The landing on the First Fleet in January 1788.

The changing scene of crime and punishment
in the nineteenth century fundamentally shaped the establishment and
progression of Australia. England’s urban condition was changing in the
eighteenth and nineteenth for hundreds of years. The Transportation Act (1717)
had legalised transportation as an act of  punishment, and by 1800 it was an important
part of the  British legal system it allowed
criminals to be transported to the colonies to serve their prison sentences. Which
were usually up to seven or fourteen years or for life. When the American
colonies refused  British rule in 1776, other British colonies
became places of convict transportation such as the new south wales  In Australia

New South Wales (NSW) was the
principal convict site, with 775 landing on the First Fleet in January 1788. (Godfrey
and Cox, 2008).  These convicts,  was brought in with their variety  of abilities, exchanges, and as a key part of
offering  of free work, were fundamental
in building the new colony. 265 ref over 168,000 prisoners
were transported from the United Kingdom to Australia. (Godfrey and Cox,
2008).  The Australian mainland
was a ground for experimentation in the treatment of sentenced offenders it was
useful as the criminal was  expelled from
society and being quite cheap – the
state just needed to pay the cost of the journey . (Hirst 1995)  

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During the 1785 – 1840
Transportation was key punishment in dealing with convicts in the  years of 
1785-1840   it  was seen as an alternative to hanging  which the courts were more in favour of this
type of punishment as it did not lead to death.  transportation was introduced in  Australia  to send a message to the public that they
would be removed from society  if  they were convicted of an offence   therefore they would be tempted to break the
law  furthermore it? linked to the theme
of re  as it helped reformed  individuals to  change their ways and  identify their wrongs  .Also benefitted austrailia as
it   removed  criminals and therefore reducing ?crime in
Britain. also   Australia for the British Empire, to help
build up control of region

However, there were different
approaches and disciplines during the eighteenth and nineteenth century such as
death by hanging, imprisonment and hard labour. 
These disciplines however were costly and Britain’s prison system was
overwhelmed with rising numbers of convictions for crime (Hirst, date).   Crimes that
were punishable by transportation were protesting, robbery, rebelling against
British rule and damage to property (ref); also there were other significant
groups of prisoners sent to the colonies including rioters, (the Tolpuddle
Martyrs)., These are  seen as the main reasons of   preferred method of dealing with convicts in
the period .1785- 1840

Overall  there were 
a variety of punishments introduced during eighteenth and nineteenth
century such as death by hanging, imprisonment, hard labour , these disciplines
fit in with  the theory  of punishment . for example, for an offender
to be concealed in a prison it is a form of  imprisonment  as it is a restricting the individuals   rights and limiting the indidvuals  freedom 
and in doing this you  protect society . Hard
labour can be seen as retribution  for
the crime as well as giving the offender an opportunity to reform. Death by
hanging was seen  retribution for the
victim of the crime an eye for an eye a deterrence to the offender and other
potential offenders

The 1777 treatise of John Howard,
the penal reformer, set out plans for review of sentencing, where criminals
would be categorised and served punishments according to the seriousness of
their crime. His plans included new prisons where prisoners would be
incarcerated in cells and put to hard labour under close supervision. Although
Howard’s plans were accepted by the Pitt government and included in the 1779
Penitentiary Act, the prisons were never built due to the expenditure required
(Hirst, 1995). Transportation was seen by the government as being financially
more beneficial in terms of punishing an offender and avoiding the outlay for
the prisons and ongoing costs. However, although on the first fleet of prison
ships that set sail for Australia in 1787 under the command of  Naval Captain Arthur Phillips, treatment of
the convicts was good, Phillips having insisted on a sound, well provisioned
ship,  this was not so for subsequent
fleets. For example, of 750 convicts on the first fleet there were only 32
deaths, there were 267 deaths on the second fleet, representing 25 percent of
the convict passengers, indicating a greater number on the ships and suggesting
considerably less expenditure on the trip (Hirst, 1995). Additionally, it was
felt that transportation would better teach prisoners the value of hard work;
secondly, it would remove the temptation for idle men get up to mischief and
thirdly, it would deter others from committing crime. Another reason was the
need for cheap labour in Australia (Godfrey and Cox, 2008). Low expenditure and
effectiveness as a means of reducing crime and recidivism are seen as the main reasons of transportation as the preferred
method of dealing with convicts in the period 1785- 1840.

Unsure where to put this in paragraph in   However, this apparently unfair approach may
be identified in dynamic optimal punishment theory put forward by Becker (1968)
in Leung (1991), which justifies harsh punishments based on the notion that to
be effective and fair, the punishment must be a multiple of the crime in order
to compensate society for undetected similar crimes and perhaps to deter
further crimes


Jeremy Bentham was keen on New
South Wales and convict transportation to a great extent attributable to his
failed  idea  on the 
‘Panopticon’ jail plot, which was intended to enable a solitary guardian
to watch (- opticon) all (container ) fellow prisoners without them having the
capacity to tell whether they are being watched or not. He trusted this idea as
he felt  that offenders will improve their conduct  and figure out how to function and carry on
well. Bethan was  against transportation his reasons for this :
it was it was costly, uncertain in the punishment it inflicted , unlikely to
reform  because those employing
convicts  were interested in  solely in profit  and 
unable to deter because punishment took place at  distance in new south wales ( Hirst 1995)  ……………………………………)

removing criminals to another land did not seem to have had any effect
on the crime-rate  …  Examples  trying to find  some prisons  were presently viewed as a superior technique
for rebuffing as well as changing offenders and numerous new ones were being
fabricated. Above all else, Australians started to protest firmly to their
nation being utilized as a dumping-ground for Britain’s criminals

Rehabilitation is a key  aim of prison and during  the eighteenth and nineteenth  century incentives were brought in   to
encourage prisoners to change their ways 
The ticket of leave system was first
introduced by Governor Philip Gidley King in 1801. Its principal aim was to
reduce the burden on the fledgling colonial government of providing food from
the government’s limited stores to the convicts who were being transported from
the United Kingdom to New South Wales.  It benefitted those who were looked upon to be
independent they were awarded a ticket of leave   The ticket of leave system was beneficial to
prisoners as  it gave them a goal to
achieve   and many that were released went on to have
successful lives in Australia as it provided a chance for offenders to write
their own wrongs and start a fresh and build a new successful life   ref  (Hirst

In 1837, William Molesworth set up an inquiry , to investigate
transportation and secondary punishment in New South Wales and Van Diemens Land
(Tasmania). This report gained a variety of reactions and concerns voiced
in both the colony and in Britain. Amid its examinations the advisory group
accumulated proof that purportedly showed moral corruption of convict
transportation and the oppressed state of convicts, inferring that
transportation was by and large a disappointment and likened to slavery .

Molesworth found that the task
framework had turned out to be broken and open to mishandle. As per his
examination, the task of convicts to private bosses created unequal treatment
which had nothing to do with the nature of the offenders crime . Far more
detestable, as he would see it, the convict framework empowered prostitution,
abnormality, moral debasement, the making of a criminal class and a breakdown
in lawfulness. The report, alongside broad challenges drove by associations,
for example, the Australasian Anti-Transportation League, saw transportation
abolished to New South Wales in 1840. …..


Transportation to Van Diemans Land (Tasmania)
proceeded until 1852 and to Western Australia until 1868. Molesworth board
(1837-8) censured transportation as costly, not adequately reformatory,
improper, un-reformative   r


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