Class, discipline and philosophy: Contested visions in the early twentieth century

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    One of the best known men in penal history, Alexander Paterson, died in 1947 only months after his retirement. His obituary in the Times (10 November 1947) was headed ‘faith in human nature’ and it is very much in that vein that Paterson has been immortalised both within and outside of the prison service. To a large extent this has also been the case in popular and academic histories that have considered Paterson and his role in shaping penal reform during the early decades of the twentieth century. He is believed to have been the dominant influence in the Prison Commission during his time as a Commissioner between 1922 and 1946, which has been labelled the ‘Paterson era.’ 1 Harold Scott, Chairman of the Prison Commission between 1932 and 1938 called Paterson ‘one of the most remarkable men I have ever met’ who was behind the transformation of imprisonment not only in England but throughout the world.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3-5
    JournalPrison Service Journal
    Issue number194
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


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