Essay on Prison History

Submitted By jpsalmeron
Words: 769
Pages: 4

Purpose And History
Jose Salmeron
July 6, 2014
University of Phoenix
Purpose and History

The term punishment is a term with a rich history. Today when we think of punishing offenders the term corrections comes to mind. Up until the 1950's the term penology was used instead of corrections. The term penal was defined as to impose punishment. Penal is related to the Latin word penalise, which means punishment. During the 1950's, the penal system evolved. The main objective of the penal system was to rehabilitate offenders, rather than to punish. Later the term corrections replaced the term penology. The history of prison development also has a history like the term punishment. Two systems that have been developed over time are, The Pennsylvania and The Auburn Systems. Prison labor has also developed, and adapted to the development of the prison systems.
The Quakers of Pennsylvania were economic and hardworking people. The Quaker realized that capital punishment was inhumane. William Penn the governor of Pennsylvania, and was the leader of the Quakers. The Quakers under the leadership of Penn replaced the current criminal code. Under the Quaker's new system, capital punishment was only used for homicide crimes. Imprisonment and hard labor replaced bloody corporal punishment. Food and lodging were provided for inmates. Stocks and pillory were replaced with houses of detention. The Quaker code was repealed in 1718 after William Penn died. However, DR. Benjamin Rush leader of the Philadelphia society, and original signers of The Declaration of Independence revived the Quaker code. In 1790, The Philadelphia society, established the first prison in the United States. A wing of the Walnut Street Jail was converted to house sentenced offenders. Prisoners in the jail stayed in single cells. Prisoners had to remain silent and avoid contact, in order to prevent contamination. Prisoners often wore a mask when they moved throughout the prison. The mask was used so prisoners will not recognize each other after they were released. Prisoners were given hard labor, and encouraged to read the bible. Prisoners were allowed to penance at night time. The Walnut Street Jail served as a model, for new prison systems, such as the Pennsylvania system.
The Walnut Street Jail served as a model, for Pennsylvania's first two prisons. Western State Penitentiary was opened in 1826, in Pittsburgh. Eastern State Penitentiary in Cherry Hill, was opened in 1829. Western Penitentiary was an architectural nightmare. It had small dark cells, which provided solitary confinement, and no labor. Eastern Penitentiary design was influenced by Western Penitentiary. The basis of both prisons was to have inmates do hard labor, and reflect on their crimes. Because inmates were not allowed to talk or see each other, the Pennsylvania system became known as a separate and silence system. The theory behind this system was so prisoners will not morally contaminate, and train each other in crime. The Pennsylvania system produced many problems. First it was almost impossible to keep prisoners from communicating. Second, it was very expensive to