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The Purpose Of Imprisonment - Essay Example

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The essay "The Purpose Of Imprisonment" calls upon the history of imprisonment, as well as theoretical justification of such an act in social sciences. …
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The Purpose Of Imprisonment
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Download file to see previous pages The concerns of the Lady of with Lamp may not, however, been without basis as Sykes (cited in Liebling and Maruna, 2005) bared the so-called five “pains of imprisonment” as deprivation of liberty, denial of goods and services, involuntary celibacy, loss of independence, and the deprivation of security. According to Champion (2005), historical accounts from ancient civilizations like Rome and Greece pointed towards the existence of crude prison structures. For example, during the 7th century BC, Mamertine Prison was built constructed in Rome around a system of dungeons where prisoners were detained for short periods. However, extensive utilization of prisons for longer confinement to punish criminals punishment started only during the 15th century. Basically, the period from the 5th to the 15th century which may be considered as Middle Ages century, wrongdoings and crimes are dealt with using the talion law1 (lex talionis), where retribution was handled personally by the aggrieved individuals or parties in vengeful retaliation, which sometimes involves maiming and torture. Corporal2 and capital3 punishment were also commonly meted out even for petty crimes either by religious authorities or governments.
The earliest prisons during the 15th century were first established in England and Scotland and were used to incarcerate offenders for longer periods of time. Some prisons were also erected to detain even people who are just incapable of paying their debts, together with what they called “social misfits”. Morgan (2007) reminisced that since ancient times, prisons served three purposes: punitive, custodial, and coercive. Imprisonment in a medieval prison constituted punishment for petty offenses (Pugh, 1970). Its main purpose was custodial or coercive in nature. Persons detained in custody consisted of the following: (1) accused persons pending trial; (2) convicted criminals awaiting execution of their sentences; and (3) banished persons en route to the colonies. The prisons’ coercive nature deals with persons with civil debt. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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