Penal System Dbq

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This analytical essay will be looking at Document 1: “Report of the Commissioners on the Subject of Prisons, Penitentiaries, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera”, taken from module 6: Schools, Prisons, and Asylums in the Mid-Nineteenth Century British North America. This document is found in Visions: The Canadian History Modules Project, compiled by Dr. David B. Marshall. The primary source chosen strives to inform us of the composition of the legal system in the mid-nineteenth century and the improvements that were suggested to the government to better society. In this essay, the weaker points of the penal system will be pointed out and will be compared with the suggestions that the author of the document makes. Written in 1836 by Charles Duncombe,…show more content…
Duncombe continues on with the sentencing of the criminals, that “… when sentence of condemnation to hard labour had been passed on them, I would advise that the punishment should be carried into effect in the manner least likely to debase the human mind, and the most calculated to produce the reformation of the convict.” Basically, Duncombe is asking the government to make the punishment as swift and as painful as possible in order to make the mind of the criminal weaken enough so that they would continue on with their lives as less dangerous individuals. Duncombe continues on by saying, “He would then become a better man as a convict – enjoy more in confinement, and be likelier, in consequence, to be liberated.” He believed in the convicts in redeeming themselves in the forms of punishments, the more painful, the better because it would be able to break the barrier that the human mind tends to make. On the other hand, Duncombe believed that flogging, also known as whipping, was a form of punishment he that is “highly reprehensible”, mainly because “Fear should not be the only incentive to action…”. Duncombe wanted the convicts to have self-respect for themselves, a respect for their keepers, and the respect of their…show more content…
Duncombe, Charles ."Report of the Commissioners on the Subject of Prisons, Penitentiaries, etc., etc., etc."Visions: The Canadian Module Project, Document 1 (1836): 247. Print. [ 3 ]. Duncombe, Charles ."Report of the Commissioners on the Subject of Prisons, Penitentiaries, etc., etc., etc."Visions: The Canadian Module Project, Document 1 (1836): 247. Print. [ 4 ]. Duncombe, Charles ."Report of the Commissioners on the Subject of Prisons, Penitentiaries, etc., etc., etc."Visions: The Canadian Module Project, Document 1 (1836): 247. Print. [ 5 ]. Duncombe, Charles ."Report of the Commissioners on the Subject of Prisons, Penitentiaries, etc., etc., etc."Visions: The Canadian Module Project, Document 1 (1836): 247. Print. [ 6 ]. Duncombe, Charles ."Report of the Commissioners on the Subject of Prisons, Penitentiaries, etc., etc., etc."Visions: The Canadian Module Project, Document 1 (1836): 247. Print. [ 7 ]. Duncombe, Charles ."Report of the Commissioners on the Subject of Prisons, Penitentiaries, etc., etc., etc."Visions: The Canadian Module Project, Document 1 (1836): 247.

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