Take a Look at the Various Slide Shows in This Section
History of the Philadelphia Prison System
"1683 - The Beginning The city's first jail was a seven-by-five-foot cage built in 1683 for the detention of miscreants. Criminals convicted of minor offenses were sentenced to banishment, branding, and public whipping. Charges such as counterfeiting, treason, spying, desertion from the army, burglary, robbery, piracy, rape, sodomy, and murder were considered capital offenses, and convicts were subject to execution by hanging. As the city built larger and more permanent jails over the next century, local reformers shifted away from the use of corporal punishment and toward the institution of fines, restitution, and imprisonment to penalize offenders." (PPS Web Site).
To read more on the history of the Philadelphia Prison System, and access the Systems web site, created by Leon A. King II, click on this link.