As a podcast companion to our next Books & Brews read, Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace, we interview Dr. Linda Mahood, a Professor of History at the University of Guelph, about crime and criminal justice in 19th century Canada. We take a look at the ways in which the upper classes of the Victorian Era used crime as a way to control the working classes, and especially women of the working class.
We also bring this conversation into the St. Catharines context by exploring how the Port Dalhousie Jail and the Lincoln County Jail might have operated in the 1800s. To shed some light on our questions, we found an article written in the 1867 St. Catharines Constitutional with statistics about the prisoners held at the Lincoln County Jail the previous year. What can this tell us about crime in St. Catharines in the mid-nineteenth century? Listen to the podcast to find out!