Report on Female Factory

Evidence Type: Newspaper Report
18 June 1839

By the official return of the state of the Female Factory it appears that there are no fewer than 392 under colonial sentences, out of which eight only are for solitary confinement, the most effectual, or rather the only, punishment cared for by these uncontroulable [sic] creatures. The sentences at the Quarter Sessions on men are as far as practicable based on the solitary confinement system, whereas the sentences on women are in general to the Factory, where they are herded together to perfect one another in iniquity, and are turned loose on the public at the expiration of their sentences, more hardened and more accomplished than ever. Amongst the offices filled by some of the inmates is that of 125 nurses for children; the number of the latter is not stated, but averaging five to each nurse, (a reasonable number), it would give 625. The return has something on the face of it which is inexplicable, and says little for the morality of the female prison population, and yet the controul [sic] of these termagants is a matter so difficult to be accomplished, that it would require a long and complicated consideration to point out an amendment to it.

See Original: “No title,” The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), Tuesday 18 June 1839, p.3