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Report - Prison For Women (October 2013 - Kingston, Canada)

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by jerm IX, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. jerm IX

    jerm IX 28DL Full Member
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    The Prison For Women in Kingston, Ontario, was built in 1933. Prior to its construction, women offenders served their time in the Kingston Penitentiary. Promiscuous women and those that fell under the wide umbrella of what we now call mental health issues were transferred to the nearby Rockwood Lunatic Asylum. At the Kingston Penitentiary, women were segregated from male inmates, they occupied various locations including basement cells and the prison hospital until 1913, when a separate building was constructed within the walls of KP, using prison gang labour. Known as the Northwest Cell Block, it housed exclusively female inmates. The conditions for women were not dissimilar to that of men: their cells were cold, dark, and damp, and they suffered the same corporal punishments including flogging, meals of bread and water, confinement to dark cells, and “the boxâ€￾. However, unlike the men who were forced to engage in physical labour, the women participated in traditionally female activities, such as sewing and needlework. During the war, they produced thousands of pillowslips.

    Twenty years after the opening of the Northwest Cell Block, the female population again outgrew its quarters, reaching a total of 40 women, some of whom were sleeping in corridors. It was decided that a separate institution would be constructed just outside the walls of KP, behind the Warden's residence. Again prison work gangs were conscripted to construct another limestone monolith: the Prison For Women, later nicknamed P4W. It was completed in 1933 for a total cost of $374,000. Strangely, due to overcrowding and a riot at KP, it's first inhabitants were men. In 1934, all 40 women were transferred from the Northwest Cell Block in KP, to the new Prison For Women across the road, under the care of Ms. Edith A. Robinson, Supervising Matron.

    For 66 years, P4W would serve as the only federal women's prison in Canada, housing all women serving two years to life from all across the country...

    The full write-up and extensive photo documentation can be viewed by clicking the link below.

    jermalism: Abandonment Issues: Prison For Women


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