie as a clear-cut alternative to the "living hell" of prison systems today.
- Paperback | 234 pages
- 139.7 x 212.3 x 18.8mm | 312.98g
- 11 Sep 2003
- Oxford University Press Inc
- New York, United States
- Oxf Univ PR Pbk ed.
- Map, 1 halftone
Other books in this series
24 Oct 2002
18 Nov 2004
12 Jan 2006
About Norval Morris
Norval Morris has made yet another significant contribution to correctional scholarship."-Crime & Justice International "Captain Maconochie's Gentlemen displays Norval Morris's large gifts as a fine narrative writer and a pre-eminent social scientist. This is a book that fits Aristotle's directive that fine art should enlighten and entertain. It is, in the first instance, an illuminating story, told through the eyes of Captain Maconochie and the family and colleagues he brought with him to Norfolk Island in 1840, of Western society's first efforts at penal rehabilitation. The
fiction is followed by incisive reflections by Morris in his role as one of America's leading criminologists, relating Maconochie's experiment to the circumstances today. The book is engrossing in both modes and is thoughtful, moving, and revealing at all points. My hat is off to Norval Morris."-Scott F.
Turow "This lucid, novel (and novelistic) approach to a nearly forgotten chapter in penology deserves attention."-Publishers Weekly "If Maconochie's methods worked under such extreme conditions, wouldn't they work today in our supposedly enlightened times? Highly recommended for crime collections in public and academic libraries."-Library Journal (starred review) Readers could not ask for a better guide to this island of exiles and birthplace of prison reform. A widely published criminologist and respected academic, Morris understands the inner workings of prisons and shares with his principal characters the belief 'that punishment, allowing room for and facilitating redemption, dignifies society, makes prison service a constructive occupation and enhances public safety."-Jennifer Wynn, Washington Post