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Prison Purpose and History Essay

  • Submitted by: phildawg66
  • on November 25, 2012
  • Category: Miscellaneous
  • Length: 975 words

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Below is an essay on "Prison Purpose and History" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Prison: Purpose and History
Phillip Courtnier
October 18, 2012
Gorge Chavarria

Prison: Purpose and History
Since the day Adam and Eve ate an apple from the forbidden tree, punishment has been a part of human culture.   Human beings are embedded with a sense of morals for what is right and what is wrong.   When a wrong is done to others, humans embrace the feeling of retribution and deterrence for the crimes done against them through punishment. Some societies punish harshly, yet others may punish by other means.   In the United States, punishment has been a part society since the formation of the country with influences dating back many years.  
As society has advanced and became more civilized, so has punishment for criminals.   The Babylonian Code of Hammurabi was the first written code of laws that set punishments for specific crimes (The U.S. History of Capital Punishment, 2009).   At that time, punishments were harsh, as the sale of beer was punishable by death, and punishment served as a deterrent for others not to commit crime.   In ancient times, corporal punishment usually resembled the crimes committed.   For example, thieves hands were cut off, or liars tongues were removed.   The middle ages began the importance of punishing only convicted criminals by assuring their guilt by means of torture, battle, or compurgation.   By the 1300s kingdoms began to shift toward trial by jury, for they realized the findings of guilt were ineffective through the old standards.
From the 1700s forward, punishment has changed to be more civilized and oriented toward preserving civil rights.   In the Enlightenment era, Italian politician Beccaria made the argument that punishments should be comparable or equal to the crimes (Banks, 2005).   Incarceration quickly became the largest form of punishment as the many forms of torture faded away.   Early American...

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