Modern carcerality in Iran, with its attendant systems of surveillance, policing, and mass imprisonment, was a gendered project from the outset. In turn, the new modern prisons of the Pahlavi era (1925–79) provoked gendered anxieties about seemingly rising rates of female and child criminality, the deteriorating family unit, and the inherent sin and vice of life in a modern city. In general, it is difficult to overstate the wholesale changes that the modern carceral system has brought to Iran. The establishment of modern prisons, an effort begun in the first decades of the 20th century, has led to an enduring transformation in social worlds for Iranians of all genders. For much of Iran's pre-20th-century history, forced confinement of any kind was a relative rarity, legal practices and norms were diffuse and diverse, and long periods of incarceration were virtually nonexistent. The conceit of prisoner reform central to the modern penitentiary model—wherein centralized modern governments imagine prisons as rehabilitative spaces in which socially undesirable “criminals” can be reformed into good “citizens”— is nowhere found in the archive of Iran's pre-20th-century punishments.