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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 119084 Find in a Library
Title: Notes on the History of Transportation (From Current International Trends in Corrections, P 47-50, 1988, David Biles, ed. -- See NCJ-119079)
Author(s): B Cubbon
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: Federation Press (Distributed by Gaunt)
Annandale, NSW 2038, Australia
Sale Source: Federation Press (Distributed by Gaunt)
71 Johnson Street
P.O. Box 45
Annandale, NSW 2038,
Type: Historical Overview
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: This paper compares the penal crisis that led Great Britain to establish a penal colony in Australia to the current crisis of prison overcrowding.
Abstract: The British penal crisis of the 1780's originated in the American Revolution. Between 1717 and 1775, some 40,000 English convicts were exported to the American Colonies, but this policy terminated with America's independence in 1776. Subsequently, convicts were housed in obsolete naval vessels until the expected American defeat and the resumption of convict shipments to the colonies. When it became clear that an alternative policy was required, New South Wales (Australia) was selected as the site for a penal colony, a choice subsequently proven ill-conceived. The context of penal policymaking has not changed much over two centuries. The penal colony in Australia was a quick decision designed to meet short-term political exigencies. It seemed the least unattractive of a number of unattractive options. Faced with prison overcrowding and limited budgets, corrections policymakers search for any alternative that will provide apparent relief from the consequences of overcrowding. The obvious solution is to build more prisons, but there is a limit to the resources that can be invested in this area. A longer-term solution is to develop a sentencing structure that adjusts the demand for imprisonment to the available supply.
Main Term(s): Corrections policies
Index Term(s): Australia; Great Britain/United Kingdom; Prison overcrowding
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