Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

The Prison in Malta: 1850 – 1870 and 1931 – 1951.

By Sandra Scicluna


This thesis explores, through archival research, the development of the modern prison in Malta at two important points in its history. The date of the inception of Corradino prison in 1850 and the enactment of the 1931 regulations influenced by the Patterson reform. It takes a three-pronged approach of prison regulations, prison practice and prisoners to explain the happenings of the prison. This archival research also explores the tenth and twentieth year from the enactment of the regulations to enable an analysis of the adoption of prison practice vis-à-vis the prison regulations through data categories. Each era is explored through the architectural structure, the prisoners’ profiles, the prison routine, the prison discipline, the prisoners’ work, their diet and the workers in prison (the data categories) which feed and were fed by the hypothesis which in turn feed the theoretical approach which also inspired the hypothesis.\ud This research confirms the three hypotheses under study. The first, being that, the prison regulations moved from being aimed at deterrence and retribution to the punishment of the soul and rehabilitation. The second hypothesis addressed prison practice in that it moved from being austere to a softer mode of punishment. The third hypothesis concluded that the prisoners’ profiles did not change much during a hundred years. These hypotheses were analysed through a four-pronged theoretical approach, which the researcher called ‘change in thinking’, ‘change in sensibilities’, ‘commitment to discipline’ and ‘the needs of the state’.\ud This thesis starts with a short introduction, followed by the literature review where the theoretical perspective is explained. This in turn leads to an explanation of the method and the problems encountered during the research. The data from the research is presented in four chapters. The first two chapters analyse the 1850-1870 era while the second two chapters, address the 1931-1951 era. The concluding chapter brings together the findings from the previous chapters and accepts the hypotheses. The research shows that the Maltese authorities were heavily influenced by the English colonial powers in the running of the prison. However, in 1850 the running of the Maltese prison seems more advanced than that of the English prison, while in 1931 the opposite is true, with the Patterson reforms, having to wait until after the war to be put in practice

Publisher: University of Leicester
Year: 2004
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (1986). A demographic profile of Malta and Gozo. Malta: doi
  2. (1978). A just measure of pain: The penitentiary in the industrial revolution 1750-1850. doi
  3. (1990). A matter of record. doi
  4. (1994). A reader on punishment. doi
  5. (1994). Abductive inference: Computation, philosophy and Technology. Cambridge: doi
  6. (1968). An illustrated history of medicine.
  7. (1982). An illustrated history of modern Europe 1789-1974.
  8. (1875). An introduction to the principles of morals and legislation. London: doi
  9. (1986). Architettura delle prigioni: I luogi e il tempo della punizione (1700-1880).
  10. (1988). Aspects of British Colonial Policies and Maltese Patterns of Behaviour. In
  11. (1972). Bliet u rhula Maltin.
  12. (1964). British policy towards religion, ancient laws and customs in Malta.
  13. (1977). Capital: A critique of political economy: doi
  14. (1999). Care or custody? Mentally disordered offenders in the Criminal Justice System. Oxford: doi
  15. (1878). Causes of criminal behaviour. In
  16. (1969). Causes of delinquency. doi
  17. (1988). Church and state in an island colony.
  18. (1922). Class status and party. In doi
  19. (1980). Concluding Observations. In G.G. Iggers and H.T. Parker (Eds.) International handbook of historical studies: Contemporary research and theory. doi
  20. (1999). Crime and power: A history of criminal justice 1688-1998. doi
  21. (1999). Crime and punishment in England: A sourcebook. doi
  22. (1997). Crime, inequality and sentencing.
  23. (1916). Criminality and economic conditions. In doi
  24. (1998). Criminological perspectives: A reader. doi
  25. (1914). Criminology Reprinted by Patterson Smith
  26. (1961). Delinquency and opportunity: A theory of delinquent gangs. doi
  27. (1956). Delinquent boys: The culture of the gang London: doi
  28. (1980). Deportation,
  29. (1931). Dictionary of sociology.
  30. (1977). Discipline and punishment: The birth of the prison. (Traslated by Alan Sheridan). doi
  31. (1999). Doing time: An introduction to the sociology of imprisonment. London: doi
  32. (1975). Durkheim, Bernard and epistemology. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. doi
  33. (2000). Emotive and ostentatious punishment: Its decline and resurgence in modern society. doi
  34. (1988). Everyday life in Malta in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
  35. (1946). Existence and consciousness. In
  36. (1988). Features of an economy island.
  37. (2000). From social justice to criminal justice: Poverty and the administration of criminal law. doi
  38. (1985). From the panopticon to Disney world: The development of discipline. In
  39. (1994). Gender and crime. In doi
  40. (1989). Historical address at the Australian bicentennial international congress on corrective services,
  41. (1994). Human development and criminal careers. In doi
  42. (2000). Il-habs: L-istorja tal habsijiet f’Malta mill-1800. Malta:
  43. (1998). Incarceration of criminals: Prisons and jails in social and organisational context. Oxford:
  44. (1992). International pocket library:
  45. (1985). Introduction to theories of personality. doi
  46. (1994). Introduction: Thinking about punishment. In
  47. (1998). Introduction. In doi
  48. (2002). Is-sorijiet tal-karita` u l-hidma taghhom f’Malta.
  49. (1995). Justice administration: Police, courts and corrections.
  50. (1942). Juvenile delinquency and urban areas. doi
  51. (1999). Knowledge, domination and criminal punishment revisite: Incorporating state socialism. doi
  52. (1933). Labour market and penal sanction: Thoughts on the sociology of criminal justice. In
  53. (1978). Law and Marxism: A general theory.
  54. (1971). Law order and power. doi
  55. (1991). Library, media and archival preservation: A handbook ABC-CLIO,
  56. (1931). Lights in the cells are put out Source: Adapted from NAM, Prison Regulations
  57. (1958). Lower class culture and a generating milieu of gang delinquency. doi
  58. (2001). Making sense of probation: A history of professional discourse. Unpublished doctoral dissertation:
  59. (1988). Maltese colonial identity: Latin Mediterranean or British Empire? In V.
  60. (1964). Medical history of Malta. doi
  61. (1990). Medical power in prisons: The prison medical service in England 1774-1989. doi
  62. (1996). Mistiden tar-re.
  63. (1931). NAM, CCP Administration Circulars 2/9/1931 NAM, CCP Administration Circulars 46/1931 NAM, CCP Administration Circulars 71/1931 NAM, CCP Administration Circulars 136/1951 NAM, CCP Daily Duties by Principal Officer, Division 4,
  64. (1933). New introductory lectures on psychoanalysis. doi
  65. (1999). Norbert Elias and the civilised prison. doi
  66. (1998). Of the development of the propensity to crime. In doi
  67. (1944). On the treatment of the offender in the Maltese island. Malta: Government Printing Office.
  68. (1963). Outsiders: Studies in the sociology of deviance. In doi
  69. (1979). Party politics in a fortress economy: The Malta Experience. Malta:
  70. (1990). Penal discipline, reformatory projects and the English prison commission, doi
  71. (1998). Perfecting the prison: United States, 1789-1865. In
  72. (1764). Perspectives in criminal law.
  73. (2002). Policing: A short history. doi
  74. (1998). Prison before the prison: The ancient and medieval worlds. In
  75. (1999). Prison Labour: Salvation or Slavery?
  76. (1996). Prison policy and practice.
  77. (1996). Prison systems: A comparative study of accountability in doi
  78. (1998). Prison: Between the law and social action. In V.Ruggiero, N. South and I. Taylor (Eds.). The new European criminology: Crime and social order in Europe. doi
  79. (2000). Probation and Probation Services: A European Perspective. The Netherlands: Wolf Legal Publishers.
  80. (2002). Punishment and civilization. doi
  81. (1990). Punishment and Modern Society: A study of social theory. doi
  82. (2001). Punishment and sentencing: A rational approach.
  83. (1939). Punishment and social structure. Colombia: Russell and Russell. doi
  84. (1985). Punishment welfare: A history of penal strategies. doi
  85. (1975). Rajt Malta tinbidel: It-tielet ktieb.
  86. (1974). Rajt Malta tinbidel: It-tieni ktieb.
  87. (1974). Rajt Malta tinbidel: L-ewwel ktieb.
  88. (1977). Rajt Malta tindidel: Ir-raba’ ktieb.
  89. (1994). Reductivism and deterrence.
  90. (1966). Relative deprivation and the concept of reference group.
  91. (1984). Relative deprivation. In
  92. (1998). Reparation, retribution and rights. doi
  93. (1983). Research based on administrative records. doi
  94. (1996). Shock incarceration and positive adjustment during community supervision: A multisite evaluation. doi
  95. (1893). Social classes and conflict. In
  96. (1938). Social structure and anomie. doi
  97. (1971). Sociological perspective.
  98. (1980). Some recent trends in social history.
  99. Sommario della storia della legislazione in Malta. Malta:
  100. (1931). Source: Adapted from Prison Regulations
  101. (1979). Subject of enquiry – A Victorian commentary on a modern dilemma.
  102. (1973). The aetiology of female crime.
  103. (1998). The body and the state: Early modern Europe. In doi
  104. (1939). The civilisation process: ii. State Formation and Civilisation.
  105. (1997). The concept of punishment. In
  106. (1998). The contemporary prison: 1965-present. . In
  107. (2001). The contents of the interview may also be view in - Mangion,
  108. (1895). The criminal type in women and its atavistic origin. . doi
  109. (2001). The culture of control: Crime and social order in contemporary society. doi
  110. (1998). The decline of the rehabilitative ideal. In doi
  111. (1893). The division of labour in society. doi
  112. (1996). The effective corrections manager: Maximising staff performance in demanding times. doi
  113. (1972). The English prison officer since 1850: A study in conflict. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. doi
  114. (1998). The Failure of reform: United States, 1865-1965. In
  115. (1981). The future of corrections. In
  116. (1959). The holy family bible.
  117. (1990). The Jail: Managing the underclass in American society. doi
  118. (1986). The king’s guests in Uganda: From internment to independence. Malta:
  119. (1994). The Maltese community in metro Toronto. In
  120. (1895). The normal and the pathological. In
  121. (1971). The premenstrual syndrome’ Illinois: Charles C.
  122. (1998). The prison on the Continent: Europe, 1865-1965. In
  123. (1998). The problem of false positives.
  124. (1979). The punitive city. In doi
  125. (1984). The spectacle of suffering: Executions and the evolution of repression. Cambridge: doi
  126. (1967). The subculture of violence: Towards an integrated theory in criminology. doi
  127. (1982). The value of rehabilitation. In
  128. (1998). The Victorian Prison: England, 1865-1965. In
  129. (1998). The well-ordered prison: England,
  130. (1958). Theoretical criminology. (1st edition). doi
  131. (1902). Two laws of penal evolution. doi
  132. (1994). Using documents.
  133. (1994). Victims. In doi
  134. (1999). Victorian Prison Lives: English prison biography 1830-1914. doi
  135. (1984). Violence and society in early modern England.
  136. (1991). Why punish? Theories of punishment reassessed.
  137. (1997). Women in the labour market: A Maltese perspective. Malta:
  138. (1998). Young people and youth justice. doi
  139. (1994). Youth, crime and society. In doi
  140. (1996). Youth, policing and democracy. doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.