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Joseph J. Green

Northern Arizona University

Explain the key features of corrections in 20th century America in an essay. In your discussion of the evolving corrections system, include details about prison programs, prison architecture, female offenders, racial disparities, and key developments during the early, mid, and late century. At the end of your essay, make a prediction about how corrections will change in America through the 21st century.







1 Early 21st centry

Less focus on penance, more focus on individual treatement, educational programs, vocational programs, early release, indetermenant senteces. (SANDEAGO)

Many prison camps and farms dominate in the south, while the north favors peniteneries (PEARSON)

Pushed for a seperation of adults, children, and females, within the prison system (SANEASGO) Though women were usually put to domestic chores which didn’t help support the prisons (PEARSON)

Large black poulation 9% of American adult pop and 31% of prison pop(Pearson)

A major objective was to end contract labor (SANDEAGO.EDU)

1887, federal prisoners were not allowed to be used for contract labor, lead to the establishment of the first federal prisons. (SANDEAGO.EDU)

Began the juvinile cour system (SANDEAGO

Focus on inmates to produce products that helps support the prision systems. The unpopular contract labor system was changed over to labor for the state, such as for licensens plates. Prison industry declines (PEARSON)

2 Mid 21st century

early riots Lack of programs looking for better treatment(PEARSON)

1940s saw a return to Rehabilatative era begins (SALVE)

focuse on education, vocation, etc… (SALVE)

Diagnosis is added to programs helping to rehibilitate prisoners (PEARSON)

Martinson realized that no one treatement reduced rates of prisoners returning to the system after being released (SALVE)

Funding for prisoner treatment programs decline after Martinson’s findings (PEARSON)

Most southern states had at least one central penitentiary, most prisoners still on large prison farms. (PEARSON)

Telephone pole prison design flourished (pearson)

Increase in women equality in areas such as having similar vocational and treatment programs (PEARSON).

Less Foreign-born caucasian immigrants in prisons. Increase in blacks, hispanics, and natives. (PEARSON)

Eary 20th century Hands off doctrine ended (UFL.EDU) – Basically meant that prisoners are slaves to the state. Protected states from judical condemation. When this was repealed, a huge demand for prisoner rights ensued. Supreme court began to give constitutional protects to prisoners.

Civil rights movement included an interest in prisoners (PEARSON)

3 Late 19th century to current

Return to the theory that crimes are a choice, not a sickness, rehabilitation falls out of favor. Reliances on incapacitation to warehouse serious offenders as a way to protect society. (PEARSON)

Bigger, more secure prisons (PEARSON)

More recognization that men and women are different. Different approaches obtained. Women are considered lower risk to the public so should have greater consideration for community-based sentences

Blacks comprise 12% of national population, but more than 40% of the prison population

Retribution for victums gets increased attention (PEARSON)

Focus on being tougher on crime (PEARSON)

Mandatory sentencing and increaed drug penalties leads to more prisons being built, more prisoners, and over crowding (Pearson)

5 Conclusion

Seems to be the start of a patern. We started with focusing on punishment, and ended with focusing on punishment. Soon, the focus, if the patter repeats, will return to focusing on helping criminals.

Prisons will become better for inmates

People believe that harsh conditions makes for worse people

Overcrowding will be a major interest

Reflects poorly on the United States to have such a huge percapita prisoner count

Drug crimes will be lessoned (they already have in many states)

Prison terms sentanced will remain high. People want prisoners to stay in prison. Still in the retributive era where we are tough on crime.