Incarcerating the Poor: Interpreting Poverty and Punishment in British Prison Museums
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This article will seek to understand how and why many prisoners interpreted in prison museums come from lower class backgrounds, and pose questions about how these interpretations contribute to or counter stereotypes about crime and poverty in Victorian England. The article will analyse the Victorian Prison at Lincoln Castle and the York Castle Museum because both sites present the history of punishment without any substantial collections on display, thus utilising creative techniques to present their histories to their visitors. The York Castle Museum presents the history of punishment at the site from 1706 to 1829, while the Victorian Prison at Lincoln Castle showcases its history as a separate system prison from 1848 to 1878. Through primary source material the museums create prison narratives that present the historic prisoners as victims of British society before social welfare.
Johnson, D. (2018). 'Incarcerating the Poor: Interpreting Poverty and Punishment in British Prison Museums', SOLON Law, Crime and History, 8(1), p. 91-107.