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Chapter 2 The American Prison in Historical Perspective: Race, Gender, and Adjustment.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 2 The American Prison in Historical Perspective: Race, Gender, and Adjustment."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Chapter 2 The American Prison in Historical Perspective: Race, Gender, and Adjustment

3 Penitentiaries Women and minorities have been ignored in most historical descriptions of prisons. Minorities have always been overrepresented. First American penitentiary: Walnut Street Jail (1790) Jacksonian era ( ): penitentiary emerged in numbers Two systems – separate & congregate

4 Two Systems (1 of 2)  The Separate System  Walnut Street Jail  Also called Philadelphia or Pennsylvania system  solitary confinement, isolated labor  aim – penance, change of character

5 Two Systems (2 of 2)  The Congregate System  Auburn prison  slept in solitary cells, worked, ate and exercised together  harsh punishment  aim – penance, change of character  became the model for American prisons largely because it was less expensive  Europe adopted the separate system (arguably because it did not need labor)

6 Women and Minorities in the Penitentiary Women and minorities not subjected to ideas of penitentiary: that penance could induce change Warehoused Women often in attics Not even counts of number of African- Americans

7 The Reformatory Era (Late 1800s) Elmira first reformatory Men – military model; women – family model Women’s reformatories ( ) – young, less serious offenders Plantation prisons (in south) White women were seldom incarcerated Black women worked in kitchen gardens Men were leased out

8 The Big House (Early 1900s) No programs, hard labor, plantation prisons in South Advances Introduction of tobacco, abolishment of corporal punishment, internal freedom of movement Racially segregated, overrepresentation of minorities Women’s custodial prisons were in a wing or part of men’s prisons

9 The Correctional Institution  Emerged in 1940s and 1950s  Less brutal punishments, more privileges, boredom prevailed  Correctional institutions rarely “corrected”

10 Contemporary Prisons Race is defining element. Violence has risen and now is declining. Women’s prisons are evolving to become more custodial.


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