The Dartmoor Convict Prison Riot, 1932: Wild Happenings on the Moor

  • Alyson Brown


No major historical event occurs in isolation. Even though this chapter seeks to focus closely and directly on the prison riot that broke out in Dartmoor Convict Prison on Sunday 24 January 1932, to restrict examination to the events of the riot itself would be so limiting as to distort and possibly mislead. Large-scale prison disturbances, such as a riot, have contexts, precursors or triggers as well as repercussions which help to illuminate the individual, institutional and social tensions which compose the backdrop to the main event. In the days immediately before the Dartmoor riot, one harrowing assault best illustrates some of the elements within the prison’s internal interpersonal relationships and cultures which served to increase tension and insecurity. Indeed, a prison doctor at Dartmoor was later to suggest that the assault intensified the existing strained atmosphere in the prison.1


Corporal Punishment Prison Staff Penal Policy Main Gate Prison Authority 
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Copyright information

© Alyson Brown 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alyson Brown
    • 1
  1. 1.Edge Hill UniversityUK

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