Pub. date: 2002 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950664 | Print ISBN: 9780761922582 | Online ISBN: 9781412950664| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Eastern State Penitentiary
Linda Dailey Paulson
Eastern State Penitentiary in Pennsylvania holds an important place in the evolution of U.S. penology theory because of its history and its unique architecture. It is also significant because it is associated with the establishment of lengthy incarceration as standard punishment for serious crimes. Eastern State Penitentiary was the first major walled penitentiary in the country, as well as one of the most controversial during the nineteenth century. As penology systems were being debated and developed in the 1800s, Pennsylvania officials questioned the popular system of penology developed in Auburn, New York. They had a theory based on the Quaker philosophy that solitude brings penitence. Under this theory, inmates were incarcerated in a single cell for the entirety of their sentence, and contact with other prisoners was forbidden. An interior hallway in Eastern State Penitentiary in 1996. The prison was ...