The Purpose Of IncarcerationPresentation Transcript
Prison & Incarceration
A prison is a place in which people are physically confined and, usually, deprived of a range of personal freedoms. Other terms are penitentiary, correctional facility, and jail. Jails are conventionally institutions which form part of the criminal justice system of a county and house both inmates awaiting trial and convicted misdemeanants . Prisons form part of the criminal justice system of a state and only house convicted felons , usually for longer periods of time than jails. Imprisonment or incarceration is a legal penalty that may be imposed by the state for the commission of a crime.
As well as convicted or suspected criminals, prisons may be used for internment of those not charged with a crime. Prisons may also be used as a tool of political repression to detain political prisoners, prisoners of conscience, and "enemies of the state", particularly by authoritarian regimes. In times of war or conflict, prisoners of war may also be detained in prisons. A prison system is the organisational arrangement of the provision and operation of prisons , and depending on their nature, may invoke a corrections system. Although people have been imprisoned throughout history, they have also regularly been able to perform prison escapes.
For most of history, imprisoning has not been a punishment in itself, but rather a way to confine criminals until corporal or capital punishment was administered . There were prisons used for detention in Jerusalem in Old Testament times. Dungeons were used to hold prisoners; those who were not killed or left to die there often became galley slaves or faced penal transportations. In other cases debtors were often thrown into debtor's prisons, until they paid their jailers enough money in exchange for a limited degree of freedom.
Only in the 19th century, beginning in Britain, did prisons as we know them today become commonplace. The modern prisons system was born in London , as a result of the views of Jeremy Bentham . The notion of prisoners being incarcerated as part of their punishment and not simply as a holding state until trial or hanging, was at the time revolutionary.
Britain practiced penal transportation of convicted criminals to penal colony in the British colonies in the Americas, from the 1610s through the American Revolution in the 1770s and to penal colonies in Australia between 1788 and 1868.
The first "modern" prisons of the early 19th Century were sometimes known by the term " penitentiary ". The goal of these facilities was that of penance by the prisoners , through a regimen of strict disciplines, silent reflections and perhaps forced and deliberately pointless labor on tread wheels and the like. This "Auburn system" of prisoner management was often reinforced by elaborate prison architectures, such as the separate system and the panoptical . It was not until the late 19th Century that rehabilitation through education and skilled labor became the standard goal of prisons.
Design & Facilities
Male and female prisoners are typically kept in separate locations or separate prisons altogether. Prison accommodation, especially modern prisons in the developed world, are often divided into wings . Many prisons are divided into two sections, one containing prisoners before trial and the other containing convicted prisoners.
Amongst the facilities that prisons may have are:
A main entrance
A religious facility
An 'education facility'
A healthcare facility or hospital
A segregation unit (also called a 'block' or 'isolation cell'), used to separate unruly, dangerous, or vulnerable prisoners from the general population, also sometimes used as punishment
A section of vulnerable prisoners (VPs), or protective custody (PC) units, used to accommodate prisoners classified as vulnerable, such as sex offenders, former police officers, informants and those that have gotten into debt or trouble with other prisoners
A section of safe cells , used to keep prisoners under constant visual observation, for example when considered at risk of suicide
A visiting area
A death row in some prisons
A staff accommodation area
A service/facilities area
Industrial or agricultural plants operated with convict labour
A recreational area
Prisons are normally surrounded by fencing, walls, earthworks, geographical features, or other barriers to prevent escape. Multiple barriers, concertina wire, electrified fencing, secured and defensible main gates, armed guard towers, lighting, motion sensors, dogs and roving patrols may all also be present depending on the level of security. Remotely controlled doors, CCTV monitoring, alarms, cages, restraints, nonlethal and lethal weapons, riot-control gear and physical segregation of units and prisoners may all also be present within a prison to monitor and control the movement and activity of prisoners within the facility.
Modern prison designs have sought to increasingly restrict and control the movement of prisoners throughout the facility while permitting a maximal degree of direct monitoring by a smaller corrections staff. Despite these design innovations, overcrowding at many prisons, particularly in the U.S., has resulted in a contrary trend, as many prisons are forced to house large numbers of prisoners, often hundreds at a time, in gymnasiums or other large buildings that have been converted into massive open dormitories.
The levels of security within a prison system are categorized differently around the world, but tend to follow a distinct pattern. Most developed countries divide prisons into separate security classes depending on the inmate population and the security needed to keep them under control. Accordingly, most developed countries have classes ranging from the most secure, which typically hold violent prisoners and those judged most likely to escape, to the least, which are most often used to house non-violent offenders or those for whom more stringent security is deemed unnecessary. Below are some different examples of prison classifications from around the world.
Supermax , Administrative , Maximum , High, Medium, Close Security, Low, Minimum, Pre-release.
England and Wales
Category A : prisoners are those whose escape would be highly dangerous to the public or national security.
Category B : prisoners are those who do not require maximum security, but for whom escape needs to be made very difficult.
Category C : prisoners are those who cannot be trusted in open conditions but who are unlikely to try to escape.
Category D : prisoners are those who can be reasonably trusted not to try to escape, and are given the privilege of an open prison.
The British prison system is also divided into " Open" and "Closed" prisons .