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Distributed for Athabasca University Press

Hard Time

Reforming the Penitentiary in Nineteenth-Century Canada

Tracing the rise and evolution of Canadian penitentiaries in the nineteenth century, Hard Time examines the concepts of criminality and rehabilitation, the role of labour in penal regimes, and the problem of violence. Linking the lives of prisoners to the political economy and to movements for social change, McCoy depicts a history of oppression in which prisoners paid dearly for the reciprocal failures of the institution and of the reform vision. Revealing a deeply problematic institution entrenched in the landscape of Western society, McCoy redraws the boundaries within which we understand the penitentiary's influence.


340 pages


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