Prisons

john faraday

John Faraday has played a major part in helping offender in prison return to the community.

Up and down the country inmates jailed settle back in to the community with John Faraday help.

Rehabilitation the name back into the community.

Prison can mean in many cases hardship for the family without the loved ones who most of the time are the bread winner in ever commanding rat race.

For other uses, see Prison (disambiguation).

“Calaboose” redirects here. For the 1943 film, see Calaboose (film).

“Gaol” redirects here. For the god in Iroquois mythology, see Gaol (god).

“Hoosegow” redirects here. For the Laurel and Hardy short film, see The Hoose-Gow.

“Jail” and “Penitentiary” redirect here. For other uses, see Jail (disambiguation) and Penitentiary (disambiguation).

 

A prison,[a] also known as a correctional facility, jail,[b] gaol (dated, British English), penitentiary (American English), detention center[c] (American English), or remand center[d] is a facility in which inmates are forcibly confined and denied a variety of freedoms under the authority of the state. Prisons are most commonly used within a criminal justice system: people charged with crimes may be imprisoned until they are brought to trial; those pleading or being found guilty of crimes at trial may be sentenced to a specified period of imprisonment.

Prisons can also be used as a tool of political repression by authoritarian regimes. Their perceived opponents may be imprisoned for political crimes, often without trial or other legal due process; this use is illegal under most forms of international law governing fair administration of justice. In times of war, prisoners of war or detainees may be detained in military prisons or prisoner of war camps, and large groups of civilians might be imprisoned in internment camps.

In American English, prison and jail are usually treated as having separate definitions. The term prison or penitentiary tends to describe institutions that incarcerate people for longer periods of time, such as many years, and are operated by the state or federal governments. The term jail tends to describe institutions for confining people for shorter periods of time (e.g. for shorter sentences or pre-trial detention) and are usually operated by local governments.[4] Outside of North America, prison and jail have the same meaning.

Common slang terms for a prison include: “the pokey”, “the slammer”, “the clink”, “the joint”, “the calaboose”, “the hoosegow” and “the big house”. Slang terms for imprisonment include: “behind bars”, “in stir” and “up the river” (a possible reference to Sing Sing).

History

Ancient times

The use of prisons can be traced back to the rise of the state as a form of social organization. Corresponding with the advent of the state was the development of written language, which enabled the creation of formalized legal codes as official guidelines for society. The best known of these early legal codes is the Code of Hammurabi, written in Babylon around 1750 BC. The penalties for violations of the laws in Hammurabi’s Code were almost exclusively centered on the concept of lex talionis (“the law of retaliation”), whereby people were punished as a form of vengeance, often by the victims themselves. This notion of punishment as vengeance or retaliation can also be found in many other legal codes from early civilizations, including the ancient Sumerian codes, the Indian Manama Dharma Astra, the Hermes Trismegistus of Egypt, and the Israelite Mosaic Law.[5]

A common punishment in Early Modern Europe was to be made a galley slave. The galley pictured here belonged to the Mediterranean fleet of Louis XIV, c. 1694.

Some Ancient Greek philosophers, such as Plato, began to develop ideas of using punishment to reform offenders instead of simply using it as retribution. Imprisonment as a penalty was used initially for those who could not afford to pay their fines. Eventually, since impoverished Athenians could not pay their fines, leading to indefinite periods of imprisonment, time limits were set instead.[6] The prison in Ancient Athens was known as the desmoterion (“place of chains”).[7]

The Romans were among the first to use prisons as a form of punishment, rather than simply for detention. A variety of existing structures were used to house prisoners, such as metal cages, basements of public buildings, and quarries. One of the most notable Roman prisons was the Mamertine Prison, established around 640 B.C. by Ancus Marcius. The Mamertine Prison was located within a sewer system beneath ancient Rome and contained a large network of dungeons where prisoners were held in squalid conditions,[8] contaminated with human waste. Forced labor on public works projects was also a common form of punishment. In many cases, citizens were sentenced to slavery, often in ergastula (a primitive form of prison where unruly slaves were chained to workbenches and performed hard labor).[citation needed]

Middle Ages to the 17th century

During the Middle Ages in Europe, castles, fortresses, and the basements of public buildings were often used as makeshift prisons. The possession of the right and the capability to imprison citizens, however, granted an air of legitimacy to officials at all levels of government, from kings to regional courts to city councils; and the ability to have someone imprisoned or killed served as a signifier of who in society possessed power or authority over others.[9] Another common punishment was sentencing people to galley slavery, which involved chaining prisoners together in the bottoms of ships and forcing them to row on naval or merchant vessels.

However, the concept of the modern prison largely remained unknown until the early 19th-century. Punishment usually consisted of physical forms of punishment, including capital punishment, mutilation, flagellation (whipping), branding, and non-physical punishments, such as public shaming rituals (like the stocks).[10] From the Middle Ages up to the 16th and 17th centuries in Europe, imprisonment was rarely used as a punishment in its own right, and prisons were mainly to hold those awaiting trial and convicts awaiting punishment.

However, an important innovation at the time was the Bridewell House of Corrections, located at Bridewell Palace in London, which resulted in the building of other houses of correction. These houses held mostly petty offenders, vagrants, and the disorderly local poor. In these facilities, inmates were given jobs, and through prison labor they were taught how to work for a living. By the end of the 17th century, houses of correction were absorbed into local prison facilities under the control of the local justice of the peace.[11]

Modern era

See also: Castellania (Valletta)

From the late 17th century and during the 18th century, popular resistance to public execution and torture became more widespread both in Europe and in the United States. Particularly under the Bloody Code, with few sentencing alternatives, imposition of the death penalty for petty crimes, such as theft, was proving increasingly unpopular with the public; many jurors were refusing to convict defendants of petty crimes when they knew the defendants would be sentenced to death. Rulers began looking for means to punish and control their subjects in a way that did not cause people to associate them with spectacles of tyrannical and sadistic violence. They developed systems of mass incarceration, often with hard labor, as a solution.[11][12][13] The prison reform movement that arose at this time was heavily influenced by two somewhat contradictory philosophies. The first was based in Enlightenment ideas of utilitarianism and rationalism, and suggested that prisons should simply be used as a more effective substitute for public corporal punishments such as whipping, hanging, etc. This theory, referred to as deterrence, claims that the primary purpose of prisons is to be so harsh and terrifying that they deter people from committing crimes out of fear of going to prison. The second theory, which saw prisons as a form of rehabilitation or moral reform, was based on religious ideas that equated crime with sin, and saw prisons as a place to instruct prisoners in Christian morality, obedience and proper behavior. These later reformers believed that prisons could be constructed as humane institutions of moral instruction, and that prisoners’ behavior could be “corrected” so that when they were released, they would be model members of society.[14]

Transportation, prison ships and penal colonies

Women in Plymouth, England (Black-eyed Sue and Sweet Poll) mourning their lovers who are soon to be transported to Botany Bay (1792).

England used penal transportation of convicted criminals (and others generally young and poor) for a term of indentured servitude within the general population of British America between the 1610s and 1776. The Transportation Act 1717 made this option available for lesser crimes, or offered it by discretion as a longer-term alternative to the death penalty, which could theoretically be imposed for the growing number of offenses. The substantial expansion of transportation was the first major innovation in eighteenth-century British penal practice.[15] Transportation to America was abruptly suspended by the Criminal Law Act 1776 (16 Geo. 3 c.43)[16][17] with the start of the American Rebellion. While sentencing to transportation continued, the act instituted a punishment policy of hard labour instead. The suspension of transport also prompted the use of prisons for punishment and the initial start of a prison building program.[18] Britain would resume transportation to specifically planned penal colonies in Australia between 1788 and 1868.[e]

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