Criminal Justice , incarceration, This paper is about the prison systems today and how they came to be.

Essay by juliet2047714College, UndergraduateA, January 2004

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Criminal Justice


Prisonis an institution designed to securely house people who have been convicted of crimes. These such people are known as prisoners or inmates and are kept in an ongoing custody for a certain amount of time. The type of crime decides the length of the sentence. For some such crimes (i.e. murder) individuals may be sentenced to a lifetime imprisonment. In order for an individual to be incarcerated, they have to be accused of violating criminal law and then tried and found convicted in a jury of their peers. Then the now offender will be given a sentence for a specific punishment. Depending on the nature of the crime and whether or not it is a first offense decides if the punishment will be probation or incarceration in a prison or jail.

According to historians, temples were used as sanctuaries before the concept of prisons evolved. They were used for the accused to flee to, but if they were unable to make it to one, they were to be punished by the accuser, which sometimes ended in death (Kosof, 1995, pp.19).

According to Encarta online Encyclopedia, the existence of prisons originated in ancient Rome and Greece. The first place of confinement, Mamertine Prison, was constructed in the 7th century B.C. in Rome. It was mainly many tunnels of dungeons under the sewers. Small, miserable chambers held criminals for short periods of time (Paragraph 1).

Instead of incarcerating the serious offenders, England began transporting of criminals. England's first deportation law was passed in 1597, allowing them to send the worse criminals to the Americas (Kosof, 1995, pp.20).

After the American Revolution, transporting of criminals was no longer allowed, so Britain began using 'convict ships'. They were even worse conditions. Many felons died on the sea. These ships were...