Changes in Corrections

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Submitted By saranic81
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6/28/13
CCJ/HIS 4700
History of Corrections The earliest forms of the American Correctional Systems were similar in many ways with those practiced in England. Up until the 1780s, punishment by imprisonment was unknown in Europe or the European colonies. Punishments for criminal behavior tended to be public events which were designed to shame the person and deter others; these included the ducking stool, the pillory, whipping, branding, mutilations and the stocks (woodfin.org 2013). Corporal punishment was inflicted almost exclusively on the lower classes, since the rich were usually able to pay fines instead. At the time the sentence for many other offences was death. Colonialists never considered the possibility of rehabilitation; their aim was to frighten the offender into law abiding behavior. Unlike today where prisons are viewed as instruments of punishment, this has not always been the case. The common jail dates back hundreds of years, but was used solely as a means of detention, a temporary place for the prisoner until acquitted, fined, or subjected to corporal punishment (Schamalleger, F. 2010). Pennsylvania was determined to be different from other colonies. Founder William Penn brought his Quaker values to the new colony, relying on imprisonment with hard labor and fines as the treatment for most crimes, while death remained the penalty only for murder. In 1790 Philadelphia’s Walnut Street Jail became the first prison by the Pennsylvania Quakers. In the Penitentiary Era, which lasted from 1790 to 1825, prisoners were housed in penitentiaries, where they were supposed to do penance and be rehabilitated into productive citizens (Schmalleger, F. 2010). The Quakers hoped to use religious and human principles to rehabilitate the inmates. The philosophy of the prison was to have prisoners accept responsibility for their actions and make amends to…...

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