The Pennsylvania system of corrections originated in 1826, with the construction and opening of the Western State Penitentiary in Pittsburgh. This followed by the construction and opening of the Eastern State Penitentiary near Philadelphia in 1829 (Mays & Winfree, 2009). These institutions were designed to resemble a spoked wheel, with a large rotunda in the middle, and rows of cells, which extended out from the center. The cells were one person cells, which were approximately eight feet by twelve feet in dimension, and each cell had two doors, one leading to an isolated, secure exercise yard, and the other out into the hall, which connected to the rotunda (Mays & Winfree, 2009). In contrast to the Pennsylvania styled prisons, the Auburn styled prisons were designed differently.
In 1816, the New York legislature approved the construction of a new prison building in...
... middle of paper ...
...een the two are stark. Even though both systems employed solitary confinement, in some form, the Pennsylvania system used it exclusively. The Auburn system used a combination of custody statuses to house the inmates (Mays & Winfree, 2009). It was this use of only solitary confinement, which put an end to the Pennsylvania system. It became too expensive to operate these silent prisons, and the enlightened thinkers of the time found it to be inhumane. Reforms were made, and the Auburn system began to be adopted in other parts of the country.
Cloud, D. H., Drucker, E., Browne, A., & Parsons, J. (2015). Public Health and Solitary Confinement in the United States. American Journal of Public Health, 105(1), 18-26. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2014.302205
Mays, G.L. & Winfree, L.T. (2009). Essentials of Corrections (4th Ed.), United States, Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
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