California Prison System

986 Words Feb 19th, 2018 4 Pages
Prior to the Gold Rush, California had prided itself on being a land of health, beauty, and opportunity (Bookspan, xviii). However, immigration and population growth surged, especially amongst foreign convicts and “aliens”, resulting in increased crime. At first, it was decided that punishment for small crimes would be a beating by whip while punishment for serious crimes, like robbery or murder, would be hanging (Kidport).After becoming a state in 1850, the California governor John McDougal reacted to this method of punishment by beginning what is known as the California Prison System. The first prison within California was San Quentin, which began to receive inmates in 1854, next was Folsom State Prison in 1880, then California Correctional Institution in 1933, California Institution for Men in 1941, and California Institute for Women in 1952 as well as multiple California state prisons that have opened since then in cities such as San Diego, Sacramento, Chowchilla, Avenal, Corcoran, Susanville, Vacaville, Crescent City, and many more (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation). The early California prison systems were very much influenced by the Auburn prison system, from the Auburn Correctional Facility in Auburn, New York. This system imposed solitary confinement to silence prisoners and promote meditations, but still…
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