Pennsylvania in 1842 (16 Peters 539), that state authorities could not be forced to act in fugitive slave cases, but that national authorities must carry out the national law, was followed by legislation in Massachusetts (1843), Vermont (1843), Pennsylvania (1847) and Rhode Island (1848), forbidding state officials to help enforce the law and refusing the use of state gaols for fugitive slaves.
His observations of the evil effect of vitiated air caused him to devise a "ventilator" (a modified organbellows) by which fresh air could be conveyed into gaols, hospitals, ships'-holds, &c.; this apparatus was successful in reducing the mortality in the Savoy prison, and it was introduced into France by the aid of H.
We hear 3 of " Brownists " in London about 1585, while the London petitioners of 1592 refer to their fellows in " other gaols throughout the land "; and the True Confession of 1596 specifies Norwich, Gloucester, Bury St Edmunds, as well as " many other places of the land."
The administration of gaols in India can be described more favourably.
The sulphate of quinine and the cinchona febrifuge thus produced are issued for the most part to medical officers in the various provinces, to gaols, and to the authorities of native states; but a large and increasing amount is disposed of in the form of 5-grain packets, costing a farthing each, through the medium of the post-offices.
Idleness, drunkenness, vicious intercourse, sickness, starvation, squalor, cruelty, chains, awful oppression and everywhere culpable neglect - in these words may be summed up the state of the gaols at the time of Howard's visitation.
Hostile critics were not wanting; many voices were raised in protest against the ultra-humanitarianism which sought to make gaols too comfortable and tended to pamper criminals.
Still the progress of improvement was extremely slow, and the managers of gaols still evaded or ignored the acts.
Many local authorities grudged the money to rebuild or enlarge their gaols; others varied much in their interpretation of the rules as to hard labour and the hours of employment.
A new committee sat in 1863, and in its report again remarked in no measured terms upon the many and wide differences that still existed in the gaols of Great Britain as regards construction, diet, labour and general discipline, "leading to an inequality, uncertainty and inefficiency of punishment productive of the most prejudicial results."
These considerations gained strength and led at length to the introduction of the Prison Bill which became law in 1877, by which the control of all gaols was vested in a body of prison commissioners appointed by and responsible to the home secretary.
The smaller gaols for short terms are mostly on the cellular plan.
Its powers of inspection extend over 5 semi-state institutions, 33 county insane asylums, 69 gaols, 48 poor-houses, 50 private benevolent institutions and 206 police stations and lockups.
Seditious journals were suppressed; gaols and fortresses were crowded with prisoners; the upper house, which was hostile to the dictator, was deprived of its judicial powers and reconstituted on a less democratic basis (as in 1826); the district and municipal councils were dissolved and replaced by administrative commissions nominated by the Crown (Jan.
He at once granted an amnesty to political prisoners, of whom the Roman gaols were full; two years later (March 1848) he issued a constitution to the papal states, and seemed about to throw in his lot with the forces making for Italian independence.