The Evolution Of Correction Philosophy

Home Blog Uncategorized The Evolution Of Correction Philosophy

The Evolution Of Correction Philosophy

The Evolution Of Correction Philosophy

There is need for correctional systems within every society that assists in the maintenance of integrity within the society. These correctional practices are useful in enforcing behavioral norms within the society. In every existing surrounding at any time, society can be drained by peace or war. These conditions may have an influence on the views of the public that can be associated with crimes and the punishments they are related to. There has been a slow transformation that has been witnessed from personal vengeance to the orderly procession of rules and standard of justice that are observed in the present day.

In the European history there is a stage when all acts of justice on a personal level had been left and society had come up with a subculture behind bars this was used to deal with elements found within society who do not follow the stipulated format of identifying right from wrong. An offender could no longer flee from justice by moving to their family stronghold so that they can get united protection as it was done in days before. Retaliation from an individual’s family was no longer acceptable as a form of justice. Public offenders in medieval Europe had to go through extreme punishment like torture to death. The justice system had a dark age and has slowly progressed with minor improvement (Parish, 2012).

During 17th century, criminals were staged in open view of the public in an effort to shame them and hence discourage them from a repeat of similar behavior. It included pillory and whipping in public. It was quite normal for even small offenses to get death penalties. In Europe early prisons were just holding rooms where offenders were placed as they waited for trail and punishment they lacked proper maintenance and they were home for disgusting diseases, the inmates often died from diseases they contacted while in there. There was a great leap when a house of correction was established that held petty offenders or disorderly.

In the 18th century, death penalties were slowly being outlawed. There was also imprisonment with hard labor. there was a motion set by John Howard in 1777 to end barbaric conditions in house of corrections (Parish, 2012).there was transformations that saw the use of paid staff as opposed to volunteers. In the 19th century saw the repelling of capital punishment save for hideous crimes. Imprisonment was now replacing capital punishment slowly.

This history has had a great influence on today’s American corrections practices since it was concluded that capital punishment was not an effective form of punishment. Hence in the 20th century there have been various reforms registered that advocates the separation of the youth and adult offenders. There has also been abolishment of hard labor and custom flogging. This also led to better treatment requirements for the offenders in America

As mentioned the correction practices today and in 1800s is quite comparable; in both practices the aim of corrections is to contain, control, punish, restrain, to rehabilitate and reintegrate offenders in the society. In both past and present times there are prisons that are put in place where offenders are held and are confined there where they face punishment and rehabilitation.

There is however a difference between correctional practices in the 1800s and the present time. First in the 1800s the main aim of correctional practice was punishment that was often accompanied by hard labor and beating of the offenders. This is in contrast to the current correctional practices that aim for rehabilitation of the offenders. Basically we can see that there has been a shift from physical punishment to psychological punishment of offenders. In the 1800s prisons were simple rooms were the offenders were held but in recent times the prisons have been improved greatly with the addition of many programs, farms, shops, classes and also recreational facilities that have led to better control of the prisoners. There has also been the introduction of parole in judicial proceedings that did not exist in correction facilities in the early times. There has also been the separation between child offenders and adult offenders with the introduction of juvenile systems that enable this. This is a new evolution that did not exist in the 1800s (O’Connor, 2012).


Parish, J. (2012). The Evolution of Corrections Philosophy. Retrieved January 18,2013 from’Connor, T.  (2012). Early History of Corrections.  Retrieved January 18,2013from

Academic Research Pro