JSB173 Week 8 Exam Revision.docx

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Dr.Samantha Jeffries

JSB173 Week 8 Revision Prisons, Imprisonment and Community Corrections History of Prisons  Historically the first prisons were not so much places of punishment as they were holding places for criminals until they paid their debts or were transferred to capitol punishment etc.  They were rowdy and disorganised, with plenty of room for malevolence.  Until two hundred years ago, the confinement itself was not actually a punishment.  Two hundred years ago, the growing concern for the numbers of unemployed and religious beliefs merged to create the modern day prison, then called the penitentiary.  It was a place for those whose souls needed saving and it was believed that in the dark and miserable confines of imprisonment, men could find God again and their souls could be salvaged.  However it soon proved that the penitentiary was not successful, and in fact it did not help men become closer to God but rather quite literally sent them mad. Role of Prisons Today  Why, given the failure of the penitentiary, are prisons still implemented today? Many argue that the prison serves as proof that the State is in control and is always right. It shows that the State is virtuous and criminals are evil.  In the 1990s almost all Western jurisdictions rebuilt their prisons virtually from scratch. Cell capacity was doubled and surveillance systems installed. There became a focus on ‘humane’ prisons, with toilets and showers in cells which reduced rape crime. Essentially, prisons became much safer and more humane than the original penitentiary.  Punishments within prisons have for the most part become less physical, though
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