Sample Essay On The First Prisons System

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Prison, Crime, Criminal Justice, Punishment, Society, World, Sexual Abuse, Torture

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2020/11/08


This is a research on the early prisons. The prison of interest is Pennsylvania, which in many years has progressed by adopting more humane methods of punishments unlike before when inmates were treated as slaves. This research has explained briefly the founders of the ethics brought in Pennsylvania, their policies and how they were implemented, the outcome of their proposals and their validity presently.
In the 1780s, prisoners were subjected to corporal punishment. The punishments were so severe such that some of them resulted in deaths of inmates. They used to be whipped, chained around their necks, forced to do heavy duties and general harassment. During Jacksonia era, Philadelphia society pushed for reforms on imprisonment and rehabilitative labor. They wanted punishments to be more humane, behavioural based and not force to induce morality in prisoners.
According to Fogel D, (1978), society, politicians and activists wanted such ways as confinement of prisoners in solitude. They were not allowed to interact with the outside world since they believed outside world would slow their correction process. Through this way, prisoners could not be corrupted by other people. Instead, they would be more focused on their lives since their conscience will be tormenting them.
Less physical punishments were introduced to prisoners which dwelled more on their psychology. Internal regulation systems were enacted whereby prisoners worked less but had a controlled diet, clothing and communication. Lilly Quist MJ (1980), observed that some prisoners become insane due to the torture subjected by their conscience. They never had people to talk to in order to relieve some of their tensions as they repent. Moreover, this method of punishment was more economical than the previous ones which accommodated many prisoners in a single capacity. This is as a result of, less sexual harassment, torture from other inmates and suicide. Legislators observed that these methods of punishment required less guards and monitoring.
It was amid rows and protests from Philadelphia society that change had to happen. Faith-based philanthropists argued that human beings deserved to live and get nourished spiritually. Jacksonia Era was reviewed to accommodate mild punishments like parole and probation. Chappell PA, (1975), opines that the move by legislators to form the Penitentiary Act modeled the prisons. Slavery as a way of punishing prisoners was abolished and instead less severe punishments were adopted.
Traditional punishments had brought adverse effects to the prisoners. Elin T, (1980), observes that the governor was so abated when he visited the prisons. Some prisoners had fallen victims of intense punishment, some died others lost sanity. However, some improvement was noted since the introduction of the new penal code.


Chapel, PA, (1975). Recollections of Early Years. Fed Probation. Retrieved: Online
Elin, T, (1980). Origin of the pennsylvia system of prison discipline. The Prison Journal. Retrieved: tps.sage
Fogel, D, (1978). Justice Model for Correction. Heinemann Educational Publishers.
Lilly, Q, (1980). Understanding and Changing Criminal Behaviour. Retrieved:

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Sample Essay On The First Prisons System. Free Essay Examples - Published Nov 08, 2020. Accessed June 28, 2022.

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