Eastern State Penitentiary Prisoner Population, 1829-1903

face of a prisoner

Prisoners received, average number, number discharged, number present on Dec. 31 in Eastern State Penitentiary, by year, 1829 to 1903.

Eastern State Penitentiary near Philadelphia in Pennsylvania began receiving prisoners in 1829. In 1835, the penitentiary held on average 267 prisoners. However, the average number of prisoners and the number of prisoners held at year end varied considerably across years. That implies that a significant share of prisoners committed to the penitentiary had short stays, probably only a few months.

The average number of prisoners held in Eastern State increased greatly about 1866 and 1877. The peak yearly average number of prisoners in Eastern State was 1400 in 1896. By that time, Eastern State’s ideal of suppressing prisoners’ communication was impossible in practice.

Dataset sheets:

  • Eastern State Population: prisoners received, average number, number discharged, number present on Dec. 31, by year, 1829 to 1903, with calculation of count of prisoners doing time in Eastern State during the year, and estimate time served per Eastern State prisoner.

Related datasets:

Leave a comment (will be included in public domain license)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *