The Development and Evolution of Adult Correctional Education In the American Penitentiary (1790-1990)

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Studies and Research

First Advisor

W. Lee Pierce

Advisor Department

Educational Studies and Research


The development and evolution of the American penitentiary is, by historical standards, a relatively recent event. Prisons have existed for thousands of years, but until just two centuries ago, they served as little more than temporary holding facilities, where the occupants anxiously awaited their punishments to be carried out by other, more brutal means. While the European Enlightenment produced strong support for reform of criminal jurisprudence, it remained for the fledgling United States to provide a place for radical new theories concerning the treatment and punishment of criminals to take root.