The history of prisons in kenya

Table of Content

The main focus is on punishment and penal institutions, such as the prison, and their possible justifications. The Oxford English Dictionary defines penology as “the study of punishment of crime and prison management”, and in this sense it is equivalent with corrections. Penology is concerned with the effectiveness of those social processes devised and adopted for the prevention of crime, via the repression or inhibition of criminal intent via the fear of punishment.

The study of penology therefore deals with the treatment of prisoners and the subsequent rehabilitation of convicted criminals. It also encompasses aspects of arbitration (rehabilitation of offenders in the community) as well as penitentiary science relating to the secure detention and retaining of offenders committed to secure institutions. Penology is a multidisciplinary subject that aims to study and evaluate the application of penal sanctions to wrongdoers. It has broadly focuses on the justifications, characteristics and effectiveness of penal institutions.

This essay could be plagiarized. Get your custom essay
“Dirty Pretty Things” Acts of Desperation: The State of Being Desperate
128 writers

ready to help you now

Get original paper

Without paying upfront

Constitutive Penology Constitutive penology is an extension of postmodernist constitutive criminological theory. Its proponents argue that societal responses to crime re interrelated with the wider society, particularly through “crime and punishment” talk. Constitutive penologists call for (1) the integration of prison and related phonological practices with society, (2) a demystification of the phonological society, (3) the development of more holistic responses to criminal harm. The new penology is neither about punishing nor about rehabilitating individuals.

It is about identifying and managing unruly groups. It is concerned with the rationality not of individual behavior or even community organization, but of managerial processes. Its goal is not to eliminate crime but to make it learnTABLE through systematic coordination. Penology concerns many topics and theories, including those concerning prisons (Prison reform, Prisoner abuse, Prisoners’ rights, and Recidivism), as well as theories of the purposes of punishment (such as Deterrence, Rehabilitation, Retribution, and Utilitarianism).

AIMS of Penology Penologists are interested in the responses to human wrongdoing and, specifically, in the practices, forms and evolution of the punishment and social controls that exist in contemporary society. _ Penologists focus on the criminal justice system and develop arguments concerning its legitimacy and justification. _ Although united in their focus of investigation, penologists come from a wide range of disciplines, including psychology, geography, history, philosophy, social policy, sociology and criminology. Interrelationship In general, penologists look to understand the deployment of penalties within their social, historical, economic and political contexts. _ When thinking about the criminal justice system, penologists use their ‘imagination’ and do not take the practices, or even existence, of punishment at a straightforward or common-sense level. _ Unlike practitioners, who are concerned almost exclusively with the operational practices, laws and procedures shaping punishments and their apparent effectiveness, penologists also ask broader questions concerning who we punish, for what offence, when and how.

Penologists are interested in the justifications of penalties and social sanctions, and develop a specific theoretical framework that informs, and shapes, their research and arguments. Punishment Punishment a pain or unpleasant experience inflicted upon an individual in response to a violation of a rule or law by a person or persons who have lawful authority to do so. The ‘standard or central case of “punishment'” is understood in terms of five elements. (I) It must involve pain or other consequences normally considered unpleasant. Ii) It must be for an offence against legal rules. (iii) It must be of an actual or supposed offender for his offence. (iv) It must be intentionally administered by human beings other than the offender. (v) It must be imposed and administered by an authority constituted by a legal system against which the offence is committed The morality of punishment rests upon theories of deterrence, retribution, just deserts, rehabilitation, incapacitation, and most recently, restorative justice.

These theories attempt to justify society’s imposition of punishment on offenders and try to provide an adequate ethical rationale for inflicting harm. The art of punishment rests on representation. To find a suiTABLE punishment is to find a deterrent that robs the crime of all attraction. It is the art of establishing representations of pairs of opposing values, obstacle-signs. Conditions for effective punishment: They must not be arbitrary. An immediate link between the crime and punishment is necessary.

The complex of signs must decrease the desire for rime and increase the fear of the penalty. Temporal modulation is needed. Penalties cannot be permanent: the more serious the crime, the longer the penalty. The punishment should be directed at others, notes the criminal. Obstacle-signs must circulate widely. A learned economy of publicity exists. The penalty is now a representation of public morality. The code of the laws is evident in punishment. Punishment is also an act of mourning; society has lost the citizen who breaks the law.

The traditional discourse of crime is inverted. How can you end the dubious glory of the criminal? The punitive city ill contain hundreds of tiny theaters of punishment. What is rehabilitation? Rehabilitation means “to restore to useful life, as through therapy and education” or “to restore to good condition, operation, or capacity’. This concept of punishment is based on the notion that punishment is to be inflicted on an offender so as to reform him/her, or rehabilitate them so as to make their re-integration into society easier.

Punishments that are in accordance with this theory are community service, probation orders, and any form of punishment which entails any form of guidance and aftercare towards the offender. What is Corrections? Corrections: are functions carried out by agencies having to do with punishment, treatment, and management of individuals who have been accused of or convicted of criminal offenses Rationale of Punishment and Corrections Retribution: Based on a “just deserts” model which argues that punishment should match the degree of harm criminals have inflicted on their victims.

Retributive rationale is the justification for punishment that proposes society has a right to punish, as long as it is done lawfully and proportionally to the wrong committed by the offender. It believes that inflicting pain as punishment is monumentally different from inflicting pain on innocents, and therefore is not inherently wrong. The right of society to punish is said to lie in the social contract.

Although this idea dates back to the ancient Greeks, it gained Its greatest currency during the Age of Enlightenment in the 1 7th and 1 8th centuries and is associated with Thomas Hobbes (Leviathan 1 651 John Locke (Two Treatises on Government 1690) Government exists to protect individual freedoms If a government does not maintain its part of the social contract, the governed can break it and Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Du contract social 762).

Basically, the concept proposes that all people freely and willingly enter into an agreement to form a society/gobo by giving up a portion of their individual freedom for the return benefit of protection. If one transgresses against the rights of others, one has broken the social contract, and society has the right to punish. The second element of the retributive rationale is that the criminal deserves the punishment and, indeed, has a right to be punished. Only by forcing the individual to suffer the consequences of his actions does one accord them the rights of an equal citizen.

In conclusion, the retributive rationale for punishment holds that because of natural law and social contract, society has the right to punish, and the criminal has the right to be punished. It is not an evil to be punished, but rather, represents the natural order of things. Utilitarianism: The Utilitarian rationale the justification for punishment that proposes that society has a right to punish, as long as it results in a greater good for the majority of the population. Utilitarianism the ethical system whereby good is defined as that which results in the greatest good for the greatest number.

This rationale for punishment is ancient. Plato argued that punishment is a benefit to the person because it improves their souls or characters. The state is virtuous. Only through the state can citizenry behavior be regulated Thomas Aquinas Personal relations are governed by utilitarian principle of the common good. Primary objective of law is to bind one to act to achieve the common good for all in society Distinguished between natural and positivist law, and related natural law to the divinity.

Coercion must exist as a tool to achieve the common good Jeremy Beneath (1748-1832), the classical advocate of utilitarian punishment, his idea of a hedonistic calculus involved two concepts: first, that mankind was essentially rational and hedonistic (pleasure-seeking), and would seek to maximize pleasure and reduce pain in all behavior decisions; and second, that a legal system should accurately determine exactly what measure of punishment are necessary to slightly outweigh the potential pleasure of profit from any criminal act. Others Repressive rationale – Driven by the natural passion for revenge.

Repressive law reflects a solidarity that implies individuals resemble each other. Repressive law is criminal in nature, embodied in the state. Restrictive rationale – Driven by simple deterrence; more humanistic and tolerant The purpose of restrictive law is to restore relations to the way they were–a return in state. The individual is sentenced to comply with previously established legal obligations. Punishment of the individual is not the purpose of restrictive law. In modern terminology, restrictive law is equal to our civil laws.

These laws regulate interactions among individuals and regulate relations between individuals and innate objects (I. E. , private property). Civil awe equals private law; repressive law equals public law. Examples of different types of restrictive law include civil law, commercial law, procedural law, administrative law, and constitutional law. The rules with a restrictive sanction do not totally derive from the collective conscience and are not feeble states of it. Restrictive lands origin largely is not from morals/customs/ diffuse sentiments strongly held by each member of society.

These laws are more or less outside the collective conscience. Chapter Two: Historical development of punishment Chapter Objective By the end of the lesson the learner should be TABLE to: Identify the main highlights of punishment Outline the key olden days punishment Highlight the main development of penal system in different jurisdictions Background In the early days Judges could choose from a wide range Of punishments, though their options were often limited by choices made at an earlier stage in the judicial process. Felonies defined by common law were originally punishTABLE by hanging.

Increasingly from the middle of the eighteenth century, statute law curtailed the use of the death penalty. Misdemeanors were punishTABLE by a range of Nan-capital punishments. Normally, offences fined by statute could only be punished as prescribed by the relevant legislation. The punishments availTABLE in any particular case were thus circumscribed by the legal status of the offence with which the defendant was charged (which in some cases was influenced in turn by the choices made by the victim or the grand jury). Many defendants were given more than one punishment.

Because the actual punishment a convict received often differed from that specified at their trial, this is particularly common for those sentenced to the pillory, imprisonment, whipping, fines and providing reties for good behavior. Late 17th Century to the early 20th Century The Death Penalty A large number of eighteenth-century statutes specified death as the penalty for minor property offences (the “bloody code”), meaning that the vast majority of the people tried at the Old Bailey could be sentenced to hang (one could be executed for stealing a handkerchief or a sheep).

Nevertheless, judicial procedures prevented a blood bath by ensuring that sentences could be mitigated, or the charge redefined as a less serious offence. Death was executed in many ways. Hanging Burned at the Stake Drawn and Quartered Death with Dissection and Hanging in Chains Over the course of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries use of the death penalty was increasingly restricted to the most serious offences. It was removed from pickpocket in 1808, and from many more offences in the asses and asses.

By the asses only those found guilty of the most serious offences (murder, wounding, violent theft, arson, sodomy’s) were sentenced to death (though only murderers were actually executed), and the 1861 Offences Against the Persons Act abolished the death penalty for all offences except for murder and High Treason. Through partial verdicts, juries reduced the charges against many convicted defendants. Through the mechanisms of benefit of clergy and pardons many more defendants found guilty of a capital offence were spared the death penalty and sentenced instead to punishments such as branding, transportation, or imprisonment.

Many received no punishment at all. Benefit of Clergy Through the mechanism of benefit of clergy, many defendants found guilty of certain felonies were spared the death penalty and given a lesser punishment. Dating back to the middle ages, benefit of clergy was originally a eight accorded to the church, allowing it to punish its own members should they be convicted of a crime. Since it was difficult to prove who was affiliated with the church, convicts who claimed benefit of clergy were required to read a passage from the Bible.

Judges usually chose verses from the 51st Psalm, which was termed the “neck verse”, since it saved many people from hanging. In 1 623 women found guilty of the theft of goods less than ten shillings in value were also allowed benefit of clergy, and in 1 691 women were granted the privilege on the same terms as men. In 1706 the reading test was abolished and benefit of clergy became automatic for any offence which had not been excluded from this privilege. Until 1 779 the recipients of benefit of clergy were branded on the thumb in order to ensure that the benefit could not be claimed more than once.

In the sixteenth century murder, rape, highway robbery, burglary, horse-stealing, pickpocket and theft from churches, were deemed non-clergymen. During the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries concern over levels of property theft led to several other forms of theft being added to this list. These included housebreaking, the heft of goods worth more than 40 shillings from a dwelling house, shoplifting of goods worth more than 5 shillings, and sheep and cattle stealing.

A death sentence in such cases therefore became automatic, which explains why juries so often reduced the value of stolen goods through the mechanism of the partial verdict. In making the decisions that determined whether a defendant was killed or released regardless of guilt, consideration was given to the defendant’s character, the nature of the offence, the strength of the evidence against him or her, the state of crime at the time (a higher reapportion were actually hanged if the court thought a ‘crime wave’ was in process), and, occasionally, the status of those who petitioned on the defendant’s behalf.

Newer Forms of Punishment in 1 8th & 19th century A gradually growing reluctance to use the death penalty in the eighteenth century (except for the most serious cases), combined with an increasing concern that those who received benefit of clergy were let off too lightly encouraged the development of alternative forms of punishment. The criminal law reforms of the nineteenth century, abolishing, as they did, the death penalty for many crimes, led in the same direction.

As a result new types of punishments for felons, notably transportation and imprisonment, were created and eventually came to take on an ever growing role in the sentencing of criminals. These new punishments reflect two trends in the evolution of strategies for punishment. First, there was a shift from physical punishments such as whipping branding and hanging to attempts to reform the defendant through transportation and imprisonment.

And second, punishments became less public, as the spectacle of public hangings at Tiburon, the pillory, and public whipping through the streets was replaced by naming outside and then inside Negate, private whipping, transportation to foreign lands, and imprisonment. Branding Convicts who successfully pleaded benefit of clergy, and those found guilty Of manslaughter instead of murder, were branded on the thumb (with a “T” for theft, “F” for felon, or “M” for murder), so that they would be unTABLE to receive this benefit more than once.

The branding took place in the courtroom at the end of the sessions in front of spectators. It is alleged that sometimes criminals convicted of petty theft, or who were TABLE to bribe the executioner, had the branding iron applied when it was cold. For a short time, between 1 699 and January 1707, convicted thieves were branded on the cheek In order to increase the deterrent effect of the punishment, but this rendered convicts unemployTABLE and in 1707 the practice reverted to branding on the thumb. It is possible to search separately to find those sentenced to be branded on the cheek.

Branding as a punishment for those receiving benefit of clergy ended in 1779. The last convict sentenced to branding at the Old Bailey received the sentence in 1789. Hanging Until 1 783 most defendants actually executed were hanged at Tiburon (where Marble Arch stands today). Execution was a public spectacle, meant to act as a deterrent to crime. Convicts were drawn in a cart through the streets from Negate, and, after they were given a chance to speak to the crowd (and, it was hoped, confess their sins), they were hanged. The convict was placed in a horse drawn cart and blindfolded.

The noose was then placed around his/her neck, and the cart pulled away. After the execution there were sometimes struggles for possession of the corpse between assistants to the surgeons, who wanted it for teaching anatomy, and friends of the convict, who wanted to give the victim a proper burial. Concern at the disorder which occurred at such scenes contributed to the passage of the 1752 Murder Act. Burned at the Stake Women found guilty of either treason or petty treason were sentenced to be burned alive at the stake, though executioners usually strangled women with a cord before lighting the fire.

Burning at the stake was abolished in 1 790 and replaced by drawing and hanging. Men found guilty of treason were sentenced to be drawn to the place of execution on a hurdle, hanged, cut down while still alive, and then disemboweled, castrated, beheaded and quartered. It was alleged that recruit executioners allowed men to die on the gallows before dismembering them. This punishment was rare during our period, but occasionally those convicted of coining and petty treason were sentenced to be drawn on a hurdle only, but not quartered.

The last convicts to be sentenced at the Old Bailey to be drawn and quartered were the Cat Street conspirators in 1820, but in the event decapitation was the only part of the grisly ceremony that was actually carried out. Poison Taken orally poison has rarely been used as a method of execution. Nevertheless the great Greek philosopher Socrates was forced to commit suicide by drinking hemlock. Pressing If a person refused to plead guilty or not guilt to a crime they were pressed. A wooden board was placed on their body and stone or iron weights were added until the person agreed to plead – or died.

The last man to be pressed to death in England died in Horsham, Sussex in 1735. Boiling Alive In England a law of 1531 allowed poisoned to be boiled alive. In 1532 a cook called Richard Rose was boiled alive and in 1 542 a woman called Margaret Davys was boiled alive. However the law was repealed in 1547. Burning Burning is a very old method of killing people. In 1401 a law in England made burning the penalty for heresy. In the 16th century during the reign of Mary (1553-1558) nearly 300 Protestants were burned to death in England.

Beheaded Eng Beheading is another ancient method of punishment. Beheading with a sword or an axe may have been more merciful than hanging but that was not always the case. Birching This punishment meant beating a person across the backside with birch twigs. Once a common punishment in schools it could also be imposed by the courts for minor offences. Birching as a punishment for minor crimes was abolished in Britain in 1948. Crucifixion The condemned man carried the cross beam of the cross to the site of execution.

His arms were tied or nailed to it and the crosspiece was tied or nailed to a pole. Under the persons feet was a block of wood to make sure their weight did not tear their hands from the nails. The person’s feet were also nailed to the cross. Drowning Although drowning is an obvious method of killing people it was seldom used as a method of execution. The Roman writer Tactics said that the Germanic peoples drowned cowards in fens under piles of sticks. The Anglo-Saxons also sometimes used drowning as a punishment. Ducking Stool The ducking stool was a seat on a long wooden arm.

Women who were convicted of being scolds or gossips were tied to the seat then ducked into the local pond or river. The last woman to be ducked in England suffered the punishment in 1809. Electric Chair In the late 19th century it occurred to people that electricity could be used to kill. It was first used in the USA in 1890 when a man named William Skimmer was executed. Flogging Flogging has been a common punishment since ancient times. Jesus was flogged before he was crucified. In England from the Middle Ages whipping as a common punishment for minor crimes.

Cite this page

The history of prisons in kenya. (2018, Feb 02). Retrieved from

Remember! This essay was written by a student

You can get a custom paper by one of our expert writers

Order custom paper Without paying upfront