Segments in this Video

Crimes: Justice Through the Ages (02:04)


Even the U.S. Library of Congress does not know how many possible crimes there are. Crime is part of every society and flourishes without punishment. In Christian literature there is one law, "eat from any tree except one." In Egypt the laws of the pharaoh's were divine and posted in public.

Crimes: Mesopotamia, China, Rome, and England (02:18)

In ancient China social control was based on customary codes of behavior derived from the teachings of Confucius. China had no criminal code until 1979. Kings of England asserted a new kind of power over the land, in that crimes were no longer private, but committed against the state.

Crimes: Ban on Alcohol (03:14)

A belief that alcohol led to criminal activity in the U.S. caused women's groups to form the temperance movement. Prohibition in America was repealed in 1933. The invention of the Internet led to more identity theft and fraud; when crime advances the law has to keep up.

Courts: Socrates Trial (03:03)

One of the most famous trials in history took place in Greece in 399 B.C. when Socrates was accused and found guilty of corrupting the young. Rome captured Greece and appointed magistrates who ruled over courts. In Middle Ages Scandinavia disputes of innocence were solved by having the accused carry a red hot iron nine paces, if the person did not get an infection, he was declared innocent.

Prisons: World's Biggest Penitentiaries (03:44)

The United States, China, and Russia have highest prison populations. In Sweden alternative strategies such as fines and community service have led to a decrease in prisoners and to some prison closures. Rome's Mamertine Prison was located within a sewer system.

Prisons: Penal Colonies (02:12)

An Australian penal colony was set up for reforming prisoners; weekly church attendance was mandatory. The brutal treatment at Devil's Island scared some criminals straight. In Siberia political prisoners were viewed as enemies of the state. Slave penal labor helped to develop forestry, logging, and mining industries. By the nineteenth century the concept of modern prisons was born, but there were not enough prisons to meet the demand.

Prisons: Alcatraz and Guantanamo Bay (01:59)

Italian American crime boss Al Capone, Harlem mob boss Bumpy Johnson, and Alcatraz's longest incarcerated inmate Alvin "Creepy" Karpis took up residence in “The Rock.” It was expensive to operate and closed in 1963. At Guantanamo detainees wear headphones and goggles for sensory deprivation; communication with others is prohibited at this modern day penal colony.

Origins Spotlight: Nations in Dispute (01:46)

The idea for an international court arose from World War I; the League of Nations was organized to promote world peace. In the mid 1940’s the United Nations and the International Court of Justice were established in San Francisco. The U.N. s appoints fifteen judges to serve nine year terms.

Credit: Crimes, Courts, & Prisons: Origins-The History of Everything! (00:24)

Credit: Crimes, Courts, & Prisons: Origins-The History of Everything!

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Crimes, Courts, & Prisons: Origins- The History of Everything!



Three institutions of justice through the ages.

Length: 22 minutes

Item#: This title is currently not available.

Copyright date: ©2015

Closed Captioned

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