skip navigation


Abstract Database

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

To download this abstract, check the box next to the NCJ number then click the "Back To Search Results" link. Then, click the "Download" button on the Search Results page. Also see the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 173995 Find in a Library
Title: Reform and Retribution: An Illustrated History of American Prisons
Author(s): J W Roberts
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 276
Sponsoring Agency: American Correctional Assoc
Alexandria, VA 22314
Publication Number: ISBN 1-56991-054-5
Sale Source: American Correctional Assoc
206 N. Washington St., Suite 200
Alexandria, VA 22314
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Using narrative and just over 330 illustrations and photographs, this book presents the history of corrections in America, from colonial times, through the rise of penitentiaries and reformatories, to the emphasis on rehabilitation of the offender.
Abstract: The first chapter discusses European influences on American prisons, including the earliest prisons; bridewells, banishment, and hulks; and the wave of reform against inhumane punishment in the latter half of the 18th century. A chapter on colonial and revolutionary America considers sanctions in the colonies, the criminal code promulgated by William Penn when he was governor of Pennsylvania, Benjamin Rush and the Philadelphia Prison Society, and America's first prisons. The rise of the penitentiary is reviewed in another chapter. The topics addressed are the Pennsylvania system (separate system), the Auburn system (congregate system), and the Civil War and its aftermath. The next chapter focuses on the reformatory era, as it discusses the origin of the reformatory concept, the reform work of the National Prison Association, the programs of reformatories, the Three Prisons Act and the origins of Federal corrections, and prisons in Canada. A chapter covers new directions for corrections at the beginning of the 20th century, with attention to the State-use system of inmate labor, new prison technologies and living conditions, and prisons for women. A chapter on the goal of individualized treatment discusses scientific penology, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, juvenile offenders, and prisons in wartime. Remaining chapters focus on postwar tensions and the medical model of corrections, the emergence of a model that sought to balance rehabilitation and custodial goals, and the current return to a more punitive approach to corrections. 41 suggestions for further reading and a subject index
Main Term(s): History of corrections
Index Term(s): Correctional reform; Corrections policies; Punishment; Rehabilitation
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.