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Prepare a 700 to 1,050-word paper in which you define and examine

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Prepare a 700 to 1,050-word paper in which you define and examine the theory and ideal of a penitentiary. Be sure to take into account historical factors and precedence in your evaluation, and compare and contrast prison systems during WWII and after WWII. What was the impact and involvement of prison labor during this time period? What has been the trend of prison labor since?
· Properly cite your paper according to APA guidelines.
Discussion Questions:

1. What are the various forms of punishment exercised during the 1700¿s? Which criminal activities/events lead to these types of punishment(s)? Compare and contrast the criteria between various societies for criminal sentencing during the 1700¿s.

2. How would you describe prisons for women? How would you compare women¿s prisons to those for juveniles and men? What would happen if there were no distinction for prisons among the groups previously mentioned?

3. What are the different models of American prisons? How do these models differ? What would happen if there was only one model to follow?

4. What is prison labor? How does prison labor impact different cultures and societies? What hypothesis can you make about the rise and fall of labor in prisons?


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If you like I can copy and paste the chapters of readings for this weeks work

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It is evident that the intent of punishments is not to torment a sensible being, nor to

undo a crime already committed. Is it possible that torments and useless cruelty, the

instrument of furious fanaticism or the impotency of tyrants, can be authorized by a

political body, which, so far from being influenced by passion, should be the cool

moderator of the passions of individuals? Can the groans of a tortured wretch recall

the time past, or reverse the crime he has committed?

The end of punishment, therefore, is no other than to prevent the criminal from

doing further injury to society, and to prevent others from committing the like

offense. Such punishments, therefore, and such a mode of inflicting them, ought to be

chosen, as will make the strongest and most lasting impressions on the minds of

others, with the least torment to the body of the criminal.

— C




This chapter considers the punishments early societies imposed on criminals

before the development of modern prisons. The social and legal contexts of society

before the 1700s were very different from what they are in most of the

world today, and the types of punishments used on criminals were also very

different from what we would expect today. After reading this chapter, you

should be familiar with:

1. The forms of punishment most often used in societies through the 1700s.

2. The social and legal contexts within which punishments were applied.

3. Early and modern legal codes.

4. The impact of the Age of Enlightenment on eighteenth-century Europe.

5. The views of several important correctional scholars and reformers of this


6. The institutions early societies used to hold criminals and social misfits.

Corrections: The Fundamentals

ISBN: 0-536-16545-9


by Burk Foster. Published by Prentice-Hall. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Education, Inc.






What penalties do we think of when we imagine the appropriate punishment

for someone convicted of a serious crime today? In modern societies, we typically

imagine a crime as being worth so much time in custody—three months,

two years, ten years, or, in rare cases, the rest of the criminal’s natural life. The

amount of time we take out of the criminal’s life ought to be proportionate to

the harm done to the victim of the crime or to the greater society in which the

criminal lives.

But this notion of punishment as time in custody is of recent vintage in

humankind’s history. If the recorded history of Western civilization stretches

for about 2,000 years on either side of the birth of Christ—4,000 years total—

the use of the modern prison to lock up convicted criminals is only about 200

years old. For the remaining 3,800 years, or 95 percent of the history we know

much about punishments other than imprisonment predominated. What did

early societies do with criminals before they started locking them up?

When we think of the punishments that pre-date the prison, we tend to

imagine the abundant use of physical punishments, particularly corporal punishments

and capital punishment.

Corporal punishment

is defined as any

punishment that involves infliction of pain on the human body. A variety of

such punishments come to mind—whipping, beating, branding, mutilation,

and burning among the most common forms.

Over time,


emerged as the most prevalent method of physically

punishing criminals in early Western societies. Whipping offered several advantages.

It required no special equipment other than the whip. It could be

done anywhere. Most corporal punishments were done at a central location

where the entire community could turn out to watch. Whippings were also

measured punishment in the sense that they could be counted—ten, twenty,

or fifty lashes. This became more important when the idea that the punishment

ought to be graduated in response to the seriousness of the crime became

commonly accepted. Finally, whipping, while causing considerable pain and

leaving the criminal’s back scarred for life, was usually neither fatal nor incapacitating

for life. The victim of a whipping might pass out, but he usually did

not die, nor was he likely to be prevented from returning to a useful working

life. After his injuries healed, he would bear the scars, but he would also be capable

of resuming life as a productive citizen.

In 1530, during the reign of King Henry VIII of England, Parliament passed

the Whipping Act, directed at keeping wandering vagrants in check. The act

provided that vagrants were to be carried to some market town or other place

and “there tied to the end of a cart naked, and beaten with whips throughout

such market town, or other place, till the body shall be bloody by reason of

such whipping.”




Later, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, the law was amended


to strip offenders only half naked, and the whipping post was substituted for

the cart. The poet XXXXX XXXXX wrote these lines to open “The Praise and Virtue

of a Jail and Jailers” in 1623:

In London, and within a mile, I ween,

There are jails or prisons full eighteen,

And sixty whipping-posts and stocks and cages.


Corrections: The Fundamentals

ISBN: 0-536-16545-9


Other corporal punishments had their place.



Curious Punishments of Bygone Days






this account of the combination of punishments imposed on a Quaker in

seventeenth-century New Haven, Connecticut (a criminal whose crime was


of criminals with


a hot iron became a more common practice by the sixteenth and seventeenth

centuries. Not only did it cause pain, but it was also a useful method of marking

criminals—an early form of criminal identification. The “T” on the man’s

thumb meant he was a thief. The fleur-de-lis mark on the Parisian woman’s

shoulder meant she was a prostitute. Convicted criminals literally wore their

criminal history as marks on their bodies; even if they changed identities, as it

was easy to do in the early days, the marks of their crimes remained for the

authorities to uncover beneath long sleeves.

Alice Morse Earle’s 1896 text




by Burk Foster. Published by Prentice-Hall. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Education, Inc.




being a Quaker in a place where Quakers were not welcome):

“The Drum was Beat, the People gather’d, Norton was fetch’d and stripp’d to the

Waste, and set with his Back to the Magistrates, and given in their View Thirty-six

cruel Stripes with a knotted cord, and his hand made fast in the Stocks where they

had set his Body before, and burn’d very deep with a Red-hot Iron with H. for




Capital punishment




As English common law developed, most felony offenses became capital

crimes. The Death Penalty Information Center reports that by the early 1800s,

222 separate criminal offenses were punishable by death in England, including

many forms of theft and property crimes (such as poaching game) that we would

expect to be punished with a fine and suspended sentence today. The Colony of

Virginia’s “Divine, Moral and Martial Laws” of 1612 provided the death penalty

for such offenses as stealing grapes, killing chickens, and trading with Indians.


The forms capital punishment took in particular locales were up to local

practice and the inventive minds of the persons imposing the sentence. Geoffrey

Abbott’s encyclopedic work

The Book of Execution


Corrections: The Fundamentals

ISBN: 0-536-16545-9


by Burk Foster. Published by Prentice-Hall. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Education, Inc.


describes sixty-nine different


methods of execution used around the world, everything from the






., provided


the death penalty for twenty-five different crimes. Sister Helen Prejean, the

noted death penalty abolitionist, has often pointed out to death penalty proponents

justifying their position as a biblical punishment that the Hebrew Law

of Moses made dozens of crimes punishable by death, including cursing one’s

mother or father, sorcery, adultery, having sex with animals, homosexuality,

and allowing one’s own animals to cause the death of another person.


in many forms was also common in early societies. The


killing of a human being is the supreme penalty for a crime. Though the definition

of a “capital offense” has changed considerably over time, the death

penalty remains on the books in most countries today, including thirty-eight

states of the United States and the federal government. Before the 1800s, the

death penalty was generally available not only as a punishment for the most

serious degree of homicide (as it is in the United States today) but also for any

serious crime if the judge believed the offender deserved it. Torture before

death was also commonplace.

The Code of King Hammurabi of Babylon, from about 1750








ancient stoning and beating up to the most modern lethal injection, with

dozens of curious sidetracks, including boiling alive, broiling on a gridiron,

sawing in half, pressing to death, and tearing apart by horses.


The prevalent methods of executing criminals changed over time. Early

societies settled on simple methods, such as stoning, which was commonly

used in biblical times. The Romans used crucifixion to make an example of political

rebels and religious heretics; Spartacus was one, and Jesus of Nazareth

was thought to be a bit of both. Later Roman executions were accomplished

by beheading and relied on the person of the executioner to do the deed.

Hanging of ordinary criminals and beheading of the nobility prevailed in

England from the tenth century on. The mass executions of heretics under the

Spanish Inquisition of the late 1400s were done by burning at the stake. Hanging

and beheading were most common in the early modern era in Europe. In

the first decade of the twenty-first century, shooting, beheading, hanging, and,

in the United States, lethal injection are the principal methods employed by

those nations still carrying out death sentences. Stoning is being used again in

Iran and other countries practicing fundamentalist Islamic law.


Many early societies (and a few more recent ones) avoided executing some deserving

criminals by casting them out of society—sending them to some distant

place and forbidding them to return home. This practice was called




in its origins. In his historical writings, XXXXX XXXXX has

called the wilderness “the first penal colony,” meaning a place to which criminals

were sent. The British used the term


to indicate a status outside

the law. An outlaw was originally said to be

caput lupinum,

or to have a

wolf’s head. To declare a person an outlaw was to declare him a nonperson;

his property was forfeited, he lost all civil rights, and anyone who killed him

would not be charged with a crime since he no longer existed as a person.

These extreme restrictions began to fade after the Norman Conquest.

From the 1600s through the mid–1800s, England practiced


of convicted felons to its colonies—first to America and later (after the independent

United States was no longer available as the dumping ground for the

wretched refuse of England’s teeming shore) to Australia. The labor of these

felons was sold to businessmen who were responsible for transporting them

to their new colonial homes; the felons, men and women, generally owed

seven years of labor to their masters or fourteen years if they had been pardoned

from death sentences. XXXXX XXXXX’s book

The Fatal Shore

vividly describes

the founding of Australia as a British penal colony at the end of the

1700s and the beginning of the 1800s. It was called Botany Bay, and to the

convicts it meant a hellish place at the end of the earth from which there was

no return.


The status of these convicts was closely akin to the British practice of

indentured servitude



existing at the same time. Private persons (

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usually poor

people in extreme financial difficulty) sold their labor to an entrepreneur; they

were bound by contract for the duration. At the end of the term, the servants

went free. Many thousands of poor Britishers came to the American colonies in

this status.

Corrections: The Fundamentals

ISBN: 0-536-16545-9


Convicts were also bound, but they were not volunteers and signed no

contracts. Their status was more like that of persons held under







that slavery was for a lifetime (and into subsequent generations), while

indentured servitude was for a specific period of years. The practice of using

captured foreigners as slaves had existed from ancient times, and some societies

provided that their own citizens could be sold into slavery in certain situations,

particularly for debt. The Hebrew Law of Moses provided that

criminals unable to make restitution to victims of property crimes should be

sold into slavery and the money from their sale used to compensate the victims.

This concept of penal servitude as being essentially equivalent to slave

status would be very important to the evolution of the American prison after

the founding of the penitentiary.

In modern times, the Soviet Union and China have frequently used internal

exile of political dissidents. The basic idea is to isolate from major intellectual

centers those persons whose ideas are dangerous to the regime. China places

such persons under house arrest. The Soviet Union, before its abrupt decline,

banished physicist




by Burk Foster. Published by Prentice-Hall. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Education, Inc.


and Nobel Peace Prize winner Andrei Sakharov to Gorky, 250

miles from Moscow, and kept the writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn (who would

later win the Nobel Prize for Literature for his books critical of Soviet prisons) in

exile in Kazhakstan after he had served eight years in prison and labor camps.


Early societies were not completely reliant on penalties imposing death, physical

pain, banishment, or forced labor. From what we know of early legal systems,

economic sanctions

were commonly available for imposition on both

property and violent criminals at the court’s discretion. Today we think of economic

sanctions as being of two types—fines and restitution. A fine is paid to

the government, while restitution is paid to the victim. In earlier societies, the

compensation went directly to the victim or the victim’s family and not to the

government. The problem that often arose was that, then as now, criminals

were often lacking in economic means. When they (or their families) did not

have the resources to repay their victims, they were sold as slaves. Later, when

imprisonment for debt became a common practice and prisoners held in jail

were required to pay their jailers fees for room and board, prisoners were under

severe pressure to satisfy their obligations to both their private creditors

and their public jailers. If they were too deeply in debt to get out, it was only

one easy step to indentured servitude—and the opportunity to start life debt

free in the New World after several years of uncompensated labor.

The tendency in the European nation-states in the early modern era,

roughly the 1500s through the 1700s, was for criminal punishments to become

more painful, large-scale public events—in a sense like big sporting

events today, staged for mass entertainment (and perhaps education, as Robert

Johnson has suggested), except that they ended with torture or killing. While

Europe during this era was marked by the breakdown of traditional agrarian

society and the growth of modern cities, with their diverse populations and the

attendant problems associated with city life, the American colonies of the

1600s and 1700s were still small, rural communities of people who were very

much like one another. They could be hard on the natives, on foreigners, or

Corrections: The Fundamentals


by Burk Foster. Published by Prentice-Hall. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Education, Inc.

ISBN: 0-536-16545-9

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on people whose beliefs were very different from their own (as in the punishment

of Quakers in Connecticut described previously), but they were often

less inclined to do violence to members of their own communities, made up

of family, neighbors, and friends.

In the American colonies,

public humiliation

of criminals was used more

often than it was in Europe, and the European physical punishments were used

less. Public humiliation took many forms. Minor offenders, such as drunks, lazy

workers, or people who had violated religious laws, might be placed in a


standing up with head and hands locked in a wooden frame, or the


where a seated criminal would have both feet and hands locked in a

frame. Displayed in a public place, offenders would be subject to the ridicule of

people who knew them well; passersby felt free to insult the embarrassed offenders

or pelt them with rotten vegetables. Women who nagged their spouses

or gossiped might find themselves in a

ducking stool,

which was a chair on the

end of a rope or the end of a seesaw in which they would be dunked in a creek

a few times and given salutary warnings, such as “Don’t nag” and “Don’t gossip.”

In Puritan communities, it was common practice to “brand” criminals with

a cloth letter indicating their crime: “T” for thief, “D” for drunk, “F” for fighter.

Nathaniel Hawthorne employed this device in

The Scarlet Letter,

telling the story

of Hester Prynne, punished by having to wear a red “A” on her clothing for the

crime of adultery. In the smaller, more homogeneous communities of the time,

these forms of humiliation probably had as much impact on the offenders as

other physical or economic penalties would have. The Quaker reformers of

eighteenth-century Philadelphia would later object to public humiliation, in

fact, as being harmful to the spirit of the lawbreakers; they would argue that

incarceration was a better penalty. Today we wonder about the effects of such

measures as “Drunk Driver” bumper stickers and “Sex Offender” signs placed

in front yards.



When we look at the history of early punishments, it is apparent that practices

varied greatly from one place to another. Some cultures were more violent than

others. Most used torture, which was thought to be good for the soul, in dealing

with criminals. In addition, practically all early cultures thought that any

people not of their own were completely deserving of death and degradation—

the more gruesome the better.

What determined the punishment practices of these societies? In the first

place, we should think of the societies within which punishments were imposed.

Early societies were generally smaller, relatively fixed or immobile, and

made up of members who were more or less homogeneous—more like members

of a small tribe who were always together. Everyone knew everyone else,

and most people spent their entire lives surrounded by the same people. Aside

from the rare adventurers who set off to the ends of the universe (most of

whom reportedly fell off the edge of the earth or were devoured by dragons

and never returned), people spent their entire lives never traveling very far

from home. The epic journey of Mary and Joseph, from Nazareth to Bethlehem

of Judea (if this is the right Bethlehem) preceding the birth of Jesus, covered

all of seventy-five miles.

Corrections: The Fundamentals



by Burk Foster. Published by Prentice-Hall. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Education, Inc.




It is always easier to punish transients or strangers whom we do not know;

it is not so easy to punish our family members, close friends, and neighbors.

Indeed, one of the major determinants influencing public attitudes toward

punishing criminals today is the homogeneity of the national population

within which the crime occurs. The more homogeneous the people—the more

alike they are in ethnicity, religion, and class and cultural values—the more

lenient the punishment practices are likely to be. This is evident in the Scandinavian

countries, where the concept of


meaning the nation as a

family home, is said to apply, and in Japan. Conversely, the more heterogeneous

a country’s citizens and the more diverse their ethnic, religious, socioeconomic,

and cultural backgrounds, the more punitive people are toward

criminals (because they perceive that criminals are “different” from them, and

indeed they often are). Russia and the United States come to mind here.

In many early societies, then, we can see that it would be much easier to

expel a member who had committed some terrible crime (such as conspiring

with the spirits of the other world) than to kill that person yourself. The expulsion

into the wilderness, as XXXXX XXXXX has noted, was really just as

good as an execution and perhaps less painful for those doing the expelling.

The person alone in the wilderness was virtually certain to die. Unless you

happened to be a beautiful, long-haired woman in a skin suit (like the Raquel

Welch character in

One Million Years B.C.

or Darryl Hannah as author Jean

Auel’s heroine Ayla in

The Clan of the Cave Bear

), no other society that you

might encounter would take you in. If they found you wandering in the

wilderness, they would know that it was because you had been cast out by

your own people. They would kill you quickly to avoid the same kind of catastrophe

your own people had been hoping to avoid when they got rid of you.

Life in the wilderness was more than a bad camping trip waiting to be rescued

by friendly rangers—it was a death sentence.

The other thought to keep in mind about the earliest historic societies was

that their punishment practices were informal. Behavior was directed by social

customs, called

folkways and mores,

more than by laws or formal rules.

When someone violated these customs, by an act of illicit sex, violence, or sorcery,

it was up to a community leader, typically a tribal or later a village elder,

to decide the appropriate penalty, perhaps in consultation with other advisers.

There was no reference book of sanctions. None of this was written down, and

there was no appeal process. Execution of sentence was immediate. Even after

some of the larger and more complex cultures began to write down their

laws and apply some kind of uniformity to the process by which members were

judged and punished, most other people on earth continued to live in cultures

where justice was much more informal, personal, and spontaneous. This preference

is expressed in the recent growth of interest in restorative justice.


Over time, the more literate societies did develop written codes of laws. As the

societies were typically small, in comparison to a modern country, their codes

were much briefer and more direct than modern codes of laws. Modern codes,

consisting of both substantive and procedural laws, are complex volumes containing

thousands of statutes. Early codes, such as the Ten Commandments at

Corrections: The Fundamentals


by Burk Foster. Published by Prentice-Hall. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Education, Inc.

ISBN: 0-536-



the center of the Torah, the Hebrew Law of Moses, were simple, straightforward


The Babylonian

Code of Hammurabi

is the oldest extant legal code. Preserved

in the Louvre Museum in Paris today, the code consists of 282 civil and

criminal laws engraved on a seven-and-a-half-foot tall rounded black stone.

The stone was evidently put on display in a public place for all who could read

to see. The statutes are very explicit and simply stated:

3. If any one bring an accusation of any crime before the elders, and does

not prove what he has charged, he shall, if it be a capital offense charged,

be put to death.

22. If any one is committing a robbery and is caught, then he shall be put to


117. If any one fail to meet a claim for debt, and sell himself, his wife, his son,

and daughter for money or give them away to forced labor: they shall work

for three years in the house of the man who bought them, or the proprietor,

and in the fourth year they shall be set free.

132. If the “finger is pointed” at a man’s wife, but she is not caught sleeping with

the other man, she shall jump into the river for her husband.

154. If a man be guilty of incest with his daughter, he shall be driven from the

place (exiled).


Other well-known ancient codes include the Hebrew Law of Moses and

various codes of the Greeks, particularly those of Draco and Solon. None of

these ancient codes served as the direct basis of modern legal codes.

The thousand-year history of Roman law, from the Twelve Tables of about


B.C. to the Corpus Juris Civilis

of the Byzantine emperor Justinian in the

sixth century, was much more influential. The

Justinian Code,

published in

two successive editions in 529 and 533




. after work by two separate commissions


of legal scholars, was a compilation of earlier Roman codes going

back several hundred years. It would survive into the High Middle Ages; when

scholars began teaching the law in early law schools, they taught from this

code and from the

canon law



Legal scholars of today define four major families of law—civil law, common

law, Islamic law, and socialist law. Two of these, civil law and socialist law, are

directly descended from Roman law. Common law developed in Britain between

the time of the Norman Conquest (1066) and the seventeenth century.

Islamic law is based on the Qur’an, written down in the seventh century by

Corrections: The Fundamentals

ISBN: 0-536-16545-9


by Burk Foster. Published by Prentice-Hall. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Education, Inc.


of the Roman Catholic Church. The Justinian


Code was the principal secular, or worldly, law of the medieval period; canon

law was ecclesiastical, or church, law. Canon law eventually diminished in importance

as the influence of the medieval Church declined, but many of its

principles were combined with Roman law to make up early continental or

civil law. The two codes in combination provided the legal foundation of Western

Europe as modern nation-states began to develop by the 1400s.




the disciples of the Prophet Muhammad, who had recited its verses to his listeners

as he said they had been told to him by the angel Gabriel.

Civil law

became the predominant legal family on the continent of Europe.

Based on the Roman law tradition, its two most important codifications

in the modern era were the Napoleonic Code of early nineteenth-century

France and the Germanic Law of the People of the late nineteenth century.

During the colonial era, civil law was spread to the countries that speak the

continental European languages, so it is the most universal law on earth today.

In its criminal context, civil law has several distinguishing characteristics:

1. It is concerned less with the rights of criminal defendants and more with

getting at the truth.

2. It emphasizes the role of the judge, and private citizens are less often placed

in decision-making positions.

3. Precedent is less important, and the trial is more open to useful evidence at

the discretion of the judge.

4. The prosecutor and the defense attorney are less important figures, yielding

to the authority of the judge.

Socialist law

prevails in those countries that have adopted communism

as an economic system. The two most important examples of socialist law are

the Soviet Union and China, though the Soviet Union is now Russia again and

has reverted to its earlier family of civil law, with some common law experimentations,

such as trial by jury in some cases. Socialist law tended to be civil

law but recast into a classless society in which the means of production were

owned and managed by the state. As it was practiced in the Soviet Union and

continues to exist in China, Cuba, and several other countries today, socialist

law has these main features:

1. The law is used to serve the interests of the communist party, so it is perceived

as being more directly under the control of political authorities.

2. The legal profession is less important, and direct public participation at all

levels is emphasized.

3. As private property is less important, the protection of public property and

community interests are more important.

4. Economic and political crimes, especially those affecting production, are

more important than traditional property and violent crimes.

5. Judges are not expected to be independent but are acknowledged to be under

the political control of the party, serving the interests of “socialist legality.”

Common law

is English law. It is found today in various forms among

English-speaking countries. It developed over a period of several hundred years

preceding its export to English colonies around the world. As it developed in

England after the Norman lord William the Conqueror defeated the Saxons at

the Battle of Hastings in 1066, common law was originally based more on tribal

customs than on any existing legal code. Under the centralized legal system set

up by William and his successors (particularly his grandson King Henry II,

known as “the Lawgiver”), common law developed through the work of English

judges over a long period of time. The law was based on precedent,



or previous decisions, and it was applied in practice for many centuries before

it was written down in code form. The common law came to have several defining


1. Concern with the due process rights of criminal defendants

2. The adversarial system emphasizing the opposing roles of prosecutor and defense

counsel battling before a (supposedly) impartial judge

3. Greater concern with following procedural restrictions and the binding nature

of precedent

4. The use of the jury of one’s peers to render verdicts

Islamic law



1. Because its origins are in divine revelation, it is valid whether it is codified

or not (so devout Muslims would be bound by Islamic law even in countries

following codes based on other legal traditions).

2. It is not the product of human customs but a set of directives coming from God.

3. Legal expertise is also religious expertise, and the interpretation of the law is

left more to religious scholars than to legal functionaries.

4. Crimes against God—including apostasy, rebellion, theft, adultery, and drug

offenses—are the most serious criminal offenses.

Islamic law has increased in importance in recent decades as the fundamentalist

movement has taken hold in several Muslim countries. In Saudi Arabia,

Iran, Pakistan, and Sudan, Islamic law is the national law. In half a dozen

other countries, the influence of Islamic law on the existing legal system,

which is generally one based on European civil law, is increasing. This is not an

easy balance, as Islamic law represents a step back in time for modern nations.

In its criminal punishments, for instance, Islamic law provides for the death

penalty by stoning, by sword, and by beheading (and, according to some texts,

by live burial, specifically for the sex crime of sodomy); corporal punishments

include whipping and amputation. In personal crimes, the victim’s family may

choose to accept




The punishment practices of the fundamentalist Muslim nations would compare

with the practices followed in European countries through the 1700s,

Corrections: The Fundamentals



by Burk Foster. Published by Prentice-Hall. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Education, Inc.


or blood money, in compensation for injury or death.


Under Islamic law, as was the case in many early societies hundreds of years

ago, imprisonment is the punishment of last resort. The countries influenced

by Islamic law, to a greater or lesser degree, generally have very low rates of

imprisonment in contrast to the countries following other legal traditions.


(“the way”), is different in several respects:


is important in Muslim countries. It is different from the other


legal systems because in its pure form it is religious law, God’s law as revealed

to Muhammad and recorded in the Qur’an, the Muslim holy book. While most

Muslim nations place Islamic law within a secular society and government,

some elevate it to a higher place defining all aspects of government and social

life. Fundamentalist Muslims view the other legal traditions as man-made, secular

institutions designed to serve the ends of government. In their view, Islamic

law, known as




though European punishments would commonly have lacked the gravity and

religious overtones of punishments under Islamic law. The eighteenth century

was a time of important change in the West, a time of intellectual inquiry articulating

new perspectives on government, law, and society. During this


Age of Enlightenment,

the traditional methods of punishing

criminals would be among many social institutions undergoing dramatic


In Europe, the Enlightenment was the bridge between the medieval age

and the modern world. At the end of the 1600s, the European societies were

predominantly rural, agricultural, politically conservative, and religiously orthodox.

But doors to new worlds—geographical, scientific, and intellectual—

were opening that would lead Europeans into the modern age by the end of

the eighteenth century.

Colonization, begun on a smaller scale in the 1600s, would flourish in the

1700s. As Scott Christianson emphasizes in his historical work

With Liberty for

Some: 500 Years of Imprisonment in America,

many of these early colonists were

prisoners, debtors, slaves, indentured servants, soldiers, and sailors whose role

as settlers was far from voluntary. Even so, they paved the way for future

waves of immigrants.

The scientific discoveries of Copernicus, Galileo, and Newton shaped a

new worldview—a vision of an orderly cosmos with natural laws that could

be discerned and understood by ordinary humans. The scientific view weakened

the traditional religious and mystical view of the world that had prevailed

for over a thousand years. Society became more tolerant of new

religious sects expressing contrary points of view (as in England’s Tolerance

Act of 1689).

As religion loosened its grip on society, intellectual curiosity flourished.

Scholars questioned traditional ideas, especially those that had once supported

absolutism. John Locke’s

Two Treatises on Government

(1689) was particularly

influential. Locke supported the concept of constitutional monarchy, as was

then taking hold in Britain, based on the social contract between the government

and its citizens. His argument contains many of the principles of modern


On the continent, other philosophers came to prominence in succeeding

generations. Baron Charles Montesquieu’s

The Spirit of the Laws

(1748) was a

highly influential study of comparative government. Jean Jacques Rousseau’s


Emile and his work of political philosophy The Social Contract,

both published

in 1762, advocated an independent approach to religion and a democratic,

communal civilization. He was labeled a “free-thinking heretic,” his

books were banned, and he fled to England from France to avoid arrest. Francois

Arouet Voltaire, who was imprisoned twice as a young man for his controversial

ideas, wrote plays, poetry, novels, history, and philosophy; he was

critical of the Catholic Church and political absolutism but also skeptical of

common people and democracy. The most prolific writer of his time, Voltaire

argued for reason and tolerance within a nonideological worldview. In France

also appeared what the British historian J. M. Roberts has called “the greatest

literary embodiment of Enlightenment,”

The Encyclopedie,

a series of twentyeight

volumes published between 1751 and 1772. Its principal editors were the

writer Denis Diderot and the scientist Jean D’Alembert; they collected thousands

of articles by writers and scientists, on topics from A to Z, an achievement

of great cultural influence in the West at that time.

The Encyclopedie

was also

Corrections: The Fundamentals


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ISBN: 0-536-16545-



banned by the Church, as its materialistic and rational ideas were considered

too controversial for the time.

More and more, rational scholars rejected the absolute authority of

church and state and advocated improving the lot of humanity by promoting

tolerance and overcoming ignorance. Nowhere were the changes brought

about by the Enlightenment more evident or profound than in France. France

began the eighteenth century in the reign of King Louis XIV, the “Sun King,”

an absolute monarch to whom was attributed the remark “L’etat, c’est moi.”

(“I am the state.”) But a century of inefficiency, extravagance, corruption, and

disregard for the common good sent the divine right of kings into serious decline.

France closed the 1700s with the French Revolution, which in 1793

saw the beheading of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, who had begun the

revolution as king and queen but ended their lives on the scaffold as common


Change was not all about science and politics and abstract ideas. The lives

of ordinary people changed greatly during this time. Cities grew in size and importance;

more than a million people lived in London by the end of the 1700s.

Literacy rates had climbed dramatically, and books and newspapers were in

widespread circulation. Agriculture was more productive (which was important

as the population, long held in check by disease and war, grew sharply),

and the industrial revolution was under way in earnest.

The social problems that we associate with modern culture became evident

in the new European cities. Crime was on the increase. Gambling, drunkenness,

prostitution, and juvenile delinquency flourished in the poorer parts

of cities. Punishments had grown more severe, and many criminals and social

nuisances were shipped away to colonies across the sea, but the problems of

crime and immorality grew more worrisome. Enlightenment philosophers had

envisioned a progressive, healthy, civilized modern world, not a culture rotten

to its core with crime, vice, and corruption. New ideas and approaches were

needed to eliminate the thriving criminal habits that were accompanying the

growth of modern urban society.


Many philosophers and practitioners influenced the changing views of law

and crime that prevailed by the end of the 1700s. The most influential thinker

of this era, in terms of his impact on the legal system, was the Italian nobleman

Cesare Beccaria

On Crimes and Punishments,


Corrections: The Fundamentals

ISBN: 0-536-16545-9


vented more cliches than anyone else in the English language, and Beccaria

originated many of the legal cliches that Western law incorporates today.

As one of the founders of the classical school of criminology, Beccaria emphasized

the need for law to be in conformity with the rationality and free will

of humanity. In his “Introduction,” Beccaria argues that the law ought to provide

“the greatest happiness of the greatest number,” which became the central

concept of Utilitarian philosophy. On severe punishments, he writes, “Crimes

are more effectually prevented by the certainty than the severity of punishment.”

On the death penalty, which he strongly opposed, Beccaria writes, “The

death of a citizen cannot be necessary but in one case; when, though deprived

of his liberty, he has such power and connections as may endanger the security

of the nation; when his existence may produce a dangerous revolution in the

established form of government.” Beccaria argued that penal slavery was a far

better punishment than death; this idea of work during imprisonment would

be at the core of the philosophy of the nineteenth-century penitentiary.

Beccaria was a shy, retiring man who thought and wrote well but apparently

did not make much of a public speaker. He lived for another thirty years after

On Crimes and Punishments

Jeremy Bentham





Bentham was known as the originator of the

hedonic calculus






Corrections: The Fundamentals

ISBN: 0-536-16545-9


who had been briefly held prisoner by the French as a younger man, had a

reputation as a Christian activist, it was his appointment as high sheriff of Bedforshire

in 1773 that gave his life focus and earned him historical recognition

as the “father of prison reform.”

Howard devoted the rest of his life to inspecting jails and prisons throughout

Great Britain and on the European continent. He kept meticulous notes of

his observations, and in 1777 he published


a 489-


page book printed at his own expense. Howard is said to be the first empiricist,

meaning that he addressed the social problem of jails not by philosophy

but by detailed observation and analysis. Providing specific, impartial information

about conditions he had observed in person, Howard enjoyed great

credibility among both public officials and prisoners.

Howard was a tireless advocate of correctional reform, yet he realized that

the public was not much interested in the plight of prisoners and that change,

if it came, would come slowly. The conditions of confinement in the 1700s

were far different from what they are today, and Howard gave “his personal

fortune, his health, and his safety” to the cause of changing these conditions,

as his biographer Gordon Hay writes:


What were the reforms XXXXX XXXXX advocated? Clean, healthy accommodation

with the provision of adequate clothing and lines; segregation of prisoners according

to sex, age, and nature of offense; proper health care: these were his priorities.

There should be a chaplain service because he was of his age in believing

that spiritual starvation was a major obstacle to reformation of character. Finally,

he was a firm believer in the work ethic and the need for prisoners to be provided

with work in order that the sin of idleness could be combatted.


Howard introduced the word “penitentiary” to describe the ideal place to

accomplish his reforms and induce penitence in the prisoner. The English Parliament,

strongly influenced by his writing and advocacy, passed the Penitentiary

Act of 1779, which provided for four major reforms—secure and sanitary

structures, systematic inspections, abolition of fees for basic services, and a reformatory




typhus, also known as gaol fever,



the leading international correctional reform organization.


In America, the earliest correctional reformer of a stature comparable to

Howard was the Quaker


William Penn




Great Law,


Corrections: The Fundamentals

ISBN: 0-536-16545-9







by Burk Foster. Published by Prentice-Hall. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Education, Inc.


that was very different from other legal


codes of its time.

Penn’s code substituted imprisonment at hard labor for physical punishments.

It first abolished the death penalty entirely, then reinstated it only for

premeditated murder (similar to the capital offense of first-degree murder today).

Caring for prisoners became a public responsibility, and prisons were re-


as a dissident religious sect. When he founded the colony


of Pennsylvania in 1682, as a land grant from Charles II, Penn adopted a legal

code, referred to as the


(1644–1718). Penn had been locked


up several times as a young man in England when the government was trying

to stifle the




Howard Society,


which was spread by


fleas and body lice. He died and was buried at Kherson in the Crimea. His

legacy lives on more than two centuries later through the work of the


But these principles did not result in any great changes


over the next few years.

In 1790, while visiting Russian military hospitals, Howard contracted the

infectious disease




The State of Prisons in England and


Wales, with Preliminary Observations and an Account of Some Foreign Prisons,




by Burk Foster. Published by Prentice-Hall. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Education, Inc.


(1726–1790). Although Howard, a prosperous landowner


Although the


Panopticon is usually cited as an example of prison architecture, it should more

correctly be seen as a model of prison discipline in which the intent was to create

the perception of perpetual observation—to make the criminal think he

was constantly under surveillance and to make the watchers think that someone

was always watching them as well. The Panopticon was well suited to the

maintenance of the superior–subordinate relationship on which the internal

order of the nineteenth-century prison was based. No prison was ever built to

his exact model, though the Stateville Prison in Illinois and several other

American and British prisons used his basic circular design.

One of Bentham’s contemporaries was the English sheriff and reformer


First proposed in letters that he wrote from Russia in 1787, the


Panopticon, or “Inspection-House,” was a circular prison in which large square

cells with glass front and rear walls would face a central guard tower. The person

confined in the cell would be under the constant supervision of the persons

in the central watch tower. Bentham thought this design would prove useful

to any establishment in which persons were to be kept under inspection—

schools, factories, asylums, hospitals, poor houses, and prisons.


(or hedonistic


calculus), which is a measure of what he called our “two sovereign

masters, pain and pleasure.” The notion is that human action is based on our

desire to maximize pleasure while minimizing pain.

Bentham had many interests and wrote prolifically for a long time. He was

an activist as well as an abstract thinker. One practical reform of his, to which

he devoted a good deal of energy in the 1790s, was a model prison called the




or philosophical radicalism.


“Bentham claimed that all laws, ancient or modern, should be evaluated according

to the single ethical principle of ‘utility.’ A law is good or bad depending

upon whether or not it increased general happiness of the population.”


(1748–1832), who is


known as the founder of British


was published, and he held several political positions


in Italy, but he produced no more works that would rival this first short book in

importance. It remains one of the classics defining the modern legal process.

Following a few years behind Beccaria was the British political activist, legal

scholar, and social philosopher





by Burk Foster. Published by Prentice-Hall. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Education, Inc.


a small volume of


essays, some of them no more than one or two paragraphs, on the legal process

and criminal punishments. Addressing such topics as “Of the Origins of Punishments,”

“Of Evidence and the Proofs of a Crime, and of the Form of Judgment,”

“Of the Advantage of Immediate Punishment,” “Of the Punishment of

Death,” “Of Imprisonment,” and “Of the Means of Preventing Crime,” Beccaria

set forth views that were in direct opposition to the secretive, arbitrary,

physically punitive legal system of his time.

Reading Beccaria’s work today is a bit like reading Shakespeare. The college

sophomore, on first reading the plays of Shakespeare, exclaimed, “I can’t

believe we have to read this guy. He’s so full of cliches.” Well, Shakespeare in-


(1738–1794). In 1764, this twenty-six-year-old Milanese


aristocrat published

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quired to provide free food and lodging rather than charging inmates fees, as

was then common in England.

Penn’s code was a very liberal and forward-looking set of laws, but it was

considered too progressive for its time. After Penn died in 1718, Parliament

reenacted a different, more conventional code, referred to as the “Sanguinary

Laws” for its emphasis on bloody punishments, for the colony of Pennsylvania.

These laws remained in effect until the American Revolution. The Quaker

perspective would return to prominence after the Revolution in establishing

the Pennsylvania model of the penitentiary.


The true prison, in the modern sense, did not exist before the nineteenth century.

The reformist ideas of the eighteenth century would eventually lead to

the creation of a new social institution, the penitentiary, that would be used

as the principal means of punishing serious criminals. In building this new institution,

its planners and designers would have the examples of several earlier

types of custodial facilities—asylums, gaols, hulks, bridewells, houses of

correction, monasteries, and European prisons—to draw from and, in most instances,

to avoid because of the inhumane conditions associated with their

confinement practices.

From medieval times to the modern era, the basic English correctional institution

(though critics might point out that it had no correctional purpose

whatsoever) was the

gaol, Americanized as jail

but pronounced the same

way. The jail was a small-town facility (or in a large city, such as London, a

neighborhood facility) whose purpose was


or holding people for

court. Gaols could range in size from one room to something the size of an old

castle. Most colonial American jails were simply one-room wooden or stone

structures that could be locked up.

Early gaols were different from those of today in several important respects.

They were generally very small; indeed, Howard’s inventory of gaols in

England and Wales in the 1770s found fewer than 1,000 locked up in a nation

approaching ten million in population. Their populations were diverse—

debtors, pretrial inmates, sentenced inmates awaiting imposition of sentence,

the poor and vagrants, the mentally ill, political dissidents and religious

heretics (who were often confined in significant numbers in times of more

rigid orthodoxy), and runaway servants.

A lot of the useful distinctions that we make among prisoners today meant

very little in earlier times. Everyone was mixed up together—men and women,

boys and girls, the insane and the sane, and civil and criminal commitments—

typically in conditions of vice, idleness, filth, malnourishment, disease, and despair.

Most institutions practiced no such thing as classification. Most of them

were under the control of local authorities, which meant that they had limited

or no economic resources and no standards to maintain.

Conditions of confinement varied according to the ability of the inmates

to pay. Gaols operated on the

fee system,

which charged prisoners daily fees

to make money for the sheriffs and businessmen who operated the institutions.

Prisoners with money were typically able to get much nicer accommodations

than would the poor. It is not only white-collar offenders today who

Corrections: The Fundamentals


by Burk Foster. Published by Prentice-Hall. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Education, Inc.

ISBN: 0-536-16545-9



seem to get preferential treatment within the legal system; rewarding wealthy

and influential prisoners is a very old and established tradition.

Gustave de Beaumont and Alexis de Tocqueville visited the New Orleans

jail on their American tour in 1831. This jail, which was the old Spanish colonial

jail now owned by the city, consisted of thirteen cells housing up to 135

prisoners. The French visitors commented, “We found men together with

hogs, in the midst of all odors and nuisances. In locking up the criminals, nobody

thinks of rendering them better, but only of taming their malice; they are

put in chains like ferocious beasts; and instead of being corrected, they are

rendered brutal.”



From the 1500s through the 1800s, England developed a system of local workhouses

to keep transient laborers (and the women and children who followed

after them) from disrupting city life. In sixteenth-century London, the


came to be known as a particular type of this institution for the

poor. Bridewell was a palace on the Fleet River built for King Henry VIII from

1515 to 1520. After 1550, King Edward VI supported a petition to turn the

palace into a refuge and workhouse for the displaced rural poor flooding into

London from the countryside. Richard Byrne reports, in

Prisons and Punishments

of London,

that “simple charity became joined and confused with an attempt

to remove the threat of idleness and lawlessness. . . . By 1556 the first

prisoners had been received, and put to a wide variety of trades.”


The Bridewell was perceived to be a disciplined, charitable institution, in

comparison to the vile squalor of the city jails, and it was held out as a model

of reform, though whipping of both men and women inmates was a regular

occurrence. Crowds used to go to Bridewell to watch the half-naked poor be

whipped, which was intended to promote improved habits of industry in the

poor. Many other English towns set up similar institutions, though theirs were

not often housed in former palaces of the king.

Houses of Correction

were created by statute in England in 1574 to

house “rogues, vagabonds, and sturdy beggars,” according to Richard Byrne.

Bridewell was one of these, but many others were built (or existing buildings

redesignated) to serve this purpose. All were intended initially to provide relief

and job training to the poor, but as time went on they came to house prisoners

of all sorts, including political and religious dissenters. As Byrne

indicates, the later the houses of correction were built, “the further they departed

from ideas of redemption through work.”


Across Europe, the


long played an important dual social role

quite apart from its role as the center of religious teaching and learning. When

church officials were guilty of criminal or grossly inappropriate conduct, they

were rarely punished in the secular courts; if they needed to be removed from

their positions, many were sent to monasteries where they could be isolated

and punished—doing the same kind of penance later associated with the penitentiary.

Indeed, the architectural model of the monastery was influential in

the design of the nineteenth-century prison. We may say that old prisons resemble

castles, but their architects and planners often looked back to the medieval

monastery as the model of regimen and reform they had in mind for the

Corrections: The Fundamentals


by Burk Foster. Published by Prentice-Hall. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Education, Inc.

ISBN: 0-536-16545-9



penitentiary, particularly in the design of the individual cell to confine inmates

and the simplified daily routine.

The other purpose of the monastery was to help the poor. Poor wanderers

in need of a handout or a place to stay could always seek refuge in a

monastery. As these institutions declined in number and resources, the poor

were increasingly thrown into begging in public, which made them the kind

of public nuisances that houses of correction were created to address.

The mentally ill were another problem for society in transition from medieval

to modern times. From Roman times, persons suffering from mental

disorders had been viewed as possessed by evil spirits. They were generally

subjected to torture and confinement, right along with criminals, and later

were placed in an institution, the


which grew very large in size long

before the modern prison.


Prisons in their early days were often no more than caves or holes that could

be secured in some fashion. The

Mamertine Prison,

which was a dungeon

under the sewers of Rome, is often identified as the first known ancient prison.

The early Christians were kept there along with other political and religious

criminals until they were killed in the arena, sold into slavery, or otherwise


Many other early prisons, as distinguished from jails, were often parts of

older castles or other structures. Some dungeons or keeps held prisoners of different

sorts for hundreds of years. Prisons were less likely to hold ordinary criminals

and more likely to confine people held in safekeeping—untrustworthy

royalty and nobility, political rebels, and religious heretics. It was common

practice for these prisoners to be held in long-term isolation in a form of house

arrest until it was safe to release them again. Jails held those whose punishment

or disposition would come


they were removed from detention. Prisons

often held those who might not ever be formally charged with a crime.

By the 1700s in England, institutions called by many names, their original

specialized purposes often ignored, held prisoners in custody. Most confinements

were of short-term duration, which was surely life affirming

given the conditions of the time. Still, XXXXX XXXXX pointed out in his research,

more criminals died in detention in English jails in the 1770s—

usually of malnutrition and diseases such as smallpox, dysentery, typhus,

and yellow fever—than were executed. Early American jails and prisons

were no better.

Two continental European prisons were much admired as institutional

models in the late eighteenth century. The

Hospice of San Michele

was built

in Rome in 1704. It held delinquent youths and young men, like a modern reformatory.

Inmates slept in separate cells and worked together in silence; rule

violations were punished with flogging. As a church-supported institution, the

hospice also subjected its teenage prisoners to moral training through Bible

reading, not unlike the practices of several British and American prisons a century

later. The inscription over the entrance to the hospice read: “It is insufficient

to restrain the wicked by punishment unless you render them virtuous

by corrective discipline.”


Corrections: The Fundamentals


by Burk Foster. Published by Prentice-Hall. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Education, Inc.

ISBN: 0-536-16545-9



The other model institution was the

Maison de Force

in Ghent, Belgium.

Opening as a workhouse in 1773, this institution for beggars and vagrants

was widely admired for its humane, reformative approach. The Maison

de Force’s administrator, Jean-Jacques Vilain, maintained a system of strict

discipline but avoided the excessive cruelty of that era. Inmates were classified

by gender and crime severity. They slept in separate cells and worked in

silence. Foreign visitors, including Sheriff XXXXX XXXXX, held Vilain’s system

in high regard.

At the other end of the scale, probably the very worst institutions of this

time were not proper prisons at all; they were ships, old ships at anchor in the

harbor. They were called prison ships, or


as in rotting hulks, unseaworthy

and sometimes sinking. It was not uncommon for prisoners held on

the lower decks to drown in their chains—and they may have been the lucky

ones, with the survivors facing conditions of filth, bad food, disease, and brutality

that sometimes wiped out virtually the entire complement of prisoners

on a given ship. This, of course, made space for another batch.

Conditions on the prisons ships were comparable to conditions on the

slave ships transporting African slaves to the New World, with the obvious difference

that the prison ships were at anchor and never went anywhere. The

mortality rates on the hulks were the highest of any prisons of their era. The

HMS Jersey

and her dozen or so sister ships anchored in New York Harbor were

responsible for more American deaths in the Revolutionary War—an estimated

11,500 sailors and soldiers dying in captivity—than all the deaths resulting

from battle.

Although prison ships were considered a temporary solution to jail and

prison overcrowding on dry land, they were in use in Britain (and during the

Revolutionary War in America) for over a hundred years, until about 1875,

when the construction of new prisons finally caught up with the population

in confinement. By the time the hulks went out of service, a new institution,

the penitentiary, moved front and center in corrections—a modern, civilized

prison holding convicted criminals whose punishment was time, not blood.

The physical punishments and institutions of the past were reduced to supporting

roles as this modern invention found its place in society.


corporal punishment



capital punishment





indentured servitude


economic sanctions

public humiliation



ducking stool



Code of Hammurabi

Justinian Code

canon law

civil law

socialist law

common law

Islamic law


Age of Enlightenment

Cesare Beccaria

Jeremy Bentham


hedonic calculus




gaol fever


William Penn


Great Law



Corrections: The Fundamentals


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ISBN: 0-536-16545-9




fee system


Houses of Correction




1. William Andrews,

Old-Time Punishments


York: Dorset Press, 1991), p. 147.

2. Richard Byrne,

Prisons and Punishments of London

(London: Grafton, 1992), p. 2.

3. “Branding and Maiming,” in Alice Morse Earle,

Curious Punishments of Bygone Days,





4. An introduction to Hebrew law is



20 (The Ten Commandments), 21, and 22.

5. “History of the Death Penalty, Part I,”



6. Geoffrey Abbott,

The Book of Execution: An Encyclopedia

of Methods of Judicial Execution

(London: Headline

Book Publishing, 1994).


The Fatal Shore: The Epic of Australia’s


(New York: Vintage Books, 1988).

8. “The Code of Hammurabi,”



9. “Jeremy Bentham, 1748–1832,”



10. “The Panopticon,”


; “Irregular Times: Forward the Panopticon”;


11. Gordon Hay, “Biography of XXXXX XXXXX,”


12. American Correctional Association,

The American

Prison: from the Beginning

. . .

A Pictorial History

(Lanham, Md.: American Correctional Association,

1983), p. 16.

13. Gustave de Beaumont and Alexis de Tocqueville,

On the Penitentiary System in the United States and Its

Application in France

(Carbondale: Southern Illinois

University Press, 1964), p. 49.


Byrne, Prisons and Punishments of London,

pp. 67–72.

15. Ibid., p. 71.

16. American Correctional Association,

The American


p. 1.


Abbott, Geoffrey.

The Book of Execution: An Encyclopedia

of Methods of Judicial Execution.

London: Headline

Book Publishing, 1994.

Beccaria, Cesare.

On Crimes and Punishments.


Bobbs-Merrill, 1963.


The Fatal Shore: The Epic of Australia’s


New York: Random House, 1986.

Morris, Norval, and David J. Rothman.

The Oxford History

of the Prison: The Practice of Punishment inWestern


New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.

Van den Haag, Ernest.

Punishing Criminals: Concerning a

Very Old and Painful Question.

New York: Basic

Books, 1975.


The Death Penalty Information Center is at


The Website

contains several

historical articles and references among its current

events and issues content.

Mamertine Prison

Hospice of San Michele

Maison de Force


Corrections: The Fundamentals


by Burk Foster. Published by Prentice-Hall. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Education, Inc.

ISBN: 0-536-16545-9



fenses would. As humanitarians devoted to reason,

they would be aghast at seeing hundreds of thousands

of low-level street dealers and addicts locked

up for years, sometimes decades, and at natural-life

sentences imposed for stealing a piece of pizza or a

few videotapes.

The very size of the system would stagger them.

Beccaria, who advocated the principles of liberal

democracy in a era when absolute monarchy prevailed,

would be concerned about the prevalence of

prisons. One of every hundred adult Americans is behind

bars. George Orwell’s


described a totalitarian

futuristic state in which “Big Brother is watching

you.” Beccaria and Howard would have misgivings

about the tyrannical views expressed by some in

power today, including U.S. Attorney General John


The philosophers would be disheartened with the

continued existence of the death penalty in 38 American

states and the federal government. Beccaria advocated

the death penalty only for flagrant revolutionaries

and, as an alternative to its wider use, proposed perpetual

slavery—a life term as a “beast of burden.”

They would be even more offended by the idleness,

lack of productive work, and unpurposed atmosphere

that prevail in most prisons—the sense of people doing

nothing. They advocated regimented hard labor as

punishment for prisoners, viewing it as necessary to

their reformation.

Above all, after Beccaria, Howard, and Bentham

had read the studies showing punishment has no effect

on crime (imprisonment rates have no correlation

with crime rates), proven during the past

twenty-five years as incarceration has increased unceasingly

while crime has leveled off or declined,

they would be distressed to realize their treasured

notion of deterrence—punishing the few for their

criminal conduct to dissuade the many—is false doctrine.

If our astonished philosophes then interviewed

a scientific sample of our imprisoned felons,

to ask them why they were not deterred, they would

hear two answers: “I didn’t think I’d get caught” or,

“I was so angry (or so high) I didn’t think about the


At this point, our Enlightenment scholars might

do as their philosophical heirs are doing now—wring

their hands and say, “If imprisonment doesn’t control

crime, what then?”

What would Enlightenment scholars think of prisons

in the United States today? Since the



a way of thinking that left a lasting heritage

of secularism, science, and humanitarian reform, it

would be fair to say they’d think they had entered penal

heaven. Initially, at least.

Of the eighteenth century’s prevalent punishments

for lawbreakers, only capital punishment remains.

Floggings, mutilation, exile are gone. So are

overcrowded, filthy, disease-infested gaols. In their

place are spic-and-span “correctional facilities,”

whose ambiance and appointments would remind

Enlightenment scholars more of their institutions of

higher learning than of places where criminals are

sent as punishment.

Cesare Beccaria, for instance, believed punishment

should serve the dual purpose of incapacitation

and deterrence, “with the least torment to the body

of the criminal.” Were he to walk through a modern

prison, the sight of its neatly made bunks, gleaming

floors, and freshly painted walls, its equally wellgroomed

prisoners and palatable (though bland) cuisine

would make his humanitarian heart sing.

If XXXXX XXXXX, the old sheriff, pragmatist, and

reformer, were to accompany Beccaria, he would behold

his dream come true. Clean, healthy accommodations,

adequate clothing and health care, and

segregation of prisoners by sex, age, and, often, nature

of crime are now the rule in U.S. prisons rather

than the exception. The prevalence of Christian

services and programs, divorced from a controlling

role in prison operations, would not give him pause,

though the popularity of Muslim religious teachings

among black prisoners might.

Jeremy Bentham, the only one of these philosophers

who lived long enough to see the advent

and initial development of the penitentiary (he died

in 1832), would be pleased to note, thanks to video

cameras and increased funding to hire more guards,

modern prisoners are under constant observation.

Continuous surveillance of prisoners and staff, he

believed, was integral to control of a prison.

If our stalwarts delved deeper into the mechanics

of the American penal system, they would be dismayed.

Learning that prison has become the preferred

punishment for criminals would not disturb

them, but finding so many prisoners serving extraordinary

lengths of time for relatively minor of-

Enlightenment Scholars and Modern Prisons

by Edmond Dantes


Corrections: The Fundamentals


by Burk Foster. Published by Prentice-Hall. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Education, Inc.

ISBN: 0-536-16545-9


ok i do have more

DXJAnswerMagic :

OK. If you post it, I can copy and paste. It's just time consuming:-)

DXJAnswerMagic :

Do you have this in a word or pdf file?


no, it's is in adobe

DXJAnswerMagic :

ah, pdf.

DXJAnswerMagic :

do you use anything like wikisend or mediafire?


ah yes ur right


so, what would u like for me to do

DXJAnswerMagic :

can you upload the pdfs to one of those services and give me the links to download?

DXJAnswerMagic :

I think that's easier for both of us. If you use, the file dies in 7 days:-)


no I don't-formilar with either one at all


you can walk me thru it

DXJAnswerMagic :

ok.... go to

DXJAnswerMagic :

Click the browse button to select your file

DXJAnswerMagic :

Once you find it, click the upload button.

DXJAnswerMagic :

It will give you links to copy for sharing

DXJAnswerMagic :

copy the link and paste it here

DXJAnswerMagic :

Does that help?


ok, I will try that!

DXJAnswerMagic :

I'll be here in the background.........

DXJAnswerMagic :


DXJAnswerMagic :

Did you try it?

DXJAnswerMagic :

trying it now..........


wasn't sure which one so I sent both links - I had to figure a work around because it wouldn't allow me to upload the orginal file

DXJAnswerMagic :'s protected, can't open it without user and password XXXXX

DXJAnswerMagic :

for your book

DXJAnswerMagic :

so I got the link but cannot open the book:-)


try: stoffer66



DXJAnswerMagic :

Got it~


ok, that is going to be my school source material for the next four weeks

DXJAnswerMagic :

It let me in. Ok. You may have to reupload it, not sure. it says it won't let me save it to my computer.

DXJAnswerMagic :

ok, opened the saved copy with your user info............

DXJAnswerMagic :

we should be good:-)

DXJAnswerMagic :

it should open for the next four weeks then. Thanks!

DXJAnswerMagic :

ok, let me get to work..............I'll keep you posted.

DXJAnswerMagic :

Thanks again!



DXJAnswerMagic :

About halfway through the reading..............



DXJAnswerMagic :


DXJAnswerMagic :

More than halfway................

DXJAnswerMagic :

Your answers are here and here

DXJAnswerMagic :

They should open in a new window.

DXJAnswerMagic :

Looking forward to assisting you again! Thanks so much!

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