Penitentiaries, Reformatories, and Chain Gangs: Social Theory and the History of Punishment in Nineteenth Century America
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Penitentiaries, Reformatories, and Chain Gangs: Social Theory and the History of Punishment in Nineteenth Century America

3.5 of 5 stars 3.50  ·  rating details  ·  6 ratings  ·  1 review
Over the course of U.S. history, the very definition of punishment in America has been subject to a variety of changes and has served as the basis for much debate. Mark Colvin examines three case studies from the 19th century that represent shifts in the interpretation of punishment: the rise of penitentiaries in the Northeast; the changes in treatment of women offenders i...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published February 12th 2000 by Palgrave Macmillan (first published September 1st 1997)
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Steven Coolbaugh
Jul 22, 2007 Steven Coolbaugh rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Colvin does something revolutionary in this book, he admits that more then one social theory may be at play in the development of our social institutions. The focus is on the justice system as it has developed since the birth of industrialization, but the concepts can be applied to all parts of our society.

I have come to understand that a Marxian explanation of class control is the base work for our prison system, but the observations of Foucault and Durkheim are used in the system as methods of...more
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Dec 13, 2012
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