Penitentiary Ideal and the American Prisons

1292 Words Jan 9th, 2018 5 Pages
Prisons emerged in Europe first before the United States as a product of the dual transformation that established the basis for contemporary capitalism. The institutions are famous because they are an integral part of the criminal justice system that house condemned and convicted individuals over the years. One of the major aspects of prisons systems is the penitentiary concept that emanated in the American prison systems and copied in Europe. There are basically two models of the American prison systems that are centered on the penitentiary concept that governs incarceration. These models were introduced as the first and second great experiments in order to govern the history of prisons in the United States.

Penitentiary Ideal: The concept of a penitentiary system was initiated to lessen prison overcrowding through forcing inmates to work hard. During this period, the concept would help in restricting the interactions of inmates with other offenders and the world to lessen the possibility of committing more crimes. This concept of prison as penitentiary was introduced by Jeremy Bentham, an English philosopher and jurist. Through this ideal, these institutions were to become places of personal reform and punishment of offenders.…