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The Pennsylvania System

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Pennsylvania System
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Pennsylvania System Prisons are places were reform is supposed to take place. The means by which prisons initialize reform varies from rehabilitation programs to solitary confinement. This paper examines the Pennsylvania System and how its principles were extrapolated for the modern prison system. The next section provides an overview of the Pennsylvania System.
The Pennsylvania System In the 1800s the Quakers were a religious order. Like most religious orders they followed the path of God and thus new that sin was part of their lives. With that being said that also knew that repenting of their sins would lead them back to God’s path. Individuals who were committing a crime were obviously sinner and were in need of repentance. The laws of the land stated that criminals would go to jail but that was not the only solution. While in jail the prisoners needed to know that their actions would not be tolerated by God or by man. The formation of the Pennsylvania system was based on the idea that solitary confinement would bring about change in the prisoners. This change was anticipated in the form of penitence and reformation. At the time the founders of this grand endeavor were the Philadelphia Society for Alleviating the Miseries of Public Prisons (Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 2013). The predominant members were Quakers and drove the decisions and actions of this committee. The implementation of the method came in 1829 at the Eastern State Penitentiary, on Cherry Hill in Philadelphia (Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 2013). Each prisoner had his own cell and his own exercise area. This prevented each prisoner from having contact with the other. The only contact was with the prison guards. Since the idea was to make these prisoners into meaningful members of society a work component…...

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