Prison Population Growth

Topics: Prison, Crime, Her Majesty's Prison Service Pages: 4 (1165 words) Published: August 6, 2010
The prison population has grown substantially in recent years, what is the explanation for this?

Academic Integrity Statement:

I have read and understood the Academic Integrity rules and regulations for Kaplan Open Learning and the University Of Essex, and declare that this assignment bides by all of the rules and regulations contained within it.

Name: Michael Locke

Module: Introduction to Online Learning

Tutor: Byron Davies

Submission Date: 6th May 2010

The prison population has grown substantially in recent years, what is the explanation for this?

Michael Locke


In this essay I will examine why the prison population has grown substantially in recent years, and the explanation for this. I will observe how the prison service has developed, examine the role the government has adopted, and attempt to see where the current policies will lead.

British prisons were established over 200 years ago. They began life as holding cells for people awaiting trail or for those that could not pay fines. The Penitentiary Act of 1779 was passed by parliament which introduced the first state run prisons. Although only two prisons were built and both were in London, this was the beginning of the Prison Service we know today. Around the mid 1700’s many prisoners were held on ships called hulks awaiting transport to the new world. After the American Revolution more and more prisoners were held on permanently moored ships and the situation was getting out of control. The gaol act of 1823 allowed for the first statement of principles in prison management. It wasn’t until 1853 that the idea of serving a sentence behind bars was conceived as an alternative to being transported to Australia or put to death. In 1877 prisons were nationalised and a prison commission was established to run them. With the advent of the commission came new attitudes to prisoner reform which began a development in the understanding of rehabilitation. This new ideology...
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