Daniel J. Bailey
March 17, 2013
Penitentiary Ideals and Models of American Prisons
Many centuries ago law officials in our country got together to come up with a way to improve on our prison systems. The finished product after all the bugs were worked out was the penitentiary. The penitentiary was created to be a somewhat stepping stone in the evolution of our prison system and its main purpose was to somehow rehabilitate those that were housed there.
When the penitentiary was first created its purpose was suppose to be both spiritual and also secular in nature (Foster, B. 2006). The penitentiary is a place where a criminal did his time for a crime he had committed. The ideal penitentiary should be a safe place for someone serving their time and they should not be subjected to any physical punishment by other prisoners or the staff. While in the care of penitentiary officials an incarcerated person would be exposed to various programs that are aimed at changing their bad behavior so they can become law abiding citizens once they are released. The penitentiary had a main goal when it came to those it housed and it was to rehabilitate. Prisoners were to be kept busy doing productive duties and not sitting around being idle since this lead to them getting into trouble. Many of the penitentiary founders were very religious men and they believed that the penitentiary was also a place of penitence where a prisoner could think about the wrong they had done and hopefully change for the better (Foster, B. 2006).
In the 1800’s there were two main prison models in place that all prisons were based off of. The first was a system called The Pennsylvania System. The second system was called The Auburn System. The two systems were based on two totally different styles of keeping prisoners in check. The Pennsylvania system was based...