Essay Title: 

Evolution of Corrections in America

March 24, 2016 | Author: | Posted in american history, history

Severe corporal punishment has been used down the ages to punish criminals . It held great attraction to tribal societies as these were direct , immediate and in general incapacitating . Moreover , in these societies , facilities to confine offenders are not usually available hence corporal punishment is for violation of community rules During the colonial period and the early years of American history long-term imprisonment was uncommon . Execution was prescribed for a wide range of serious offenses and public punishments like pillorying whipping and maiming were common for the less serious offences . In the [banner_entry_middle]

19th century , imprisonment supplanted these public punishments and execution was reserved only for murder and treason

Congress enacted a bill in 1897 known as An Act to Reduce the Cases in Which the Death Penalty May Be Inflicted . This Act made all federal capital punishment discretionary rather than mandatory . Due to this federal executions became relatively infrequent . Nevertheless , by the 1960 ‘s , people started questioning its prejudicial nature , whenever it involved African Americans . In Furman v . Georgia the Supreme Court held that the death penalty was unconstitutional and in violation of the Eighth Amendment protections against cruel and unusual punishment . This decision served to abolish the death penalty in 38 states as well as in the federal system , but by 1976 , many states modified their laws in accordance with this ruling and this resulted in its reinstatement . The Auburn Prison inaugurated in 1819 , is the first maximum security prison The New York authorities wanted to isolated prisoners from each other and the outside world and they could not talk even with their families Silence was strictly enforced as it proved to be the key to discipline

Rule breakers were kept in solitary confinement in a bare cell with one meal a day and corporal punishment was re introduced . The situation deteriorated to such an extent that by the 20th century , the concept of reformation was abandoned and prisons were viewed as places to keep prisoners securely in custody . After this period , correction system for crimes underwent several changes and criminal Punishment was concerned with penalties that the government imposed on those who violated the criminal law . Offenders were punished in several ways like fines infliction of physical pain or internment in jail or prison

Societies punish individuals to exact revenge against wrongdoers and deter further crime . However , there exist certain modern forms of criminal punishment , which give more importance to correction , rather than penalizing . Such methodology makes an effort to instruct convicts in such a way as to help them to adopt legal types of behavior instead of illegal actions and punishments have become more reformatory and humane in the developed world

In the United States , the Victim and Witness Protection Act of 1982 permits restitution as a punishment for violation of federal criminal laws . Some of the restrictions on offenders are solitary confinement or maximum security , whereas minimum-security prisoners are kept in large cells or dormitory-like places . In the U .S . system of government , power is shared… [banner_entry_footer]

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