History of Penitentiaries
May 12, 2014
History of Penitentiaries
The prison system is a very important component of our society. The prisons house and rehabilitate offenders to ensure that once they do get released they will no longer be a danger to the community they live in. In the early 16th century the very first prison opened and through out the centuries the prison system evolved to what we have now. This paper will cover the history of punishment, prison development, a comparison of the Pennsylvania system and the Auburn system, and the impact and involvement of prison labor over time. (Seiter, 2011)
In the early 16th and 17th century ...view middle of the document...
” “In 1799, the Penitentiary Act specified that goals should be built for one inmate per cell and operates on a silent system with continuous labor. In the 19th century the first prison opened in Milbank, London; that held 860 prisoners.” (Howard League, 2014) In 1993, the government took over the prison services, this allows the government to implement all prison policies. Also, in the 1990’s many private funded prisoners began to open. (Howard League, 2014)
Corporal punishment is one the first method of punishment used. Sanctions of criminal behavior tended to be public to cause the person to feel ashamed, hoping that this will deter others from committing crimes. Public response to crime was extremely brutal, also included torture. The type of punishment used was the ducking stool, the pillory, whipping, branding, and stocks, but the majority of the sentences were the death penalty. The punishments that were related to the crime they committed. For example, if they stole something their finger would get cut or if they cheated on their wife they would get “A” branded on their forehead for adultery. (Seiter, 2011)
The Pennsylvania System opened the first two prisons, one in Pittsburgh in 1826 the second in Cherry Hill in 1829. This kind of prison was known as the “separate and silent” system. The inmates were not allowed to talk or see to each other to prevent them from influencing by other prisoners. But, this system had many problems: it was almost impossible to keep inmates from seeing or talking to each other, it was very expensive to operate a prison like this, prisoners were expected to work alone in their cells and this did not allow for as much productivity, and lastly solitude made the inmates mentally ill. The Auburn System opened a prison in 1817 based on the design of the Pennsylvania model. Although, the Auburn model was different than The Pennsylvania model in many ways. The cells were back to back and stacked five tiers high to make it easier to keep inmates separate. Originally this prison adopted the “separate and silent” model but soon determined that the problems that affected Pennsylvania were too serious to over come. They soon determined that it would be a good idea to keep them alone at...