@Book{ mclennan2008,
    author = {Rebecca M. McLennan},
    title = {The crisis of imprisonment: protest, politics, and the making of the American penal state, 1776-1941},
    address = {New York},
    publisher = {Cambridge University Press},
    year = 2008,

Chapter 2, pp. 53-86, tracks the rise (between 1818 and 1865) of a new model of “contractual penal servitude” in almost every Northern and some Southern states, characterized by “four distinctive lines of force—separation and concentration; hard productive labor; harsh corporeal chastisements; and the abridgement of the convicted offender’s natural rights, freedoms, and common law liberties” (p. 53). The system (modeled on the new Auburn system in New York) was a rejection of early republican penology and its emphasis on solitude and moral reformation of prisoners, and it was designed both to make prisons financially self-sufficient (“the state sold the labor power of convicts to private interests,” p. 54) and harsh enough to break unruly prisoners who had often mutinied in the earlier prisons. The “Auburn system” prescribed cellular incarceration by night and silent, congregant hard labor during the day making products that could be sold to defray the operating costs of the prison (see p. 63, which mentions partial adoption of the plan at the Kentucky Penitentiary).

p. 66:

In the 1830s, the Kentucky legislature turned the state prison at Frankfort over to a keeper who was directed to put the prisoners to hard labor, retain half the profit for himself, and pay the other half to the state. Kentucky prisoners proceeded to cut stone; make wagons, plows, furniture, barrels, brushes, and sleighs; weave cloth, carpeting, and flannel; and cobble shoes.

p. 67-69: states that implemented the Auburn style plan were often pleased, convinced that it was both a “vital source of revenue” for the state and a profitable, even “remarkable lucrative” enterprise for contractors. But it did not necessarily solve the management problems that had led to its creation. If it reduced “mischief” among prisoners, “new ‘arts of mischief’ were materializing—not among the prisoners, but among the contractors and the keepers.”