Topic: HistoryUnited States

Last updated: February 26, 2019

Incarceration is the state of being confined in prison and restricting a person’s liberty. Incarceration has not always been a usual form of punishment. There were far more typical forms of punishment in the colonial America, medieval Europe and even in England: Forced labor, corporal punishment, and social ostracism. In the 15th century, the penalties for crimes were the form of punishment like whippings for minor serious crimes and execution for more serious crimes.

“The biblical era espoused punishment as the principal response to crime; it was thought punishment would help to maintain the distinction between right and wrong, thus promoting a more just/moral society (Bonomi, 1986, Kann, 2005).” In the United States, this concept was mix with the early American colonies which went to the extend of treating biblical crimes such as profanity as legal violation to modern prisons. “Penitentiaries” refers to the first prisons in the United States to gift their prisoners as religious penitents.

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