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date: 24 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This essay analyzes the development of carceral institutions, such as asylums, workhouses, and hospitals, during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to show that although these institutions were established with the stated aim of controlling crime, in reality they sought to control the poor, the lazy, and the morally corrupt. The rise and fall of these institutions and the problems they faced is incorporated into a discussion on the treatment of women, children, debtors, and the poor. The island of Malta, as crossroads for power, religion, and culture is used as a snapshot example to assess the extent to which continental European and English ideas shaped carceral institutions elsewhere.

Keywords: prisons, workhouse, Inquisition, Malta, punishment, Early Modern period

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