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  • "Boodle jails" were jails in the United States, predominantly during the nineteenth century, in which a tramp or hobo could make an illicit arrangement with a law enforcement officer to stay in the jail without being an actual prisoner. For example, between 1893 and 1899, the Welsh tramp-poet W. H. Davies took advantage of this corrupt system in order to pass the winter in Michigan, staying in a series of different jails. Here, with his fellow tramps, Davies would enjoy the relative comfort of "card-playing, singing, smoking, reading, relating experiences and occasionally taking exercise or going out for a walk."

    December 28, 2015