Purpose and History Paper

865 Words4 Pages
Purpose and History Norris R. Billingsley CJA 234 October 8, 2013 Yolonda Johnson Purpose and History In reference to the history of punishment for crimes, which date back as far as 450 B.C., some of the earliest methods of punishment are replaced by more efficient and humane methods of punishments or corrections. Punishments back then were harsher, brutal, and inhumane because people strongly believed in the retributive approach to crimes committed by individuals. Punishments such as whippings, brandings, torture, beatings, and mutilations were in efforts to make the punishment as relevant as possible to the crime committed also known as corporal punishment. Liars had their tongues ripped out; thieves had their finger or hand cut…show more content…
In 1790 The Walnut Street Jail became the first prison in the United States by converting a wing of the Walnut Street Jail for use in housing sentenced criminals for corporal punishment (Seiter, 2011). The philosophy or objective for the Walnut Street Jail was hard labor, strict discipline, solitary and silent confinement, and religious study, as a result prisoners were kept separate and silent. Prisoners were also masked as moved throughout the prison to avoid other prisoners identifying one another; they were given work, such as handicrafts during day and read the Bible and did penancing in the evenings (Seiter, 2011). When the state of Pennsylvania opened its’ first two prisons they adopted the Walnut Street Jail model of design and operations, which soon became known as the Pennsylvania system. As issues started resulting from the Pennsylvania system such as poor productivity of goods for resale; impossible to keep prisoners from seeing one another; too expensive to maintain as more staff were needed, and some prisoners becoming mentally ill; prison operators started searching for new ways to accommodate these issues. After acknowledging the doom of the Pennsylvania system, a new system that allowed prisoners to congregate during the day and remain separate and silent at other times known as the Auburn system.
Open Document