History of State and Federal Prison

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History of State and Federal Prison

By | Feb. 2013
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History of State and Federal Prison
According to "History Of State And Federal Prisons" (July 7, 2011), “State prisons are primarily operated by state governments. Overcrowding is a persistent problem in most state and federal prisons. By the end of 2001, state prisons were operating between 1 and 16 percent over capacity. This makes the prisons more difficult to operate, and puts the health and safety of inmates and staff at risk. The prison systems known today are based on eighteenth century Age of Enlightenment. The Walnut Street Jail was the first “so-called” penitentiary opened in the United States. The most common name for this system of prisons today is the “Department of Corrections.” There are merely more than 1 million men and women housed in the confinements operated by the states. Most of the states started with only one state prison, and now they have grown to as many as 100 in the state of Texas. The type of institution that the states used to start their initial prison on was based off of the Auburn model, and was expanded from their based on the special needs (women and younger offenders) was accepted. May 14, 1930 marked the birth of the Federal Bureau of Prisons which was created by an act of Congress by President Herbert Hoover. The first U.S. Penitentiary was an old military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; this penitentiary began to house prisoners in 1895. The third penitentiary was the first newly constructed federal prison and was opened in 1902 in Atlanta, Georgia. Institutions were being added one by one, but s, and housed just over 13,000 inmates. The now famous federal prison Alcatraz was opened in 1934. Alcatraz was opened against the wishes of the BOP. Bates and his aides in the BOP headquarters viewed Alcatraz as an unnecessary “political stunt”, but J. Edger Hoover of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), and the attorney general and key congressional officials had Alcatraz created anyways.”

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