Pennsylvania System

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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.

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

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