Chapter One: Early History of Punishment and the Development of Prisons in the United States


a process whereby practitioners engage in organized security and treatment functions to correct criminal tendencies among the offender population

brutalization hypothesis

the contention that the use of harsh punishments sensitizes people to violence and teaches them to use it

Code of Hammirabi

the earliest known written code of punishment

lex talionis

refers to the Babylonian law of equal retaliation

trial by ordeal

very dangerous and/or impossible tests to prove the guilt or innocence of the accused


a place of refuge or safety

public wrongs

crimes against society or a social group

private wrongs

crimes against an individual that could include physical injury, damage to a person's property, or theft


usually on thumb with a letter denoting the offense


exile from society

Great Law

correctional thinking and reform in Pennsylvania that occurred due to the work of William Penn and the Quakers

classical criminology

emphasized that punishments must be useful, purposeful, and reasonable

hedonistic calculus

a term describing how humans seem to weigh pleasure and pain outcomes when deciding to engage in criminal behavior

Old Newgate Prison

first prison structure in America

Walnut Street Jail

America's first attempt to incarcerate inmates with the purpose of reforming them

Western State Penitentiary

part of the Pennsylvania system located outside of Pittsburgh

Eastern State Penitentiary

part of the Pennsylvania system located near Philadelphia

Auburn system

an alternative prison system located in New York

contract labor system

utilized inmate labor through state-negotiated contracts with private manufacturers

Holt v. Sarver I (1969)

ruled that prison farms in the state of Arkansas were operated in a manner that violated the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishments

Black Codes

separate laws were required for slaves and free men who turned criminal

Elmira Reformatory

the first reformatory prison

mark system

a system where the duration of the sentence was determined by the inmate's work habits and righteous conduct

indeterminate sentences

sentences that include a range of years that will be potentially served by the offender

determinate sentences

consist of fixed period of incarceration with no later flexibility in the term that is served

Progressive Era

a period of extraordinary urban and industrial growth and unprecedented social problems

Big House prisons

typically large stone structures with brick walls, guard towers, and checkpoints throughout the facility

medical model

an approach to correctional treatment that utilizes a type of mental health approach incorporating fields such as psychology and biology

reintegration model

used to identify programs that looked to the external environment for causes of crime and the means to reduce criminality

Martinson Report

an examination of a number of various prison treatment programs

crime control model

an approach to crime that increased the use of longer sentences, the death penalty, and intensive supervision probation