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Case of Boggo Road Or Classical Criminology

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Although, there were various prions within the years of 1883 to 1999, Boggo road prison till stands out as one of the most influential prisons in Australia. Initially being created for the short-term holdings of male prisoners, Boggo Road eventually work up to holding the Maximum-Security Prison and Women’s Prison until 1999. Through analyzing the theoretical basis and various aims of punishment, including retributivism through deterrence and incapacitation, it can be used to understand that Boggo Road suffered various limitations before its closure. Although there are two main theoretical bases, the classical criminology basis will help in explaining the case of Boggo Road.

Opening on the second of July 1883 and closing in 1999, Boggo Road Prison, formerly known as HM Prison, Brisbane, was initially created for the short-term holdings of male prisoners who were awaiting transfer into the St Helena Penal Establishment. Boggo Road was a short-term housing for male inmates until October of 1903, when a smaller facility on the Boggo Road reserve opened, HM Prison for Women. From 1920, this Number Two Division became the section that housed many offenders severing the longest sentences including violent offenders and murderers. After the change in housing, Boggo Road Prison used practices by the prison officers resulted in clashes, pressures, discrimination, and prejudices throughout the prison. Prison officers began using informal disciplinary, arbitrary practices which included the destruction of prisoners’ personal belongings. After 1973, the prison was renamed to Brisbane’s Prison Complex, where it housed the Reception Prison, Maximum Security Prison, Remand Prison, and the Women’s Prison until 1999, where the prison closed and was turned into a historical sight several years later. Nevertheless, Boggo Road conditions saw indecent bedding, poor eating conditions, and outbreaks of various diseases, while also showing no programs to further help rehabilitate offenders.

Due to there being no programs within Boggo Roads shows the prison followed classical criminology which appeared through the eighteenth century. Due to the time in which Boggo Road was in use, the prison used the theoretical basis of Classical Criminology.

Created by Beccaria and Bentham, classical criminology refers to the idea that individuals are able to make their own choices while understanding their consequences through their free will. Classical criminology works through the concept of deterrence while believing the punishment inflicted non-offenders should be just, reasonable, and severe enough for the crime committed. Boggo Road aimed to great amounts of deterrence and incapacitation in order to prevent offenders from reoffending, while also aiming to stop offenders from the chance of offending crimes. Deterrence refers to the idea that crime is reduced through the fear of individuals toward the punishments given if they offend. Although Boggo Road did not hold serious offenders until the 1920s, through the aim of punishment reductivism, incapacitation further promoted the fear of offending, while protecting society from serious offenders including murderers and rapists in the later years. Furthermore, due to classical criminology during the time Boggo Road was active, prison officers working throughout Boggo Road were often described as having limited intellect, a high level for boredom, while exhibiting extreme levels of alienation and using hostile attitude toward the inmates, unafraid to use strong levels of physical force.

Due to the allowance of physical force used by prison officers, Boggo Road faced various strengths and limitations while in active in prison. Boggo Road suffered various limitations within its time. Firstly, it was discovered through the 1877 Board of Inquiry where the truth of Boggo Roads’ environments came to light. The prison held very poor conditions, prisoners began complaining of indecent bedding, poor eating conditions, and outbreaks of various diseases, due to the late modernization of the prison. Once women joined the prison in 1903, the prison found itself heavily overpopulated within the small space they were provided with. Due to the male prison being sufficiently overcrowded, the decision was allowed to move the women into Number Two Division, a smaller facility on the Boggo Road reserve. In 1984, the Sir David Longland Report into the HM Prison was released, and this report outlined various limitations within Boggo Road. Many of the limitations noticed where to do with classical criminology and the separation of prisoners and prison officers where officers believe they were able to use harassment as a form of punishment towards offenders within Boggo Road. Although there are several limitations within Boggo Road, there were also some strengths to the prison. Boggo Road focused heavily on the deterrence and incapacitation aims of punishments in order to prevent offenders from reoffending. while also aiming to stop offenders from the chance of offending crimes. Through the knowledge of punishment deterrence and incapacitation where able to instill fear throughout the community as a way to deter and minimize crime. However, because Boggo Road did not hold serious offenders until the late 1920s, this strength of reductivism was able to help while protecting communities of Brisance from higher ranking, serious offenders.

Through analyzing the theoretical basis and various aims of punishment, including retributivism through deterrence and incapacitation, it can be used to understand that Boggo Road suffered various limitations before its closure. Although there are two main theoretical bases, the classical criminology basis will help in explaining the case of Boggo Road. Prisons continue to change significantly under the changes of society. Boggo Road prison still continues to stand out as one of the most influential prisons within Australia. Although the prison was originally being created for the short-term holdings of male prisoners, Boggo Road eventually work up to holding some of the longest offenders including violent offenders and murderers up until 1999.

Reference List:

  1. Boggo Road Gaol Historical Society. (2020). Inside Boggo Road. Retrieved August 5, 2020 from https://www.boggoroadgaol.com.au/2015/10/1883-1903-male-prison.html
  2. Cavadino, M., Dignan, J., & Mair, J. (2013). Justifying Punishment. In Cavadino, M., Dignan, J., & Mair, J (Eds.), The Penal System: An Introduction (5, pp. 32-57). Sage.
  3. Finnane, M., & Woodyatt, T. (1987). Queensland Prisons: Boggo Road Burns Again. Legal Service Bulletin. https://heinonline-org.ezproxy.usc.edu.au/HOL/Page?collection=journals&handle=hein.journals/alterlj12&id=35&men_tab=srchresults
  4. Gilbert, J. M. (1997). The Illusion of Structure: A Critique of the Classical Model of Organisation and the Discretionary Power of Correctional Officers. Criminal justice Review, 22(1), 49-64. https://journals-sagepub-com.ezproxy.usc.edu.au/doi/pdf/10.1177/073401689702200105
  5. Longland, D. (1984). The Efficiency, Management and Design of Prisons: Part C. Queensland Government. https://www.publications.qld.gov.au/dataset/e7460a9c-a033-474b-b8f9-427cff6c11a3/resource/4fdff99a-0869-4360-9f27-ee870657bfc8/fs_download/csreviewfinal4prisons.pdf
  6. Robertiello, G. (2014). Classical Criminology. The Encyclopedia of Theoretical Criminology. 1(1), 1-4. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/9781118517390.wbetc089

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Case of Boggo Road or Classical Criminology. (2022, August 30). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 5, 2022, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/case-of-boggo-road-or-classical-criminology/
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