The And Incarceration Of The American Prison System

3791 Words May 4th, 2015 16 Pages
The American prison finds its origin in Europe. Like most things American we have adopted and adapted many of our beliefs and customs from our mother land. The punishment of confinement was rare and unheard of in America before Eighteenth century. The English concept of prison and incarceration did not even take root until the late Eighteenth Century (Hirsch, 1992). Now, American’s cannot claim that they invented prisons or the concept of confining criminal offenders within facilities that keep them separate from society. However, they can accredit themselves with championing the concept of prison reformation. Much like its English counterpart the early American prison system, which would one day grow to be an integral part of the expansive American Criminal Justice System, had an ugly and brutal start. Confinement conditions for Prisoners were harsh and unrelenting. Most Facilities designed to house criminal offenders were over populated, under staffed, and lacked necessary resources to support their growing population of inmates (Clear & Cole, 2003). However, over the years, America has made many strives to correct the errors of their predecessors. This paper will detail the early American Prison System and its journey through reformation to become the modern Prison system that we know today.
Early American Jails and Work Houses The first people to colonize America were not only settlers, but convicts (Hirsch, 1992). During the beginning of the seventeenth century…
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