Click on photo for larger view       

Canadian Prison Strap and
the Probation Strap

    In the Great White North, they had "Man-Size Whuppin' Gear." Starting around 1900, straps like this replaced "cats" in the Canadian Federal and Provincial Prisons and continued in use for more than 70 years.
The dimensions we use for the Prison strap ( 3" wide x 30" long x 1/4" thick with 3/8" diameter holes) were taken from a photograph of the original object in the hand of a Warder.

 The size and thickness, based on our experience, are consistent with the goal of intimidating violent felons in adult prisons ... and with the descriptions of the damage done to their backsides with only five or ten strokes. This estimation best fits the descriptions of the Canadian Prison Strap provided by prisoners. Naturally, in consensual play, a "Punisher" might not use quite the full force which the Senior Warders of a more brutal age would have employed.

     If you would prefer a downsized version of the Prison strap, we have added the Probation Strap. It is the same width as the larger version but a significant six inches shorter overall. Those dimensions make it more suited to smaller play spaces while maintaining its serious whuppin' gear reputation.

    However ... it is difficult to ignore's documentation. While prison officials may have minimized the size of the Canadian Prison Strap to mollify anti-corporal punishment reformers, it is equally likely that prisoners would have exaggerated the brutality of their punishment.

   For a more detailed discussion of Prison Strap design, Click Here.

   If you prefer one of either length made with more limber leather ... or if you want colors other than the standard Burgundy handle and Russet Blade -- call or write -- we will be happy to oblige.

Here's what one of our customers said recently:   

    "The Canadian Prison Strap that you made in your stiff, heaviest leather is a gorgeous implement. Truly intimidating to behold and with its narrow handle and holes it is very easy to use at full force (I receive the strap lying down making those over-the-shoulder deliveries very easy!). Lots and lots of burning sting. Wonderful. Amazingly, though, this is the least severe of the three straps you sent me. (although it is definitely more painful than a rattan cane!!!) P"

And, in case you are wondering about its authenticity:

   "I work in a Jail in Canada. I discovered that we still have the Paddle Board ... an apparatus that the Prisoner was strapped to when he got the Strap. This was last used in our Jail in 1955. The Strap went missing around 10 years ago. ... I have been trying to get the few guards that had seen it to describe it to me so I could get a replica made up and "bring it back by popular demand"! No, just as a historical display. I then Googled it and found you guys ... true story. RD"

Prison Strap


3 x 30 long
Probation Strap
3 x 24 long

More About the Prison Strap

    We think ours is a fairly accurate rendition of the Canadian Prison Strap as it was actually used, with the exception that ours does not bear the embossed Canadian Federal Prison Administration seal. As originally specified, the leather is stiff sole bend with eight holes which are supposed to either "increase the speed," "make it hurt more," or prevent the prison strap from turning sideways in mid-stroke. The blade is Russet and the handle is Black or Burgundy.

The Case for a Shorter Wider Prison Strap

   In photographs we have seen where the Prison Strap and a human being were in the same frame, the straps appear to be roughly 36 inches long.

    However, documentation presented by Colin Farrell and "Diogenese" at, suggest that some Prison Straps were both smaller and lighter than we first thought. According to their accounts, the strap was only between 24 and 30 inches long, between 2.5 and 3.5 inches wide and between 1/8 and 3/16" thick. Our solution ... offer both lengths and 3 inches wide.

   Prison officials have also testified that punishment with the Prison Strap was, "rehabilitative, not resented" by the prisoners, and was certainly neither, "cruel nor brutal." By statute, no more than 15 strokes could be inflicted for any one offense --one count of Forcible Rape or Robbery with Violence, for example. After the First World War, the recorded practice was to administer no more than six strokes at any one time and rarely to impose more than 10 for any given offense. However, some prisoners testified to receiving beatings which left them lame and bloodied.

   Since 3/16" thick sole bend leather was commonly used in work boot soles, and since the Canadian prison system ran a shoe- and boot-making factory which produced these straps, we've accepted the 3/16" as most likely. The 1/8" thickness quoted by the prosecutor seems more suitable for use in private school or domestic punishment -- as do the shorter, lighter, wider paddles described by wardens and administrators.

    You can examine more evidence bearing on this question as well as an outstanding body of information on Judicial Corporal Punishment, both historical and current, at: They also have photos of the Straps and the Tables, etc. that were used to secure the prisoner during punishment. It's a site well worth visiting.
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