Unbelievable Horrors

Topics: Prison, Criminal justice, Eastern State Penitentiary Pages: 11 (2063 words) Published: August 2, 2014

Monetary Confinements of the Eastern State Penitentiary
Patricia E. Roath
Criminal Justice Administration 201
American Military University
Ekwuniru Nwokeji
In recent years, the lawmakers and criminal justice experts have conveyed alarm regarding the growing prison population in elder prisons, along with the crumbling prison structures housing these inmates. While a majority of individuals agree this issue warrants immediate attention, the concurrence diminishes about how to attack this problem. A review of decisions set into place with laws, it has become clear that monetary confinements of elder prisons have become invisible barriers to the bargaining table. The paper compares the cost of renovating elder prisons to the costs of creating new facilities. This autopsy of decisions delves into the financial aspects of closing down older structures and whether or not it was cost beneficial. The numerous facilities coming into the “over-the-hill” age require an extensive examination to prevent monetary waste in the future.

Monetary Confinements of the Eastern State Penitentiary
A Review of Decisions
The dark side of humanity has existed for millennia. Some would contend that murder is the darkest, vial atrocity blanketing humanity. From the first documented Biblical fratricide involving Cain and Able, to recent homicides plaguing the media outlets, mankind has struggled to prevent these unbelievable horrors and reprimand the convicted. Society did not want these individuals roaming freely, as their unspeakable crimes invoked fear in the mind of every law-abiding citizen. Thus, structures were erected to cage the criminals and further prevent crimes against humanity. As time went on, more and more structures were needed to house the influx of criminals. Existing facilities were running beyond capacity and some were in need of dire repair. The question put forth was, “Is it financially practical to renovate existing structures or to build entirely new ones?” Additional costs factors, such as food, clothing, healthcare, and educational programs, were itemized and incorporated into that equation. Converting elder prisons with substantial monetary confinements may and may not be the best practical solution. Looking into the closure of the Eastern State Penitentiary the following questions can be answered: 1. Was it practical to close the Eastern State Penitentiary? 2. Is it financially beneficial to re-open the Eastern State Penitentiary? 3. Why build new facilities?

4. What are the plans for abandoned U.S. prisons?
Understanding the true reason for this prison closure could answer future questions regarding taking a facility out of operation. Whether it is a court-ordered ruling due to cruel and unusual punishment or asbestos issues creating a health concern, it is necessary to truly evaluate the closure and expose monetary waste.

1Incarceration as a form of punishment was first documented in the 1st millennia BC in the early civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt. Suspected or guilty criminals awaited their death sentence or command to become a slave in underground facilities labeled dungeons. The Ancient Romans adopted even harsher methods of incarceration by building prisons exclusively underground with tight walkways and cells in pitch darkness. (Prison History. n.d.). Time gave way to incarceration reform and the world’s first true prison, the Eastern State Penitentiary, was opened in 1829. Abandoning corporal punishment and harsh treatment of the inmates, the Eastern State Penitentiary was designed with complete and solitary confinement in mind to help the criminal move to reflection and change their criminal ways. Was it practical to close the Eastern State Penitentiary?

Situated on 11 acres near downtown Philadelphia, PA, the Eastern State Penitentiary was considered the most expensive American building during the 1800’s and soon became...

References: "incarceration." Merriam-Webster.com. 2011. http://www.merriam-webster.com Retrieved; 16 Oct 2013
Monjar, Annie. (2001) Do We Really Still Need the Eastern State Penitentiary? Philadelphia Magazine. October 2011. Retrieved from
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