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CHAPTER TWO FROM VENGEANCE TO REFORM: AN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE Learning Objectives After reading this chapter, students should: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.

Understand how the early legal codes influenced the development of corrections. Describe the role of punishment during the Middle Ages. Define what role imprisonment had in the early history of corrections. Identify the ideas found within Enlightenment thinking and how they influence corrections. Define the early prison reformers and what they contributed. Discuss the origins of American corrections. Understand the role of religion in the formulation of corrections. Understand how the Pennsylvania and Auburn models differ from one another. Explain how the reformatories contributed to the rehabilitation movement. Discuss the punishment of female offenders and compare their treatment with male inmates. Identify the major features of U.S. corrections in the twentieth century.

Chapter Outline I.

The legal codes of the ancient world A. As states, kingdoms, and empires superseded clan and tribal societies, the state assumed the role of punishing violators of societal norms. B. Early codes embodied the customs of organized society. C. Code of Hammurabi 1. First code for which we have records 2. Restitution as an element of justice since the Code 3. Code of Draco very harsh D. Criminal law in ancient Rome 1. Twelve Tables as foundation of all Roman law 2. Justinian Code: reviewed and revised Roman law; basis of much law in the Middle Ages

II.

Punishment during the middle ages A. Criminals were seen as menaces to the community and as insults to God. B. Flogging and branding 1. The Medieval punishment of flagellation was the act of whipping or flogging the human body. C. Torture 6


D.

E.

1. Developed in the Roman Catholic Church’s fight against heresy (reaching its most well known peak during the Spanish Inquisition), torture reflects a fundamental shift in criminal justice. Galley slavery 1. Forced rowing of large ships called galleys, an example of punishment as a source of labor. 2. Galley service was a lifetime assignment Gallows 1. Done in public as a deterrent 2. Exile and banishment

III.

The development of penal confinement A. Prisons as a place of confinement can be traced to the ancient Greeks B. Early prisons 1. Monastic confinement - Religion, as we later consider, has some considerable influence on the development of correctional punishment. 2. Jails - the early temporary placement for prisoners, characterized by horrible conditions 3. Bridewells - houses of corrections established under local authorities 4. Workhouses - seen as places to put beggars and minor criminals to work

IV.

The ideas of enlightenment thinkers and the development of corrections A. Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu B. Cesare Bonesana Beccaria C. Jeremy Bentham

V.

A. B. C. D. E.

VI.

The early prison reformers The harsh and demeaning conditions of confinement inspired some leaders to call for prison reform. John Howard (1726-1790) was the first English prison reformer Alexander Maconochie (1786-1860) served as director of the prison colony on Norfolk Island in Australia. Walter Crofton, a retired army officer, developed what became known as the “Irish mark system.”

The origins of American corrections A. The American experience with corrections was shaped from a particular context, both from the culture that existed in this nation and from what had taken place in Europe. B. Colonial punishment 1. The Puritans in New England used correctional punishment as a means to enforce their strict legal codes. 2. They viewed the deviant as willful, a sinner, and a captive of the devil. C. The Quakers and criminal law 1. Quaker colonies of Pennsylvania and West Jersey rejected English criminal law. 7


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D.

2. Only murderers were subject to the gallows. 3. Other traditional felonies were punishable by hard labor. Philadelphia Society for Alleviating the Miseries of Public Prisons and the Walnut Street Jail 1. Lobbied for reforms of the overcrowded and corrupt Walnut Street jail

VII.

The role of religion in the development of corrections A. Both the brutal measures of punishment, as well as the emerging theme of reform, can be traced to religious origins.

VIII.

Development of the penitentiary A. A prison in which persons found guilty of a felony are isolated from normal society B. Eastern State Penitentiary C. Pennsylvania Model

IX.

The New York penal system A. The New York penal system eventually replaced the Pennsylvania system B. The Auburn Silent System 1. Auburn officials were committed to the idea that solitude is essential to prison discipline.

X.

The rehabilitation movement begins A. In 1870, a group of reformers, including wardens and politicians, unhappy with the Auburn system, convened the leading figures in penology to hear proposals for change in the management of prisons. This was the First Correctional Congress. B. The Reformatory Model at Elmira C. The Medical Model of Rehabilitation

XI.

Punishment of women offenders A. In the 19th Century, a few women’s prisons became testing grounds for new ideas including females were good candidates for rehabilitation.

XII.

Correctional Punishment in the South A. Following the Civil War, the interconnected issues of race and labor transformed criminal punishment in the South into a system of farm labor, chain gangs and convict leasing.

XIII.

Corrections in the twentieth century A. Growth of community-based corrections B. Rise of modern management C. Increased use of technology D. Turning increasingly to privatization E. Granting of prisoners’ rights

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Lecture Notes The legal codes of the ancient world give us insight into how society viewed the transgressions of its citizens. The Code of Hammurabi, the law of the Greeks, and criminal law in ancient Rome marked the transition from vengeance as a private matter to punishment being handed out by the state. In Europe, from the early Middle Ages to the end of the 19th Century, a variety of reasons were used to explain and justify punishment. Punishments such as public executions, transportation, and imprisonment in jails and long-term institutions also came to be viewed as social institutions serving the public purpose of deterrence. Early prisons served the functions of monastic confinement for violations of penal laws, temporary detention of debtors and minor offenders, institutions designed for those incapable of looking after themselves, and workhouses or houses of corrections where work was required for discipline and punishment. During the Enlightenment, many great thinkers of the day argued for moderation in punishments as well as the idea that punishment should be swift and certain. These writers asserted that the purpose of punishment is to prevent and deter the commission of crime, and that the reform of punishment meant the rejection of torture and the end of the indiscriminate application of capital punishment. Reformers in Europe and America decried the abuses and corruption in corrections. Management approach, architecture, and government oversight were all put forward as ways to introduce consistent humane treatment of inmates. While religion has played a role in both harsh punishment s and reform, the efforts toward reform took on greater prominence during the late 18th and 19th centuries. Reforms would be especially needed as issues of women’s prisons and the treatment of southern inmates gained attention. The twentieth century has seen the development of the growth of community-based corrections, the rise of modern management, the widespread use of technology, the increased use of privatization, and the granting of prisoners’ rights.

Class Discussion/Activities 1.

Jeremy Bentham, one of the early Enlightenment thinkers, proposed a Panopticon—a prison consisting of a circular building with tiers of prison cells rising around the circumference and a tower like structure in the center from which inspectors could observe inmates in their cells and milling around the cell house. The Stateville Correctional Center in Joliet, Illinois, is one prison in which there are circular cell houses, and this design is used. Ask students to discuss what they see as the advantages and disadvantages of circular cell houses. Should more prisons use this design? Would the students want to be a correctional officer in such an arrangement? Would they want to be an inmate?

2.

Discuss the “marks” programs of Maconochie and Crofton. Ask students how such a 9


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program could be set up in contemporary American society. What components would make up the marks? 3.

Ask students to discuss the role that solitude played in punishments of the past. What approximates these methods in current corrections practices? Do they believe these are effective? Why or why not?

Assignments 1.

Write a paper discussing the development of the penitentiary in America.

2.

Examine the websites of at least 2 state departments of corrections. Find the section describing their annual report or efforts. Compare and contrast the apparent weight they place on different programs.

3.

Research one example of a rehabilitation program. Discuss the way the approach is intended to work and what factors affect the success rate of that program.

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