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see prisonprison,
place of confinement for the punishment and rehabilitation of criminals. By the end of the 18th cent. imprisonment was the chief mode of punishment for all but capital crimes.
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Place for the imprisonment of inmates and for their reformation through discipline and work.


1. (in the US and Canada) a state or federal prison: in Canada, esp a federal prison for offenders convicted of serious crimes
2. RC Church
a. a cleric appointed to supervise the administration of the sacrament of penance in a particular area
b. a priest who has special faculties to absolve particularly grave sins
c. a cardinal who presides over a tribunal that decides all matters affecting the sacrament of penance
d. this tribunal itself
3. US and Canadian (of an offence) punishable by imprisonment in a penitentiary
References in periodicals archive ?
His reward was an appointment to the Board of Directors of Penitentiaries.
He reminded the staff of discipline, warned that the Penitentiaries Act provided that anyone who spied on other officers would be dismissed, and advised them to resign if they could not serve him loyally.
Our federal penitentiaries are facing a serious crisis," said Luis Jose Hinojosa Dominguez, director of the Centro Nacional de Investigacion en Criminalistica y Prevencion Criminologica.
Blancornelas says drug traffickers not only control the maximum-security penitentiaries like La Palma and Puente Grande, but scores of state prisons throughout the country.
Although Illinois was not one of the nation's leading states in terms of penal evolution, it may have been more representative than the far more well-documented histories of the first penitentiaries in Pennsylvania, New York, or Massachusetts.
After 1867 the state took over management of the penitentiaries, leasing out the prisoner's labor to private contractors.
Hirsch asserts that changes in the demographics of towns and villages motivated authorities to build penitentiaries.
Consequently, penitentiaries persisted as "a monument to failure" (117).
2 billion adjusted by inflation annually once the construction is finished in 2013 that will be associated to fully cover operations and debt service related to the construction of the penitentiaries.
The Wall, by Proytecsa, is the only solution in the market adapted to cover the demanding needs of the penitentiaries.
The Ombudsman qualified the general conditions in penitentiaries as unsatisfactory.
Most penitentiaries for sexually and morally outcast females were established and operated by another group of Victorian sexual radicals - Anglican nuns.