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Teaching Guide for Eastern State Penitentiary

Eastern State Penitentiary contains considerable information about the ideas that led to the development of penitentiaries; the social, economic, and political circumstances that shaped changes in prison theory and practice across almost two centuries; and the specific details of Eastern State Penitentiary's history. This Guide provides:

Important Introductory Ideas and Terms
An introduction to important ideas and terms you and your students should know before viewing the documentary;

Historical Outline
A review of background information on the history of U.S. prisons through 1900;

Discussion Questions
Suggestions for initiating discussions about the video and its implications for contemporary criminal justice policy;

Recommended Reading
Sources to consult for further reading on the history of prisons in America, or the ideas that informed them;

Prison Links
Links to web sites with current information on prisons and prison issues.

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