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Crime And Law Essay

1248 words - 5 pages

Personal Responsibility Essay: Jails and Prisons

Michael Huntoon


May 5, 2014

Mr. Carlos Zuniga

Prisons have always been around, some of the earliest prison which date back to the 1700’s. In Colonia America prisons used public humiliation, workhouses and whips to punish criminals. By the 1790’s prisons in Pennsylvania used inmates for public projects, this is when the ball and chain came into play. Convicts even wore unstylish clothes to prevent them from running away from the projects. Soon after, other colonies started to replace public humiliation of convicts with incarceration. Early lock ups were usually controlled by the local government. During this time ...view middle of the document...

The Mass Prison Era was from 1825 until 1876. The Auburn Prison which was located in New York featured group workshops and hard labor. They whipped the inmates to silence them. They also did not allow speaking or eye contact between the inmates. The Auburn prison has community meals and day labor for all the inmates in which they shared their food together and worked together. The inmates would receive vocational training to help rehabilitate inmates. The state of New York allowed Corporal punishment and hard labor.

The Just Dessert Era started in 1995 and continues today. The prisons today have adopted “zero tolerance” and “get tough” initiatives which increased mandatory sentencing for violent crimes. The circumstances of sentences are now based on the crime rather than the need of the inmate; this means that longer sentences are required. Inmates are now incarcerated due to the natural consequences for which crimes are committed. Inmates that are incarcerated in prisons have limited privileges and also have reduced parole privileges. Some prisons are even returning to variations of the “chain-gang” concept.

A jail is a confinement facility that has the authority to detain adults. Jails are usually ran by the city, county or different regions of the states. There are a couple differences between jails and prison. Most inmates that are detained inside jails have been sentence to under a year. Some inmates may be released to home detention or work release depending on the nature of the inmates’ crime. Due to the number of inmates that go through jails every day there is a limited number of programs and services that are offered. There is different variety of people that are detained in jails juveniles, first time offenders that need protection, sick people, and also women.

Prisons are run by the federal or state government. All prisons have the custodial authority over adults that are sentenced to confinement. The offenders that are housed in prisons were sentenced to a year or longer. Inmates that spend time in confinement are there for crimes that were committed. Inmates do not have access to community based programs, but do have access to drug abuse programs, education and mental health. Prisons can specialize in different categories such as criminal type, male, female, security rating or mental illness.

Jails play an important role in the Criminal Justice system for many different reasons. They can house inmates that have not committed a crime but may need protective custody, for example someone may be a witness to a crime and will be testifying in court but received death threats. This person can be housed at the jail from orders of the judge until the trial is over or so that person cannot leave the state due to being scared. Also jails can hold offenders that are awaiting...

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