Prison and its History

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Shehnaz Majeed
Prison, an institution for the confinement of persons who have been remanded in custody by a judicial authority who have been deprived of their liberty following conviction for a crime. A person found guilty of a misdemeanour may be required to serve a prison sentence. The holding of accused persons awaiting trial remains an important function of contemporary prisons, and in some countries such persons constitute the majority of the prison population. For example, in the United Kingdom, generally about one-fifth of the prison population is unconvicted while more than two-thirds of those in custody in India are pretrial detainees. Prisons were first remembered by a great philosopher named Jeremy Bentham who was against the death penalty and thus created a concept for a prison that would be used to hold prisoners as a form of punishment. Bentham drew up plans for a facility in which prisoners would remain for extended periods of time According to the annuls of the history until the late 18th century, prisons were used primarily for the confinement of persons accused of crimes and awaiting trial, and convicts awaiting the imposition of their sentences—usually death or transportation overseas. A sentence of imprisonment was rarely imposed—and then only for minor crimes.As the use of capital punishment began to decline in the late 18th century, the prison was increasingly used by courts as a place of punishments, eventually becoming the chief means of punishing serious offenders. The use of imprisonment subsequently spread worldwide, often by means of colonial empires that brought the practice to countries with no indigenous concept of prisons. By the early 21st century a majority of countries had abolished the death penalty and imprisonment was consequently the most severe form of punishment their courts could impose. And as they wanted to bring new changes in the prison then during the 16th century a number of houses of correction were established in Europe for the rehabilitation of minor offenders and vagrants; they emphasized strict discipline and hard labour. Over time, imprisonment came to be accepted as an appropriate method of punishing convicted criminals.


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