Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice

2014 Edition
| Editors: Gerben Bruinsma, David Weisburd

History of Corrections

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5690-2_273



With more than two million adults serving time in American prisons and jails, another five million adults under forms of correctional supervision such as probation or parole that threaten imprisonment for violators, and an incarceration rate of more than 700 people per 100,000 population, the United States leads the world in incarceration (Glaze, 2011). Although imprisonment has come to dominate American corrections, the prison as a form of punishment is a relatively recent historical development, emerging as part of a transnational conversation in the United States and Europe in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and later in various forms throughout the rest of the world. To be sure, while neither the use of confinement nor the loss of liberty as punishment was invented in the United States, American penal innovation greatly influenced corrections on a global scale.

The history of corrections in America...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Graduate CenterThe City University of New YorkNew YorkUSA