While referring to the criminal justice, one can find certain prominent figures who contributed to the criminal justice system as it is today. For istance, such leading figures as William Penn, John Bellers, Elizabeth Fry and Margery Fry, David Wills contributed to various aspects of the jurisprudence.
Among the earliest reformers of the criminal justice, one can certainly outline William Penn. As early as 1680s, he abolished capital punishment for all kinds of crimes except for murder. For the historical time, it was a very progressive position taken by the reformer. Moreover, he advocated for the social inclusion of prisoners, which was often disregarded at that time, too.
No less radical was the position of John Bellers. He strongly advocated for the abolishment of the death penalty as well as advocated for the social reform. According to him, prisoners were victims of the social system and that’s why they should not be blamed per se. He published a famous book ‘State of the Prisons’ where he elaborated on these ideas to a larger extend.
Elizabeth Fry focused on the public awareness matters while advocating for equality. In particular, she raised such issues as the separation of women and their children from men. She also worked on the awareness of the situation in women’s prisons.
Margery Fry was a well known reformer of the 20th century who challenged the focus of a punishment itself. She claimed that punishing an offender should be a more fair way of dealing with such matters. Margery Fry also claim that the larger consideration should be given to those who were damaged by the offence.
David Wills was a prominent reformer of the 20th century, too. He designed the concept of the therapeutic communities while relying on the principles of self-learning and principles of relationships. He had a strong impact during the challenging times of the Nazi-ruled regimes.