Crime, justice and punishment in colonial Hong Kong : Central Police Station, Central Magistracy and Victoria Gaol (Book, 2020) [WorldCat.org]
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Crime, justice and punishment in colonial Hong Kong : Central Police Station, Central Magistracy and Victoria Gaol

Author: May Holdsworth; Christopher Munn
Publisher: Hong Kong : Hong Kong University Press, [2020]. ©2020.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Standing close together in a compound on a hillside above Victoria Harbour, the Central Police Station, Central Magistracy and Victoria Gaol were a bastion of British colonial power, a symbol of security, law and punishment. This walled city in the heart of Hong Kong’s Central District is now restored as a heritage and arts centre known as Tai Kwun. Maintaining law and order in a turbulent place like Hong Kong —  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: May Holdsworth; Christopher Munn
ISBN: 9888528122 9789888528127
OCLC Number: 1159798167
Description: v, 331 pages : illustrations (chiefly color), maps (some color) ; 26 cm
Contents: Part 1: CENTRAL POLICE STATION : Barrack Block and Headquarters Block --
A Colonial Police Force --
Turning Points --
Part 2: CENTRAL MAGISTRACY : Building the Magistracy, 1847-1914 --
Magistrates, Society and the Law in Colonial Hong Kong --
One Million Cases: Glimpses of the Magistracy, 1841-1941 --
Part 3: VICTORIA GAOL : A Relic of Victorian Prison Design --
‘The Question of Insufficient Accommodation’ --
‘Hope Dies!’ - Entering the Gaol --
Punishment, Resistance and Release.
Responsibility: May Holdsworth & Christopher Munn.

Abstract:

"Standing close together in a compound on a hillside above Victoria Harbour, the Central Police Station, Central Magistracy and Victoria Gaol were a bastion of British colonial power, a symbol of security, law and punishment. This walled city in the heart of Hong Kong’s Central District is now restored as a heritage and arts centre known as Tai Kwun. Maintaining law and order in a turbulent place like Hong Kong — lying ‘within a rifle shot of the mainland of China’ and with a largely unsettled population — was far from straightforward. In the early decades of the colony the police force was a byword for incompetence and corruption. As the 19th century gave way to the 20th, political policing became a growing preoccupation as waves of strikes, boycotts and agitations shook the colony. The Magistracy administered a form of cheap summary justice heavily adapted to the needs of colonial Hong Kong: well over a million predominantly Chinese people were sentenced there between 1841 and 1941. Many went to prison for petty offences because they could not pay their fines; others were flogged or exposed in the stocks as a warning to others. In the overcrowded, unsanitary Victoria Gaol, the regime vacillated uneasily between a belief in the need for harsh deterrent punishment and an optimistic faith in reform and rehabilitation. This richly illustrated book draws on a wealth of sources to offer a vivid account of those three institutions from 1841 to the late 20th century. It is firmly focused on people and their stories, weaving across a social landscape populated by captains superintendent and magistrates, gaolers and constables, thieves and ruffians, hawkers and street boys, down-and-outs, prostitutes, gamblers, debtors and beggars — the guilty as well as the innocent."--

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