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
Corporal punishment refers to physical penalties that cause pain or disfigure the body. It is usually contrasted with practices such as imprisonment, probation, or parole, which control but are not meant specifically to harm the body. Of course, incarceration may cause discomfort and potentially subject inmates' bodies to violence such as rape, but it is not the same as whipping or flogging where the judicial sentence directly requires acute pain as the payment for an offense. While executions obviously harm the body by putting someone to death, legally they must not involve torture or unnecessary pain and suffering. Corporal punishments predate the birth of the prison. Indeed, early jails and prisons were designed merely to hold offenders until their corporal punishment could be carried out. A common strategy until around 1800 was to hold an offender in the stocks. Just as every community now has a jail, historically every village ...