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This critique on the criminal justice system is going to focus on prisons Prisons are institutions for the confinement of persons convicted of criminal offenses This paper is going to discuss the early history of prisons early American prisons goals of prisons North Carolina prisons and an overall overview of the prison system History of Prisons Throughout history most societies have built places in which to hold persons accused of criminal acts pending some form of trial But the confinement of personscriminals after a trial for punishment is relatively new In ancient times around the 15th century the penalties for crime were often some type of corporal punishment Whipping drawn and quartered broken on the wheel burned at the stake beheaded hanged or stretched on the rack In the 16th century England vagrants and petty offenders were committed to correctional institutions known as workhouses a correctional facility for persons guilty of minor criminal violations During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I the government began to transport convicted felons to the English colonies The punishment was initially thought of as the hard labor to which the prisoners were consigned However the idea that persons convicted of crime could be punished and then released after a relatively long period of time was a new concept Jails were first used as collection points for criminals awaiting transportation Early jails were mostly dark overcrowded and filthy The prisoners were held together indiscriminately no separation of men and women the young and old the convicted and the unconvicted or the sane and the insane In America the concept of imprisonment became a realization The English Quaker William Penn abolished the death penalty for most crimes in the late 1600s substituting imprisonment as a punishment After battling between the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1718 and the replacement with incarceration in 1789 the Walnut Street Goal Philadelphia became the first prison in the United
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