Convict Living and Working Conditions

Convict Food, Clothing and Work

Living conditions for convicts varied considerably, essentially according to the luck of the draw. A convict who was assigned to a good master might have a comfortable life and be well treated. There were some masters, however, who treated their convicts as no better than slaves.
Good masters would make sure that the convict not only received all the food and clothing that was due, but ensured that good wages were paid for any work done in their spare time. On the other hand, bad masters were known to cheat their convicts, giving them poor food and clothing. They would charge the convict more to buy essentials of life from their own stores than they paid the convict in wages for after-hours work. Frequently the convicts ended up working for nothing.
Regulations set down what convicts were to be provided with when on assignment relating to the work they would be expected to undertake.

 

 

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