Friday, July 10, 2009

Prison Classes

In Woking Convict Invalid Prison, there were 5 classes of female prisoner, each wearing a different costume.

Probation class = first nine months of prison life
Third-class = second nine month period of prison life
Second-class = third nine month period of prison life
First-class = fourth nine month period of prison life
Special class = within nine months of expiration of sentence

From what I can gather, the uniforms (or costumes) were as follows:

Probation class = lilac cotton skirt with blouse bodice, a chequered blue and white apron, cap and bonnet and square of brown serge for the shoulders. This was replaced by a thick blue serge dress in winter.

Third class = plain blue skirt in summer, this being replaced by a brown serge dress in winter.

Second class (and first class) = a spotted skirt in summer, replaced with a thick green serge gown in winter.

Special class = "princess" robe of dark grey striped flannel.

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