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September 23.docx

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University of Guelph
SOC 3740
C Yule

1 September 23/2013 SOC*3740*01 Corrections and Penology History of Punishment & Imprisonment What do Prisons Accomplish? We are currently not doing very well at actually accomplishing utilitarian goals such as deterrence. o Prisons accomplish 3 things 1. Provide a dumping ground for unwanted people 2. Subject offenders to harsh surroundings to pay them back for their crimes 3. Signifies that something has been done Criminal Code: Sentencing Principles It's important to have principles in place to reduce disparity. It is supposed to give judges some clear direction regarding what they are to accomplish at sentencing. The consequences of prison are very high and it is thus important to draw a line between when it is necessary to hand down such a sentence and when it is not.  718. The fundamental purpose of sentencing is to contribute, along with crime prevention initiatives, to respect for the law and the maintenance of a just, peaceful and safe society by imposing just sanctions that have one or more of the following objectives: a) to denounce unlawful conduct; b) to deter the offender and other persons from committing offences; c) to separate offenders from society, where necessary; d) to assist in rehabilitating offenders; e) to provide reparations for harm done to victims or to the community; and f) to promote a sense of responsibility in offenders, and acknowledgment of the harm done to victims and to the community.  718.1. A sentence must be proportionate to the gravity of the offence and the degree of responsibility of the offender. Despite the legislation's goal of clarifying principles, it still contained both utilitarian and retributive principles. Major Critics o The statement fails to inform judges as to the conditions under which one objective should be emphasized at the expense of the rest o The statements still rely on the judges own individual predispositions and beliefs about what the most appropriate punishment should be "Deciding how much to punish is an agonizing process, in which conflicting aspirations compete." 2 The History of Punishment and Imprisonment DVD: Modern Marvels * the following will appear on the midterm Consider the following:  What factors led to the establishment of prison as punishment?  The role of architecture in prison reform  Link to different theories/justifications of punishment  Evolution of prison walls, cells, locks  Auburn vs. Pennsylvania models of prison design  The key principles of the penitentiary  The role of technology in the evolution of prisons & the emphasis on safety Notes o Evolution  Technology is improving to better handle the more dangerous offenders and prevent them from affecting the general prison population  Video cameras in solitary confinement so the inmate can be monitored  High tech super max  17th century prisons had a modest wall around them, but later increased in height and security  The public expects that the people inside are going to stay inside: they want a sense of finality  Before the 18th century, corporal and capital punishment were common; they were kept in harsh conditions until they were sentenced  The first known prison was a series of dungeons in Rome  Notion of the cell: a place where a person is isolated  In theory, was meant to rehabilitate a person  Inmates were supposed to reflect and pray  Many prisons leased inmates to work on farms  Reform initiatives  Work house concepts began to spread where inmates were put to work  In England, penal colonies existed, convicts were imprisoned on ships, were in disease infested conditioned, wore hand cuffs and leg irons  Workers island: modern work house in New York where inmates are kept on ferries o Architectural reform  Jeremy Bentham's panopticon  The design didn't work well because the it was impossible to see all areas from the central office  Designs focused on keeping prisoners separate from each other 3  Easter penitentiary: large cells, worked in their cells, spoke structure but had many flaws  New York 1900's: abandoned the solitary confinement approach  Housed convicts together  Worked in a group setting: productive and cost effective  Tiny cells: the idea was that they were only used for sleeping since the inmates worked elsewhere  Secured with leg irons but still found ways to escape  Legendary for its electric chair  1960's-80's Telephone style  1960's: rehabilitation was re-established as a goal of prison but did not last long due to high amounts of prison violence, riots, and deaths  After this, almost every state created high security states where inmates were confined to their cells for up to 23 hours a day; called this a warehouse structure  Warehouse structure  Smaller cells  Super max prisons have become the fasted growing types of prison in America: they comfort citizens because they are confident once someone goes in, they won't be coming out  Make no effort to reform inmates o Locks  Locks were being designed so the cells could all be opened at the same time, as well as individually with a key  Still used today o Women's institutions  "cottage system" o Alcatraz  Authorities were seeing that a small number of inmates were in need of excess security  Alcatraz was created to be a super high max security prison o Prison design today  Focuses on safety of staff and inmates  Prison design should make it easy for officers to see inmates and hear what is going on in their unit  Pod: central control rooms are used for officers to sit in the centre of the prison  Some cells are premade and delivered and constructed on a steel frame  Prisons today are surrounded by razor ribbon with sensors to detect when they are cut or climbed  Due to overcrowding, house arrest is being used where the offender is monitored at all times - "prison without walls" History of Punishment 4 o Stateless societies  Punishment helped keep society functioning and was largely based on retaliation and retribution  Corporal punishment was common o Consolidation/formalization of the state  Enlightenment: proportionality principle, rational system of punishment- saw crime as an exercise of freewill and choice  Thought crime could be reduced if you could change the behavior and attitude of the offender  Increasing use of imprisonment as punishment, away with banishment, transportation etc. Early Jails - pre 1800's o Large open rooms for inmates would live communally o Were used for holding accused people until their trial o Dangerous, violent places where assaults, disease, and death were common o Penal reform movements  Significant reforms began  Related to changing views of crime and criminality  John Howard society: very involved today in prison life and reform, trying to benefit the lives of the incarcerated  People began to feel as though hanging and execution were revolting and unacceptable  Rising concern over threats to society: there was a sense that morality was declining so people wanted more than just punishment, they wanted reform  Concern over conditions in jails and penitentiaries  Centrality of religion: focus on morality and the need to reform individuals; the church was viewed as the guardian of moral order and thus played a large role in trying to change and reform people  Long history of non-profit & charitable work Principles of the Penitentiary o 1779: first legislation that looked at imprisonment as punishment o Isolate prisoners from society and from each other so they could reflect, repent, and reform* o Penance and sile
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