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The United States Corrections System

Essay by   •  August 25, 2013  •  Research Paper  •  1,118 Words (5 Pages)  •  789 Views

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The United States corrections system has come a long way since the early days of the country. The origins of the United States correction system can be traced all the way back to Europe. To start the corrections system began very long ago. When, individual would seek revenge on others who had wronged them. Though, as time went on many theories began to surface about what to do with so called criminals. Up until the late 1700s criminal were simply just put to death, shipped away to foreign lands to become slaves, or they would be thrown to wild animals. It wasn't until the Quakers came about that society began to look for more humane ways to go about dealing with criminals. Though, it wasn't until the 1820s that a more efficient form of corrections surfaced. The system consisted of many small cells that were separated in groups called blocks and special heavy cell blocks called solitary confinement (Zarka, H 2007). Eventually this idea was adopted by everyone and is now the basic structure for our modern correctional facilities. Though, through the many years other methods were implemented until their failure. A good example would be the theory that the criminal intent was a medical defect that could be cured through medical means. Well as the years went on the corrections system juggled many ideas until they began to adopt the most effective ideas through trial and error. After, all this trial and error we ended up with what we call today the penitentiary.

The penitentiary is defined as a prison or place of confinement where persons convicted of felonies serve their term of imprisonment (Free Legal Dictionary). This concept originally derived from the idea of penitence. This method sought to reform the offending sinners through isolation and separation. This method was later reformed by the French whom named it La Maison de Force (Bezergianov, R 2005). The only difference between this method and other was that the inmates or prisoners were only separated at night. During the day the prisoners worked alongside one another and ate their meals together. Though, silence was enforced during all of these activities or times. Over time many different methods to dealing with prisoners arose some are still used today.

One of these models is the Penitence Model. This model suggested that all prisoners would reform or find GOD if put in isolation and silence. Though at the time it seemed like a great idea to the Pennsylvanians it only drove individuals insane. This in turn made them much more violence to say the least and some even committed suicide. Though the ideas wasn't entirely effective the ideas of isolation and silence was later adopted and reformed by many other corrections systems. One of which was the French's form of correction that consisted of solitary confinement for the truly dangerous prisoners.

Established in 1876 the Reformatory Model implemented many different methods of reform. These methods were centered on vocational and educational training (G. Larry Mays 2008). Overall the reformatory method was far more advanced than other methods because it allowed opportunities for parole and indeterminate sentences with maximum terms, as well as classification of inmates according to their conduct and achievements. Overall this method emphasized the importance of rehabilitation through education. Though this method was very effective and advanced it proved to be far to advanced and collapsed due to the personnel being untrained. In later years after proper training methods were developed this method began to be implemented all over.

The Reintegration Model is primarily based around the task of reintegrating the prisoner back into society. With reintegration being the sole purpose of this method several programs or opportunities also arose to attempt to alleviate the issues that were the specific cause of the crime. The overall objective is provide opportunities in which the prisoner can exercise a reasonable degree of decision making, thereby enhancing

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