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In the US Penal System, a reformatory is prison used for first offenders to segregate them from the more hardcore repeat offenders. The idea is that by separating the new offenders from the career criminals they will avoid the worst influences of prison life, hopefully reducing recidivism.

The best known reformatory is in Mansfield, Ohio. The old Mansfield Reformatory building was used in filming The Shawshank Redemption and is currently a museum.