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
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
A drawing shows Sydney, Australia, in 1788, at the time of its founding as a British penal colony.
Act came about partly as a result of the Depression
Ashurst-Sumners Act ended industrial prison eraIndustrial Prison Era: (1890-1935)Ashurst-Sumners Act (1935)
Large maximum security prisons evolved in rural “out-of-sight” locations
AlcatrazPunitive Era (1935-1945)
Treatment based on “medical model”
Individual and group therapy programs evolvedTreatment Era (1945-1967)
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 displeasureTreatment Era (1945-1967)
“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 recidivismWarehousing/Overcrowding Era (1980-1995)
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 workJust Deserts Era (1995-present)
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 monthsJust Deserts Era (1995-present)
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 supervisionPrisons Today
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.Prisons Today
Alderson Federal prison camp in Alderson, WV
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)Jails