Captured: Portraits of Crime 1870-1930, James Dwyer

James Dwyer, a 25 year old postal official born at Camden Park, the ‘great feudal estate’ of the Macarthur-Onslows, was photographed at Darlinghurst Gaol on 17 June 1899 the day after he  had been convicted of forgery and uttering.

"Examples of Dwyer’s handwriting were provided by his employer and these matched the forged postal orders and envelopes. ...The judge gave Dwyer seven years penal servitude...stating that Dwyer’s punishment would act as a deterrent to others.

As his sentence was longer than three years, Dwyer fell into the class of prisoners considered most dangerous and intractable. Under the Crofton system, which was introduced into NSW prisons in the 1870s, such prisoners served the first nine months of their sentence in solitary confinement." See the full story in the e-catalogue (p. 69) »

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