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'Invalids', Disability and the Modern Prison

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Project Description

The contemporary prison system has been forced to respond in a more systematic manner to the needs of disabled prisoners due the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and the subsequent Equalities Act 2010, as a group with 'protected characteristics'. The aim of this research is to put the experiences of, and policies toward, disabled prisoners in a historical context. This area has been significantly overlooked by historians and criminologists yet the large numbers of accidents at work across this period, Two World Wars as well as other conflicts, must have resulted in prisoners being drawn from such populations. Physical disability, injury, illness or amputations, for example, would also have impacted on the ability to undertake paid work which may also have resulted in poverty, criminality and /or institutionalisation in prisons, asylums or workhouses. This project will examine both the lives of individual offenders with physical disabilities and their experiences within the prison system and the institutional responses to such groups. It will also provide a detailed case study of Woking Invalid Convict Prison which during the height of its use held over 1700 male and female prisoners who for health reasons were unable to endure the full rigours of penal servitude.

Status Project Live
Funder(s) British Academy
Value £8,628.00
Project Dates May 1, 2018 - Mar 31, 2020

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