Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia PA

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Solitary confinement didn’t last very long. It was impossible to maintain and resulted in some troublesome behavior for the inmates and punishments that were like torture, resulting in the death of at least one inmate that we know of (he died while in the “iron gag”) There were debates over what the inmates could be given in their cells, whether inmates should be given a Bible to study or a trade to practice, or if they should be left completely idle. When they gave them Bibles, they realized many of the inmates (foreign, African American, etc.) could not even read. They also needed to be taught a trade to work on. To satisfy these knew ideas, they were forced to bring people in to teach them, thus breaking the inmates solitary confinement.

By the time Al Capone was there, total solitary confinement was already officially abandoned years before (1910s) but it fell apart long before that.

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