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Overview of the Pennsylvania Prison System and its Five Management Principles

One of the first prison systems was called the Pennsylvania System. The ideology of this system was used in the Eastern State Penitentiary in the early 1800s. This system had very definite ideas on how a prison should be organized and managed. The operation of this prison was based on the following 5 general principles (Clear, Cole, & Reisig, 2006):

Do not treat prisoners harshly, but instruct them that hard and selective forms of suffering could change their lives.
Solitary confinement will prevent further corruption.
Offenders should reflect on their transgressions and repent.
Solitary confinement is considered punishment.
Solitary confinement is economical.
Who actually formed these ideas? Expand upon the ideas of the 5 general principles. Why do you think they were implemented? How did it have an effect upon the prisoners? Has this basically changed—why or why not?

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The Pennysylvania Prison System

Who actually formed these ideas?

The Pennyslvania prison system and its associated ideology were developed by the Pennsylvania Quakers in 1790 when they converted an existing jail (Walnut Street Jail in Philadelphi) into a penitentiary. The Pennsylvania System is associated with the Penitentiary Era of prisons in the U.S., which persisted from 1790-1825.

Expand upon the ideas of the 5 general principles. Why do you think they were implemented?

The philosophy of the Pennsylvania System emphasized rehabilitation and deterrence of prisoners. The 5 general principles were developed to align with this philosophy and help rehabilitate prisoners. The Pennsylvania Quakers believed prisoners could be rehabilitated through solitary confinement, which allowed them to reflect on their ...

Solution Summary

This library solution provides an overview of the five general management principles of the Pennsylvania Prison System during the 1800s. Also discussed is who started this system and developed its management philosophy as well as the purpose of the system's five general principles with regard to punishment goals. Finally, this solution also reveals whether or not this system is still used in U.S. prisons today.

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