Development of Corrections
Throughout the history of the criminal justice system the prison system has changed on many different levels from women in prisons to the separation of juveniles and adults in prison and prison labor. Each of these changes has benefited those involved on different levels overall. The development of corrections has gone through multiple levels of changes and provides a better environment for all prisoners.
Prior to the 1800’s the number of women in prisons was small compared to the number of men. The women in prison primarily consisted of prostitutes and thieves and they were treated just like the men were treated, the only difference was that if a woman was pregnant prior to entering the prison system then their punishment was suspended until after the birth of their babies. Today women and men are housed separately and their feminine needs are met such as health needs and psychological and mental needs as well.
Juveniles at one point were ...view middle of the document...
If there were no separation of adults and juveniles then there is the high possibility that juveniles would incarcerated just as adults would be and for the same crimes. There would also be higher populations in prisons and juvenile offenders could pick up and use ideas from adult criminals to increase the severity of their crimes or to perfect their own crimes, in an effort to prevent being caught when committing crimes once released.
Finally, the purpose of prison labor in the 1800’s was for “convicts to work together under severe discipline to produce goods that would be sold to pay for their own upkeep” (Foster, The Prison as Factory, 2006). However, by the 1940’s during WWII this changed. Prisoners during the war were given the option to either work stateside to make supplies or other necessary items for the troops or were allowed to join the military and fight for our country. Those that chose to stay behind made a multitude of items such as Navy uniforms, cargo nets, bomb noses, shell casings and assist in harvesting crops. Once the war ended the need for hard labor declined and prisons saw an increase in population along with a rise in prison violence. Today, labor is used as a transitioning step for prisoners. Prisoners are educated in a skill or trade which helps them find jobs once released from prison. This is seen as providing prisoners with a stepping stone that may possibly help prevent recidivism.
The corrections system has gone through surmountable changes throughout history. Providing separate housing facilities for juveniles and female prisoners, along with providing health care services for females as well. Prison labor is still used today but is not as harsh as it once was prior to the 1800’s and the use for prison labor has changed direction from providing goods and services to the public to being an educational tool for those re-entering civilization from incarceration. In the future there will be more changes and the correctional system will continue to change by leaps and bounds.
Foster, B. (2006). Corrections: The Fundamentals. Upper-Saddle River NJ: Prentice Hall.
Foster, B. (2006). The Prison as Factory. In B. Foster, Corrections: The Fundamentals (pp. 39-40). Upper-Saddle River NJ: Prentice-Hall.