Purpose And History Essay

860 words - 3 pages

Purpose and HistoryJustin LewisCJA/234June 25, 2014Mrs. Marshall




Purpose and HistoryIn reference to the history of punishment for crimes, which date back as far as 450 B.C., some of the earliest methods of punishment are replaced by more efficient and humane methods of punishments or corrections. Punishments back then were harsher, brutal, and inhumane because people strongly believed in the retributive approach to crimes committed by individuals. Punishments such as whippings, brandings, torture, beatings, and mutilations were in efforts to make the punishment as relevant as possible to the crime committed also known as corporal punishment. Liars had their tongues ripped out; thieves had their finger or hand cut off; and adulterers had a scarlet "A" branded on their foreheads to reduce attractiveness and discourage any further adultery (Seiter, 2011). Punishments back then also included removing the individual from society or his kind by transportation or deportation, which resulted in decreasing the opportunity for the individual to repeat the crime committed. Also placing individuals in pillories, wooden frames with holes that secured an individual's hands and head as he or she stand; and placing individuals in stocks, wooden frames with that secured an individual's head, hands, and feet while he or she sit, deterred both the individual and the broader community through pain and shame as he or she were visible to the public or community (Seiter, 2011).In efforts to rid brutality and the extensive use of corporal and capital punishment, death by hanging or burning, for various minor crimes; some individuals were not satisfied with these methods in response to inappropriate behavior or criminal behavior, which led to a new code for criminal behavior and the establishment of prisons. The new code included changes, such as the abolishment of capital punishment for crimes except homicide; provision for free food and lodging for criminals; substitution of imprisonment at hard labor for corporal punishments; replacement of stocks and pillories with houses for detention or prison (Seiter, 2011). In 1790 The Walnut Street Jail became the first prison in the United States by converting a wing of the Walnut Street Jail for use in housing sentenced criminals for corporal punishment (Seiter, 2011). The philosophy or objective for the Walnut Street Jail was hard labor, strict discipline, solitary and silent confinement, and religious study, as a result prisoners were kept separate and silent. Prisoners were also masked as moved throughout the prison to avoid other prisoners identifying one another; they were given...

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