Laws and Prisons...

Destinee Chaney

Basic Laws

Federal and state laws govern the establishment and administration of prisons as well as the rights of the inmates. Although prisoners do not have full Constitutional rights, they are protected by the Constitution's prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. I feel this protection requires that prisoners be afforded a minimum standard of living. Prisoners also have limited rights to speech and religion. They have to sit alone isolated in a cell jail and could be paired with someone they arent going to get along with. In the article thats why they say they separate the prisoners by the sex , race , and gender.

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Background

Prisons at this time were often in old buildings, such as castles. They tended to be damp, unhealthy, insanitary and over-crowded. All kinds of prisoners were mixed in together, as at Coldbath Fields: men , children, women and also the insane people and people awaiting trial; Each prison was run by the gaoler in his own way. He made up the rules. If you could pay, you could buy extra privileges, such as private rooms, better food, more visitors, keeping pets, allowing you to send and recieve letters, and also have a few books to read. If you could not afford, you punishment was much harsh , lonly nights , nasty food , poor housing conditions anf you even had to pay the gaoler to be let out when your sentence was finished.

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Victorian Era...

In the article it says that Victorians were worried about the rising crime rate: offenses went up from about 5,000 per year in 1800 to about 20,000 per year in 1840. They were firm believers in punishment for criminals, but faced a problem, they didn't know how far to take the punishment.

There were prisons, but they were mostly small, old and poorly controled. Common punishments included transportation – sending the offender to America, Australia or Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania), or execution – hundreds of offenses carried the death penalty, but some still say they took it to far.

By the 1830s people were having doubts about both these punishments. The answer was prison: lots of new prisons were built and old ones extended.

The victorians said : They should be unpleasant places, to deter people from committing crimes. Once inside, prisoners had to be made to face up to their own faults, by keeping them in silence and making them do hard, boring work. Walking a treadwheel or picking oakum (separating strands of rope) were the most common forms of hard labour.

Bibliography

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