This act, drafted by the noted prison reformer John Howard and the famous jurist Sir William Blackstone, substituted a period of incarceration for many crimes which had previously carried the penalty of death or transportation. It was motivated by the belief that solitary confinement, hard servile labour, and a life governed by petty systematic rules and religious instruction, would act both as an effective deterrent to potential criminals and as a way of reforming those who had actually erred. The act …
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Clark, Robert. "Penitentiary Act; Panopticon". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 October 2000
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=841, accessed 27 May 2017.]