Panopticon Prisons

Originally conceived by the philosopher Jeremy Bentham in 1785, the panopticon was intended to be a type of prison that allowed the guard to observe any of the inmates without them knowing if and when they were being watched. The design features a central platform surrounded by a ring of cells – thus enabling a clear view of every prisoner. A panopticon was never built in Bentham’s lifetime, but the idea was revived many years later for the design of Statesville Correctional Centre in Crest Hill, Illinois. Opened in 1925 it has two ’roundhouses’, and is the only…

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