History and Purposes of Prisons

884 Words Jan 18th, 2013 4 Pages
History and Purpose of Penitentiaries
Jeffrey Brown
July 7,2012
George Chavarria

History and Purpose of Penitentiaries
Crime has had an impact on society for years, and will continue to do so well into the future. The presence of criminals and criminal acts proved that there was and all ways will be a need for penitentiaries. Correctional facilities no matter if they are prisons, jails, or penitentiaries are all part of the criminal justice system. Their overall goal and objective is to house offenders with the hope to rehabilitate them and reintegrate them into society to have a positive impact. Penitentiaries have a strong history with society and will continue to serve an important purpose within the criminal justice
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One case that could possibly be made as to early punishment having an advantage over punishment today is that someone would think twice about stealing food if they knew that the punishment would be losing a hand over receiving a fine.
History of Prison Development
The changes and the improvements of prisons can be linked to the work of William Penn, a former governor of Pennsylvania. Penn changed the way the prison system is run and how it is viewed by people. The early correction facilities allowed inmates to have limited or no rights at all. William Penn chose to take a stand and make changes because of the early prisons and the experiences that he had being a Quaker. The Walnut Street Jail was the first penitentiary in the United States established in 1790 by Benjamin Rush. Seiter (2011), states that “The Walnut Street Jail created a regimen of hard work and doing penance for their offences”. The Walnut Street Jail served as the template for prisons that were developed after.
New prisons strived to do more than to punish offenders by using cruel and sometimes degrading forms of punishment. The basis of the new prisons’ operations was the same as the Walnut Street Jail: to emphasize the opportunity for prisoners to reform themselves through hard work while reflecting on their crimes, Seiter (2011). Even though the new prisons were effective they had their flaws.
The Pennsylvania System and the Auburn System
The Pennsylvania System

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