A discussion about the history of the penitentiary project in united states

Edited by Chris Harvey. Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress Eastern State Hospital in Williamsburg, Va.

A discussion about the history of the penitentiary project in united states

An Introduction There are a lot of debates today revolving around America's penal system, and its capital punishment laws. I could probably go on for days about what I believe, and why, and the moral and political issues surrounding crime in America True to myself on this website, I am merely going to offer you information that is as unbiased as I can give, and let you make your own determinations based on this article and hopefully other resources!

So what exactly is this article going to cover, if not the debates revolving all things criminal in the United States? Isn't that the interesting thing? Well, I believe that in order to take a stand on a certain issue, one needs to have an extensive knowledge of its history, and its beginnings.

This can provide so much insight into how it has become what it is today, and can also prove to be incredibly interesting! So, this article can be considered the first step in your exploration. It will cover the origin of the prison system in America even slightly branching into other Western civilizationsits development throughout the centuries, as well as its current standing.

There isn't AS much on the current penal system because that's where politics and points of view shade information, but I tried to give you as much objective information as I can for such a condensed article.

Prison History - Criminology - Oxford Bibliographies

I hope that you enjoy! Source A Brief Overview of Origins Prisons haven't been around as long as you may think; at least, not in the way that we define them today. They were, however, one of the first public buildings put into place in the New World, stemming from the British's need for a "house of detention".

A discussion about the history of the penitentiary project in united states

And while this sounds like the prisons that we currently use today, they weren't exactly the same. Early prisons were not necessarily considered "houses of punishment" howard. The only ones who might have been detained for longer periods of time in these facilities were political prisons, high-ranking prisoners of war, or those in debt.

But during this time, even the detaining of debtors made little sense to many, as it prevented them from earning the money they would need to pay back their debts.

However, in general, most of the people that occupied these cells were common criminals who were merely awaiting their trial. Once their sentencing was decided, however, they were moved out of the prisons and usually put to death or released.

Oftentimes this would be done in waves, where the currently accused would all be released for their trial at once, while those who had just been attained would move into their spots.

Source The Slow Creation: Origins and Inspiration Even in the 16th century, prisons like we know them today were not around. The closest thing to a prison was the English workhouse, which originated under the Tudor family in the s.

Historic Philadelphia Tour: Eastern State Penitentiary

The most well known was Bridewell, a former royal palace which was converted into a workhouse. The Bridewell model became popular in later years, and in more started to show up around England, with Bridewell then becoming a common noun for a workhouse.


But not all was perfect: It was not uncommon for people to die of typhus, malnutrition, or other such means. On a seemingly unrelated note, Quakers were starting to campaign in the s against the death penalty, and wanted to use incarceration as a more human alternative.

This might seem unattached right now, but I promise it'll come back up later!

A discussion about the history of the penitentiary project in united states

Criticism on the Prison System Before prisons were established in the states, the alternative punishment to the death penalty was banishment. A prime destination for many of these accused was the American colonies, prior to the Revolutionary War.

Afterwards, Australia became a popular area. The prisons that they were sent to were considered almost worst than being put to death, however. Dying of neglect was common, and the buildings also could prove to be a fatal place to be.

Reformers started to look into these corrupted systems and take action against them. Richard Mead wrote in the s that the government "take Care, that all Houses of Confinement should be kept as Airy and Clean, as is consistent with the Use, to which they are designed.

Remember when I said workhouses would come back? InJohn Howard wrote The State of the Prisons in England and Whales, in which he touched on the ever-important idea of using a prison as a main means of punishment, inspired by the workhouse model. But he was not completely on board. He criticized how the workhouses were organized, and how unhygienic they tended to be.

He went into detail about the corruption and abuse of prisoners at the facilities, thus sparking an interest in reform for the people of England.United States Penitentiary Terre Haute, Indiana. Patriot Engineering served as a member of the design and construction team for this design-build maximum security United States Penitentiary on the property of the existing USP facility at Terre Haute, Indiana.

The Eastern State Penitentiary oral history project, , consists of about oral history interviews with former inmates, employees of the State Penitentiary for the Eastern District. Doing Time: A History of US Prisons. of the earliest buildings erected in what would be the United States were prisons.

Back when the city of Boston was little more than a village of 40 homes. Mar 29,  · Inside America’s Toughest Federal Prison Image At left, the United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility, otherwise known as .

Oct 15,  · The Martinson report was a project carried out at the New York Office of Crime Control Planning by researches, and analyzed previous correctional research that had been published between the years of and Reviews: 9. WikiProject United States History participants may be particularly interested in Legal history of cannabis in the United States and the category Category:Cannabis in the United States.

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