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
Prisons and jails have been condemned, at least by some, for as long as they have existed. In the nineteenth century, concern about the inappropriate use of imprisonment led to such reform measures as probation and parole, which were seen as alternatives to jails and prisons. In the 1930s, many reform agents were critical of the conditions of confinement suffered by those men and women detained or sentenced in jails and prisons. Sanford Bates, the first director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, wrote in Prisons and Beyond (1936) that the prisons cannot solve society's problems and they must be must be destroyed “root and branch.” By this, he meant that the existing conditions of confinement must be changed; he did not challenge the use of confinement itself as a reponse to violations of the law. Starting in the 1960s and 1970s, however, reform advocates grew increasingly wary of Abolitionism ...