Crime And Punishment Analysis Essay

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Our topic for this paper is Crime and Punishment. There are

several different issues on this subject. We chose three main points

to talk about: The Crimes, the People who solved them, and the

different types of punishments. These are the topics we chose for our


Crime in the nineteeth century was rapid though out London.

But because of all of the poverty and sickness in the streets, crime

was the only way to survive. Most of the crimes that took place in

London were crimes that involved stealing. Pickpocket gangs and

street gamblers were a regular sight when walking down a major London

street. Prostitution was also a big money maker on the streets, done

by both girls and boys. But crimes though out the middle class and

rich were mostly property crimes and disputes which made up 90% of all

crimes committed by the upper-class. In Victorian England and like

today there a two categories which crimes fall under. Indictable

which is the same as our felony crimes that make up all of the major

crimes. These crimes consist of: Murder, armed robbery, burglary,

larceny, rape, and assaults on the police. The next called category

is called Summery crimes which is equal to our misdemeanor crimes.

Summery crimes were all minor crimes such as: Property crimes,

Vagrancy, Drunkenness, Prostitution, Minor Larceny , and all other

minor offenses.

Probably the most famous criminal in the Victorian period

was Jack the Ripper . Jack the Ripper was the first modern sexual

serial killer ( Sugden, pg.2) Jack’s trademark was the killing of

female prostitutes. But not only did he kill them, he would

surgically remove organs and intrails and place them near the dead

body. Jack the Ripper wasn’t his only nickname, he was also called

the Whitechaple murder because the body’s were found near the

Whitechapel Road, and The Leather Apron because of a man that would

come by and beat up the prostitutes for no reason. Jack the Ripper is

credited for 9 killings, but police think that he might be responsible

for more. All of the killing accrued with in one square mile. Jack

is described as carrying a long knife in which he would cut open his

victims, and a black Gladstone bag, the contents of which is unknown.

( Sugden, pg.1) Jack the Ripper’s identity is unknown which is

probably why this case is so famous. It is rumored that Jack the

Ripper was a member of the royal family, and that people knew of his

identity but wanted to keep it a secret.

The London Metropolitan Police system was created in 1829,

after the public need for security has been told to the government.

The Police Department consisted of 3000 policemen. The Policeman then

were poorly paid. A constable’s usual pay was 19 shillings, a week.

An inspector got around 2 pounds, and some of that money was taken

off for the cost of there uniform. There uniform was a blue tail coat

with there number and letter of their division on the collar and hat.

There only weapon was a short wooden baton. The government had a hard

time finding recruits. Most of there men were old soldiers, and many

of them were dismissed from the force for drunkenness. Later on the

force started to become a real Police force, and the people of London

appreciated it. The officers also were given many nicknames such as:

Blue devils, peeler, and bobby. In 10 years the London Metropolitan

Police Force cut the number of crimes in London by half. The crimes in

Victorian England did not go without it’s punishments. In early

Victorian England Public hanging’s were watched by many people, and

the stocks were placed in the center of town where people would look

at you and even beat you and humiliated you. But in 1838 the ending

of all public tortures and executions gave way and became out lawed.

These things lead to the building of prisons. In 1730 the

prisons were at there worst and were not made for long term offenders.

These prisons were so bad because they were privately owned and the

owners used the inmates for working purposes. They also shipped these

men to other businesses for money paid to the prisons by the

companies who needed cheap workers. The prisons lacked sewage and

heat which made for horrible working conditions sometimes deadly

working conditions.

The prisoners life was a horrible one. They worked fourteen

hours a day taking only short breaks for lunch and dinner. You only

got lunch and dinner if you had money to pay for it or unless someone

gave you some of their food or a visitor gave you some food. It was

awful because these prisons were there to make money through any way

they could by having inmates pay to get there shackles off or paying

for a private room or for a room with your friend it was usually a

pretty bad room but it was still better than the others. Due to the

new law of no more public hangings there was a great amount of over

population. This over population meant trouble for the prisoners

because the prisoners who really didn’t commit bad crimes were killed

in jail by the guards. So now the prisoners who went to jail were

there to be executed or if they weren’t there for that it would mean

they were shipped to factories, Australia or new prisons set up the

Queen or King of England. It’s a shame these men women and children

were so mistreated over such little crimes but it made the crime rate

go down. ( Mitchell pg’s 638-41 )

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