Penitentiary Ideal and Models of American Prisons

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Penitentiary Ideal
Models of American Prisons



* The penitentiary was a stepping stone in the evolution of the prison. The penitentiary, however, was the first attempt to use confinement as the punishment itself. In England, one of the first models for the modern prison was intended to provide a place of penance for prostitutes. No matter where most of us live in the world the modern day penitentiary has some philosophy and design history thanks to such British thinkers (philosophers) as John Stuart Mill (Utilitarianism) and those who took some of his writings a step or two further: Jeremy Bentham and Thomas Robert Malthus. This radical experiment was based on principles of separation from the moral contagion of their former lives, religious contemplation, and rigid structure.
* The state can respond to crime in a number of ways; together, the responses of the criminal justice system constitute one set of possible actions. The American Prison Association changed its name to American Correctional Association. This name change reflected the growing role of probation, parole, and other non-institutional methods of supervising and helping criminals. But symbolically it gave prisons a new mission: rehabilitation. Prisons offered an unprecedented number of programs designed to change the behavior of men and women in prison-to turn their law-breaking behavior into law-abiding citizens. Today we use reform and rehabilitation as synonyms in their penal application. Both mean to change behavior.
* Rehabilitation and reintegration are two models of American prisons. Others include socio-economic development and human development. Rehabilitation meant to restore to good condition or to no return in a previous state, but most imprisoned criminals had no previous...

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