Isle of Man News - POSTED Tue 14-08-2018

New book charts history of Manx prisons

by TH

New book charts history of Manx prisons

800 years of prison history has been compiled into a new book about life behind bars on the Isle of Man. 

Senior Prison Officer Karl Christian has put together the 'History of the Isle of Man Prison Service'. 

The 240 page book charts the history of Manx incarceration from 1229 when the Island's first prison was established on St Patrick's Isle. 

It also covers Castle Rushen - which became the sole prison on the Island in 1780 - a place deemed as the 'wost gaol in His Majesty's dominions' in 1824. 

Castle Rushen was also the site of gallows executions and John Kewish became the last man to be hanged in the Isle of Man in the summer of 1872 after being convicted of the murder of his father.

The book also charts the construction of the Victoria Road jail and the current facility at Jurby. 

As well as the history of the prisons at Peel, Castletown, Douglas and Jurby, the book features many previously unpublished images, gaoler journal entries, copies of original documents, newspaper clippings and details of crimes and punishments.

Mr Christian, who has been a member of the Isle of Man Prison Service since 1997, said: "Researching and writing the book has been a real labour of love.

I've spoken to numerous current and former colleagues and spent many hours looking through old paperwork and photographs.

"It has been a fascinating project and my goal has been to bring some of the amazing stories to life.

"The Isle of Man Prison Service has such a rich history and has been home to some colourful characters, both staff and inmates."

Copies of the History of the Isle of Man Prison Service are available from Manx National Heritage retail outlets, priced £16.99, or by contacting Karl Christian on 891006 or 891060.


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