Prison Systems and the Law

Topics: Prison, Punishment, Criminal justice Pages: 2 (549 words) Published: March 4, 2013
Prison Systems and The Law


BUS 311 Business Law 1

Final Assignment Week 5

Instructor Samantha Hodapp

January 8, 2013

Prison Systems and the Law

Prison’s have been around for two centuries; beginning in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The prisons system’s back then were much different then they are today. In the 1700’s it was common custom for the jailer or sheriff to provide a bar, charging inflated prices to the prisoners for spirits. In Chester County, Pennsylvania, the English custom of charging for various other services was also in force, e.g. fees for locking and unlocking cell doors, food, heat, clothing, and for attaching and removing leg irons to a court appearance (Johnston, 2008). Back then the only purpose of prisons was to punish criminals, persons awaiting trial. Unfortunately, there was a lot of unusual punishment, beatings and many who were punished that were not guilty. In this paper, I will discuss prison systems, the law, and issues inmates face inside and outside of prison.

State Prisons

State Prisons have come a long way since two centuries ago, but one thing that never changes is the problem of overcrowding. At the end of 2001, state prisons systems were operating between 1 percent and 16 percent above capacity, while federal prisons were 31 percent above their rated capacity and with these percentages the authorities were worried for the staff and inmates health and safety would their ever rise a epidemic of proportion or a serious violent outbreak or even a fire. In 1790, Philadelphia opened its doors to the Walnut Street Jail, the first so-called penitentiary in America. The design of this jail came from Sir Thomas Beaver who opened the Goal at Wymondham in Norfolk, England, in 1785. The purpose of this new penitentiary was to look for more human and reform-oriented alternative to death and corporal punishment of the days. Jeremy bentham, the Utilitarian...
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