Prison Reform

Orange is the New Black

Dorothea Dix

After reforming asylums, Dorothea moved on to help reform the prisons as well. She made sure that the mentally insane were no longer put into prisons with criminals, and special mental hospitals were created. Special justice systems were also created for children in trouble as opposed to them being put into jails.
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Theodore William Dwight

He was a big figure in prison reforms and published in 1867 "Report on the Prisons and Reformatories of the United States and Canada". which resulted in New York state prison commission drew up a bill to establish reformatories.

Thomas Mott Osborne

An American reformer who helped advance public understanding of prison problems and instituted a number of prison reforms. went to Auburn Prison for a week under the name Tom Brown in prison clothing, and made front page news with his book "Within Prison Walls" which talks about the cruelty many prisoners faced and how they must be treated like humans. This influenced many new reforms in prisons.
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Goals and Tactics

Since the early 1820's many popular reform goals were for prisons and asylums. The goals were to make prisons suitable for people and treat them like humans instead of animals. Main goals were to make the hygenic conditions of the prisons better, better or lighten the punishment for certain crimes, makes sure that the mentilly ill were sent to better institutions instead of being placed with people who have committed serious crimes, and change the condition of imprisonment for debt. They wanted less people to be crammed into one cell at a time, and for punishments to be far less severe. Tactics to reform these things were, for example, writing books explaining the conditions prisoners were faced with such as "Within Prison Walls". Dorethea Dix won the support of famous educators. She also went and confronted state legistators about the issues of the prisons. Lastly, the leader of the American Peace Society, William Ladd, decided to made his opinions public in asking for declaring collective security .

Major Achievments

In 1829, the Pennsylvania eastern state penitentiary passed a reform in which every prisoners cell had its own excercise yard, personal hygiene facilities, and work areas that were more isolated.

In 1843 Dorethea Dix the conditions of the prisons with the help and support of several powerful men. This was followed by the legislature funding a bill for a mental hospital, getting the mentally ill out of prisons.

There was also the abolishment of debtors prison, and the Auborn system was created, where kept in seperate cells instead of being crammed together, and forbidden from socializing.

Prisons were changed so that they focused more on rehabilitation instead of harsh punishments.

Brutality of the treatment of prisoners was brought to light through books and new laws soon reforming prisons so that prisoners couldnt be harmed as badly. And cells were more hygienic so that the stench alone couldnt drive the prisoners away.

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