Prison Reform of the U.S. (1830s-1850s) by:Nick Glover and Michael Wiggin

The Prison Reform of the U.S. made changes such as having prisoners in separate cells for more of a rehabilitation experience as oppose to having many angry prisoners in one cell.

The Prison Reform of the U.S. made reforms to improve conditions of prisons. One of these reforms was to implement libraries in prisons to help keep them educated while incarcerated.

4)Discussion points:

-Consider how the immigration boom contributed to an increase in urban crime

-Think about how abolitionists began challenging societal norms and how questioning the current system comes into play with prison reforms

-How did the treatment of criminals improve from the early 1850s?

-Discuss the significance that reformers such as Dorothea Dix and Dr. John Galt had

-Understand the importance of laying down a foundation for future improvements overtime and the early 19th century prison reforms accomplished this

-Connect the values that were ingrained in America's culture earlier, particularly in the north, and The Constituition to the advocation of better treatment for criminals

Comment Stream

2 years ago

1) With urban populations increasing rapidly during the early nineteenth century, many aspects of society were renovated for the changing nation. With Dorothea Dix leading the movement, reforms regarding the treatment and consequences of criminals began to be implemented. By giving criminals less severe punishments and more possibilities to return as law abiding citizens, jail started to become less of a warehouse full of degenerates and more of a rehabilitation institute. With reforms for both education and prisons being advocated, society soon became expected to provide opportunities for prisoners and children alike.

While reading the article, consider how society's view on criminals may change as an result of these reforms. Do these prison reformations indicate a change in policy regarding the responsibilities of a community concerning the less fortunate? How do you think the movement for the improved treatment of prisoners and delinquents is reflected now in our current prisons?

Open in New Window
2 years ago