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Public flogging, the pillory for imprisonment, or a short time in county jails comprised the earliest forms of punishment for public offenders after Illinois was chartered in 1818 as the nation's 21st state. The state's few jails consisted of the most part of rude log dwellings. According to a historian writing of the time, "This prison was ordered to be build of hewn timber, 12 inches square and was considered, in those pioneer times, quite a terror to all who dared trample upon the majesty of the law." The author was referring to the jail erected in 1818 in Crawford County. Illinois county records reveal that the oldest jail was built five years earlier in Gallatin County. Hans W. Mattick and Ronald P. Sweet, authors of Illinois Jails, have described well the procedure for booking prisoners in those rustic structures.
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