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Crime and Punishment in New Hampshire, 1812-1914

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Timothy de Kanicky Dodge

Changing definitions of crime accompanied the economic transformation of seacoast New Hampshire from a predominantly agricultural, rural society in 1812 to one that was mainly industrial, commercial, and urban by 1914. This work analyzes a sample of 820 felony incarcerations recorded at the New Hampshire State Prison for that period. Prison records are used to analyze the role of the state prison. This study finds that the original rehabilitative mission of the prison was subordinated to the exploitation of prison inmates through the implementation of the contract labor system.