Criminal Irish Drunkards: the Inebriate Reformatory System 1900-1920, Conor Reidy (The History Press Ireland, 2015)
Offering a unique insight into the habitual inebriate offender class in Ireland, this book examines the inebriate reformatory system in Ireland from its foundation in 1900 until its closure in 1920 and the three institutions charged with punishing or rehabilitating habitual drunkards: The State Inebriate Reformatory, The Certified Inebriate Reformatory and The Voluntary Inebriate Retreat. Using registers of inmates, annual reports, court cases and institutional records, Conor Reidy presents a stark account of the ways in which alcohol addiction and lack of opportunity condemned countless Irish victims to lives of poverty, misery and crime in the early twentieth century. The author also looks at the ways in which institutional staff sought to exact reform over the inmates through education, training, religion and discipline. This book profiles a hitherto little‑known system, giving it a place within the historiography of Ireland’s complex web of so-called reformative institutions.