Chapter 2 Notes
Chapter 2 Notes CJ 270
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Michela Spicer on Friday September 2, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CJ 270 at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa taught by Patrick Halliday in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 16 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Corrections in Criminal Justice at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa.
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Date Created: 09/02/16
Chapter 2: Punishments: A Brief History Objectives: 1. Describe the types of punishment prevalent in ancient times Corporal (also known as physical) punishments were most common in response to those who committed crimes for centuries before those who committed were convicted and incarcerated. 2. List and describe the major criminal punishments used through history Criminal punishments of the past were generally: o Flogging: varied from leather straps or willow branches to heavy, complicated instruments designed to inflict a maximum of pain o Branding: a mark or letter signifying their crimes was branded on the person’s body. Often placed on the forehead or another part of the face o Mutilation: This punishment fit the crime (ex: thieves had hands cut off, liars had tongues cut out, spies had eyes gouged out, sex criminals had genitals removed.) Sometimes served as a prelude to execution o Exile: Regarded as akin to a death sentence because the banished could no longer depend on his or her former community for support and protection o Transportation: Prisoners were sent to islands to be imprisoned o Public humiliation: Prisoners were tied up and put in a public place, and had things thrown at them (ex: eggs, rotten fruit.) Sometimes they were whipped or branded in public 3. Explain the role of torture in the justice systems of times past Torture of several kinds was used in the Middle Ages to attempt at getting confessions. Torture was justified by the belief that guilty knowledge was properly the property of the king or the state, and that exceptional means could be used to recover it. 4. Explain the ideas that led to the use of incarceration as a criminal punishment and as an alternative to earlier punishments Many reformers based their ideas on Enlightenment principles, including the use of reason and deductive logic to solve problems. They laid the groundwork for the use of imprisonment as an alternative to traditional punishments 5. Explain the role of correctional reformers in changing the nature of criminal punishment Beginning in the mid-1700s, a number of correctional reformers fought the use of corporal punishments and sought to introduce more humane forms of punishment. Among those reformers were Cesare Beccaria, Jeremy Bentham, and John Howard. Key Terms Corporal punishments: physical punishments, or those involving the body Bridewell: a workhouse. The word came from the name of the first workhouse in England Utilitarianism: the principle that the highest objective of public policy is the greatest happiness for the largest number of people o Side note: Utilitarian people believed in capital punishment- for murder or other serious crimes Making the punishment such that a rational person would not commit the crime Hedonistic calculus: the idea that people are motivated by pleasure and pain and that the proper amount of punishment can deter crime The Reformers William Penn: regarded as the founder of Pennsylvania. He converted to the Quaker faith and within the next year found himself imprisoned for promoting the faith. After release, he was imprisoned several other times, causing him to seek refuge in America. His influence on the criminal law of this country was most visible in the “Great Act” of 1682. In that piece, the Pennsylvania Quakers reduced capital offenses to the one crime of premeditated murder and abolished all corporal punishments as they existed. John Howard: born into a deeply religious English family. Was taken prisoner by pirates in Portugal when he was young after his ship was captured. He wrote a book in 1777 which contained descriptions of clean and well-run institutions, prisons in which the sexes were separated, and jails in which inmates were kept busy at productive work. His book promoted the notion that the fundamental business of corrections should be to reform rather than to punish, and he argued that every citizen must accept responsibility for the criminal justice system of the society in which he or she lives. His book also created the impression that the prison was the natural and inevitable shape of punishment. Cesare Beccaria: In his 20’s, him and a few friends formed a circle called the Academy of Fists. The academy took as its purpose the reform of the criminal justice system. In an essay, Beccaria outlined a utilitarian approach to punishment, suggesting that some punishments can never be justified because they are more evil than any “good” they might produce. He also protested punishment of the insane, a common practice of the times, saying it could do no good because insane people cannot accurately assess the consequences of their actions. Beccaria proposed that punishment could be justified only if it was imposed to defend the social contract. He also argued that punishment should be swift because swift punishment offers the greatest deterrence. Finally, he argued that the severity of punishment should be proportional to the degree of social damage caused by the crime. Jeremy Bentham: He was sent to college at the age of 12 with his fathers hopes of entering the field of law. Instead of practicing law, he began to criticize it and spent the rest of his life analyzing the legal practices of the day, writing about them, and giving his thoughts on improvements. Bentham advocated utilitarianism, which provided the starting point for his social analysis. Bentham believed that human behavior is determined largely by the amount of pleasure or pain associated with a given activity. He suggested that the purpose of law should be to make socially undesirable activities painful enough to keep people from engaging in them. His hedonistic calculus made 4 assumptions oPeople by nature choose pleasure and avoid pain o Each individual, either consciously or intuitively, calculates the degree of pleasure or pain to be derived from a given course of action o Lawmakers can determine the degree of punishment necessary to deter criminal behavior o Such punishment can be effectively and rationally built into a system of criminal sentencing Sir Samuel Romilly: He was an English legal reformer who worked ceaselessly to lessen the severity of existing criminal law in his home country. Romilly fought to reduce the number of English capital crimes. He succeeded in getting passed a bill abolishing the death penalty in cases of “private stealing from the person” and he won the abolition of the death penalty in cases of soldiers and sailors found absent without leave. Sir Robert Peel: Peel is best known in the history of criminal justice for establishing a police force that influenced the development of policing throughout much of the rest of the world. Peel and others worked to identify the fundamental function of the police as the investigation of crime and the apprehension of criminals. Peel insisted that the police should be responsible for investigation and arrest only, while the trial, defense, and conviction phase of the justice process should reside entirely in the hands of another body, the judiciary. He said punishment should not be imposed by the police but by specialists in the field of penology. In his words, it is necessary for the police “to recognize always the need for strict adherence to police executive functions and to refrain from even seeming to usurp the powers of the judiciary or avenging individuals or the state and of authoritatively judging guilt and punishing the guilty” Elizabeth Fry: she campaigned during the early 1800s to “expose the plight of women in prison and to promote better conditions for them.” Fry believed that women are more likely than men to change and that appeals “to the heart” would be more effective with women offenders than with men. Mary Belle Harris: Eventually became the first warden of the Federal Institution for Women in Alderson, West Virginia. Harris believed that reformation, not punishment, should be the primary focus of most correctional programs and institutions. She also believed that the criminality of women was largely the result of their social roles and specifically their economic dependency upon men. After this, she began training programs that would permit women prisoners to become financially independent upon release. Sanford Bates: Bates believed in rehabilitation and in the value of inmate labor, thinking that work provided both a sense of purpose and a tool for reformation. He created FPI programs involving work on prison farms, public lands, military bases, and highway construction. Bates believed that prisoner rehabilitation offered the best hope of protecting society from crime. George J. Beto: Beto believed in the goal of rehabilitation as well- promoting it as a goal to be achieved in prisons everywhere. He started one of the earliest General Education Development (GED) testing programs for prisoners in the nation. He drew special attention to the importance of preparing inmates for release back into society. Beto was convinced that discipline, order, and control were necessary in order to provide a safe environment for inmates to better themselves. Before giving up his position, he convinced the people of the state legislature to create a law requiring state agencies to buy prison-made goods, thereby greatly expanding opportunities for inmate labor.