Lecture 1 (Overview)
Why did the modern prison emerge?
A change in societal values. Depending on the definition of the modern prison, it emerged in order to
maintain a perceived order in society, while keeping the rights of the prisoner respected. Documents such
as the Charter of Rights and Freedoms ensure that prisoners rights are respected even when their freedom
is limited. The Enlightenment.
Deter for other crimes,
To conceal punishment
Ineffectiveness of corporal punishment.
The emergence of human rights, protection for society from a corrupt state.
Shift from temporary to long term punishment.
Why do we imprison?
We imprison to not only protect the general public, but to fulfil the public need for punishment.
Business, industry, economy feeder, Prison Industrial Complex.
Tough on crime approach beneficial for politicians
Legitimate Retribution A way of controlling everybody and not just the criminal (prevents individual
What is prison life like for prisoners and staff?
Hostile, Us vs Them mentality,
Example, how was Kingston pen when it opened vs when it was closed.
Amenities have improved, heating, sanitation, hygiene standards.
Split between youth offenders and adults.
Dividing prisoners according to risk, min vs max security.
More control in modern prison.
Less fear from the prisoner perspective. Increase of incarceration of minority groups.
Increase than decrease of resources and programs.
How do you think prison objectives and prison life have changed over time, and why?
There has been a shift in focus from rehabilitating the prisoners (prison farms) to cost saving measures,
leading to a more retributive prison style. This serves the classes in power needs without providing any
manner for the prisoner
More focus on individual rights, shift from physical punishment to mental punishment (punishing the soul)
Shift to prevent recidivism.
In the past prisons were used to put people before their punishment was decided opposed to prison now
being the punishment.
All questions, how do you know what you know? And What voices inform your claimsmaking?
Wednesday, January 15th, 2014
The Birth of the Modern Prison and the Role of State Punishment
Feb 26st, guest speakers
Email him responses to the following ([email protected]
Why am I taking Criminology?
To be perfectly honestly, my interest in criminology was found by a complete accident. I was
enrolled in the coop program in my high school, and being denied the opportunity to complete the program
with a trauma surgeon, I was given 2 minutes to decide a second career. I chose policing, and frankly, I
couldn't be happier that I did. My coop experience was the best experience of my life, there is a certain
adrenaline rush that no other career can match. I will be able to work 1st hand with offenders. I choose a
degree in criminology however over a basic police foundations course however because of a different
incident. In my grade 12 English Class my teacher showed a documentary called The Candy Shop which
acted as a metaphor for the American underground sex trade. I wanted to make a difference, my best friend
had recently been sexually assaulted (the offender attempted to drag her into a car at the incident). I simply
wanted to dedicate my career and learn all I can in order to help others.
What questions are you hoping to have answered or be able to answer following the completion of your criminology courses or program?
There isn't one specific question I want answered by the end of my program. I want to understand
as much about criminal behaviour, and how we deal with criminal behaviour in our society as possible. I
want to understand how to stop or reduce recidivism. I want to understand how the criminal mind works, so
when I'm on the job, I have a skill set into the offender's mind.
Do you expect to apply the criminological knowledge you gain in your future jobs? If so, what jobs would
you like to have and how do you envision your application of the criminological knowledge gained in your
courses or program?
I don't expect my criminological knowledge to simply be able to
Informs alot of the Marxist criminology which came in the 80's and 90's
The main premise guiding Roush work is to understand why we punish people we must understand the acts
that got them to prison.
We must connect to the social context they emerge.
His Research Question
How do changes in economic structures of given societies impact penal sanctions?
his main contribution of his work, in context of labour surpluses (more labourers than there are
jobs) and related societal unrest, there is tension (eg, idol no more, occupy movement) penal
sanctions are devised according to the principle of less eligibility (conditions or treatment of
people we criminalized than the treatment that productive citizens work with) the idea is that the
lesser conditions will be a deterrent, it will be equal or more significant that the gains of
breaking the law, based on rationalization.
In contexts of labour shortages and increased living standards, penal sanctions are devised to
be humane and generate wealth to deflate general living standards.
It is the elites who provide these sanctions
It is about managing what elites would deem as dangerous classes, classes who may up rise and
jeopardized their interests.
Penal sanctions are also an instrument to maintain class structure in society, in times of labour
shortages, increase living standards Penal sanctions are devised to be humane and generate wealth to deflate living standards.
So when you punish someone, the prisoners are some how generating wealth for those who
aren't in conflict with the law. Example when you think of prison labour, and the federal
penitentiary system, where many prisoners spend more than 2 years, they refurbish army
vehicles, looking at that from Rooches perspective, it is not simply about punishment for the act
but rather finding ways to put the prisoners to generate wealth at a much lower rate than in the
outside world, this however can effect outside workers. This forces the outside workers to lower
your core price,
In the Early Middle Ages (13th to 16th century), a period where the population in terms of it's density is thin,
people are living a rural life, the type of labour is based on a subsistence economy (labour to survive). At
the time, keeping in mind the elites are the aristocracy, granting out land to people so they can live, people
have relatively even access to land, during this period R states the frequency of crime was lower but was
more violent (based in sexual and hate driven violence). People were concerned with survival, the
objectives at the time was to try to find ways to reconcile and prevent feuds between families. So, the way
the aristocrats work with occupying their land is through penance and fines. This made sense at the time as
people were able to survive.
In the late Middle ages the population grew and became more concentrated, the subsistence economy was
eroding. This created disparate between rich and poor. There was no enough land to go around, people
weren't able to eat, to survive, to generate materials to survive. Crime increased as a result, in unrest
people demanding from the elites that they get more. A lot of property crime. We had to make punishment
so bad, so it would be worse than what they would receive living in poverty. This is the introduction of
corporal and capital punishment.
Emergence of Mercantilism
The government controls trade with foreign nations. You see a decline in population, increase in wars,
plagues, people were fleeing Europe to go to new found land to the West and Australia. Populations were
going down. This generated a labour scarcity. Because there were less people to work for the elites,
workers could demand more, increasing their living standards. Stability in crime rate, still some unrest but
driven by desires for democracy and the rule of law. In terms of crime control objectives, there is a need to
be more humane, treat people in conflict in the law better. This wasn't done because we wanted to be nicer
but rather about generating profit. The prison emerges as a work house, generating and producing products
that can be sold for less amounts of money than workers on the outside. This is done to deflate living
standards on the outside. Workers on the outside have to make concessions.
Emergence of Capitalism
With the industrial revolution and rapid urbanization. We arrive at a period were there is a surplus of labour,
people don't have a means of subsistence, crime increases. There is a lot of unrest particularly with
employment scarcity. Law makers of the day, with the emergence of capitalism, turned to deterrence. Here
the prison labourer was orientated around the kinds of work that is needed to keep the prison system a float.
In recent years, the federal government has made a number of changes to its penitentiary system in a
stated effort to get tough on crime and to make prison life more austere for the criminalized.
Search the internet to find at least two recent examples of the penal austerity at the federal level.
increased use of double bunking (placing two people in a cell originally designed for 1),
currently there are 21 percent of prisoners double bunked (prison cells are by average the size of
increase in room and board charges (garnished from wages)
General wages being cut (prices of goods are going up, can buy less with current wage)
use of solitary confinement (being sent to the hole)
Cut of programs (eg, the lifeline program started by those who are released to help others re
integrate back into society, when released these are prisoners who are on parole for the rest of
Eliminated prison farm program (was at min security level)
Elimination of the safe tattooing and needle programs.
Prison crowding, despite the population increasing by 7 percent, there isn't an increase in
correctional workers, making a dangerous environment, budgets for programs have not
increased, waiting lists for programs. Some of these programs are needed for prisoners to be
released on parole.
There are more cases of self harm and suicide.
Apply Rusche's (1980) two explanations concerning the impact of economic restructuring on penal
sanctions and develop an argument about which one is more applicable to on going penal austerity efforts
of the federal government.
In contexts of labour surpluses and related societal unrest, penal sanctions are devised according
of the principle of less eligibility as a means of deterrence.
By cutting resources we are oporating on the principle of less eligibility
Because we went through a recession, many are unemployed, we must degrade the appeal of
going to prison, you want to make the prison seem a lot worse than living on the streets. Keeping
non of the cuts are to generate wealth
In contexts of labour shortages and increased living standards, penal sanctions are devised to be humane
and degrade wealth to deflate general living standards.
the prison system is a business which must make money off it's inmates,
What the prof thinks
In 2006 the conservatives took federal office, basically the first thing they did when entering government
was issue a blue ribbon panel, reviewing prison operations. One of the things the panel did was that we
needed to enhance prison labour. This would benefit the prisoners, giving skills relatable to the outside, and
the prison perspective, it's just a different way of doing things, moving towards a work type orientation. CSC
accepts these recommendations, saying they would move towards the work recommendations. In 2008, the
economy took a downturn, the desire to incorporate these programs disappears, the cutting rolled out.
There was a shift to the tough on crime approach. The number of work programs have been put on the
back burner. There is a focus on lining the pockets of big business, by creating poor conditions for prisoners
to deflate general living standards. So, a few years ago, a woman in BC was working and quit her job to go
back to school, to work in the health sector. A few months into her job she found out she had cancer, she
had to leave work, and wanted to go on unemployment insurance. She was denied as she didn't work
enough time to receive those benefits, a direct result of going back to school. Went to MP's office, can't find
a loop hole, did notice that prisoners, when they go into prison, if they go into prison, their clock for going
into ie freezes, maintaining their ei eligibility. This is a great injustice. He proposes a private members bill to
stop the freeze for prisoners. The bill is passed, the eligibility keeps going but their benefits stop. The
women with cancer still never receive any help. What you see if that that benefits of prisoners are being
used to not improve the living standards of someone on the outside world.
Foucault (1977 )
He opens his book in a way of displaying how the elites exercised power.
Shift away from public Spectacles, Towards Concealment
One of the shift Foucault is the shift away from public spectacles to the concealment of punishment. The
shift he speaks about when the modern prison emerged, is that previously the punishment was the body
and now the soul. The basis of perceptions, as it relates to corporal and capital punishment is the
experience, the experience people had watching the spectacle, where with the modern prison it was
embedding what punishment was, we would be disciplined to think of the prison and the potential
punishment. The effectiveness of the punishment when focused on the body was that of a spectacle,
general deterrence. When punishment with the modern prison, punishment must be thought of a inevitable.
I terms of who we directed pain for punishment, you would denounce the author of the act, but as someone watching the spectacle, you would also blame the author of the punishment and fear them at the same
time. The modern prison is oriented about the legitimacy of the law and placing the blame on the offender.
The modern prison is a instrument of normalization, to appeal to their reason, they have incentives to act
like a normal person.
Away from the Body Towards the Soul
The role of the body was the site of the punishment, the role of physical pain was to either punish or get rid
of you. The deprivation of liberty at the time was to await their punishment, it wasn't for their punishment (a
modern aspect is the Ottawa Centre, when you are awaiting trial). The role of professionals was infliction of
pain. With the emergence of the modern prison, the body, the role of pain, the role of the deprivation of
liberty, and the role of perfectionist is resolvent of this normalization project, to correct people deemed to be
Foucaults book is oriented around the birth of the prison, but is using the prison as a tool to show the
emergence of a new form of power. For instance, when he speaks of sovereign power, he talks about the
power of the ruler over the ruled, to show who's the boss. A good way to do that is the create public
spectacles, to show who has more power in a given society. If you're looking at international relations, you
can think of militarist as exhibiting sovereign power over areas with less power and resources, they do it
through force. Disciplinary power was thought to be a more effective way to control populations, lit's aimed
to produce right thinking, conformist acting, docile, bodies, as required by capitalism. Generates legitimacy
of the state through persuasion rather than an iron fist.
A way of arranging a prison so a person standing int he middle can look around and see into any cell, while
the people in the cell can only see a small holy and light, they don't know what's happening beyond their
door. It creates a disciplinary effect, as they think they are constantly being watched. People tend to adjust
behaviour accordingly, training their minds to take instruction, and internalizes the role of authority.
Group Exercise 2
Foucault (1977) observes important shifts in punishment practices that preceded the birth of the
Search the Internet in an attempt to find an example that illustrates continuities between punishment
practices from premodern to modern times.
In Louisiana, prison rodeo
In America, in Arizona, some of the prisoners are paraded in pink underwear, practices of Sharif Alvareo
Parking tickets on windows? Public spectacle punishment.
Sex Offender registries
In Vermont, there are special licence plates for people convicted of sexual offences.
Media coverage, eg Sgt. Williams coverage
Actions by police officers when enforcing the law (having to tackle to apprehend suspect)
In the case of Ashley Smith, coroners inquest deemed it homicide
Based on the results of your search, do you believe we have moved away from public spectacles and the
body in our punishment practices as suggested by Foucault?
was not discussed
Lecture 3: Giving a Purpose to Imprisonment Beyond Punishment?
RouchePenal sanctions are shaped by economic and political factors.
1) In context of labour surpluses, high employment and related societal unrest, penal sanctions are applied
in the context of less eligibility, we do this as a means of deterrence, the threat they may pose to the
dominant order of that time, this is done to maintain general living standards. It's seeing the prison as a
method of economic standardization.
2) In times when unemployment are low, during the good time penal sanctions are divised to be humane, to
put the punished in a position where they are generating economic capital at a lower price, allowing the
prisons to compete with the labour force outside of prisons.
With the rise of the industrial revolution, the rapid urbanization, alot of people who don't have the means for
subsistence, the prison was used as a warehouse, a way to send a message to the public that if laws are
broken, you will be punished. Certain punishment.
Foucault's focus is not on economic structures but rather the question of power, he observes that in the
time where there was corporal and capital punishment as the dominant form of punishment, nation states
where using the sovereign power to display their power over the ruled.
Reflection Questions If imprisonment was strictly pursued to punish those in conflict with the law, would you support its use?
Imprisonment is a necessary part of society, however, that being said, it must be regulated. If it is
solely based on the law, the majority of the populace must agree that the laws are just and reflect the
current societal values of society. One should never be imprisoned for something that is deemed a societal
norm, or for laws that are directed towards the marginalization of a certain group in society. In short, if we
choose to imprison on the strict basis of the law, we must eliminate the upper classes strong hold on the
laws which are in place, ensuring that we don't imprison to solely fuel the economy.
If so, on what grounds do you consent to the use of imprisonment in your name?
Class opinion, only consent to inmates who pose a direct threat to society
not so much punishment as much as incapacitation
To make prison solely about punishment is a political strategy opposed to rehabilitation.
Deterrence, in order to punish there has to be an aspect of rehabilitation,
The objective of reintegration
Imposition of guilt, if there is no admission to guilt, there will be no positive outcome to the punishment.
Where do we draw the line?
Committing crimes to the person,
Individual drug use, anything at the individual level should not be imprisoned, more of a medica l
Sex crimes, crimes against children and animals,
Crimes against people who are defenceless,
Repeat offenders (dangerous few)
White collar crime,
No intent of reparation, lack of remorse.
Watch The Cooperation
If not, what other objective need to be pursued for you to consent to the use of imprisonment in your name?
Imprisonment should also be seen as a last resort, or a option which is partnered with
rehabilitative programing. If we simply imprison and let the offenders back into society, we are starting a
cycle of criminality, opposed to rehabilitation, in which case we conform the prisoner into behaving with
Beattie (1977) Constructions of Crime in Upper Canada (18301850)
Some of the things that led legislators to lead to imprionsment as an appropriate response to crime in
Canada. Even though most of the crimes were nonviolent, and focused on property crimes. The elites
were concerned about a system of immorality, social instabilty, and lack of respect for the law. They felt
responsible for creating and enforcing the law. The frequency of crime was scarce, but the type of crime
was property offences, the people commenting the crime lacked education, immorality and idolatress, not
contributing to the emerging mode of production, capitalism. When they were looking at different ways to
respond to these offense, there was different types of proposals to try to restore the good order in Upper
Canada. One was that we should have a temporance movement, prohibite alcohol, which would be latter
done in the US. There was a movement around making sure people were engaged in religious service,
sabbatarianism. There was a push to put at risk youth, to put in boarding schools. Popular education, so
education for the masses, minimal level of education for everyone, so that we can institute forms of social
control. Capital punishment was seen as a powerful tool to keep everything in check at the time.
The Emergence of Prison as a Alternative Punishment in Canada
Capital punishment was not seen as something the state can legitimately do to them. The first thing is that
there was a selective decrease in sentences, the elites decided who lived and who died. There was an
inequality of distribution of sentences. There was a reluctance to prosecute and convict. At this point, there
were almost 200 offences to receive capital punishment. Because there were so many offences,
prosecutors where relunctant to pursue many cases, as they didn't want to be responsible for the ultimate
death of the accussed. Within the legal culture, the actors who were involved, didn't agree with the system.
Capital punishment started to be seen as ineffective.
There is a emergence of a different legal culture, ensuring a proportionality between the harms done by the
act and the harms done by imprisonment, there is an idea of reformation, maybe we can fix people.
Our connection to the British Empire and the idea that prisons were starting to the emerge in Britain, John
Howard went into the prisons and observed disease, sex work, and violence. John Howard, thought that we
can use this place of punishment as a way to reform people, we can do this by giving them schooling,
putting them to work, providing them with different opportunities, establish new morals, to influence them
into being right thinking, comformist, docile bodies.
In 1831, the ****of Canada was charged with coming up with an adequate legal system.
There are two main models, the first the Pennsylvanian system, which deals with the idea that punishment
is a means of reform to law abiding productive members of society. The Basis of reformation si through
solitude and reflection, they thought if you put someone in a cell alone and let them be there 24/7 to reflect,
that they would come to the realization that they did something wrong and they should change. It was
meant through solitary confinement, reform would pursue.
The Auburn System, thought reform could be achieve through industrious work habits. The idea that if we teach them how to life according to a work schedule, how to work hard, that this would allow them to
develop industrious work habits and this would be the basis of reformation. During the day they would work
in communal settings, and would have their time for reflection in separate cells at night.
In Kingston pen they implemented the Auburn system as it is tested and profitable. The Pennsylvania
system, there were reports of induced insanity. It is thought the communal work would not only provide
rehab, provide deterrence through the work itself (scar them straight).
Discipline and moral reputation is to be achieve through the day, and prisoners are reflective at night.
Look at slide show.
Putting yourself first in the shoes of a prisoner, and then in the shoes of a prison administrator or staffer,
what problems do yo think would arise in an institution with a regime of labour and coerced silence during
the day and a regime of isolation and silence in the night?
Would this approach to punishment assist and/ or undermine the pursuit of the moral reformation of
Anger, resentment towards guards (encourages fighting back)
Resentment towards society as a whole.
Build up an apathy, loose all hope, a shell going through the motions
Internalize the issues that brought you there, they would get worse, having to endure being
called names by the guards
Loose social skills, difficulty reintegrating into society, institutionalization,
Us vs Them mentality
reduce the prospect of reform
Doesn't address the problem of criminality
Break the silence, just not be able to stay silent.
Staff member or Guard
almost impossible to enforce, tasked with the impossible
Constant fear for retribution,
desensitization, eventual abuse of power
In a way they are prisoners themselves,
Could be force to see the prison as an industry than a means of reformation,
A risk of insanity from working environments
Watched video The suffering, Prison is hell on youtube. Group Exercise 1
Upon its establishment, Kingston Penitentiary was intended to impose regualrity of labour and good work
habits on men who were assumed to have been lazy and idle, while at the same time isolating each man,
breaking his spirit, taming his passions and preventing the kind of currption that indiscriminate intercourse
amount the prisoners was thought to encourage.
Look at the Brown Commision in 1849
New Objectives, Familiar Outcomes
Jackson notes that when Kingston Pen put on line, from it's inception there was issues around it's
management and abuse of power (warden smith), a number of documented abused, for punishing
prisoners publicly in harsh ways. These abuses started getting the attention of the press, the institution that
was made for reform. There were alot of instances of recidivism, failure to reform, the idea that the prison
didn't work in it's central purpose,there were reports of an actual increase in crime at the time. The Brown
Commision report indicated that individuals should be in solitary for 6 month than be put in the existing
regime, that corpral punishment should be used as a last resort, less frequently, at the time juveniles where
imprisoned with adults, they wanted them specially separated (prevent hardened criminals from making the
Archambault Commision Report (1938), different penitentiary where reporting failure to reform. One of the
things they recomend is that the central goal of penitentiary should be rehabilitation, not in the reform
sense, but to view criminality as a disease that we can treat by offereing programs towards rehabilitating
them, bringing proffessionals in order to create these programs. There is an idea of humane discipline, to
eliminate corpral punishment, they wanted more humane ways of discipline, they also thought we needed to
institute a classificition system based on security needs and the abiltiy to be programed and changed.
When it's published we are on the eve of WWII, so nothing really gets done with it because we have worst
things in the world. The Faugture report of 1956 essentially rearticulates, the context changes, the contexts
to push forward change in the federal penitentiary system, there is a window of opportunity. During WWII,
this was viewed as the most distructive thing that ravaged the planet, millions of people died for having the
wrong faith, period of war with a disregard for humanity, poeple killed in the millions. You have all these
people who have seen hell first hand, and seeing what treating people without humanity looks like, many of
whom were prisoners of war, who knew what it was like to be a prisoner and be treated like fucking shit. It
was a period where state intervention was viewed as necessary in order to kick start the economy, it was an
interventionist state, a well fare state. The government is seen as a solution to the problems. He
recommends the entry of professionals, leisure, expansion of schooling, you see the rehabilitative ideal take
hold in the system.
Macguigan Reprot 1960's there is enthusiasm for rehabilitation amongst politicians. There was also
support amoungst the prisoners themselves for more opportunities to better themselves. Decades into this progress of rehabilitation, critic from the left is that rehabilitation is being used as an ideology as a way to
mask punishment. You can see this through the recidivism rates. That the rehabilitation orientated prison
dehabilitated more problems, are place where people can learn the tricks of the trade. The people on the
right agreed, the right also argued that we needed prisons based more on incapacitation, deterrence,
sending a message. On the left, community based alternatives were proposed, the prisoners themselves
were responsible for their recovery. That period is characterized by prison riots, hostage takings, and
different disturbaces in prisons, and violence between staff, particularly towards those who didn't think that
prisoners couldn't be changed.
Arbour Commission Report (1996) The last major commision. This is specificallly around the quesiton of
incarceration of women in Canada. In 1934 the first fed prison for women was opened across the street
from kingston pen. They set up this prison, (P4W), it is decribed as alot of abuse of women both in terms of
corpral punshment, cell extraction, trying to quell anger at the time for unequal acess to programs as the
men. This led to the ERT crack down in 1994, where they extracted these women from the cells naked, the
issue being they used that level of force for a disturbance that didn't need an ERT intervention, the women
they were dealing with had history of sexual abuse, did not encourage moral reformation in any way. The
propose was to build facilites that were women centered and cultrally appropriate, staffing with more
women, orient programing around specific history (residential schools).
This leads Jackson to make se