Penitentiary Ideal

Penitentiary Ideal

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Penitentiary Ideal and Models of American Prisons |
Rekita Williams |
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CJS/230 |
9/18/2011 |
Jean M. O’Gallagher

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The American prison system was divided amongst two different types: Eastern State and
Auburn. Both prisons were run in very different manors and my intentions are to explain each
prison and the goals that they had in mind. The penitentiary was designed to be a place where
punishment would be given in a humane way to people who had committed a crime. People who
were incarcerated could receive rehabilitation as well as gain spiritual improvement while
serving their sentence. The prisons should be a place where an individual would do their time as
well as reflect on the events that led them to incarceration and make a choice to change their life
around. Prisons were not made to be a comfortable living space so punishments and confinement
should be expected.

In the Eastern State penitentiary the punishments were considered to be extremely mild
compared to other prisons. Later the punishments in the Eastern State prisons soon became
harsher and almost inhumane due to the prisoners consistent misbehaving. Lashings were the
first punishments inflicted then things like iron gags, water baths, and strait jackets were used to
inflict punishment upon inmates. This type of prison was able to hold around 250 total prisoners
based on its design. The design of the building was made so that the prisoners would be under
continuous surveillance and the cells were formed around the center where the guards’ main post
was stationed.

The Auburn State penitentiary was ran with the intent to reform prisoners and force them
to make changes in the way they lived based on being cruel and repressing them. Punishments
like being flogged, being stretched, and placed in thumb screws where an inmate’s thumbs or
toes would be placed in a device that would crush them and inflict a great deal of pain. These
types of...

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