Penitentiary Systems

Penitentiary Systems


in the capitalist countries, a form of punishment for crime that consists in loss of freedom. The first modern penitentiary system appeared in the USA in the 18th century, in Pennsylvania. Called the Pennsylvania system, it was based on a combination of solitary confinement and religious exhortation and eliminated any contact between convicts and the outside. K. Marx described the system as “the isolation of the man and his sons from the outer world, the combination of legal punishment and theological torture” (K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch, 2nd ed., vol. 2, p. 203).

In the early 19th century the Auburn system was developed in Auburn, N. Y. Under this system, convicts were to be confined separately only at night, but were required to observe absolute silence in the daytime while working or eating together.

The developed capitalist countries now use the so-called progressive system of incarceration. Under this system, a sentence is divided into several stages, which have different conditions of confinement. These conditions range from more severe to more privileged with respect to such factors as the extent to which immates are confined separately or are permitted meetings with relatives. Changes in the conditions of confinement are entirely at the discretion of the prison administration. First developed in Great Britain in the mid-19th century, this system rejected the extremes of earlier penitentiary systems but preserved many of the characteristics, giving the prison system as a whole externally humane and liberal forms that satisfied the principles of bourgeois democracy. There are several varieties of the progressive system of penal servitude in the capitalist countries, including the English, Irish, and French types. All envision from three to five stages in serving the sentence: solitary confinement, separation of convicts at night, a transitional period when the convicts are permitted to work for hire outside the prison, and finally parole or early release.

A variation of the progressive penitentiary system is the reformatory system. Reformatories are intended for convicted persons aged 16 to 30. For reformatory sentences the court only pronounces the type of punishment but does not specify a precise term. The administration is authorized to keep the inmate in custody until rehabilitation but not longer than the maximum sentence stipulated by law for the particular crime.

Despite its outwardly humane character, the progressive penitentiary system, like the entire capitalist system of criminal punishment, is aimed at diminishing human dignity and does not seek to reeducate convicts and prepare them for life at liberty.

References in periodicals archive ?
The penitentiary institutions of Kyrgyzstan and Turkey agreed to cooperate in the following areas: creation of groups of specialists for study of penitentiary systems in both countries; training of penitentiary workers of Kyrgyzstan in Turkey; assistance in construction of penitentiary institutions.
I am convinced such decision will strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation between our countries and will produce a positive impact on development of the penitentiary system of Kyrgyzstan," State Penitentiary Service Chairman Sovetbek Arbayev said.
experience of working with penitentiary systems, preferably within an EU member State;
Assessment from our NATO partners reflects free and democratic elections, very important progress in judicial and penitentiary systems.
He continued, "The draft declaration that has been submitted for the consideration of the countries [from this part] of the hemisphere is characterized by promoting the transparency of penitentiary systems and their openness to the monitoring and participation of communities in their activities--practices that, in the countries where they are currently applied, have substantially reduced prison violence and corruption and proved beneficial from many other points of view as well.
In this note, Matthew Meskell traces the rise of the penitentiary system in the United States from 1777 to 1877.
6) Beginning in 1790, America embarked on a remarkable experiment and forged an original penitentiary system that attracted the attention not only of its own citizens but of the world.
The conference focused on the ongoing process of modernizing penitentiary systems and reforming penal legislation in Central Asian countries.
The participants discussed the humanization and demilitarization of penitentiary systems, re-socialisation of ex-convicts and their re-integration into society, progressive abolition of the death penalty and the application of alternatives to capital punishment.
I hope the event will help Kazakhstan and other Central Asian states build up transparent, well-administered, rehabilitation-oriented penitentiary systems and legislation.
Representatives of penitentiary systems from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Russia, non-governmental and international organizations, heads of executive agencies responsible for health care provision in correctional institutions are expected to take part in the Forum.