November 12, 2011
Dr. Kay Carter
History of State and Federal Prisons
Jails date back to very early civilization; prisons came some time later. Some of the earliest jails that are documented are the Walnut Street Jail and the High Street jail. Prisons began being built in 1790; the first prison was at Walnut Street Jail when they added a new cell house to the existing structure dedicated to housing criminal’s long term. The Federal Bureau of Prisons was developed on May 14, 1930 and was created by an act of Congress lead by President Herbert Hoover. The first stand alone U.S. Penitentiary was an old military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and began housing criminals in 1895 ("The Official Website Of Chester County, Pennsylvania", 2011). Overcrowding became a problem in the prisons quickly, causing a need for more prisons to be built. Prison reform became a top discussion and priority around the early 1900’s.In the first prisons it was thought that prisoners should work deligently while in the prison; this was done for some time until the government prohibited the transport of prison made goods across state lines. State and Federal prisons have been around for over 100 years and even though it is not perfect some changes have been made, but where the changes made for the better or worse.
The Official Website of Chester County, Pennsylvania. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.chesco.org/prison/cwp/view.asp?a=3&q=607064