Bell Ringers
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By zachlowe1
On July 8, 2019

Bell Ringer: Early Criminal Justice: Eastern State Penitentiary

Eastern State Penitentiary

This clip provides a quick summation of the history of the facility in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (PA).


This bellringer highlights the foundation of the facility in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (PA) and describes the revolutionary ideas and practices behind its mission.

Bell Ringer Assignment

  • What made the Eastern State Penitentiary revolutionary? How was this change related to the historical foundational principles of the State of Pennsylvania?
  • How does the outside physical structure contradict the principles behind the formation of the facility? Why do you think this discrepancy exists?
  • Characterize jails and punishments of the time; how were those similar to/different from Eastern State Penitentiary? How are they similar to/different from prisons today?
  • What are some ways the penitentiary forced penitence? What are some lasting changes developed at Eastern Penitentiary?
  • Within the next several decades, the facility moves away from its original ideals and subsequent practices. Why do you think the "separate system" fades away?

Additional Resources



    • Criminal Justice
    • Facade
    • Intimidate
    • Penitence
    • Prison
    • Quaker
    • Rehabilitation
    • William Penn


    Criminal Law & JusticeState HistoryU.S. History


    Middle SchoolHigh School