The Prison Experience: Disciplinary Institutions and Their Inmates in Early Modern Europe by Pieter Spierenburg (Paperback, 1999)

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Though the prison is central to the penal system of most modern nations, many believe that imprisonment did not become a major judicial sanction until the nineteenth century. In this readable history, Pieter Spierenburg traces the evolution of the prison during the early modern period and illustrates the important role it has played as both disciplinary institution and penal option from the late sixteenth century onward. Placing particular emphasis on the prisons of the Netherlands, Germany, and France, "The Prison Experience" examines not only the long-term nature of prisons and the historical conceptions of their prisoners but also looks at the daily lives of inmates--supplementing our understanding of social change and day-to-day life in early modern Europe.
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