History of Prisons

Topics: Prison, Penology, Death Penalty Pages: 10 (3369 words) Published: July 21, 2001
History of Prisons
Intro to Corrections
Dale L. Smith


· Dreidger, Sharon Doyle, and Kevin Marron. "Canada: Special Report--The Prison System." Maclean's. Toronto, Canada. April 15,1996 p.24+. · "Haiti: Human Rights Practices, 1995." Country Reports of Human Rights Practices for 1995. March 1996.

· Hongda, Harry W. "A Grim Organ Harvest in China's Prisons" World Press Review. June 1995. p. 22-23.
· Lawrence, David Aguila. "In Latin America, Revolting Jail Life." Christian Science Monitor. April 14, 1997. p.6.
· "Prison." Microsoft Encarta. 1993.
· Swift, Richard. "Criminal Justice" New Internationalist. August 1996. p.7-22. · "The Russian Federation: Broken Promises and Shattered Lives." Amnesty International News. London, England. June 1996 p.3-6. · "Turkey: Prisoners on Hunger Strike Close to Death-Stop Ill Treatment of Prisoners Says Amnesty International." June 13,1996.

1.Illustration 1 n
2.Illustration 2 n
3.Illustration 3 n
4.Illustration 4 n
5.Illustration 5 n

1.Table 1 n
2.Table 2 n
3.Table 3 n
4.Table 4 n
5.Table 5 n


According to Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia, prison is an institution for the confinement of persons convicted of criminal offenses. Throughout history, most societies have built places in which to hold persons accused of criminal acts pending some form of trial. The idea of confining persons after a trial as punishment for their crimes is relatively new.

During the 15th century in Europe, the penalties for crimes were some form of corporal punishment like whippings for less serious crimes and execution or enslavement for more serious offenses. In early 16th century England, vagrants and petty offenders were committed to correctional institutions known as workhouses. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, the government transported convicted felons to the English colonies. The punishment was thought of as the hard labor to which the prisoners were consigned. It wasn't until the 17th century that the idea that persons convicted of crimes could be punished by confinement and released after a period of time. During the 17th century, England and other European countries like Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands began imprisoning debtors, delinquent juveniles, minor misdemeanant, and felons. Early jails were mostly dark, overcrowded, and filthy. Prisoners were herded together indiscriminately, with no separation of men and women, the young and old, the convicted and unconvicted, or the sane and insane. In America the concept of imprisonment came because of deep religious beliefs. The English Quaker William Penn abolished the death penalty for most crimes in the late 1600's and substituted imprisonment. The Pennsylvania legislature replaced capitalpunishment with incarceration as the primary punishment for felons in 1789. By the mid-19th century most states had followed suit. Two models of prisons emerged in the United States. The first system began in Auburn State Prison in New York in 1817. Prisoners worked together in total silence during the day, but were housed separately at night. Strict discipline was enforced, and violators were subject to severe reprisals. The second model, the Pennsylvania system, begun in 1829 in the Eastern State Penitentiary at Cherry Hill, was based on solitary confinement for convicts by day and night. There was a lot of debate about the two systems. People who favored the Pennsylvania model focused on its hope of rehabilitation, the theory being that a felon alone in a cell with only a Bible to read would become penitent. This is where the term penitentiary came from. The Auburn system was criticized as being virtual slavery, because prisoners were...

Bibliography: TaskWizard to help you quickly and easily create a bibliography for your paper. Pick the same style as your footnote style.
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Prison History Essay
  • History of Prisons Essay
  • History of the Prison Essay
  • History of State and Federal Prisons Essay
  • Jails and Prisons History and Development Final Research Paper
  • history Essay
  • Essay about Prisons
  • the history of prisons in kenya Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free