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Branch of criminology dealing with prison management and the treatment of offenders. Penological studies have sought to clarify the ethical bases of punishment, along with the motives and purposes of society in inflicting it; differences throughout history and between nations in penal laws and procedures; and the social consequences of the policies in force at a given time. Influential historical works have included Cesare Beccaria's On Crimes and Punishments (1764), Jeremy Bentham's Panopticon scheme (c. 1800), Cesare Lombroso's Crime (1876), and Michel Foucault's Discipline and Punish (1975).
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on penology, visit Britannica.com.