Early Prisons: Middle Ages. First prison existed in Europe – 1400 & 1500s – for debtors. Philadelphia. 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 No more Corporal Punishment.
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First prison existed in Europe – 1400 & 1500s – for debtors
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
No more Corporal Punishment
Became known as the “Pennsylvania System”
Handicrafts were introduced allowing prisoners to work in their cells
- “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 (Auburn System)
Based upon use of indeterminate sentence and belief in rehabilitation
Reformatory movement is the result of the work of two men:
Zebulon Brockway was warden at Elmira
A leading advocate of the indeterminate sentence
Elmira accepted only first time offenders between ages 16-30
Training made available in such areas as:
Mark system constituted first “early release” program
Norfolk Island / Penal Colonies
Residence for insane
Prisoners replaced freed slaves
Public works projects
Goal – to maximize use of offender labor movement began in industrial northeast U.S.
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 ended industrial prison era
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
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
Types of therapy programs:
Used to control aggressive behavior and destructive urges – frontal lobotomies were part of this approach
Denial of stimulation by isolating prisoners in quiet, secluded environment
Drugs and/or electric shock used to teach prisoner to associate negative behavior with pain and displeasure
“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
Imprisonment is seen as fully deserved and a proper consequence of criminal behavior
Root purpose of imprisonment is punishment
AKA “Justice Model” - Get what you deserve
Loss of priviledges
Chain Gangs in Alabama, Florida, Arizono
General Deterrence at work
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
high fences/walls of concrete
barriers between living area and outer perimeter
--laser motion detectors
--electronic and pneumatic locking systems
Similar in design to maximum security facilities, however, theyallow prisoners more freedom. In them, prisoners can usually:
associate with other prisoners
go to the prison yard
use exercise room/equipment
visit the library
take showers and use bathroom facilities with less supervision
Dormitory style housing is sometimes used.
Cells and living quarters tend to have more windows.
These facilities tend to have barbed wire fences instead of large stone walls.
Housing tends to be dormitory style,and prisoners usually have freedom of movement within the facility.
Work is done under general supervision only.
Guards are unarmed, and gun towers do not exist.
Fences, if they exist, are low and sometimes unlocked.
“Counts” are usually not taken.
Prisoners are sometimes allowed to wear their own clothes.
Alderson Federal prison camp in Alderson, WV
original purpose- Short-term confinement of suspects following arrest and awaiting trial.
current use- Jails hold those convicted of misdemeanors and some felonies, as well as holding suspects following arrest and awaiting trial.
sentences are less than one year (usually)