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Lecture 1

CRM 2306 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Solitary Confinement, Medical Model, Panopticon

Course Code
CRM 2306
Kate Fletcher

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Lecture 1
Imprisonment as Punishment (The prison in contemporary society)
Prison reform has always existed along side prisons as institutions. Prison themselves are not
inert (doesn’t move) institutions, they change more or less but they continue to persist. Prison
reform(changes) occurs in consort with the very functioning of the prison itself. Prison reform is
bound to the prison itself. This indicates that the prison is flawed because if the prison is
constantly changing then there must be something wrong with it, or it doesn’t work very well.
Early Punishments:
It was the punishment of peoples bodies. So corporal punishment (beatings, whips, flogging,
caning), mutilation, branding and public spectacles (stocks and pillory where people would
throw things at you). People could be sentenced to these things later on in prison. There was
also execution where people paid for their crimes with their life. The British also starting
transporting criminals to the colonies to help build the colonies. Then that stopped because
America declared its independence to Britain had to do something else with the criminals so
they put them on a boat in the middle of nowhere. Then eventually they moved them to
Classical criminology:
-Emphasis on the law
-Reparation/retribution: deterrence (general and specific)
General = if the broader society sees the individual get caught and punished so they do not do
the crime because they do not want to receive that punishment.
-Proportionality-> punishment = crime
During this time judges could decide what they felt like. They didn’t have structure to follow.
Beccaria saw this and said we needed a set of rules, guidelines. Judges no longer interpret the
law, they just judge whether or not the action is a crime according to the law. According to him
it had nothing to do with religion. Punishment should not be about retribution (get what they
deserve). Breaking the law is the breaking of the social contract.
The three elements for deterrence to work:
-certain (high likely hood you will be caught and punished)
-Swift (quickly after the crime was committed)
-Severe (has to be proportionate, punishment has to slightly outweigh the benefits you would
get from committing the crime).
Panopticon: (Bentham)
Half circle prison or full circle so that it was an all seeing, around the clock surveillance machine.
The small circle in the centre was the watchtower. From this tower a person could see each cell
and person but they could not see the person who was watching them. You may not even need
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