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A brief history using images and data to represent a portion of Prison Education in the United States

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Title: History of Prison Education Author: Kelley Starr Abraham Last modified by: Home Created Date: 9/20/2010 5:49:11 AM Document presentation format – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: A brief history using images and data to represent a portion of Prison Education in the United States


1
A brief history using images and data to
represent a portion of Prison Education in the
United States
2
  • Following the passage of a Pennsylvania state
    legislative act in 1790, Walnut Street Jail in
    Philadelphia, became the first state prison in
    the United States.

3
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4
  • This Philadelphia System as it came to be known,
    was designed by Quakers and was developed around
    their religious beliefs. The latin root of the
    term Penitentiary is remorse. Quakers believed
    that solitary confinement would provide prisons
    the opportunity to reflect and
  • The first education program in prison was
    religious and was given through direct religious
    education as well as indirectly through isolation
    and forced reflection. (Quakers believe that God
    speaks to individuals through silent
    contemplation).

5
  • The Prisons Three Objectives
  • Ensure Public Security
  • Reformation of Prisoners
  • Humanity toward those unhappy members of society

6
  • Walnut Street Jail was replaced by the Eastern
    State Penitentiary
  • In 1822, work began on what was to become Eastern
    State Penitentiary, although at the time it was
    called Cherry Hill because it displaced a cherry
    orchard. Despite not being finished, the prison
    opened in 1829. Completed in 1836, it turned out
    to be one of the largest structures in the
    country at the time far exceeding preliminary
    cost estimates. Each prisoner was to be provided
    with a cell from which they would rarely leave
    and each cell had to be large enough to be a
    workplace and have a small individual exercise
    yard attached. Cutting edge technology of the
    1820s and 1830s was used to install conveniences
    unmatched in other public buildings central
    heating (before the U.S. Capitol) a flush toilet
    in each cell (long before the White House was
    provided with such conveniences) shower baths
    (apparently the first in the country).

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8
Late photograph of Eastern State Penitentiary
9
Eastern State Penitentiary
  • The system of 24-hour separation of each prisoner
    coupled with in-cell feeding, came to be known as
    the Pennsylvania System or Separate System, and
    remained the official position of the
    Pennsylvania Prison Society throughout the 19th
    century, although the system and its unusual
    architecture a central hub and radiating
    cellblocks were seldom imitated in other
    states. An alternative system known as the Auburn
    or Silent system developed elsewhere in the
    United States, with individual sleeping cells,
    sometimes as small as 2½ by 6 ½ feet, and work in
    congregate shops in silence during the day. By
    the early decades of the 20th Century, neither
    system was used in the United States. However,
    the Separate System and its distinctive
    hub-and-spoke or radial architecture, which had
    developed in the Philadelphia prison, became the
    template for reform all over Europe, South
    America, and Asia.

10
Education in Prison Began When?
11
  • Prison education began when the prison opened,
    and was a result of Quaker religious beliefs.
  • Solitary Confinement led to limited human contact
    for prisoners.
  • Chaplains were the primary contacts for prisoners
    and
  • They would visit cells during the evening
    to discuss readings from the Bible. The chaplain
    by necessity, was the first prison teacher.
    If a prisoner could not read the Bible he could
    neither contemplate its teachings nor reflect
    upon his errant life, which was the ultimate goal
    of the penitentiary. It was therefore incumbent
    upon the chaplain to provide lessons in reading
    for the illiterate in order to offer the
    appropriate avenue for salvation. see paper for
    references

12
Education in Prison benefits who?
  • An historical debate about the purpose of prisons
    and imprisonment has been ongoing.
  • Punishment or Rehabilitation?
  • Prisoner education falls under rehabilitation.
    Popular and political opinion about this have
    effected funding cycles of prison education.

13
  • Different Terminology For Incarceration of Youth
    and Adults
  • Reformatory
  • Industrial School
  • Penitentiary
  • Juvenile Hall

14

15
Janie Porter Barrett, reformer and founder of
the, Virginia Industrial School for Colored Girls
in 1915
16
Janie Porter Barrett, who founded the Locus
Street Settlement in 1890 in Hampton, Virginia,
modeled her settlement house after Hull House
founded the year before by Jane Addams. The
Locust Street Settlement was operated out of the
home until 1902 when a separate physical facility
was built. Among other activities, Barrett
initiated child placement activities from Locust
Street. She later continued her child saving
interests outside of Richmond, Virginia where,
with the help of The Virginia State Federation of
Colored Womens Clubs, she founded the Virginia
Industrial School for Colored Girls in 1915.
Barretts approach to social reform also included
interracial cooperation. White social reformers
such as Jane Addams, who, in 1911, gave a Chicago
tea party at Hull House in Barretts honor,
recognized her work.
17
The Virginia Industrial School for Colored Girls,
which exists today as the Barrett Learning Center
became a model for other states. Before
officially opening the training facility, Barrett
used consultation from Dr. Hastings Hart of the
Russell Sage Foundation. Without a doubt, she
established a standard of care for dependent
Black children who had heretofore been treated
poorly. At her home school, as it was called,
Barrett created a growth promoting atmosphere for
young Black girls. The child welfare and
educational principles used to foster the growth
and development of the dependent girls in her
care were adapted from the Child Welfare
Department of the Russell Sage Foundation, now
the Child Welfare League of America. Her
expressed philosophy is akin to contemporary
social work values. A comparative chart follows.
18
Janie Porter Barrett Philosophy Comparative Chart
  • EXPRESSED PHILOSOPHY/EDUCATIONAL THEORY SOCIAL
    WORK VALUE/PRINCIPLE
  • Kindness rather than severity.
  • Give her every chance to make good, leaving
    mistakes behind.
  • I have an open forum as often as the girls want
    it, where a girl can say anything she has on her
    mind
  • The white people and black people are working
    together to liberate the lowliest girls in our
    Commonwealth from ignorance, prejudice, hatred,
    vice...
  • ...teaching them the lessons of love of race,
    love of fellow-man, love of country.
  • We are trying hard to live by the Golden Rule.
  • Accomplishment through faith, goodwill,
    cooperation.
  • SOCIAL WORK VALUE/PRINCIPLE
  • Non-judgmental/non-punitive
  • Acceptance, basic worth and dignity
  • Purposeful expression of feelings
  • Improving quality of life, realization of goals
    and aspirations
  • Democratic/caring social order
  • Justice and fairness
  • Harmony, group cooperation

19
"At that time, there was no place but the jail
for a colored girl --Janie Porter Barrett
Federation Cottage (Honor Cottage) of Virginia
Industrial School
20
Education in Adult Prisons The photo A
collaborative program bringing the instructional
resources of Wesleyan University to the maximum
security Cheshire Correctional Institute in
Connecticut
21
After the Pell Grant was created in the 1970s
higher education was widely available in the
adult prison system. Prisoners were able to work
toward and achieve college degrees while serving
their time.
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23
Graduation at San Quentin Prison
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25
Access to Pell Grant funding Revoked from
Prisoners
  • In 1994 President Clinton signed a crime bill
    that stopped funding for people convicted of
    felony crimes.
  • This created severe cuts in higher education
    programs in adult prisons.
  • Currently there are only several privately funded
    higher education programs operating in the United
    States Prison system

26
One of the few College Programs operating in
Prisons in the United States. Bard Colleges
Prison Initiative Graduation.
27
  • The following are current social and cultural
    commentaries taking a stance against the
    disparities in prison spending vs. spending on
    public education spending

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The End
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