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Prison Reform 1820-1860

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John Harnsberger

on 4 December 2012

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Transcript of Prison Reform 1820-1860

Reformers Prison
Systems Major Themes Rehabilitation Isolation Prison Reform 1820-1860 Debtors'
Prisons 1800 1833 early 1800s Hundreds of debtors were imprisoned for owing even the smallest amount. Most of the prisoners were part of the poor working class but the rich plantation owners could even be caught in debt. the federal government abolished the imprisonment of debtors; most individual states followed soon after. In the beginning of the nineteenth century, prison
reformers began to highlight the significance of isolating the prisoners. Prisons consisted of many miniscule
individual cells, all with their own exercise yard. Even during Church, tall screens separated the inmates from each other. In the mid-nineteenth century, prisons
were instructed not to hold their
inmates as prisoners, but to rehabilitate them instead. Eliza Farnham Eliza Farnham was appointed prison matron of Sing Sing Prison in 1844, because new inspectors wanted to start reforming the prison's ways. Under several harsh wardens, including Elam Lynds, the prison was known as a "House of Fear". These prisons came to be known as correctional facilities and reformatories, due to the new regulations. The Auburn System The Auburn System was developed in 1821 by Elam Lynds, the Warden of Sing Sing Prison from 1825-1830. Solitary confinement included absolutely no communication between the inmates, and the difficult labor was meant to enforce the values of hard work. Prisoners worked ten hours a day for six days a week. This system, named after the Auburn prison in New York, forced inmates to spend all day performing hard labor in complete silence, and the rest spent in solitary confinement, in order to be rehabilitated. Many of the stereotypes of prison we see today were taken from the days of the Auburn System. - Striped uniforms: Meant to humiliate
the prisoners, and make them easily
identifiable - Lockstep: Practice of forcing the inmates to march in time with their eyes down and one arm linked to the prisoner
in front of them. Farnham made several reforms to the prison. Some of these consist of revoking the silence rule, adding an educational program, and also several recreational and leisure activities. (Silent System) The Pennsylvania System (Separate System) This system was very similar to the Auburn system, but instead of relying on hard labor, they depended on solitary confinement. Their goal was to destroy the inmates' feeling of a criminal community, and encourage confession of their wrongs. The inmates were forbidden to look or talk to each other, so they were forced to wear hoods as they were escorted from place to place in the prison, to prevent them from seeing other prisoners. This system also had several conveniences, such as central heating, exercise, occupation, proper sanitation, and flushing toilets. Women's Prison
Association (WPA) This organization started as the female division of the Prison Association of New York in 1845. This group formed to enforce separate women's prison chambers, and to reform female convicts through religion and domestic training. The WPA separated from the PANY in 1853, and accomplished many things towards the future of children of imprisoned mothers, and programs to bring families back together again after imprisonment. It was thought that by confining the prisoners by themselves throughout their time in prison, they would be coerced to think about their wrongs, and be reformed. Many well known people were thrown in debtors' prison, including: Robert Morris A signer of the Declaration of Independence, Morris was imprisoned after he put much of his own money towards the Revolutionary War. Charles Goodyear An inventor who pioneered the production of rubber. He was in debt from borrowing money for his inventions. The Goodyear tire company was later named after him. James Wilson Wilson was another signer of the Declaration who also went to debtors' prison while still serving as an Associate Justice of the US Supreme court Insane Asylums Dorothea Dix One of the most famous reformers was Dorothea Dix. At the age of 54, Dorothea traveled half of the United States and Europe inspecting institutions and jails to experience them first hand. Prior to, and in the early years of the nineteenth century, inmates were crowded into dark cells, sleeping many to a mattress on dank damp floors, chained in place. There was no fresh air, no light, very little nutrition and they were whipped and beaten for misbehavior like wild animals. No differentiation was made between mentally ill and criminally insane; all were packed together in the asylums. With the help of reformers and researchers, hospitals and asylums began to care for the mentally ill more. The first hospital to accept and treat mentally ill patients was the Pennsylvania Hospital founded by the Quakers in 1752. Benjamin Rush became known as America's first psychiatrist when he was a professor at America's first psychiatric hospital in 1769 located in Williamsburg, Virginia. Benjamin Rush New methods of treatment introduced: Another method of treatment was called the spinning chair. The belief was that spinning would reduce brain congestion and, in turn cure mental illness. The tranquilizing chair was a device intended to heal by lowering the pulse and relaxing the muscles. It was designed to hold the head, body, arms and legs immobile for long periods of time and enable the patient to settle. Bloodletting was used as a treatment because it was believed that the cause of mental illnesses was abnormal blood flow to the brain and the rest of the body The Tranquilizing Chair Bloodletting The Spinning Chair Eventually The mentally ill were treated more like human beings. They had clean surroundings, good care and nutrition, fresh air and lights. 2 4 5 The PA Hospital was very ahead of its time; most mental hospitals weren't founded until the mid 19th century He outlawed the use of whips, chains and straitjackets and developed his own methods for keeping control. Though quite harsh now, in his day his methods were considered exceedingly humane. She left her mark on society by changing how people view the mentally ill. Her achievements are still being felt today as we learn more and more about the mentally ill individual, and how to help treat them properly. THE END Other regulations of the Pennsylvania System:
- Visitors, mail, and newspapers were banned
Prison that used the Pennsylvania System:
- The Eastern State Penitentiary Works Cited:

Debtors' Prison:



Insane Aslyums:



Prisons of the 1800s, Systems, etc.:




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