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Record Instructions
Hunger Strike in British Prisons 1913-1940

Messages to Prisons Regarding Hunger Strike Records

On August 20, 1913, and again on September 4, 1913, the Prison Commission in the Home Office sent the following letters to all prisons and correctional facilities in Britain, instructing the Governors to keep records of hunger strikes not related to the Women's Suffrage movement.


 

Prison Commission,

Home Office,

Whitehall, S.W.

20th August, 1913.

17508/5 CC.

 

CONFIDENTIAL.

Memorandum to all Prisons,

Borstal Institutions and

State Inebriate Reformatories.

            (to be retained).

1. In order that information may be readily forthcoming, if required, as regards the abstention from food by prisoners other than those received in connection with the women’s suffrage movement, Governors are requested to keep a careful record of the following particulars of every such prisoner who abstains from food, viz:-

Name,

Particulars of commitment.

Date of refusal to take food.

Dates when forcible feeding is reported to,

            and number of times so fed.

Mode of forcible feeding.

Date when prisoner resumes taking food

            naturally.

Reason, if any, given by the prisoner for

            refusing food.

             The reception of prisoners in connection with the women’s suffrage movement is, in accordance with the Memoranda of the 5th and 8th May last, reported to the Commissioners and daily reports on them are called for, so that information regarding this class of prisoner is received under that memoranda and they need not be included in the Record above referred to.

2. When cases of abstention from food occur, Governors, in addition to keeping a record as above, should report the fact with the prisoner’s particulars of commitment to the Commissioners. This instruction is supplemental to that in Standing Order 287.

 

J. WINN,

                  Secretary.


Prison Commission,

Home Office,

Whitehall, S.W.

4th September, 1913

17508/5CC

CONFIDENTIAL.

Memorandum to all Prisons, Borstal Institutions

and State Inebriate Reformatories.

(To be retained and substituted for the Memorandum of the

20th August, 1913.)

1. In order that information may be readily forthcoming, if required, as regards the abstention from food by prisoners other than those received in connection with the Women’s Suffrage movement, Governors are requested to keep a careful record of the following particulars of every such prisoner who abstains from food, vis.,

Name and age

Particulars of commitment.

Date of refusal to take food.

Dates when forcible feeding is resorted to, and

            number of times so fed.

Mode of forcible feeding.

Date when prisoner resumes taking food naturally.

Reason, if any, given by the prisoner for refusing food.

            The reception of prisoners in connection with the Women’s Suffrage movement is, in accordance with the Memoranda of the 5th and 8th May last, reported to the Commissioners and daily reports on them are then called for, so that information regarding this class of prisoner is received under those memoranda and they need not be included in the Record above referred to.

2. In addition to keeping this record at the Prison, it is desirable that the Commissioners should know the facts as they occur. Governors therefore will be good enough to report as follows:-

(a)  When wilful abstention of food has continued for three days;

(b)  When wilful abstention from food has rendered forcible feeding necessary; in which case the method adopted should be stated;

(c)   If the abstention continues, a report should be made once a month.

In reports under (a), (b), and (c), the particulars of conviction and age should be given.

(d)  When the prisoner resumes taking food naturally, in which case the particulars at A should be given.

When cases are reported as above, forms will be sent to Governors for their use in c communicating with the Commissioners under (c) and (d).

3. If at any time special circumstances arise as regards the prisoner’s health which, in the opinion of the Medical Officer, may interfere with the course of forcible feeding, the Commissioners should be informed.

4. These instructions are supplemental to those in Standing Order 287 Local and 215 Convict.

J. WINN,

                        Secretary.