Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952514 | Print ISBN: 9780761927310 | Online ISBN: 9781412952514| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Quakers, or Friends, as they are also known, are a religious association and sect of Protestantism. For well over 400 years, American and British Quakers have pioneered major prison reform and opposed the death penalty. As part of their reformist intentions, they helped to create the prison itself, in the form of the penitentiary, to replace earlier, more brutal forms of corporal and capital punishment. Quakers' participation in prison reform calls attention to the connections among spiritual, religious, and cultural practices in punishment. Their activism reminds us that punishment itself is a complex social institution that cannot be understood simply as crime control or labor market regulation. Following the restoration of the British crown and resurgence of the Anglican Church in 1660, Quakers in England became increasingly subject to religious persecution and imprisonment. For nearly 20 years, Friends made frequent visits to jails and other places of confinement to offer ...