Prisons in America
July 22, 2013
Jesse A. Pinzon
July 22, 2013
Prisons in America
The development of the prisons in America has had and continues to have a huge impact on the American country. These prisons continue to expand and develop as time goes on. The American country adapts in ways that are not only beneficial but also in ways that are unfortunate as these prisons continue to develop. The expenses to run and maintain good upkeep for these prison facilities grow substantially as years pass. The main purpose for these prisons is to keep dangerous criminals off the street to provide protection to the American society. Yes this is beneficial, but at the same time unfortunate because these prison facilities in America are packed with unfriendliness and violence. The prisons in America seem to cause extra harms than support for the American society.
The prison industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S (Pelaez par.4). The start of the prison industry began in the 18th century. First prisons in the U.S were established as “penitentiaries” (Sperry 1). Prisons were among the first public buildings built in the new world. In the 18th century, people who couldn’t afford to pay their debts were used as force labor and the time spent working in prison was an alternative way to pay off their debt. Prisons also have been used to lock away political dissidents, the mentally ill, and prisoners of war. The eighteenth century is an interesting era in the history of capital punishment. Crime was much more
prevalent due to the development of early capitalism, the rise of trade, and the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution, which transformed the economy (Lynch par.5). By the late 19th Century, atrocity over prison conditions led to the "reformatory" movement, which struggled to redefine prison's part as that of "reforming" prisoners into typical citizens, by providing education, work, and counseling. New flexible-time sentences, for example, four to seven year prison sentences showed that reform was an adjustable method, and could be finished sooner or later depending on the specific prisoner (Sperry par.4).
The 20th century was characterized by two additional influences of reform. In the 1930s, rural establishments such as San Quentin and Sing-sing saw a huge rise in the size of different facilities, leading to the nickname “Big House”. A key component of these “better prisons” was architecture (Sperry par.5). Efforts to offer more daylight and a less cruel atmosphere were some other major components. In the 1950s, current public scientists took up the treatment of inmates, by providing these prisoners sociologists, counselors, and added new constructions to make more civilized atmospheres. To explain the governments now managing prisons, the beginning of modernism started by switching to the word "Corrections" (Sperry par.5). Prison riots became more mutual and the regularity of prisoner cruelty led to a vocal prisoners' rights movement, despite of the milder “Corrections” approach of the '50s and '60s (Sperry par.5). In the 1970s, judges became more sympathetic to claims of prisoners' privileges, and they started to command important improvements in many situations for prisoners. New justice standards, however, crossed with the new offenses, penalizing laws, and prison population outburst of the "War on Drugs." Funds for rehabilitation instead went to drug Law enforcement. New prison production plans to shrink
overcrowding and increase the odds of rehabilitation hardly were complete before they were full to capacity with drug offenders.
From the 1980s on, prisons have been made in isolated locations and full of severe conditions. Super-maximum security prisons is the peak of "post-modern" prisons, normally found in a secluded area, planned for housing large amounts of...
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