The Incarceration Of The Correctional System

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The correctional system in America is an umbrella term referring to a range of mandates that entails the management, supervision, and rehabilitation of convicted offenders. These mandates are often carried out through incarceration, probation, or parole, while prisons are the most popular correctional agency in America. Prisons in America were among some of the first public buildings established in the New World. Early prisons were not considered “houses of punishment,” but were rather referred to as temporary holding cells. The history of U.S. prisons from the late 1700s to the late 1800s was marked by a shift from a penitentiary system primarily concerned with rehabilitation to one concerned more with warehousing prisoners. The failure of reform minded wardens to justify rehabilitation caused state legislatures to set economic profitability as the new goal for prisons. The first prisons in the United States were established as penitentiaries to denote their prisoners as religious penitents. Early penitentiaries gained global attention for their goals of perfecting society. Despite their high moral aims, the facilities soon became overcrowded, dirty, and dangerous. Maintaining the behavior and control of the inmates became their primary focus. It was after the American Revolution that imprisonment as a form of criminal punishment became a widespread in the United States. The Jackson Administration use rehabilitative labor as a penalty during the American Civil War.
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