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19th Century Prisons in Practice

Title: 19th Century Prisons in Practice.
Name(s): Hertzler, Audrey, author
Criminology and Criminal Justice
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: serial
Date Issued: 2015
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: There are many regulations for how a prison should work as a system according to the state, but the ones who actually have the most control over how the prison is run are the employees and officials who work in and manage the facility. These people have a stronger effect on how punishment is actually meted out. This project offers a longitudinal case study of Eastern State Penitentiary from 1829 to 1875. Through records kept by the prison administrators we can observe the decisions they made behind the scenes on a day-to-day basis and compare punishment in practice to the expectations of state regulations. We demonstrate that administrators and employees at Eastern State were willing to veer from the regulations and make their own decisions to benefit the public view of the prison. Specifically, the administrators' were guided by the need to protect the reputation of the prison, to make the prison appear to function well. Administrators sought to counter criticism over the prison's unique "separate system" of punishment in which prisoners were held in solitary confinement, a practice that attracted great criticism at the time. Our study demonstrates that many of the administrators' decisions were intended to maintain a positive image of Eastern State and to prevent criticism.
Identifier: FSU_migr_undergradsymposium2015-0018 (IID)
Keywords: prisons, history
Persistent Link to This Record:
Host Institution: FSU
Is Part of Series: Undergraduate Research Symposium 2015.

Choose the citation style.
Hertzler, A. (2015). 19th Century Prisons in Practice. Retrieved from