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Chapter XII. Prisons and Jails. Early Punishments. Flogging Mutilation Branding Public Humiliation Workhouses Exile. Flogging Through Middle Ages most widely used form of punishment in England Used by American colonists as well as on the Western frontier.

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chapter xii
Chapter XII
  • Prisons and Jails
early punishments
Early Punishments
  • Flogging
  • Mutilation
  • Branding
  • Public Humiliation
  • Workhouses
  • Exile
early punishments3

Through Middle Ages most widely used form of punishment in England

Used by American colonists as well as on the Western frontier

Last officially sanctioned flogging in U.S. – Delaware – June 16, 1952 – burglar received 20 lashes

Early Punishments
early punishments mutilation
11th century England – blinding, cutting off of ears, ripping out tongues of individuals who poached on the King’s land

Amputation has been part of some societies by:

cutting hands off of thieves

blinding spies

castrating rapists

removing tongues of blasphemers

breaking fingers of pickpockets

Early Punishments:Mutilation
early punishments branding
Early Romans, Greeks, French, and British used branding

Served to readily identify individuals who had been convicted of some offense

1829 – British Parliament outlawed branding

Early Punishments:Branding
early punishments branding6
U.S. – branding was customary in the colonies

first offenders branded on the hand

repeat offenders branded on the forehead

women were rarely branded – instead they were shamed and forced to wear marks on their clothing

Early Punishments:Branding
early punishments public humiliation
Ducking stool – a see-saw device to which offender is tied and lowered into a lake or river

Brank – birdcage like contraption that fit over head. Door on front by mouth is fitted with a razor blade which enters mouth when door is closed

Early Punishments:Public Humiliation
early punishments public humiliation8
Stock – person sits with hands locked in a wooden structure – head is free

Pillory – person forced to stand because of wooden structure that closed over head and hands

Early Punishments:Public Humiliation
early punishments workhouses
Early Punishments:Workhouses

Early form of imprisonment designed to foster habits of industry in the poor

  • 1557 – first workhouse opens in England
  • Former British palace called St. Bridget’s Well
  • nickname “Brideswill” which became synonym for workhouse
early punishments exile
Practice of sending offenders out of country

Hebrews sent goat carrying sins of man into desert to be exiled

French sent offenders to Devil’s Island

Russia sent dissidents to Serbia

England sent offenders to the colonies beginning in 1618 – program called “transportation”

American revolution stopped practice of transportation

Early Punishments:Exile
early prisons middle ages
Early Prisons:Middle Ages

First prison existed in Europe – 1400 & 1500s – for debtors

penitentiary era 1790 1825 walnut street jail

Converted to prison by Quakers

Study of bible was primary method

Goal was to provide religion and humanity to imprisoned

Offenders held in solitary confinement

Penitentiary Era (1790-1825):Walnut Street Jail
penitentiary era 1790 1825 walnut street jail13

Became known as the “Pennsylvania System”

Handicrafts were introduced allowing prisoners to work in their cells

Penitentiary Era (1790-1825):Walnut Street Jail
penitentiary era 1790 1825
Penitentiary Era (1790-1825)
  • 1826 – Western Penitentiary opened in Pittsburgh, PA
  • 1829 - Eastern Penitentiary opened in Cherry Hill, PA
  • Other states followed:




New York

mass prison era 1825 1876
Introduced “congregate,” but, silent style

Offenders ate, lived, and worked together in silence

Corporal punishment was used for rule violators

From 1825 onward – most prisons built in U.S. followed Auburn system

Became known as the “Auburn System”

New York State Prison at Auburn

Mass Prison Era (1825-1876)
reformatory era 1876 1890
Reformatory Era (1876-1890)

Based upon use of indeterminate sentence and belief in rehabilitation

Reformatory movement is the result of the work of two men:

  • Captain Alexander Maconochie
  • Sir Walter Crofton
reformatory era 1876 1890 captain alexander maconochie
Reformatory Era (1876-1890):Captain Alexander Maconochie
  • Warden of Norfolk Island prison off of coast of Australia in 1840s
  • prisoners at Norfolk were “doubly condemned”
    • They had been “transported” to Australia because of crimes they had committed and then they committed additional crimes while in Australia
reformatory era 1876 1890 captain alexander maconochie18
Reformatory Era (1876-1890):Captain Alexander Maconochie
  • prisoners at Norfolk were “doubly condemned” (con’t.)
    • Maconochie developed “mark system”
    • prisoners could earn credits to buy their freedom
    • negative behavior caused marks to be lost

Mark system constituted first “early release” program

  • Maconochie became known as “father of parole”
reformatory era 1876 1890 sir walter crofton
Reformatory Era (1876-1890):Sir Walter Crofton
  • Head of Irish Prison System
  • Adapted Maconochie’s early release program
  • Set up four-stage program
    • Entry stage– offenders placed in solitary confinement and given simple, unmotivating work
reformatory era 1876 1890 sir walter crofton20
Reformatory Era (1876-1890):Sir Walter Crofton
  • four-stage program (con’t.)
    • Second stage – offenders worked on fortifications at Spike Island where they were housed
    • Field Unit stage – offenders worked on public service projects in the community
reformatory era 1876 1890 sir walter crofton21
Reformatory Era (1876-1890):Sir Walter Crofton
  • four-stage program (con’t.)
    • Ticket of Leave stage – allowed offenders to live and work in community under occasional supervision of “moral instructor”
reformatory era 1876 1890 sir walter crofton22
Reformatory Era (1876-1890):Sir Walter Crofton

Ticket of Leave could be revoked at any time and offender would serve remaining time of sentence in prison

Crofton believed that reintegration into community was necessary for success of rehabilitation

reformatory era 1876 1890 elmira reformatory 1876
Reformatory Era (1876-1890):Elmira Reformatory (1876)

Zebulon Brockway was warden at Elmira

A leading advocate of the indeterminate sentence

Elmira accepted only first time offenders between ages 16-30

reformatory era 1876 1890 elmira reformatory 187624
Reformatory Era (1876-1890):Elmira Reformatory (1876)

System of graded stages requiring offenders to meet goals in:

  • education
  • behavior
  • other appropriate goals
reformatory era 1876 1890 elmira reformatory 187625
Reformatory Era (1876-1890):Elmira Reformatory (1876)

Training made available in such areas as:

    • telegraphy
    • tailoring
    • plumbing
    • carpentry
  • The movement proved to be a failure
industrial prison era 1890 1935
Southern Prisons

Farm labor

Public works projects

Goal – to maximize use of offender labor movement began in industrial northeast U.S.

Northern Prisons

Smelted steel

Made furniture

Molded tires

Industrial Prison Era: (1890-1935)
industrial prison era 1890 193527
Types of Offender Labor Systems

Contract system

Piece-price system

Lease system

Public account system

State use system

Public works

Industrial Prison Era: (1890-1935)
industrial prison era 1890 193528
Piece-price system

Goods produced for private business inside of prison

Prisoners paid according to number and quality of goods they produced

Contract system

Private business paid for rent of inmate labor

Private business provided raw materials and supervised manufacturing process inside of prison

Industrial Prison Era: (1890-1935)
industrial prison era 1890 193529
Lease system

Prisoners taken outside of prison to work

Once at work site – private business people took over supervision and employed prisoners

Public account system

Industries owned entirely by prisons

Prisons handled manufacturing of goods from beginning to end

Finished goods sold on free market

Industrial Prison Era: (1890-1935)
industrial prison era 1890 193530
Public Works system

Prisoners maintained public roadways, cleaned public parks, maintained and restored public buildings

State Use system

Prisons manufactured goods ONLY for use by the prison or government agencies

Prisons could NOT compete on the free market because of inexpensive labor advantage

Industrial Prison Era: (1890-1935)
industrial prison era 1890 1935 hawes cooper act 1929
Required prison goods to conform to regulations of the states through which they were shipped

States that outlawed manufacture of free market goods in their own prisons thereby prevented shipment of prison made goods from other states under this act

Act came about as a result of complaints by labor that they could not compete with cheap prison labor

Industrial Prison Era: (1890-1935)Hawes-Cooper Act (1929)
industrial prison era 1890 1935 ashurst sumners act 1935
Specifically prohibited interstate transportation and sale of prison made goods where prohibited by state law

Act came about partly as a result of the Depression

Ashurst-Sumners Act effectively ended industrial prison era

Industrial Prison Era: (1890-1935)Ashurst-Sumners Act (1935)
punitive era 1935 1945
With moratorium on prison industries – prisons reverted back to custody and security as main goals

Large maximum security prisons evolved in rural “out-of-sight” locations

Punitive Era (1935-1945)
treatment era 1945 1967
Development of behavioral techniques in 1930s and 1940s brought about concept of treatment in prisons

Treatment based on “medical model”

Individual and group therapy programs evolved

Treatment Era (1945-1967)
treatment era 1945 196735
Types of therapy programs:

Behavioral therapy



Sensory deprivation

Aversion therapy

Treatment Era (1945-1967)
treatment era 1945 196736
Behavioral therapy

structured to provide rewards for approved behavior while punishing inappropriate behavior


Use of drugs – especially tranquilizers to modify behavior

Treatment Era (1945-1967)
treatment era 1945 196737

Used to control aggressive behavior and destructive urges – frontal lobotomies were part of this approach

Sensory deprivation

Denial of stimulation by isolating prisoners in quiet, secluded environment

Aversion therapy

Drugs and/or electric shock used to teach prisoner to associate negative behavior with pain and displeasure

Treatment Era (1945-1967)
community based treatment era 1967 1980
Community-Based Treatment Era (1967-1980)
  • Relies upon resources of community instead of prison
  • Plan is to keep offender in the community
  • Half-way house – community-based treatment program whereby individual lives at house but is allowed to go to work during the day

State and federal prison populations, inmates v. capacity, 1980-1998 Source: Correctional Populations in the United States (Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics, various years)

community based treatment era 1967 198040

Individuals who have been placed on probation and one condition is that they reside in the half-way house


Individuals on parole and one condition of their parole is that they reside at a half-way house

Community-Based Treatment Era (1967-1980)

U.S. prison population, historical and projected growth, 1960-2002 Source: “Inmate Population Expected to Increase by 43% by 2002,” Corrections Compendium, April 1996 and Prisoners in 1998, A. Beck and C.J. Mumola (Washington, D.C.: Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1999)

warehousing overcrowding era 1980 1995
Robert Martinson

“Nothing Works” Study (1974)

Surveyed 231 research studies that evaluated correctional treatment programs between 1945-1967

None of the 231 programs appeared to substantially reduce recidivism

Warehousing/Overcrowding Era (1980-1995)
warehousing overcrowding era 1980 199543
Warehousing/Overcrowding Era (1980-1995)

Recidivism – The commission of another crime by an individual who has previously been convicted of a crime; the new crime may be the same or different from the first crime

warehousing overcrowding era 1980 199544
Warehousing/Overcrowding Era (1980-1995)

Dimensions of overcrowding:

Nearly 1,300,000 persons incarcerated at beginning of 1999

1999– Bureau of Justice Statistics Report

  • Federal prisons overcrowding was approximately 27%
  • State level, overcrowding running between 13% and 22%
warehousing overcrowding era 1980 199545
Warehousing/Overcrowding Era (1980-1995)

Definitions of Prison Capacity

Design Capacity – the prison population the institution was originally built to handle

Operational Capacity – the number of prisoners a facility can effectively accommodate basedon the staff and programs of the facility

Rated Capacity – refers to size of the prison population that a facility can handle according to the judgment of experts

just deserts era 1995 present
Imprisonment is seen as fully deserved and a proper consequence of criminal behavior

Root purpose of imprisonment is punishment

Just Deserts Era (1995-present)
just deserts era 1995 present47
Reductions in –

personal property allowed

restrictions on outside purchases

elimination of cable TV

abolish family visits

no more special occasion banquets

1995 – Virginia abolishes parole, increased the length of sentences for certain violent crimes, and planned building of 12 new prisons

1995 – 28 states reported a decrease in prisoner privileges during previous 12 months

Just Deserts Era (1995-present)
prisons today numbers and types of prisons
Approximately 1,000state prisons

80 federal prisons

461 state and federal prisoners per 100,000 population

On January 1, 1999 – state and federal prisons held 1,302,019 inmates

Male incarceration rate – 995 per 100,000 males

Femaleincarceration rate – 51 per 100,000 females

Prisons Today:Numbers and Types of Prisons
prisons today race
Whites – 868 incarcerated per 100,000 white males in their late 20s

Blacks – 8630 incarcerated per 100,000 black males in their late 20s

Prisons Today:Race
prisons today types of crimes
State Level

46% sentenced for violent crime

24% sentenced for property crime

23% sentenced for drug crime

Federal Level

60% sentenced for drug law violations

Prisons Today:Types of Crimes
prisons today inmates
Low level of formal education

Socially disadvantaged background

Lack of significant vocational skills

Most have served time in a juvenile facility

Prisons Today:Inmates
prisons today staff
Prisons Today:Staff

347,000 people employed in corrections

20% of all correctional officers are female

70% of correctional officers are white

22% of correctional officers are black

5% of correctional officers are Hispanic

4.1 to 1 inmate/custody staff ratio

prisons today security levels
Prisons Today:Security Levels




prisons today security levels maximum
Prisons Today:Security Levels - Maximum
  • High levels of security characterized by:
    • high fences/walls of concrete
    • barriers between living area and outer perimeter
      • electric perimeters
      • laser motion detectors
      • electronic and pneumatic locking systems
      • metal detectors
      • X-ray machines
      • television surveillance
    • thick walls
    • secure cells
    • gun towers
    • armed guards
    • radio communication between staff
prisons today security levels medium
Prisons Today:Security Levels - Medium

Similar in design to maximum security facilities, however, they allow prisoners more freedom

Prisoners can usually:

  • associate with other prisoners
  • go to prison yard
  • use exercise room/equipment
  • use library
  • use shower and bathroom facilities under less supervision
prisons today security levels medium57
Prisons Today:Security Levels - Medium


Process of counting number of inmates during course of day. Times are random and all business stops until count is verified

Medium security facilities tend to have barbed wire at top of fences instead of large stone walls of maximum security facilities

prisons today security levels medium58
Prisons Today:Security Levels - Medium

While individual cells predominate, dormitory style housing is sometimes used

Cells and living quarters tend to have more windows

prisons today security levels minimum
Prisons Today:Security Levels - Minimum

Housing tends to be dormitory style and prisoners usually have freedom of movement around the facility

Work under only general supervision

Guards are unarmed and gun towers do not exist

Fences, if they do exist, are low and sometimes unlocked

“Counts” are usually not taken

Sometimes allowed to wear their own clothes

federal prison system history
Federal Prison System:History

1895 – Leavenworth, Kansas – first federal prison for civilians

1906 – second prison in Atlanta opened

1927 – Alderson, West Virginia – first federal prison for women

1933 – Springfield, Missouri – Medical Center - for federal prisoners opened with 1,000 bed capacity

1934 – Alcatraz began operations

federal prison system security levels
Federal Prison System:Security levels

Administrative Maximum (ADMAX)

High Security

Medium Security

Low Security

Minimum Security

Administrative Facility

federal prison system administrative maximum admax
Federal Prison System:Administrative Maximum (ADMAX)

Ultra-maximum security

Located in Florence, Colorado

575 bed facility opened in 1995

Dangerous prisoners confined to cell 23 hours per day

Prisoners not allowed to associate with each other

1% of federal prison population

Holds mob bosses, spies, terrorists, murderers, escape artists, etc.

federal prison system high security called u s penitentiaries
Armed patrol

Intense electronic surveillance

Designed to prevent escapes and contain disturbances

10% of federal prison population

8 facilities


Atlanta, Georgia

Lewisburg, PA

Terre Haute, Indiana

Leavenworth, Kansas

Federal Prison System:High Security (called U.S. Penitentiaries)
federal prison system medium security
(called Federal Correctional Institutions)

Double chain link fence

Electronic monitoring of grounds

23% of federal prison population

26 facilities


Terminal Island, California

Lompoc, California

Seagoville, Texas

Federal Prison System:Medium Security
federal prison system low security
Surrounded by double chain link fence

Employs vehicle patrols of perimeter

27% of federal prison population

17 facilities

Federal Prison System:Low Security
federal prison system minimum security
(called Federal Prison Camps)

Essentially honor-type camps

Barrack type housing

No fences

31% of federal prison population

55 facilities


Elgin Air Force Base, Florida

Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama

Federal Prison System:Minimum Security
federal prison system administrative facility
Medical Centers for Federal Prisoners (MCFP)

5 facilities that function as hospitals

Institutions with special missions

Most are Metropolitan Detention Centers (MDCs)

Generally located in large cities, close to federal courthouses

Jails holding inmates awaiting trial

Federal Prison System:Administrative Facility
Original Purpose – short-term confinement of suspects following arrest and awaiting trial

Current Use – hold those convicted of misdemeanors and some felonies as well as holding suspects following arrest and awaiting trial

jails statistics 1996
Jails:Statistics - 1996

455,098 men held in jail

52,136 women held in jail

7,888 juveniles held in jail

50% are pre-trial detainees or involved in some phase of the trial process

25% have been charged with a drug offense

jails statistics 1999
Jails:Statistics - 1999

528,661 men held in jail

63,791 women held in jail

8,090 juveniles held in jail

57% are pre-trial detainees or involved in some phase of the trial process

jails profile

3,304 jails

165,500 correctional officers

3.6/1 inmate/staff ratio

$14,667 spent on average to house person in jail for a year

jails profile73

20,000,000people admitted annually to jail

2/3of all jails designed to house50or less prisoners

6% of the jails hold over 50% of the prisoners

Almost 50% of jail population held in 5 states – California, Texas, Florida, New York, and Georgia

private prisons
Private Prisons

Definition:correctional institutions operated by private firms on behalf of local and state governments

1980s– private prison movement began

1986 - 2,620 prisoners in privately run prisons

1997-74,000 prisoners in privately run prisons

1998– 80,000 prisoners in privately run prisons

1997– 124 private prisons in 18 states

1998– 130 private prisons in 18 states

private prisons76
Private Prisons

States use private prisons to:

Reduce overcrowding

Lower operating expenses

Avoid lawsuits