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Prisons, Military

Military prisons have a grim reputation. James Jones’s description in his novel From Here to Eternity of the life of prisoners in a U.S. Army confinement facility during World War II and Kenneth H. Brown’s gritty play The Brig from the Vietnam era are well-known literary accounts. The reality has largely been different. Military prisons have stressed rehabilitation and, in some cases, at least, a return to military duty rather than simply the administration of punishment. The extent to which rehabilitation may lead to continued military service has varied over time, however, and is likely to vary in the future. This entry discusses the history and types of U.S. military prisons and provides details on the prison population.

Background

During large-scale conflicts, such as the World Wars, ...

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