Correctional History

Offenders, who committed a crime, were punished for the offense. Physical force was used instead of jail. Jails housed offenders who were awaiting trial and individual who could not pay their debts. In this paper, Learning Team A will discuss the various forms of punishment exercised in the 1700s, the crimes that led to the forms of punishment, and the criteria between various societies for criminal sentencing during the 1700s. Learning Team A will also describe prisons for women and the difference between prisons for men and juveniles.

There are various forms of punishment used during the 1700s. Physical force and humiliation was the main two types of punishment during the 1700’s. Corporal punishment was used more often than any other form of punishment. Foster (2006) stated, “Corporal punishment is defined as any punishment that involves infliction of pain on the human body (p. 2). Whipping, beating, branding, mutilation, and burning are types of corporal punishments used during the early years. In the beginning, whipping was the main method of punishment.

It could be performed anywhere and only required a whip. Usually whippings occurred in a central location in order for the community to witness; the community observed the whippings. A criminal punished by whippings could receive a numerous amounts of lashes depending on the severity of the crimes because whippings were a measured punishment. When the Whipping Act was passed during the reign of King Henry VII of England it was to keep wandering vagrants in order. The act allowed vagrants to be tied to a cart naked and receive lashes.

Only after the body was bloody did the criminal complete his or her punishment. Once Queen Elizabeth was in control the Whipping Act was amended; offenders were stripped only halfway and the post was exchanged for the cart. Branding was another form of early punishment as consisted of burning offenders with a hot iron. This form of punishment was painful and left the offender with a brand for life. Foster (2006) stated, “The “T” on the man’s thumb meant he was a thief. The fleur-de-lis mark on the Parisian woman’s shoulder meant she was a prostitute” (p. ). The mark allowed an individual to bore the scars for the rest of his or her lives and allowed authorities to identify criminals. The community was also aware of what type of crimes a person committed. Capital punishment was also a form of punishment during the 1700s.

Death as a form of punishment was existent more often than it is now. Capital punishment was used for crimes as simple as pick pocketing to murder. In some cases torture before death was also used. Foster (2006) stated, “The Code of King Hammurabi of Babylon, from about 1750 B. C. provided the death penalty for 25 different crimes” (p. 3). A person could be sentenced to death for cursing one’s mother or father, sorcery, adultery, having sex with animals, homosexuality, and allowing an animals to cause the death of another person. Some offenders was placed in exile or banished from the community for the crimes he or she committed. Criminals were also punished to hard labor as well as held under slavery in some cases. Economic sanctions were also ordered as punishment for property and violent criminals. In the 1700s, societies did not use prisons to punish criminals.

Instead, these early societies had a want for pain, large-scale humiliation, and the punishments were in need of a stage for mass entertainment (Foster, 2006). In part for humiliation and education but would end with torture and death. Although Europe was in the transition stages between traditional societies and the growth of modern cities, American Colonies were still small communities with people that had similar outlooks on punishment (Foster, 2006). When a criminal committed a crime in Europe in the 1700s, there were many methods of punishment.

Kings, knights, lords, sheriffs, and by the church could impose a punishment on a criminal (Buzzle, 2010). The responsibility of the police was simply to keep the criminal confined in an area until trial. The criminals could only rely on family and friends for food, water, and other necessities. The authorities did not provide this. The goal of this confinement was the filthiness of the places in which criminals were kept. The criminal often died from disease and starvation (Buzzle, 2010). The crimes punishable by hanging were rape and counterfeiting of coins.

Anything could be punishable by death of a certain manner. The types of punishment in the 1700s were death, fines, public humiliation, and subjection to torture chambers. The type of punishment often depends on their social status. The methods of punishment were pillory, beating, and branding. Pillory means to expose to ridicule and abuse. Quartering meant the dismembering of the criminal into four separate pieces. Usually done by tying each limb to a different horse and then the horses were pulled in different directions. The methods for execution were by wheel, quartering, and hanging.

The infliction method was by devices that have a specific design to ensure the infliction of unbearable agony (Buzzle, 2010). When the Europeans did use the devices for punishment, the punishments often became barbaric and include ripping out the nails and teeth of the criminal, disfigurement, removal of limbs, and starvation. Tickling to death was uncommon but was a known punishment (Buzzle, 2010). Outlawry was also used by early Europeans. Outlawry is when authorities could declare a person an outlaw. This meant he lost all civil rights, and if someone was to murder him they would not face charges of a crime.

Transportation was another form of punishment which went with outlawry. Transportation was the transfer of criminals to another place; usually the United States until they became independent states and then criminals were sent to Australia. American societies often relied on corporal punishment or capital punishment. Corporal punishment was the infliction of physical pain, often induced by whipping, branding, beating, mutilation, and burning. Capital punishment is the killing of a human being for the supreme penalty for a crime.

Capital punishment could mean hanging, stoning, and quartering. These punishments were often used for the most serious degree of homicide but also if the judge thought the criminal deserved it (Foster, 2006). Banishment was another form of punishment in early American societies. Banishment meant that the criminal was sent some distance away and was forbidden to return home (Foster, 2006). American societies used a variety of punishments and did not solely rely on death, physical pain, banishment, or forced labor (Foster, 2006). Economic sanctions were for property crimes and violent crimes.

This meant that the criminal or their family had to pay the victim or the victim’s family restitution and also paid fines to the government. When these could not be repaid, the criminal was sold as a slave. The differences between women, men, and juvenile prisons are vast too. The women receive many more allocations that the men do not. Women are treated differently now, however; in early societies they were subject to death as well and the same ill treatment as the men. They often were branded, beaten, raped and used as slaves for both physical and sexual advantages of the people who kept them.

Women experience special problems when they enter the criminal justice system. About half of all female offenders have children. Many of these mothers are single or divorced women who are solely responsible for their children’s physical, financial and emotional welfare. Too often these mothers are inadequately prepared to offer the guidance and supervision effective parenting requires. Because of the roles prescribed for women in contemporary society, the female offender often has special barriers to overcome before she can obtain employment.

Jobs that provide an income sufficient to meet her family’s needs and to achieve independent living are rarely available to the female offender with limited skills. Generally speaking, female offenders must meet special emotional and financial demands in an environment that offers limited economic opportunity and even less psychological support. Incarceration in jails and prisons inevitably disrupts family ties and creates feelings of dependency. Female offenders suffer the same losses as males in this regard. Community based programs can maintain and promote constructive relationships between mother and child.

They can also prepare women for employment and strengthen feelings of independence and maturity. Community based programs can treat that offender as responsible adults capable of self-direction. Because community programs provide opportunity for successful experiences, they encourage offenders to live up to realistic expectations. Female offenders are more likely to be placed in diversion or pretrial release programs and to be sentenced to probation if convicted than male offenders. This is not because they receive more lenient treatment, but because the crimes women commit are generally less serious than those committed by men.

The number of incarcerated women has greatly increased over the past ten years. Under pressures for equal opportunity, some states believe that they should run women’s prisons as they run men’s prisons, with the same policies and procedures. Although correctional departments have been playing catch up to meet the challenges of the influx of women offenders, sexual misconduct by officers, demands for education and training, medical services, and methods for dealing with the problems of mother and their children's persists. As the number of female prisoners has increased, cases of sexual misconduct by male correctional officers have escalated.

The case of the murderer Susan Smith and her relationship with Houston Cagle, an officer with 13 years of service, received much attention by the media when he was arrested, but there are countless other women who have remained silent. In addition to adult prisons; there are also youth facilities. The majority of youths adjudicated by the juvenile court are placed on probation. Many non-adjudicated youths are placed on informal probation, a diversion strategy initiated at intake in which probation staff defers the filing of a petition while the juvenile receives probation counseling and supervision.

The similarities between the juvenile justice and the adult justice system are greater than the differences. Both attempt to respond to the differences. Both attempt to respond to the problems posed by individuals who violate the law. The methods of handling offenders differ somewhat, but both systems carry out similar tasks: Suspected offenders are identified and apprehended, evidence is examined to determine what laws have been broken, and judgments regarding appropriate dispositions are made and executed.

In conclusion, sanctions formerly used vastly have changed over time. In Europe, the punishments passed down in the 1700s were devastating and often deadly. In the American societies, while the sanctions were not as barbaric as the European societies, there were still death and despair passed out. These early forms of punishment for the different types of crimes committed stood as punishment for the criminal and education for the public. This was used to deter the non-criminal from becoming a criminal.

Adult facilities and youth facilities offer similarities. Adult facilities often house offenders for quite some time while youth facilities house their offenders until a certain age as determined by the individual states. Youth facilities focus on education and rehabilitation and adult facilities offer the same; however, youth facilities require that the youth attend school and this is not required in adult facilities. Rehabilitation remains the goal of correctional systems today but in previous centuries punishment was the sole focus.