These prisons received all sentenced to short terms of imprisonment, the long-term convicts going to the bagnes (the great convict prisons at the arsenals of Rochefort, Brest and Toulon), while in 1851 transportation to penal colonies was adopted.
The two first were convicts with shaven heads.
Then two pairs of Frenchmen approached the criminals and at the officer's command took the two convicts who stood first in the row.
Well, one night the convicts were gathered just as we are, with the old man among them.
They were naval or military officers in command of the garrison, the convicts and the few free settlers.