Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde’s Pamphlet: “Children in Prison and Other Cruelties of Prison Life”

Wilde's description is heart-wrenching, but that doesn't hold him back from the usual wit and drama that characterize his writing.
Nation of Islam prison reform

What the Prisoners’ Rights Movement Owes to the Black Muslims of the 1960s

Black Muslims have been an influential force in the prisoners' rights movement and criminal justice reform as early as the World War II era.
Private Prisons

The Problem With Privatizing Prisons

If private prisons make their profit from criminal society, its goes against business sense to reduce criminality.
Prison Cell

The Return of Debtors’ Prisons

New lawsuits allege that court officials are jailing people who fall behind on payment of court fees and fines, leading to a resurgence of debtors' prisons.
Imprisoned student

Bringing Education to Prisoners

Is there an alternative to the punitive treatment of criminals? We look at the history of correctional education reforms within the American prison system.

Debtors’ Prisons, Class, and Patriotism in 18th Century Ireland

In a paper for Eighteenth-Century Ireland, Martyn J. Powell discusses the politics that seem to have limited the use of debtors' prisons in Ireland.
Female prisoners at Parchman sewing, c. 1930 
By Mississippi Department of Archives and History [see page for license], via Wikimedia Commons

A History of Women’s Prisons

While women's prisons historically emphasized the virtues of traditional femininity, the conditions of these prisons were abominable.