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Download Conscience and Convenience: The Asylum and Its Alternatives by David Rothman PDF

By David Rothman

During this up-to-date new version, Rothman chronicles and examines incarceration of the legal, the deviant, and the established in U.S. society, with a spotlight on how and why those tools have persevered and increased for over a century and a part, regardless of longstanding facts in their mess ups and abuses. a brand new epilogue, "The Crime of Punishment," written for this Aldine paperback variation, assesses criminal stipulations in the United States over the last twenty years and the more moderen failed makes an attempt to reform them.

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Additional resources for Conscience and Convenience: The Asylum and Its Alternatives in Progressive America (New Lines in Criminology)

Sample text

In the end, the neurologists were convinced that asylum care was not only crude and incompetent, but cruel and inhumane. It relied too heavily on restraining devices and seclusion rooms. 25 Not surprisingly, the aeurologists went on to urge a reduced reliance upon institutionalization for the mentally ill. In contrast to the pleas of medical superintendents that patients come to the asylum at the onset of symptoms, they argued that many patients could be treated as well, perhaps even better, at home.

To post-Civil War American reformers, Elmira proved that prisons, if properly designed, could fulfil1 their original promise. . .. .. 36 THE NINETEENTH-CENTURY IXGACY Hence, incompetence and abuse were not the inevitable result of institutionalization, but the fault of one particular warden or guard; failure reflected individual inadequacy, not a flaw in the concept of the penitentiary. The ideal of an institution that cured was practical and realizable -and if reality fell short, then the problem rested with one or another administrator.

A group of reformers continued to justify the idea of incarceration for negative reasons, that is, for fear of what a sustained attack upon the institutions might produce. However wretched the current state, conditions would degenerate still further if the institutions were abolished. COPING WITH EvIzl 29 In criminal justice, the reformers’ sense of history confined them. They looked back to the period before the penitentiarywith its gallows, whipping posts, and edicts of banishmentand reasoned that the abolition of the prison would inevitably restore such horrid practices.

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