In the 1700s, New England colonists used public humiliation, torture, and hanging to punish moral crimes like kissing on a Sunday or skipping church. Jails were filled with rats and disease, and prisoners had to pay for food and blankets. Yet jails didn't turn out to be much of a deterrent. the number of crimes exploded as the population increased and cities grew larger. Over the centuries, American prison reformers have tried to find a way to end crime once and for all. from solitary confinement and the electric chair to group counseling and parole, the U.S. prison system has been reinvented again and again, but have these reforms really made a difference? Discover the true history of crime and punishment in the United States in Locked Up.