Eastern State Penitentiary Analysis
Part I: General Questions: Answer 3 (1 point each)
What was the correctional philosophy of Eastern State Penitentiary when it opened?
Eastern State’s philosophy was the Pennsylvania System- a system where prisoners were isolated in their own cells with only a bible their thoughts. This complete silence and isolation was essential to repentance, however it was a maddening system that could (and I’m sure has) driven many prisoners insane.
Name two prominent Philadelphians who were involved in conceptualizing Eastern State Penitentiary and how they were influential in the penitentiary movement.
Dr. Benjamin Rush and Benjamin Franklin were essential in conceptualizing the Eastern State Penitentiary. They …show more content…
If I was at ESP during the very early days, I would probably be excited to have central heating and plumbing, especially because things could be so much worse. Towards the 1950’s, however, I would dislike the penitentiary because of the dated amenities and the presence of much nicer, more modern prisons. Obviously any stay at prison isn’t going to be “pleasant”, but staying at Eastern State during the early years would have been ideal (at least it was warm), drawn back by the Pennsylvania Plan of absolute silence. If I was sentenced at this time I would plead for mercy, for community service, for anything to keep me out, and if I was incarcerated I would sit in my cell, read the bible, and pray to get out on good behavior. If i had to stay for more than a year I might not survive it. If I was sentenced closer to its closing date, I could probably tolerate it pretty well (it was a bit cold and worn down, but nothing unbearable), and it would probably resemble most any prison stay at the …show more content…
This man was 40+ years old, and was violently killed by an unknown assailant in a library the man owned. The difference in ages between Simons and Wallace is their most significant difference- Simons was far too young to be able to defend himself, while Wilson was a grown man and war veteran. The cases are also different in that Wilson was old enough to give his assailant an actual reason for his murder (although friends said he was a very inoffensive man), while Simons was too young to give anyone a serious reason for murder. Another difference is that Simons had a family that would notice his absence and look for him, while no one realized Wallace was gone until a police officer found his corpse. The cases are similar in that both were murdered while completely alone and not found until several hours later, and somehow elicited a huge amount of rage from their attackers, even though they don’t seem capable of it. (Wallace was noted as having a short temper on the day of his murder,