Essay about Prison Reform In America

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Prison "Reform" in America

In the essay "Prison "Reform" in America," Roger T. Pray points out the much attention that has been devoted to research to help prevent crimes. Showing criminals the errors of their ways not by brutal punishment, but by locking them up in the attempt to reform them. Robert Pray, who is a prison psychologist, is currently a researcher with the Utah Dept. of Corrections. He has seen what has become of our prison system and easily shows us that there is really no such thing as "Prison Reform"
In Roger Prays essay we see how our prison system has come to where we are at now. He shows how history of prisons worked and how our basis of the prison system came about over the last 200 years.
Robert states that it was
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It was then that all other criminals would have to be imprisoned for up to ten years. As the population grew and more people where getting sent to prison instead of being executed the prison began to get crowded.
The Walnut Street prison, which was the first prison, built in 1790 was a prototype for other prisons to be built over the next 30 years. By the year 1817 the prison began to deteriorate. Changes and overcrowding of prisoners in one room pushed Pennsylvania legislature to build more prisons. In 1817 two more prisons where built, one in eastern and one in western Pennsylvania. They built these prisons with separate cell areas, so each inmate could be kept alone, eliminating all the problems of congregate living. The idea of having separate cells did not originate in America. "Of course the notion of forcibly confining people is ancient and there is extensive evidence that the Romans had a well-developed system for imprisoning different types of offenders." (Meskelly).
It was the Auburn jail that added a new system to imprisonment. It was solitary confinement. At the time many criminals had mental breakdowns being locked up in one room by themselves for years. It was then that a thirty five year rivalry between Pennsylvania and New York began. They had prison systems of two basic forms, Pennsylvania had the individual system and New York the…