Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

15 things you never knew about prison

In the late 1700s, when the 13 British colonies were becoming the United States, criminal codes were tough: lawbreakers were whipped, mutilated or even branded. It wasn’t until the early 19th century that the first correctional facilities and state prisons were built, which eventually led to today’s prison system.

There are plenty of myths about prisons and prison life, fueled by television shows such as Orange is the New Black and Oz. But what’s it really like behind bars?

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