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The preference for the separate system of solitary confinement quickly became penal orthodoxy in England: within six years of Pentonville's construction, fifty-four new prisons modelled after it were built.28 In 1865 the English Prison Act prescribed the system of separate confinement for all prisons in England.29 In this and in other respects the act embodied recommendation of the Carnarvon Committee Report of 1863, which had concluded:

In all questions of prison discipline, it appears to the Committee that the principle of separation ...stands first for consideration ...the system generally known as the separate system must now be accepted as a foundation of prison discipline and ...its rigid maintenance is a vital principle to the efficiency of county and borough jails ...The Committee are of the opinion that the principle of separation should be made to pervade the entire system of the prison and no adequate reason has been assigned for the relaxation of the rule in school, chapel or in exercise.3O

In the words of a modern commentator, the recommendations of the Carnarvon Committee 'mark the eve of an era in which prisoners were to suffer conditions even more rigorous than before, and in which separate confinement was acknowledged to be, not a curative and cleansing process, but a grim and sustained punishment.'31

By the second half of the nineteenth century, solitary confinement predominated as the preferred disciplinary regime in Europe, particularly in France, Germany, and Belgium. Albert Krebs, commenting on the influence of John Howard on the prison systems of Europe, writes:

Development of solitary confinement on the Philadelphia model continued in France as in the rest of Europe. A German judge, Noellner, maintained in 1841 that of the European Commissioners sent out to North America to look at the prison system, not a single one, on his return, did not prefer the Philadelphia system. The First International Prison Reform Conference in Frankfurt am Main in 1846 also commended solitary confinement with only a few dissenting votes. Specialists in the civilized countries had already reached a large measure of agreement on the subject.32

In Canada, the principal recommendation of the Brown Commission for the unification of the two disciplinary models with the initial period of imprisonment to be served under the separate system was not implemented. Although the Penitentiary Act of 1851 authorized the construction of up to 'fifty solitary cells with a workshop attached to each cell adapted to carry out the "separate" or "solitary" system of discipline,' this authorization was not acted upon.33 In 1851, as in 1834, the separate system remained a more expensive system to operate, both because of the higher construction costs associated with the larger cells and the fact that individual cell-work was less remunerative than congregate labour with its possibilities of prisoner work contracts with outside employers.

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