"New-Gate Prison is thought to be the first prison, in the modern sense of the word, in America . In May 1773 the Connecticut General Assembly appointed a committee to visit the inactive copper mine in Simsbury (now East Granby) to determine if it could be used for the "purpose of confining, securing, and profitably employing . criminals . in lieu of the infamous punishments . now appointed." Until this time, convicted criminals were not incarcerated. Rather, they were sentenced with various forms of corporal punishment. Whipping was the most common sentence, but individuals could be branded and/or have part of their ear cut off. The description of Steel's cropping and branding in the reward announcement quoted above indicates he was a repeat offender."
- by Karin Peterson is the museum director for the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism, where her responsibilities include oversight of Old New-Gate Prison & Copper Mine.
READ MORE: Hog River Journal
Source: Hog River Journal
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