Kaelyn Considine is a second year graduate student in the History Department. She will graduate with her M.A. in May, 2009. Kaelyn received her undergraduate education at Millersville University where she earned a B.A. in History and Government. Her current field of study is American History with interests in diplomatic and military history. “The Tragedy of the Penitentiary” was written for Dr. Judith Giesberg’s seminar in the history of nineteenth century reform. She would like to thank Dr. Giesberg for the help and guidance she provided in crafting this paper.