I'm in Philadelphia today and took a tour of the abandoned "Eastern States Penitentiary". I'd recommend it very highly to anyone in the area. Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush were in on the planning. At the time it was the largest and most expensive building in America. It had heating and plumbing when even the president in the Whitehouse was using fireplaces and chamber pots. In those days, governments had no way to positively track or even identify people. No dental records, fingerprints, retinal scans, drivers licenses, DNA samples, not even photographs. Officials had no idea what recidivism rates were. There were a number of social theories about prison reform floating around. The largely Quaker school of thought was that if criminals had quiet, reflective time with religious instruction they would be moved to penitence. That's where the word "penitentiary" comes from. Never knew that until today. So 7'x12' individual soundproof cells were built, each containing a cot, toilet, and table. Prisoners spent their entire sentences in those cells. Food was delivered via a tiny door. No mail, messages or visitors were allowed. No human contact of any kind was allowed except with religious instructors. Guards in the corridors wore socks over their shoes so that not even footsteps would be heard. Each prisoner was issued a bible. No other reading material was permitted. It didn't reform criminals or bring them to penitence, it drove them insane. Pretty spooky place to wander through.