Twentieth Century Penitentiary System

Topics: Prison, Criminal justice, Penology Pages: 2 (402 words) Published: August 28, 2010
Twentieth Century Penitentiary System

Deidria Davis

Axia College of University of Phoenix


According to the timeline given by Eastern State Historical website virtually all prisons designed in the nineteenth century, worldwide, were based on one of two systems: New York State's Auburn System, and the Pennsylvania System these models influence today’s penitentiary system to this day. During the next hundred years following Eastern State's construction, more than 300 prisons in South America, Europe, Russia, China, Japan, and across the British Empire were based on this plan. One significant change to the system was in 1923, when female prisoners were removed to a new prison at Muncie whereas in 1831 the very first female prisoner was received. Solitary confinement also was officially abandoned in 1913 at Eastern State. It was interesting to note that for the first time prisoners were able to eat in a dining hall which had been adapted from the exercise yards, and put up holiday decorations to build morale in 1924. Later in 1958 the city of Philadelphia named Eastern State Penitentiary became a historical site.

According Foster (2006) in our Axia literature, one of the biggest changes to the penitentiary system in the 20th century was the demise of the industrial prison system and the realization and importance of rehabilitation as a main purpose of sending someone to prison. After World War II, the number of specialized prisons grew and a new bureaucracy emerged and is also still in effect today which is: called the state Department of Corrections. Another change which is still affecting the prison systems today is the fact prisons took on a new meaning which reflected the growing role of probation, parole, and other methods of supervising and helping criminals. But symbolically it gave prisons a new mission: rehabilitation. Over the next two decades, prisons would offer an unprecedented number of programs designed to change the...

References: Eastern State Penitentiary Historical Site. No author. (n.d.) Retrieved on December 19, 2009 from website:
Foster, B. (2006). Corrections: The Fundamentals. Published by Prentice-Hall. Pearson Education, Inc.
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