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Paul Rider, Penance 

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While a penitentiary is not a chapel, it is a place where one was sent for penance, albeit not of one’s own free will. In America, in the early 19th century, it was thought that solitary confinement was a humane and even redemptive incarceration practice for individuals convicted of crimes against society. The idea was that the prisoners would be left entirely alone to find redemption and feel… “genuine regret and penitence” for their crimes and move the criminal toward spiritual reflection and change. Debate soon grew over the morality of the solitary confinement and we now know that solitary...

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