chapter  3
29 Pages

The Development of Corrections

If it is true that society is judged by how it treats its prisoners, the methods employed in the past are harsh indictments indeed. For those of us living today, it may be difficult to envision the savage treatment of offenders in the past. Life without prisons and jails, or even courts and trials, may be incomprehensible to us-yet these have been relatively recent “inventions.” But, while there have not always been correctional institutions and justice as we know it today, there has always been criminal behavior-and our predecessors were rather ingenious at devising brutal methods of responding to it. It was not without reason that America’s forefathers established a constitutional guarantee against “cruel and unusual punishment.”