The Walnut Street Prison

727 Words 3 Pages
In doing my reading and researching the situation regarding criminals and the number of individuals and the dramatic increase since 1970, I was surprised to learn to what great degrees that the jails and prisons where so overcrowded. The United States has 5% of the world population, yet houses 20% of all of the people incarcerated in the world.( aclu internet). In chapter Eleven of our text book Criminal Justice in Action; The core I learned that the Walnut street prison located in Philadelphia opening in 1790. The way that the prison was run is that you as a prisoner had to be silent and work hard. This was to rehabilitate. The method behind this was that prisoners could use all of this silent time to think about their crimes and how …show more content…
It was more of an obedience module. When the old Newgate Prison (1791) became overcrowded a new prison was commissioned called Auburn Prison which opened in1822. Most of the same ways of operating was used. However the population succumbed to illness, mental illnesses and in some cases suicide. Clearly this was not working. At that point the eastern Penitentiary model came to be. It operates under the premise of the guards in the middle of the circle with wings of inmates coming off of that. This made things a little easier, giving the guards an easier and a much safer way to manage inmates. With all of the changes to ensure that criminals were treated with respect, and getting the correct hospital care all the while maintaining the simple fact that they have broken the law and needed to be punished as in some more dramatic cases be removed from society has not deterred criminals in the least. The question becomes then why has the population continued to rise when in this day and age so many more agencies and treatments to help someone before they commit a …show more content…
First and foremost the amount of poverty leading to some conditioning factors as well as the environment in which someone grows up is I think the most prevalent. The amount of minority individuals that are incarcerated is staggering. Of these individuals a startling amount grew up in poverty, having a home with only one parent, leading to an absentee parenting system (children home alone leading them to be very susceptible to negative influences). Along with socioeconomic issues and single parenthood comes the emotional or mental health impairment of an individuals. Things such as impulsivity, restlessness, reacting not acting in situations, difficulty concentrating as well as instant gratification can lead a child to behaviors that are at first called delinquent leading to criminal behaviors as they grow but do not grow emotionally. Without care for mental health issues many individuals can progress at a rapid pace. Robert Agnew is the father of “Super Traits” theory in which he stated that there is five life domains that contain what can be called crime generating factors. Personality, family, school, peers and work. ( Criminology the essentials) All of these issues interlock and can feed off of one another. There is also the component of the gang life style that has become so prevalent in low income areas making it either look cool to be incarcerated, or just a cost of doing

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