"I forget, too, at what hour the gates were opened in the morning"

While the gates were unlocked, family and friends were allowed to visit the prisoners in a debtors’ prison, and although a prisoner was not permitted to venture outside the confines of the prison, families residing there were able to come and go.

Charles Dickens wrote about debtors’ prison in more detail in his later novel, Little Dorrit (1855-1857), the first half of which is set in the Marshalsea Prison, where Dickens' father had been detained.