These prisons received all sentenced to short terms of imprisonment, the long-term convicts going to the bagnes (the great convict prisons at the arsenals of Rochefort, Brest and Toulon), while in 1851 transportation to penal colonies was adopted.
They were naval or military officers in command of the garrison, the convicts and the few free settlers.
A population of 30,000, three- New fourths of them convicts, formed the infant common- South wealth, whose attention was soon directed to the profit- wales.
After the establishment of responsible government the main issue was how to tax the citizens.
The point of enduring interest as regards the Andamans is the penal system, the object of which is to turn the life-sentence and few long-sentence convicts, who alone are sent to the settlement, into honest, self-respecting men and women, by leading them along a continuous course of practice in self-help and self-restraint, and by offering them every inducement to take advantage of that practice.
There is an unlimited variety of work for the labouring convicts, and some of the establishments are on a large scale.
The number of convicts has somewhat diminished of late years and in 1901 stood at 11,947.
The total population of the settlement, consisting of convicts, their guards, the supervising, clerical and departmental staff, with the families of the latter, also a certain number of ex-convicts and trading settlers and their families, numbered 16,106.
The labouring convicts are distributed among four jails and nineteen stations; the self-supporters in thirtyeight villages.
Under an act of 1900, however, 13,889 acres of land were purchased in Sunflower county; and there and at Tchula, Holmes county, and at Oakley, Hinds county, the negro convicts - the white convicts are on the Rankin county farm - are kept on several large plantations, with saw-mills, cotton gins, &c. Under a law of 1906 these farm penitentiaries are controlled by a board of three trustees, elected by the people; they are managed by a superintendent, appointed once every four years by the governor.
The state prison is at Raleigh, although most of the convicts are distributed upon farms owned and operated by the state.
The lease system does not prevail, but the farming out of convict labour is permitted by the constitution; such labour is used chiefly for the building of railways, the convicts so employed being at 'all times cared for and guarded by state officials.
During nearly a quarter of a century he was engaged in negotiations with the government for the erection of a "Panopticon," for the central inspection of convicts; a plan suggested to him by a building designed by his brother Samuel, for the better supervision of his Russian shipwrights.
There is no penitentiary; the convicts are hired to the one highest bidder who contracts for their labour, and who undertakes, moreover, to lease all other persons convicted during the term of the lease, and sub-leases the prisoners.
In 1889 the convicts were placed under the care of a supervisor of convicts, and in 1905 the law was amended so that one or more supervisors could be appointed at the will of the governors.
Women convicts were still leased with the men in 1908; of the 446 convicts committed in that year, there were 15 negro females, 356 negro males and 75 white males.
The leased convicts are employed in the turpentine and lumber industries and in the phosphate works.
The 1232 convicts " on hand" at the close of 1908 were held in 38 camps, 4 being the minimum, and 160 the maximum number, at a camp. In 1908 two central hospitals for the prisoners were maintained by the lessee company.
Convicts not pardoned with an explicit restoration of suffrage privileges are disfranchised - a rare clause in the United States.
State convicts, and all places in which they are confined or employed, are under the supervision of a Board of Control appointed by the governor.
The leasing or hiring of state convicts is prohibited by the constitution, but parish convicts may be hired or leased for farm and factory work, work on roads and levees, and other public undertakings.
Such convicts are classified according to physical ability and a minimum rate is fixed for their hire, for not more than ten hours a day.
Many state convicts are employed in levee construction, and there are convict farms at Angola, Hope, Oakley and Monticello.
Many of the colonists of the 18th century were convicts and other offenders; and in 1750 the trade became a monopoly in the hands of a private company.
Employment is furnished for the convicts on the pentitentiary premises by incorporated companies.
In reply to an inquiry about the convicts in the prison, Count Rostopchin shouted angrily at the governor:
The two first were convicts with shaven heads.
Then two pairs of Frenchmen approached the criminals and at the officer's command took the two convicts who stood first in the row.
The convicts stopped when they reached the post and, while sacks were being brought, looked dumbly around as a wounded beast looks at an approaching huntsman.
Well, one night the convicts were gathered just as we are, with the old man among them.