Notorious Prisons of the World

Notorious Prisons of the World

by Stephen Wade


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The first prisons were in the dungeons of empires and castles, places of neglect and sheer oblivion. Every civilization has had its dissenters and its 'deviants' - criminals as well as political offenders, and so prisons became essential to the retention of power. As the centuries passed after classical times, and prisons were needed for other categories of person, such as debtors, states across the world began to cater for a variety of prisoners, and legal systems became more closely linked to incarceration. The World's Most Notorious Prisons traces this development, from the state prisons of Athens and Rome, through to the birth of the house of correction and the penitentiary. Stephen Wade tells the stories of the infamous penal colonies and state prisons across the stage of world history, from Alcatraz to Van Dieman's Land, and from the Siberian gulags to the massive super jails of modern America.

The book traces the stories of inmates and staff, political regimes and the rise and fall of empires, all seen through the prison walls. The history of prisons, as is often noted, throws light on the human political and state structures which generated punishments which have taken away individual freedom, sometimes with a degree of humanitarian concern, and sometimes with sheer barbarism.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781783030170
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Publication date: 02/19/2014
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Stephen Wade is a biographer and social historian, usually associated with crime and law, but here he turns his attention to a place he has known for forty years, as he has lived and worked in Scunthorpe all that time. His most recent books have been "Going to Extremes", "The Justice Women" and three volumes in the "Your Town in the Great War" series (all Pen & Sword), and :No More Soldiering" (Amberley).

Table of Contents

Introduction 6

Chapter 1 The First Dark Places 28

Chapter 2 Judgement and Debt 41

Chapter 3 Prison and Imperial Power 59

Chapter 4 Europe: From Dungeons to Houses of Correction 72

Chapter 5 Work and Pain: From Penal Colonies to Gulags 89

Chapter 6 Reform and the Penitentiary: The American Experience 109

Chapter 7 Punishment as Commodity and Masterplan 127

Chapter 8 Politicals, Enemies and Doing Time 143

Chapter 9 A Short History of Modern Failures 165

Chapter 10 History from Inside 178

Conclusions 192

Glossary 195

Bibliography 197

Index 205

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