Purpose and History
June 21, 2012
Dr. Glenda Shepherd
Purpose and History
Prisons have been around for ages. Gallows or dungeons all have the same meaning, some sort of prison. Back in the old, this is where you did not want to be. They would chain you up to a wall to leave you rot or until you die, then get rid of your carcass. From about 3000 B.C.E. to 400 B.C.E., the Babylonian Empire maintained prisons for petty offenders and debtors, and for noncitizens that broke the law (Kurian, 2006). With prisons came pain and punishment for all that was sent there. Today however, it is different and no one gets whipped or beheaded, they just stay behind bars for the duration of their sentence and sometimes serve a life sentence where they will never be a part of society ever again.
Punishment has been a part of our rich history as far back as 2700 BC. In some later Samarian records there was actually a death penalty given at a murder trial (Lyons & Stephen, 2003). This show that no matter what time era it was, you were not getting away with any crime that an individual committed. In the old if you were caught stealing something with your right hand they would cut off your right hand as the form of punishment. Historical punishments were both painful and shameful. Stocks and pillories were used both as physical punishment and to ridicule offenders in front of their fellow townspeople (Seiter, 2011). We must not forget that in today’s society the reason for a punishment is so that the individual can be corrected in the form of punishment that fits the crime he or she committed. With this process and time came better prisons to hold criminals.
The prison system as a whole was no picnic in the park and the first three prisons systems in America needed a lot of attention in the beginning. It was not until William Penn, the governor of Pennsylvania, decided along with the Pennsylvania colony that changes in the criminal code needed to be replaced with the...