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SOC209 issues in prisons, punishment, and corrections

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Philip Goodman

SOC209 th March 18 Issues in Prisons, Punishment, and Corrections Punishment in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Period - crime/punishment as a private affair, retaliation o along family – people took into their own hands the notion of revenge o the right to avenge the harm done o not between the accused and the government o move towards more public forms - some forms of punishment o fines  most popular  instead of fines being used against the poor – were reserved for the nobility as a way to “get out” of punishment – buy out  what punishment is and who it is appropriate for – seen as humiliation o shaming and humiliation  often done in a public square – form of deterrence  a way of people to act out against the offender  modern way of this: making inmates wear pink etc. o corporal punishment and death o galley slavery  shipped off to the war ships – death punishment in it’s own way o transportation  if sentenced to die and judge thought it was too harsh, or if they were people of power – easier sentence than death or humiliation o banishment  have to leave the area in which you committed your crime - limited use of institutional confinement o detain people before trial o hold prisoners awaiting other sanctions o coerce payment of debts and fines Early Forms of Imprisonment - workhouse (Bridewell – England) o first real form of incarceration as a form of punishment o not having any skills and not the value of work – look and operate identically with the factories that arised out of the Industrial Revolution o creating better citizens by teaching them how to work - house of correction o nobody cared about the conditions – the competed with industries from the outside - corruption - jails or gaols o function similar to workhouses o driven by the desire to improve conditions - frontier justice 18 Century Reform and Rise of the Penitentiary - Enlightenment or Age of Reason - Reformers: o Cesare Beccaria o Jeremy Bentham o John Howard o Elizabeth Fry Beccaria and Bentham - the punishment should be a deterrence and should be rational and proportional to the crime - instead of an outrage, it should do something - a good society moves towards change - solitary confinement – if you put people alone, you will force them to repent their crimes and they will come out better people Howard and Fry - better and more humane conditions (in penitentiary – solitary confinement) o today, we see it as the harshest form of punishment Penitentiary Act of 1779 Rothman, Foucalt, Ignatiev o Rothman:  rise in penitentiary are attempts to push back threats against social order  solution to the social ills  ex. the
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