Jeremy Bentham: Defence of Usury

(973 words)

Bentham’s Panopticon has considerable historical importance in the history of penal reform, having been one of the most carefully elaborated blueprints for the systematic penal institutions which began to replace the gaols and bridewells, medieval in origin, which had been intended only as holding stations before criminals were fined, sent to the stocks, transported, or executed. During the later eighteenth century, confluent humanitarian, administrative and legislative tendencies led to proposals for an increased use of incarceration allied to the moral reform and education of prisoners. Central to this revolution was the idea that by placing prisoners in solitary cells they would be induced to reflect on their misdemeanours …

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Clark, Robert. "Defence of Usury". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 10 September 2003
[, accessed 28 September 2016.]