from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The study, theory, and practice of prison management and criminal rehabilitation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Study of the processes devised and adopted for the punishment and prevention of crime.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The science or art of punishment.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The study of punishment for crime, both in its deterrent and in its reformatory aspect; the study of the management of prisons.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the branch of criminology concerned with prison management and prisoner rehabilitation


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Latin poena, penalty (from Greek poinē; see kwei-1 in Indo-European roots) + -logy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Ancient Greek ποινή (poinē, "punishment") and -λογία (‐logía, "branch of study”, “to speak").


  • A great advance has been made in penology by organization and annual conventions.

    Scientific Colonization—A Suggestion

  • It may well be that 12 years of philosophy and prison have made me daft or corrupt or both, but after I have given my paper I have lunch with Jason and he tells me that it was a bit like Adorno, whom I haven't read but he has, and then he explains to me Hobbes's notion of diffidence and how he is applying it to modern ideas in penology.

    A key to happiness for prisoners with little future

  • This made my job doubly difficult; and I was one hundred per cent novice in penology.

    Prison Progress

  • That part which deals with the social treatment of the criminal class is generally called penology, while the subdivision which treats of dependents and defectives is generally known as "charities" or "charitology."

    Sociology and Modern Social Problems

  • As the daughter of Robert Gillis, a career state corrections department employee, she knew the region's prisons were not models of enlightened penology.

    Reporter: 44 days in captivity in Libya 'insane'

  • People who complain about the mildness of modern punishment, about “coddling” criminals, never seem to recall that modern penology is just that, modern.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » A Creative Proposal for Reducing Prison Rape

  • Thereafter, under his successors also, prisoners demonstrate the sincerity of their conversion before being returned to the street, which is always the last resort of politicized penology.

    Magic and Mayhem

  • In addition to the notable impact her work and writing had on the field of penology, Menken effected change on a more personal level.

    Alice Davis Menken.

  • Alice Davis Menken stood at the forefront of what her New York Times obituary calls “the evolution of penology from an attitude of sentimentality and punishment to the broader conception of mercy and rehabilitation.”

    Alice Davis Menken.

  • Texas execution: American penology is itself loaded with hypocrisies.

    Crime & Punishment


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  • One of the most disappointing definitions ever. Hands up all who hoped for another penis word to giggle at? *raises hand*

    August 7, 2008