Criminal Law

.The response should be a minium of 75 words.

1.Should be addressed to Brian Scott King. Confinement for punishment in Europe dates back to the 1600’s and 1700’s. Before this time, confinement was used for other reasons. Confinements were used for things such as; holding a person before their trial, holding them until they were able to pay their fines, to punish the slaves, and to quarantine diseases (Bohm & Haley).

Early punishments were carried out in public, both in Europe and in the United States. This included things like beheadings and hangings. These acts were done in front of the public in order to show them what would happen to them if they were to commit the same crime. The hope was that if you see someone hanged or beheaded, you would think twice about committing the same act. These events were usually scheduled for a time when there would be lots of people in town, and the event was usually held in the middle of the town so that everyone could see what was taking place.

On some occasions, the punishment for the crime that was committed was banishment. This is where the individual is forced to leave the community they are in and to never return. This provided safety for others in the community, knowing that this individual would not be there to commit the same crime again.

The Enlightenment Era changed the way confinement was handled in Europe. This is when people began to think that the acts of confinement were not humanistic. They felt that the punishment was too severe and not fair. Instead they began opening up workhouses where criminals were sent to learn about discipline and to create work habits to keep them out of trouble.

In the United States, confinement was not used for punishment until sometime in the 1800’s. There were local jails but they were being used to hold individuals for fines and hearing dates instead of being used for punishment reasons. After the American Revolution, the U.S. became more of an industrial society than that of an agricultural society it had been in the past. More people were moving into the cities where there were jobs available. Because of the increase in the population, more crimes were being committed.

Philadelphia realized that the system they had in place for criminals was not working very well. They decided that there needed to be some changes made. They began construction on the Eastern State Penitentiary outside Philadelphia in 1822. They opened the penitentiary in 1829 before construction was complete. The penitentiary had a cell block for each individual. They were all fed meals through a hole in their door. Each prisoner was in isolation. They were each given a Bible, and had chores to do throughout the day (Woodham, 2008). This is what started the Penitentiary Movement in the United States. This became the new era of how people were to be incarcerated throughout the United States.

Confinement is an effective tool to deter some people from committing a crime. They do not want to be locked up in a room with nowhere to go or nothing to do. For others, confinement means that they will have free room and board. Their meals will be provided for them, and they do not have to worry about anything. Confinement is effective for the people in the community where the crime has been committed. Knowing that the individual is locked up, the community feels much safer.

2. This response should be addressed to Timothy Hurt.In the early days, prisons were a relatively new concept. Both in Europe and in America residents used the approach of an eye for an eye, and public hangings in town squares for the price of a murder, rape and even theft. As more humane punishments began to change, officers stored prisoners in warehouses, buildings, and individual rooms. According to vasiliades, “this experiment of which the favorable results have been anticipated, prove fatal for the majority of prisoners”. “It devours the victim’s instantly and hummer sadly it does not reform, it kills”(Vasiliades, 2005).

I do agree that confinement is an effective tool in decreasing recidivism. Trying to survive in the violent prison population is tough. I believe we should isolate disruptive inmates; this would reduce violence in the general population. Furthermore, this would be the most productive way to handle disciplinary problems regarding prisoners and to help protect correctional officers. Solitary confinement, his mental game, and according to the editors, “You might assume all inmates sent to solitary are the worst of the worst, rapists and murderers who continue their violent ways even behind bars” (Editors, 2013). Moreover, many are placed in solitary for nonviolent offenses, and some are not even criminals, having been arrested on immigration charges. Others are thrown into isolation cells for their own protection because they are homosexual or transgendered or have been raped by other inmates. The goal is to minimize social interaction; every detail is strategically planned for the prisoner. Twenty-three hours out of the day, they are locked in a cell; they only receive one hour outside their cell to go outside. Meals are handed to them through a slot in the door, and they receive fifteen minutes to take a shower by a controlled environment in a computerized room.

 
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