Damn Haro beat me
Oh well here ya go
All I did was type in what was the 1st USA jail
Walnut Street Jail 1790
Walnut Street Prison behind old "gaol"
What has been called "the first American penitentiary, if not the first one in the world," was established in Philadelphia, in 1790, in the Walnut Street Jail, a building formerly operated as a city jail. "The cell blocks constructed in the Walnut Street Jail, pursuant to the law of 1790, introduced in permanent fashion the structural pattern of outside cells, with a central corridor, the chief architectural feature of the Pennsylvania system of prison construction. Here, for the first time in penological history, the use of imprisonment through solitary confinement as the usual method of combatting crime, was permanently established. The basic principles of the new system, so it appears from contemporary accounts, were the effort to reform those in the prison, and to segregate them according to age, sex, and the type of the offenses charged against them." (quotes from from the Handbook of Correctional Institution Design and Construction, United States Bureau of Prisons, 1949). The word "penitentiary" came from the Pennsylvania Quakers and their belief in penitence and self-examination as a means to salvation.