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Chapter 10

Institutional Corrections
European Background
Historically, institutional confinement has
been used since ancient times, but not until
the 1600s and 1700s as a major punishment
for criminals. Prior to that it was used to:
Detain people before trial
Hold prisoners awaiting other sanctions
Coerce payment of debts and fines
European Background
Hold and punish slaves
Achieve religious indoctrination (the Inquisition)
Quarantine disease
Forerunners of Modern
Modern incarceration
strives to change the
offenders character
and is carried out
away from public

Early punishments for
crime were directed
more at the offenders
body and property.
Goals were to inflict
pain, humiliate the
offender, and deter
onlookers from crime.
Forerunners of Modern
Two additional forerunners of modern
incarceration were:
A punishment, originating in ancient times, that
required offenders to leave the community and live
elsewhere, commonly in the wilderness.
A punishment in which offenders were transported
from their home nation to one of that nations
colonies to work.
Forerunners of Modern
The closest European forerunners of modern
U.S. prisons were known as workhouses.
European forerunners of the modern U.S. prison,
where offenders were sent to learn discipline and
regular work habits.
Developments in the
United States
In colonial America, penal practice was loose,
decentralized, and unsystematic, combining
private retaliation with fines, banishment,
harsh corporal punishments, and capital
The Penitentiary Movement
The Walnut Street Jail opened in 1790 in
Philadelphia and is considered the first state
Inmates labored in solitary cells and
received large doses of religious training.

The Penitentiary Movement
Pennsylvania and New York pioneered the
penitentiary movement by developing two
competing systems of confinement:
The Pennsylvania
The Auburn system
Pennsylvania system
An early system of U.S. penology in which inmates
were kept in solitary cells so that they could study
religious writings, reflect on their misdeeds, and
perform handicraft work.
Auburn system
An early system of penology, originating at Auburn
Penitentiary in New York, under which inmates
worked and ate together in silence during the day and
were placed in solitary cells for the evening.
The Penitentiary Movement
By the end of the Civil War, many were
questioning the value of the penitentiary
movement, as prisons failed to deter crime,
and became increasingly expensive to
A new movement sought to improve the
method of incarceration.
The Reformatory Movement
The reformatory movement was based on
principles adopted at the 1870 meeting of the
National Prison Association. The reformatory was
for younger, less hardened offenders.
based on a military model of regimentation.
with indeterminate terms.
with parole or early release for favorable
progress in reformation.
Institutions for Women
Until the reformatory era, there was little
effort to establish separate facilities for
The first womens prison based on the
reformatory model opened in Indiana in 1873.
Womens prisons concentrated on molding
inmates to fulfill stereotypical domestic roles.
Recent Trends - The
Incarceration Boom
Between 1980 and 2000, the adult prison
population in the U.S. (state and federal) more
than quadrupled.

There are more than 1.4 million state and
federal prisoners in U.S.
Recent Trends
Local jail populations saw a similar (less
dramatic) trend.
Cost Estimates
The average yearly cost of incarceration
per inmate is about $22,000.
The Crowding Issue
Crowding has become especially troublesome
over the past two decades. The staggering
increase in prison construction has frequently
failed to keep pace with the increase in prison
The Crowding Issue
The prison population has exploded even as
crime rates are stable, and in some cases even
Prison Inmate Characteristics
90% of prisoners in the U.S. are in state
prisons; 10% are in federal prisons.
Prison Inmate Characteristics
The largest proportion of state prisoners are:
Have not completed high school
Under age 35
Have never married
Prison Inmate Characteristics
The prison population is characterized as
About 50% are serving sentences for
violent offenses
About 20% for property offenses
About 20% for drug offenses
The remainder for public order offenses
Organization and
Administration by Government
Each state has a department of corrections or
a similar administrative body to coordinate
the various adult prisons in the state.
Most adult prisons employ a quasi-
military model of administration and
Some of the more common facility types are:
Classification and other special facilities
Mens prisons
Womens prisons
Jails and lockups
Types of Facilities
Classification and Other
Special Facilities
Most prisoners are initially sent to a
classification facility.
Classification facility
A facility to which newly sentenced offenders are
taken so that their security risks and needs can be
assessed and they can be assigned to a permanent
Classification and Other
Special Facilities
The decision of where to place an offender
rests on a variety of factors:
The offenders security risk
Program services the offender needs, such as
Any problems such as alcohol dependency
The nature of the offense
Classification and Other
Special Facilities
The offenders prior record, propensity
toward violence and escape, and
vulnerability to victimization by other
Programs offered at the states institutions,
and the related crowding levels
Mens Prisons
Mens prisons, the most common general type
of prison, are often distinguished by security
security level
A designation applied to a facility to describe the
measures taken, both inside and outside, to preserve
security and custody.
Mens Prisons
The simplest security level categorization is:
Mens Prisons
Maximum-security facilities are characterized
by very tight internal and external security.
Mens Prisons
Common security measures include:
A high wall or razor-wire fencing
Armed-guard towers
Electronic detectors
External armed patrol
A wide, open buffer zone between the outer wall or
fence and the community
Mens Prisons
Restrictions on inmate movement
The capability of closing off areas to contain riots
or disruptions
Mens Prisons
A recent development is the ultramaximum
or supermaximum-security prison to house
notorious offenders and problem inmates from
other institutions.
These institutions utilize:
Total isolation of inmates
Constant lockdowns
Mens Prisons
Medium-security institutions place fewer
restrictions on inmate movement inside the facility.
Characteristics often include:
Dormitory or barracks-type living quarters
No external security wall
Barbed wire rather than razor wire
Fences and towers that look less forbidding
Mens Prisons
Minimum-security prisons are smaller and
more open.
Mens Prisons
They often house inmates who:
Have established records of good behavior
Are nearing release
Characteristics often include:
Dormitory or barracks living quarters
No fences
Some inmates may be permitted to leave during the
day to work or study
Some inmates may be granted furloughs
Mens Prisons
Individual inmates are classified by custody
Although custody levels are sometimes
designated by the same terms as security
levels, they are independent of each other.
Womens Prisons
Women make up about 7% of the prison
population, but the incarceration rate for
women has grown faster than the
incarceration rate for men.
A greater proportion of women than men are
serving sentences for property offenses.
Women are more likely to have dependent
children and to be serving their first prison term.
Womens Prisons
Prisons exclusively for women tend to be
smaller and house fewer inmates than
institutions exclusively for men.
Dorm and cottage plans are much more
common than cell-block plans for womens
Jails and Lockups
Suspects usually stay in a lockup for only 24
to 48 hours.
A suspect may later be transferred from the
lockup to the jail.
Jails and Lockups
In practice, a jail serves a catchall function in
criminal justice and corrections. A jail may
Convicted offenders serving short sentences
Convicted offenders awaiting transfer to prison
Offenders who have violated their probation or
Defendants who are awaiting trial
Prison Services
Many of the human services and programs
found in the free society are duplicated within
Food services
Building maintenance and repair (often performed
by inmates)
Medical and dental services
Mail and phone services
Prison Services

Commissaries where prisoners can purchase food,
tobacco, radios, and reading materials
Recreational facilities
Legal resources
Religious services
Prison Services
All institutions have special-needs
populations, in particular:
Elderly inmates who require more medical
Inmates with mental disorders
Inmates with HIV and AIDS
Prison Services
It has long been assumed that rehabilitation
can be facilitated by improving inmates
academic skills and providing them with job
Much prison education amounts to remedial
schooling designed to prepare inmates to
obtain their GEDs.
Prison Services
Some prison vocational programs operate as
part of job assignments, others are separate.
Either way, the goal is to provide inmates with
job skills that will improve their marketability
upon release.
Prison Services
Counseling and therapy offered in prisons
varies widely.
Sometimes individual counseling (one-on-
one with a counselor) and group counseling
are both offered.