Certified Reformatories

Published in Uncategorized

Wexford Gaol—St Brigid’s Certified Inebriate Reformatory for Women was housed within. (Stephen Farrell/NIAH)

Wexford Gaol—St Brigid’s Certified Inebriate Reformatory for Women was housed within. (Stephen Farrell/NIAH)

The state reformatory was one of three institutions provided for by the 1898 act and the only one to be managed by the prison system. Certified reformatories were established and operated privately, perhaps by a local authority or religious order. Inmates could be detained there by the courts and those deemed to be progressing well in the less-desirable state institution could be sent to the more favourable conditions of the certified reformatory. Inebriate retreats were somewhat more exclusive, set up and run by private individuals or charities and only available to those who could afford to pay. Two certified reformatories were set up in Ireland. St Patrick’s Reformatory in Waterford began admitting men in 1906, while St Brigid’s in Wexford opened its doors to women in 1908. An inebriate retreat for Protestant women was opened in Belfast in 1902 under the patronage of the Irish Women’s Temperance Union. All of these ‘lesser’ institutions were subjected to government monitoring by way of annual inspections and reports.

'


Copyright © 2022 History Publications Ltd, Unit 9, 78 Furze Road, Sandyford, Dublin 18, Ireland | Tel. +353-1-293 3568