- PUNISHMENTS - Fun Facts | BoysJoys



In most countries people who break the law are either fined or imprisoned, but through the ages there have been many other forms of punishment ball and chain used as restraints when transporting prisoners
  • Flogging
  • Whipping or flogging was once common: mutinous sailors were whipped with a cat-o'-nine- tails or keelhauled (dragged beneath a ship on the end of a rope). Flogging was widely used in the USA. The last state to abolish it was Delaware - but not until 1972!

  • Stoning
  • Even today, some countries punish people by pelting them with stones, usually resulting in the victim's death.

  • Stocks And Pillory
  • Srocks were wooden structures which held the seated victim by the ankles. People threw things at them and ridiculed them - they were literally made a laughing stock. The pillory held victims in place could not use their hands to protect their faces from things thrown at them, and could be blinded or even killed. The last person to be pilloried in England was Peter James Bossy in London on 22 June 1830. A Chinese version, a sort of heavy wooden collar, was known as the Winged Tiger

  • Ducking Stool
  • This punishment was used in England and America. The victims were usually women. They were strapped into a special chair and plunged into a river or pond. The last person to be punished this way in England was Jenny Pipes in Leominster, Herefordshire, in 1809

  • Chain Gang
  • Chain gangs, in which prisoners were chained together as they did heavy labour, such as breaking rocks, were used across the USA until 1955. In recent years they have been reintroduced in some prisons.

Famous Prisons

  • Alcatraz
  • alcatraz

    Alcatraz, perhaps the most famous prison in the United States, was the first maximum security minimum privilege prison of the country. It was home to some of the most notorious criminals of the time including Al Capone and Machine Gun Kelly. Located on a rocky island surrounded by the freezing water of San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz was believed to be inescapable. Of the 36 men that attempted escape, 23 were caught, 6 were shot and killed, and 2 drowned. The remaining 5 were never seen again after their escape attempt and it is believed that they drowned. Their bodies have never been recovered. Today, the island is a historic site operated by the National Park Service.

  • Devil's Island
  • First opened in 1852 under Emperor Napoleon III’s reign, Devil’s Island penal colony is one of the most infamous prisons in history. During its 94 years of operation, this historic prison was home to everyone from political prisoners to hardened criminals. Prisoners that attempted escape faced the piranha-infested rivers and thick jungles of French Guiana. The autobiography of former inmate Henri Charrière describes numerous alleged escape attempts. In 1973 the book was made into the movie Papillon starring Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman.

  • Elmina Castle
  • Built in 1492, Elmina Castle in Ghana is the oldest European building in existence south of the Sahara. For over three hundred years, it served as a holding area for people captured against their will to be sold into slavery. It was not uncommon for slaves to share a cell with as many as 200 others, cramped together with not even enough space to lie down. By the 18th century, over 30,000 slaves were passing through the Door of No Return each year.

  • Sing Sing
  • This New York prison was named after Sin Sinck Native Americans who originally lived there. It was built from 1825 to 1828, and from 1891 onwards many murderers were electrocuted in the electric chair at Sing Sing. In 1969 the prison was renamed Ossining Correctional Facility

Incredible Prison Escapes

  • Pascal Payet
  • There can be no doubt that this man deserves a place on this list – he has escaped not once, but twice from high security prisons in France – each time via hijacked helicopter! He also helped organize the escape of three other prisoners – again with a helicopter.

    Payet was initially sentenced to a 30 year jail term for a murder committed during the robbery of a security van. After his first escape (in 2001) he was captured and given seven more years for his role in the 2003 escape. He then escaped from Grasse prison using a helicopter that was hijacked by four masked men from Cannes-Mandelieu airport. The helicopter landed some time later at Brignoles, 38 kilometres north-east of Toulon, France on the Mediterranean coast. Payet and his accomplices then fled the scene and the pilot was released unharmed. Payet was re-captured on September 21, 2007, in Mataró, Spain, about 18 miles northeast of Barcelona. He had undergone cosmetic surgery, but was still identified by Spanish police.

  • Texas Seven
  • The Texas Seven was a group of prisoners who escaped from the John B. Connally Unit near Kenedy, Texas, on December 13, 2000. They were apprehended a little more than a month later, on January 21–23, 2001, as a direct result of the television show America's Most Wanted.

    On December 13, 2000, the seven carried out an elaborate scheme and escaped from the John B. Connally Unit, a maximum-security state prison near the South Texas city of Kenedy.

    At the time of the breakout, the reported ringleader of the Texas Seven, 30-year-old George Rivas, was serving 18 consecutive 15-to-life sentences. Michael Anthony Rodriguez, 38, was serving a 99-to-life term, while Larry James Harper, 37, Joseph Garcia and Patrick Henry Murphy, Jr., 39, were all serving 50 year sentences. Donald Keith Newbury, the member with the longest rap sheet of the group, was serving a 99-year sentence, and the youngest member, Randy Halprin, 23, was serving a 30-year sentence for injury to a child.

    Using several well-planned ploys, the seven convicts overpowered and restrained nine civilian maintenance supervisors, four correctional officers and three uninvolved inmates at approximately 11:20 a.m. The escape occurred during the slowest period of the day (during lunch and at count time) when there was less surveillance of certain locations, such as the maintenance area. Most of these plans involved one of the offenders calling someone over, while another hit the unsuspecting person on the head from behind. Once each victim was subdued, the offenders removed some of his clothing, tied him up, gagged him and placed him in an electrical room behind a locked door.

    The attackers stole clothing, credit cards, and identification from their victims. The group also impersonated prison officers on the phone and created false stories to ward off suspicion from authorities.

    After that, three of the group made their way to the back gate of the prison, some disguised in stolen civilian clothing. They pretended to be there to install video monitors. One guard at the gatehouse was subdued, and the trio raided the guard tower and stole numerous weapons. Meanwhile, the four offenders who stayed behind made calls to the prison tower guards to distract them. They then stole a prison maintenance pick-up truck, which they drove to the back gate of the prison, picked up their cohorts, and drove away from the prison.

  • Escape From Alcatraz
  • n 1962, Frank Morris and Clarence and John Anglin used months of meticulous planning to make what has become the prototypical prison escape. The trio were being held in the infamous prison on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco, which was reserved for the most hardened criminals and considered to be one of the most escape-proof prisons ever built. The men used a series of tools including a drill assembled from a vacuum cleaner motor to chip away at the aging concrete in their cells and make it to a nearby ventilation shaft. They then made their way down a chimney to the beach, where they quickly assembled a handmade raft and escaped into the San Francisco Bay. Their escape was not realized until the next morning, as the men had fashioned some dummy heads from soap, human hair, and toilet paper to make it look like they were asleep in their beds. The men were never heard from again, and most evidence suggests they drowned in the bay, but no bodies were ever found.