Pennsylvania System

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Since your graduation from the AIU Online Campus, you have decided to pursue a career in corrections. After going through the application process for 16 months, you have been hired as a Federal Correctional Officer in your home state; it is very unusual for someone to graduate and then go directly into federal service. The warden likes to pick recent graduates and new hires to give classes to fellow guards so they will have the latest teachings from the universities. The warden, Ms. Sarah Jones, has asked you to give such a class on the below listed topics and questions; however, she first wants you to write a paper of 2–3 pages for her review so she can see what the class will entail.

Warden Jones gives you the following principles and questions:

One of the first prison systems was called the Pennsylvania System. The ideology of this system was used in the Eastern State Penitentiary in the early 1800s. This system had very definite ideas on how a prison should be organized and managed. The operation of this prison was based on the following 5 general principles (Clear, Cole, &Reisig, 2006):

  1. Do not treat prisoners harshly, but instruct them that hard and selective forms of suffering could change their lives.
  2. Solitary confinement will prevent further corruption.
  3. Offenders should reflect on their transgressions and repent.
  4. Solitary confinement is considered punishment.
  5. Solitary confinement is economical.

Discuss the following:

  • Who actually formed these ideas?
  • Expand upon the ideas of the 5 general principles.
    • Why do you think they were implemented?
    • How did they have an effect upon the prisoners?
    • Has this basically changed? Why or why not?

Reference

Clear, T. R., Cole, G. F., &Reisig, M. D. (2006). American corrections. (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.

 

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