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The Role of Medico-legal Expertise in the Emergence of Criminology in Britain (1870-1918)

Neil Davie
Cet article est une traduction de :
L’expertise médicale et légale dans l’émergence de la criminologie en Grande-Bretagne (1870-1918)

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  • 1 Hardy (Anne), “Development of the Prison Medical Service, 1774-1895”, in Creese (Richard) et al. (e (...)
  • 2 Watson (Stephen), “‘Malingers’, the ‘Weakminded’ and the ’Moral Imbecile’ ; How the English Prison (...)
  • 3 Hardy (Anne), op.cit., pp. 75-6 ; Sim (Joe), Medical Power in Prisons : the Prison Medical Service (...)
  • 4 Anonymous, The Lancet, 7 July 1877, p. 18.

1The beginning of the systematic scientific study of the Criminal in Britain coincided with the emergence of a corps of professional medical officers in the country’s convict prisons. Although the first appointments were made in the 1840s, it was not until the passage of the Act for the Better Government of Convict Prisons in 1850 and the creation of a central Directorate of Convict Prisons that a fully-fledged prison medical service came into existence1. However, the mere presence of medical personnel within Britain’s convict prisons does not on its own explain why certain of their number began to carry out detailed empirical research on the mental and physical characteristics of the prisoners in their charge, nor why this happened in a relatively short period of time at the end of the 1860s and the beginning of the 1870s. The historian Stephen Watson has argued convincingly that it is important to place this research in the very particular context of the role of the medical officer within Britain’s convict prison regime at that time2. Prison doctors had the statutory duty to distinguish between those who were “fit” for work and/or punishment, and those considered “unfit” on physical or mental grounds. In this context, they began to diagnose a mental condition less serious than madness, but one which left those concerned “unfit for discipline”. This was how the term “weak-minded” began to be used ; not so much as a clearly-defined psychiatric condition but as a pragmatic means to identify inmates considered incapable of bearing the punishment regime of the mid-Victorian convict prison. This triage was made more complicated by the fact that prison medical officers were constantly faced with the problem of malingering. Indeed, in their annual reports to their superiors, they referred constantly to the extra workload which malingering represented, and to the fact that their medical colleagues outside the prison walls could have no conception of the difficulties involved3. Occasionally, these views found their way into the medical press. For example, an article from June 1877 published in The Lancet4 noted that :

The medical officers of these prisons have to deal with malingering of every shape and form. The art, in fact, is practiced among convicts with a refinement that baffles description, and seems attainable only by cunning thieves and lazy wretches, who prefer preying on society to earning an honest livelihood, and who for the most part occupy our prisons. All this adds considerably to the difficulties of their work, and if errors of diagnosis are made occasionally, they are generally in the prisoners’ favour.

  • 5 “Reports of the Directors of Convict Prisons”, Parliamentary Papers, 1878-1879, vol. XXXV, p. 177.

2The following testimony by Dartmoor’s medical officer, contained in his annual report to his superiors for the year 1878–95, sets the problem of malingering in the context of the prison doctor’s other responsibilities :

3Another year of anxious work has passed, how anxious, none but a prison surgeon can fully comprehend. Unlike his confrères in the public hospitals he bears an undivided responsibility, together with professional work of the most varied character. Disease in the most anomalous form comes under his treatment, complicated at all times with the possibility of malingering, and also with the possibility of genuine disease being treated as unreal, so clever are some imposters; thus entailing the greatest caution, and guiding the surgeon to err, if at all, on the safe side. In addition to his hospital work, he has in his charge everything relating to health in the prison, so that ventilation, dietary, clothing, work, [and] punishments are all guided by him, the latter especially gives him much thought and anxiety; careful as he must be to make the convicts’ health his first charge, and yet, at the same time, not screen the offender, or seem to interfere with the duties and prerogatives of the discipline authority.

  • 6 McConville (Sean), op.cit., pp. 451-2 ; Davie (Neil), Tracing the Criminal : The Rise of Scientific (...)
  • 7 “Report of the Royal Commission on Transportation and Penal Servitude”, Parliamentary Papers, 1863, (...)
  • 8 Ibidem, p. 333.

4The question of the “fitness” of a prisoner for a particular form of punishment, dietary or work regime might on occasion bring the prison medical officer into conflict with the prison’s “discipline authority”6. In his evidence to the 1863 parliamentary inquiry on penal servitude7, convict prisons director Captain James Gambier alludes to these tensions. He describes “invalids” as “the most troublesome men of all troublesome men to manage ; one hardly knows how to deal with them” ; before adding : “you cannot punish them ; the medical officer will not allow you to do it…” Gambier went on to observe, seemingly with regret, that as many as 1360 out of 8000 inmates in Britain’s convict prisons had been ruled “unfit for transportation” by prison medical officers8.

  • 9 “Report to the Convict Prison Commissioners”, Parliamentary Papers, 1863, vol. XXIV, pp. 15-17.
  • 10 Guy, 1875.

5It was crucial in this context to establish objective criteria for deciding the appropriate punishment for inmates or their “fitness” to undergo a regime of hard labour. It was not just that doctors needed to make rapid and reliable diagnoses, but also the fact that in the event of a challenge to a particular decision, a convincing clinical argument had to be on hand. It was such practical considerations which led British prison doctors to reflect on the nature of the mental and physical defects to be found in the prison population, and the best way of measuring such defects. Such reflection had begun at the very beginning of the 1860s. Just before his death in 1863, Sir Joshua Jebb, the head of the Home Office’s Convict Prison Directorate, ordered a medical census of the country’s 7600 convicts, to be carried out by Dr William Augustus Guy, prison medical officer at Millbank Prison, London9. A second national survey, also undertaken by Dr Guy, was carried out in 187310.

  • 11 Thomson (J. Bruce), “The Hereditary Nature of Crime”, Journal of Mental Science, vol. XV, 1869, pp. (...)
  • 12 Davie (Neil), “Identifier les tueurs-nés”, Le Monde diplomatique, December 2002, p. 31. ; “‘Une des (...)
  • 13 Davie (Neil), Tracing the Criminal : The Rise of Scientific Criminology in Britain, 1860-1918, Oxfo (...)

6At the end of the 1860s and the beginning of the ’70s, a number of articles appeared in medical journals, aimed at pinning down the mental and physical defects of criminals. Researches carried out independently by two British prison doctors, Dr James Bruce Thomson and Dr David Nicolson were published in the Journal of Mental Science between 1869 and 1875. They concluded that there did indeed exist an identifiable “criminal type” among Britain’s criminal class, characterised by a specific set of mental and physical traits11. The idea contained in Nicolson’s and Thomson’s articles that it was possible to identify a facial criminal type, or perhaps a range of criminal sub-types linked to particular crimes, also led to Home Office-sponsored research in the late 1870s. This project, conducted by anthropologist and amateur statistician Francis Galton, aimed to identify a visual criminal type after studying a range of photographic portraits of convicts. The technique developed by Galton, what he called “composite photography”, involved superimposing a series of individual portraits to make one “generic” image. Although the intended application of this research is unclear, it seems likely that the prison authorities were hoping to use Galton’s images to spot future recidivists before they had become hardened offenders ; in short, a Victorian “department of precrime”12. The idea was abandoned when Galton was forced to admit in 1878 that he had been unable to uncover a specifically “criminal” face. Despite this, the sponsor of the project, Sir Edmund Du Cane, head of Britain’s prison system between 1877 and 1895, continued to believe in the existence of a criminal type based on physical features ; a point of view apparently widely shared by the country’s prison doctors in the 1870s and 1880s13.

7While the published research of British prison doctors like Thomson and Nicolson from this period is peppered with references to “criminal types” and physical and mental “defects”, the parallel between their work and the theories of Cesare Lombroso, should not be pushed too far. Unlike the criminal anthropologists, British practitioners from the 1870s and ’80s were not seeking to create a new scientific speciality, nor to carve out a place for themselves in a reformed judicial system. As we have seen, their objectives were determined principally by the practical constraints of their daily workload. There were thus good therapeutic reasons to wish to discover reliable markers – physical as well as mental – for “weak-mindedness”. To begin with, this was as much an administrative as a medical category, enabling a particular prisoner to be spared the rigours of hard labour or a given form of punishment. Only later would the term be given psychiatric content.

  • 14 Rafter (Nicole Hahn), Creating Born Criminals, Urbana, University of Illinois Press, 1997, p. 237.
  • 15 Saunders (Janet), “Quarantining the Weak-minded : Psychiatric Definitions of Degeneracy and the Lat (...)

8But just how were the “weak-minded” to be scientifically diagnosed ? Research on this question was structured by the ebb and flow of forces and pressures operating on prison doctors and senior prison administrators during these years. Without wishing to suggest that mental deficiency is a figment of the medical imagination, it remains the case, as US criminologist Nicole Rafter has noted, that “what is considered to be abnormal, defective, inferior, and dangerous changes over time, … the definition reveals as much about the definers as the defined”14. In fact, as historian Janet Saunders points out, the term “weak-minded” was no doubt in part simply a convenient shorthand for prison officials to describe those prisoners who refused to conform to the model of stoical acceptance demanded of them by the penal regime. By failing to show remorse, such inmates were branded intractable “moral imbeciles”. In other cases, such a label may reveal real mental damage brought on by long periods spent in separate confinement. Then of course there were those prisoners suffering from a variety of forms of mental illness - whether neurological or psychological in origin - and those whose minds had never felt the leavening influence of education, even of the most rudimentary kind. Only a small rump, one suspect, would be diagnosed as congenitally mentally deficient according to modern practice. However, there is simply no way for the historian to reach any substantive conclusions as to the relative proportions of these different groups in Britain’s Victorian and Edwardian prison population15.

  • 16 Davie (Neil), op. cit., p. 17.
  • 17 Radzinowicz (Leon) & Hood (Roger), The Emergence of Penal Policy in Victorian and Edwardian England(...)

9However, in our attempt to understand the “definers”, we can make useful reference to the metaphor I have used elsewhere16 ; that of a series of distorting lenses and coloured filters applied to the magnifying glass of Sherlock Holmes ; each one altering subtly, almost imperceptibly, the perception of the phenomenon under scrutiny. In the case under discussion here, there were lenses or filters which tended to encourage a grim vision of an endemic - possibly growing - level of mental deficiency ; and others which functioned to counsel caution concerning the scale of the problem. Among the forces belonging to the first category was the continuing influence of common sense notions of an in-bred, atavistic or degenerate “criminal class”, cut off from, but constantly threatening to contaminate, the “respectable” working classes. This pessimistic vision of irredeemable criminality also drew strength from the valuable ammunition it provided for beleaguered prison officials. In the 1860s and early ’70s, the latter were under mounting pressure from politicians and public alike, who saw before them a penal system apparently incapable of stemming the rising tide of lawlessness (and this despite state-of-the-art penological theories and copious investment of hard-earned taxpayers’ money in the new penitentiary-type prisons). Finally, among those pressures pushing towards an epidemic-like assessment of the weak-mindedness problem was the professional interest of those prison doctors and psychiatrists seeking to make this category of the prison population the subject of a new medico-penal clinical speciality. For such men, there was an understandable temptation to stretch the evidence on the frequency of the condition to (or perhaps beyond) the limits of the statistical evidence, an exercise made easier by the imprecise nature of official definitions of the condition. With such a “loose and pliable” definition, trying to count the numbers of the mentally deficient was akin, as one pair of researchers have put it, to “measur[ing] with an elastic ruler”, with all the room for personal judgment which such a metaphor implies. Opting for a figure from the higher range of possible estimates offered the tantalising prize of creating an object of study of major importance to the prison medical service, and perhaps to psychiatric medicine as a whole17.

  • 18 Wiener (Martin), “The Health of Prisoners and the Two Faces of Benthamism”, in Creese et al., 1995, (...)

10In the case of prison doctors and administrators, there were, however, also forces pulling in the other direction, away from a tendency to equate all crime with irreversible mental defect. Prison doctors were after all an integral part of the disciplinary machinery of the Victorian prison, and like other criminal justice professionals of the period, they generally had few moral qualms about the quintessentially punitive character of the institutions in which they worked. Though assuming responsibility for the health needs of prisoners might, as we have seen, occasionally bring medical officers into conflict with the demands of prison management, few had any desire to call into question the regime’s fundamental right to impose hard labour and punishment - including corporal punishment - on its inmates. Severity and leniency were, as Martin Wiener has pointed out, two sides of the same penal coin as far as most medical officers were concerned18. The prison was there to punish ; reform, for much of the nineteenth century at least, was a secondary consideration. Only in this way, it was argued, could the Prison effectively deter potential offenders, tempted by the easy pickings of a criminal career.

  • 19 Nicolson (David), “Presidential Address”, Journal of Mental Science, vol. XLI, 1895, pp. 567-91.

11Most prison officials and medical personnel thus had little sympathy for one version of the positivist creed which considered all habitual criminals - or worse, all criminals - to be programmed from birth to wrongdoing, their hereditary defect clearly identifiable by means of standardised anatomical and physiological stigmata. If the prison population could be subsumed entirely in such a description, prisons would need to be converted en masse to “moral hospitals” or perhaps benevolent labour colonies for the terminally criminal, and deterrence of any kind would fall into dangerous abeyance. Moreover, if such institutions saw the light of day, they would require a new kind of specialist, the “criminal anthropologist” ; able to assess the extent to which particular offenders conformed to one of a range of criminal types or sub-types, before assigning them to the appropriate institution for “treatment”. This was Dr David Nicolson’s nightmare scenario for the future, presented in a speech before the Medico-Psychological Society in 189519, with the prison doctor reduced to a mere technician with clipboard and ruler, measuring offenders against an unchanging check-list of criminal stigmata before sorting them like coloured beads into one of several degenerate categories :

I hope the day will never come when, in our official examination into the medical condition of suspected persons, or persons lying in prison upon a criminal charge, we as medical men will be expected to produce our craniometer for the head measurements, and to place reliance upon statistical information as to the colour, size, or shape of any organ.

12In the last decades of the nineteenth century, British prison medical officers would increasingly be drawn towards a new, therapeutic conception of their role, one which went beyond merely sorting prisoners into one of a number of administrative boxes : “fit for punishment”, “fit only for light duties”, etc. As they delved deeper into the darker recesses of the criminal mind - amassing data on the physical and mental traits of the prisoners in their charge - it is not surprising perhaps that prison doctors should have sought a more rewarding, and socially more prestigious function within the prison system than that of the filing clerk, one in fact more in keeping with the growing social and professional status of the medical profession as a whole. After all, medical practitioners on the outside were in a position to heal - or at least attempt to heal - their patients, and were able to draw on an increasing body of knowledge about complex psychological and psychiatric disorders in order to do so. Prison medical officers were keen to share in these exciting new developments, and adapt new treatments to the case of individual criminals, or perhaps come up with suitable treatments of their own. Such a conception of the Criminal was clearly incompatible with one that emphasised the incorrigibility of large swathes of the prison population. Since British criminology was born in this medico-penal context, the occupational priorities of this small, close-knit group of practitioners is of vital importance.

  • 20 “Criminals and Criminal Anthropology”, British Medical Journal, 24 Feb. 1894, p. 427.

13British specialists had other reasons for resisting the call of criminal anthropology. Many feared that the idea of the criminal type carried the risk of recycling old stereotypes of atavistic, low-browed born criminals, thereby pandering to what an 1894 article in the British Medical Journal called the “morbid love of notoriety fostered by the cheap newspapers of the present day with their blood-curdling ‘bills’ and their puffing paragraphs.” It was one thing for penny dreadfuls, broadsheets and popular theatre to feed such unwholesome public interest in the gruesome details of violent crime and the inhuman “monsters” believed to perpetrate them. It was quite another for respectable men of science to sully their hands with notions which, in the view of the journal, represented “a greater danger to society than ‘atypical confluence’ of the fissures of the brain and other signs relied upon by criminological Zadigs”20.

  • 21 Pearson (Karl), “Report upon the aims, methods, progress and results of a statistical investigation (...)

14The eugenicist Karl Pearson made a similar point21, noting that Lombrosian criminology was “dead as a science”, but “as a superstition it is not dead”. He went on :

There is some quality in it which has appealed to the imagination of the unscientific public, whose impressions of the criminal have been gained from hasty newspaper sketches, from the romantic literature of picturesque criminals, from popular pseudo-scientific treatises where accuracy is subordinated to piquancy, and from the galleries of Madame Tussaud.

  • 22 Radzinowicz (Leon) & Hood (Roger), op.cit., pp. 16-19.
  • 23 “Report from the Departmental Committee on Prisons”, Parliamentary Papers,1895, vol. LVI, p. 312.
  • 24 Quoted in Wiener (Martin), Reconstructing the Criminal : Culture, Law and Policy in England, 1830-1 (...)
  • 25 Bailey (Victor), “English Prisons, Penal Culture and the Abatement of Imprisonment, 1895-1922”, Jou (...)
  • 26 “Report of the Royal Commission on the Care and Control of the Feeble-Minded”, Parliamentary Papers(...)

15However, the insidious influence of criminal anthropology was considered to go beyond its contribution to unwholesome public fears of a brachiating criminal “bogey-man”. By painting the criminal as the passive victim of defective heredity, it was argued, the doctrine of an individual’s legal responsibility for his actions could be called into question, thereby undermining the whole philosophical basis of traditional criminal jurisprudence22. It is striking that within the medico-penal Establishment in Britain, emphasis was regularly placed on the relatively small proportion of offenders whose mental and physical defects rendered them legally irresponsible. Thus Dr David Nicolson told the 1895 Gladstone Committee that in his view “a very large proportion” of criminals were sane, and could be considered responsible for their actions23. In similar spirit, fellow prison doctor Dr Robert Gover, in a memorandum commenting on the recommendations of the committee, warned that “weak-mindedness” was an “exceeding vague term”, and that it should not be used to enable “brutish and sensual men” to avoid punishment and hard labour24. There was thus no fundamental contradiction in mainstream British thinking between the tenets of the emerging science of criminology and the paradigm of personal responsibility at the heart of the country’s legal tradition. It was argued that the large majority of offenders were reformable ; a point of view not only in harmony with British jurisprudence, but also with new intellectual and political trends which urged a more interventionist stance in public policy, including in the field of medicine. The force of these optimistic intellectual shifts, emphasised in the work of historians Victor Bailey and Bill Forsythe25, functioned to limit the extent of common ground between Britain’s medico-penal Establishment on the one hand and the Eugenics movement on the other. That being said, the conception of the “problem” of the mentally-deficient habitual offender or recidivist would provide a precarious bridge between mainstream criminological thinking and the Eugenics movement. The eugenicists’ apocalyptic vision of a country overrun with a sexually deviant and highly fertile underclass of intractable petty criminals, a vision that fed on widespread contemporary fears about Britain’s place in a changing industrial and colonial world order, helped convince many politicians, senior civil servants and other policy-makers, that the “care and control of the feeble-minded” (as the title of an influential government inquiry of 1908 put it) was an urgent priority26.

16This sense of urgency, if not necessarily the solutions put forward by the Eugenics movement, rubbed off on Britain’s criminological Establishment. In this context, the reliable identification of feeble-minded offenders - and, crucially, potential feeble-minded offenders (a new outing for the notion of precrime) - became a matter of more than merely academic interest. This is where the “physical stigmata” of crime remained important. With reliable intelligence testing still several decades in the future, visible, outward signs of a “weak-minded” criminal disposition continued to play a valuable role in corroborating the psychiatric diagnosis of the medical practitioner. Indeed, there was near-consensus among British criminal justice professionals on the eve of World War One that this sub-group of feebleminded prisoners could be characterised not only by clinically-observable psychiatric symptoms, but also by distinct (and photographable) inherited physical “stigmata”. It was not that theories explaining criminal behaviour by heredity swept aside those emphasising the role of the social environment. Neither was the reverse true. It was rather that for certain kinds of offenders, particularly those diagnosed as mentally deficient, inherited biological defects were believed to play a crucial role, while for the rest of the criminal population, personal responsibility (mitigated perhaps by unfavourable social circumstances) remained of primary importance.

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Bibliographie

“Criminals and Criminal Anthropology”, British Medical Journal, 24 Feb. 1894, p. 427.

Anonymous, The Lancet, 7 July 1877, p. 18.

Nicolson (David), “The Morbid Psychology of Criminals”, Journal of Mental Science, vol. 19, 1873, pp. 222-32 ; 398-409, vol. XX, 1874, pp. 20-37, 167-185, 527-51, vol. XXI, 1875, pp. 18-31, 225-50.

Nicolson (David), “Presidential Address”, Journal of Mental Science, vol. XLI, 1895, pp. 567-91.

Pearson (Karl), “Report upon the aims, methods, progress and results of a statistical investigation now being conducted for the prison commissioners at the Biometric Laboratory, University College”, University College Library, London, Pearson Papers, 366, [1909 ?].

“Report from the Departmental Committee on Prisons” [Gladstone Commission], Parliamentary Papers, 1895, vol. LVI.

“Reports of the Directors of Convict Prisons”, Parliamentary Papers, 1878-1879, vol. XXXV.

“Report of the Royal Commission on the Care and Control of the Feeble-Minded”, Parliamentary Papers, 1908, vol. XXXV-XXXIX.

“Report of the Royal Commission on Transportation and Penal Servitude”, Parliamentary Papers, 1863, vol. XXI.

“Report to the Convict Prison Commissioners”, Parliamentary Papers, 1863, vol. XXIV.

Thomson (J. Bruce), “The Hereditary Nature of Crime”, Journal of Mental Science, vol. XV, 1869, pp. 487-98.

Thomson (J. Bruce), “The Psychology of Criminals”, Journal of Mental Science, vol. XVI, 1870, pp. 321-50.

Bibliography

Bailey (Victor), “English Prisons, Penal Culture and the Abatement of Imprisonment, 1895-1922”, Journal of British Studies, July 1997, pp. 285-324.

Davie (Neil), “Identifier les tueurs-nés”, Le Monde diplomatique, December 2002, p. 31.

Davie (Neil), “‘Une des défigurations les plus tristes de la civilisation moderne’ : Francis Galton et le criminel composite”, in Michel Prum (ed.), Les Malvenus : Race et sexe dans le monde anglophone, Paris, L’Harmattan, 2003, pp. 191-220.

Davie (Neil), Les Visages de la criminalité : à la recherche d’un criminel-type scientifique en Angleterre, 1860-1914, Paris, Kimé, 2004.

Davie (Neil), Tracing the Criminal : The Rise of Scientific Criminology in Britain, 1860-1918, Oxford, Bardwell Press, 2005.

Forsythe (William J.), Penal Discipline, Reformatory Projects and the English Prison Commission, Exeter, Exeter University Press, 1991.

Forsythe (William J.), “The Garland Thesis and the Origins of Modern English Prison Discipline”, The Howard Journal, vol. 34,3, August 1995, pp. 259-73.

Hardy (Anne), “Development of the Prison Medical Service, 1774-1895”, in Creese (Richard) et al. (eds.), The Health of Prisoners : Historical Essays, Amsterdam, Editions Rodophi, 1995, pp. 59-82.

McConville (Sean), A History of English Prison Administration : Volume I 1750-1877, London, Routledge, 1981.

Radzinowicz (Leon) & Hood (Roger), The Emergence of Penal Policy in Victorian and Edwardian England, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1990.

Rafter (Nicole Hahn), Creating Born Criminals, Urbana, University of Illinois Press, 1997.

Saunders (Janet), “Quarantining the Weak-minded : Psychiatric Defintions of Degeneracy and the Late-Victorian Asylum”, in W.F. Bynum et al. (eds.), The Anatomy of Madness : Essays in the History of Psychiatry, vol. 3, London, Routledge, 1988, pp. 273-96.

Sim (Joe), Medical Power in Prisons : the Prison Medical Service in England 1774-1989, Buckingham, Open University Press, 1990.

Smith (Richard), “History of the Prison Medical Services”, British Medical Journal, vol. 287, 10 December 1983, pp. 1786-88.

Watson (Stephen), “‘Malingers’, the ‘Weakminded’ and the ’Moral Imbecile’ ; How the English Prison Medical Officer Became an Expert in Mental Deficiency”, in Michael Clark & Catherine Crawford (eds.), Legal Medicine in History, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1994, pp. 223-41.

Wiener (Martin), Reconstructing the Criminal : Culture, Law and Policy in England, 1830-1914, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1990.

Wiener (M.), “The Health of Prisoners and the Two Faces of Benthamism”, in Creese et al.(1995), pp. 44–58.

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Notes

1 Hardy (Anne), “Development of the Prison Medical Service, 1774-1895”, in Creese (Richard) et al. (eds.), The Health of Prisoners : Historical Essays, Amsterdam, Editions Rodophi, 1995, p. 60 ; McConville (Sean), A History of English Prison Administration : Volume I, 1750-1877, London, Routledge, 1981, pp. 215-7 ; Smith (Richard), “History of the Prison Medical Services”, British Medical Journal, vol. 287, 10 December 1983, p. 786.

2 Watson (Stephen), “‘Malingers’, the ‘Weakminded’ and the ’Moral Imbecile’ ; How the English Prison Medical Officer Became an Expert in Mental Deficiency”, in Michael Clark & Catherine Crawford (eds.), Legal Medicine in History, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1994, pp. 223-41.

3 Hardy (Anne), op.cit., pp. 75-6 ; Sim (Joe), Medical Power in Prisons : the Prison Medical Service in England 1774-1989, Buckingham, Open University Press, 1990, pp. 56-9.

4 Anonymous, The Lancet, 7 July 1877, p. 18.

5 “Reports of the Directors of Convict Prisons”, Parliamentary Papers, 1878-1879, vol. XXXV, p. 177.

6 McConville (Sean), op.cit., pp. 451-2 ; Davie (Neil), Tracing the Criminal : The Rise of Scientific Criminology in Britain, 1860-1918, Oxford, Bardwell Press, 2005, pp. 70-1.

7 “Report of the Royal Commission on Transportation and Penal Servitude”, Parliamentary Papers, 1863, vol. XXI, p. 330, my emphasis.

8 Ibidem, p. 333.

9 “Report to the Convict Prison Commissioners”, Parliamentary Papers, 1863, vol. XXIV, pp. 15-17.

10 Guy, 1875.

11 Thomson (J. Bruce), “The Hereditary Nature of Crime”, Journal of Mental Science, vol. XV, 1869, pp. 487-98 ; “The Psychology of Criminals”, Journal of Mental Science, vol. XVI, 1870, pp. 321-50 ; Nicolson (David), “The Morbid Psychology of Criminals”, Journal of Mental Science, vol. XX, 1874, pp. 20-37, 167-185, 527-51 ; vol. XXI, 1875, pp. 18-31, 225-50.

12 Davie (Neil), “Identifier les tueurs-nés”, Le Monde diplomatique, December 2002, p. 31. ; “‘Une des défigurations les plus tristes de la civilisation moderne’ : Francis Galton et le criminel composite”, in Michel Prum (ed.), Les Malvenus : Race et sexe dans le monde anglophone, Paris, L’Harmattan, 2003, pp. 191-220.

13 Davie (Neil), Tracing the Criminal : The Rise of Scientific Criminology in Britain, 1860-1918, Oxford, Bardwell Press, 2005, ch.4.

14 Rafter (Nicole Hahn), Creating Born Criminals, Urbana, University of Illinois Press, 1997, p. 237.

15 Saunders (Janet), “Quarantining the Weak-minded : Psychiatric Definitions of Degeneracy and the Late-Victorian Asylum”, in W.F. Bynum et al. (eds.), The Anatomy of Madness : Essays in the History of Psychiatry, vol. 3, London, Routledge, 1988, pp. 279-280.

16 Davie (Neil), op. cit., p. 17.

17 Radzinowicz (Leon) & Hood (Roger), The Emergence of Penal Policy in Victorian and Edwardian England, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1990, p. 458.

18 Wiener (Martin), “The Health of Prisoners and the Two Faces of Benthamism”, in Creese et al., 1995, pp. 44–58.

19 Nicolson (David), “Presidential Address”, Journal of Mental Science, vol. XLI, 1895, pp. 567-91.

20 “Criminals and Criminal Anthropology”, British Medical Journal, 24 Feb. 1894, p. 427.

21 Pearson (Karl), “Report upon the aims, methods, progress and results of a statistical investigation now being conducted for the prison commissioners at the Biometric Laboratory, University College”, University College Library, London, Pearson Papers, 366, [1909 ?], p. 6.

22 Radzinowicz (Leon) & Hood (Roger), op.cit., pp. 16-19.

23 “Report from the Departmental Committee on Prisons”, Parliamentary Papers,1895, vol. LVI, p. 312.

24 Quoted in Wiener (Martin), Reconstructing the Criminal : Culture, Law and Policy in England, 1830-1914, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1990, p. 353.

25 Bailey (Victor), “English Prisons, Penal Culture and the Abatement of Imprisonment, 1895-1922”, Journal of British Studies, July 1997, pp. 285-324 ; Forsythe (William J.), Penal Discipline, Reformatory Projects and the English Prison Commission, Exeter, Exeter University Press, 1991 ; “The Garland Thesis and the Origins of Modern English Prison Discipline”, The Howard Journal, vol. 34,3, August 1995, pp. 259-73.

26 “Report of the Royal Commission on the Care and Control of the Feeble-Minded”, Parliamentary Papers, 1908, vol. XXXV-XXXIX.

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Neil Davie, « The Role of Medico-legal Expertise in the Emergence of Criminology in Britain (1870-1918) », Criminocorpus [En ligne], Histoire de la criminologie, 3. Criminologie et droit pénal, mis en ligne le 11 octobre 2010, consulté le 30 avril 2017. URL : http://criminocorpus.revues.org/316

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