Although prison as punishment is as old as modern liberal and democratic states, from the beginning it has faced continual challenges over its legitimacy. Human rights and prison were conceived at the same epoch (during the eighteenth century), but have always been in tension. Accordingly, thinkers and policy makers have constantly had to re-examine and consolidate the legitimacy of the latter. This question of legitimacy was logically grounded: the prison was meant to deprive of what was considered as essential in society. The punitive purpose could not be served by the deprivation of second-order interests such as social or religious status or reputation, even though deprivation of first-grade rights was hard to legitimate. This presented a carceral paradox.