The sad demise of z.D.H.38 Ernest Collins: suicide, informers and the debate on the abolition of flogging

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Abstract

In 1934, a convict was found hanged in his cell. His final words reveal the fearful state of his mind on learning his appeal against a sentence of flogging had been rejected. Historical records about his prison life offer insights into suicide and prison informers, subjects which have received little attention from historians. His activities as an informer increased the weight of imprisonment for him in the period prior to his death. He is a statistic in the Prison Commissioners’ annual report, but his death became a crucial component of rejuvenated campaigns for an enquiry into the use of corporal punishment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-114
Number of pages16
JournalCultural & Social History
Volume15
Issue number1
Early online date1 Feb 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Feb 2018

Keywords

  • Prison
  • suicide
  • informer
  • flogging
  • emotion label
  • Flogging
  • Informer
  • Suicide
  • Emotion label

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