Corrections Purpose and History
The history of punishment is a unique one, since the dawn of man human kind has punished one another. Man did not merely throw someone in a chamber and let them contemplate their crimes such as we do in today’s society; rather, during those early times, punishment was harsh and swift. Criminals were not drawn through the litigation processes; instead, they were found immediately guilty of a crime and brought forth to be punished in an open forum, serving to the masses as an example of the consequences of crime. The early forms of punishment in Europe varied greatly but all forms were meant to inflict unimaginable pain upon the recipient, and it is from the European methods of imprisonment from which the U.S. drew inspiration. Punishment such as crucifixion, burning on pyres, guillotines, and gauntlets are but a few examples of what methods were utilized as early methods of punishment in early Europe. This illustrates the underlying ideology that punishment should be administered with two principles in mind, deterrence and retribution. Purpose and History
Methods of imprisonment introduced near the turn of the eighteenth century England inspired and revolutionized the way we punish and house inmates. In England during the fifteenth and sixteenth century’s corporal punishment reined supreme. Public beatings were carried out in the streets with whips; beheadings and torture were the norm for serious crimes; and enslavement was common for petty offenders. During the seventeenth century in England and other European countries, imprisonment for lesser offenses started to occur but conditions were less than desirable or humane. These facilities were overcrowded, unsanitary, and, worst of all, gender/age neutral, which meant that male felons frequently took liberties with incarcerated women and children ("Incarcerated: The History of the Penitentiary from 1776-Present", 1997). The American Colonies quickly embraced the idea...
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INCARCERATED: THE HISTORY OF THE PENITENTIARY FROM 1776-
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Colvin, M. (1997). Penitentiaries, Reformatories, and Chain Gangs: Social Theory and the
History of Punishment in Nineteenth Century America. : St. Martin’s Press.
Seiter, R. (2011). Corrections an Introduction (3rd ed.). Upper saddle Hall, NJ: Pearson/Prentice
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