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History of Prison Design_pdf

History of Prison Design_pdf

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Published by Ankita Kolamkar

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Published by: Ankita Kolamkar on Dec 15, 2010
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09/18/2011

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HISTORY OF PRISON DESIGN
Prisons have existed in human society for thousands of years. Aprison is any institution or device that holds a captive in custody.Among the most common types are jails, or closed structures thatdetain persons for shorter periods, often while they await trial, andstate prisons or penitentiaries that hold persons serving sentences forcrime. Other forms of imprisonment dating from antiquity haveincluded slavery and involuntary servitude, both as a punishment forcrime and as a form of exploitation. For as long as wars haveoccurred, some vanquished persons usually have been held ascaptives instead of being killed. History has included all of theseforms of imprisonment and more. Prisons have not simply been usedas a recent punishment for crime.
Roman Prisons
 
Romans did not use prisons aswe do. The wealthy accusedwere kept under house arrest.The poor found justice swiftand usually fatal.
 
Actual prisons truly served as a holding place for thosecondemned to die. Occasionally one might be detained toawait trial, but usually those awaiting trial were encouragedto go into voluntary exile. Those awaiting trial were called"carcer" or "publica vincula." That is how the term
“incarceration”, which means imprisonment, came into
being.
 
There were houses of detention for slaves. In the country, avilla might have two areas to keep problem slaves, one forthose shackled and one for those allowed a bit more freedom.
 
Roman citizens were chained to soldiers by their wristsbefore suffering savage punishments by the Roman Law.
 
Underground cisterns were used as prisons in the early times.For example, the
Mamertine Prison
in Rome.
Mamertine Prison, Rome
The Prison was constructed around 640-616 BC, byAncus Marcius.It wasoriginally created as acisternfor a springin the floor of the second lower level.
 
A cell in MamertineMamertine prison, Rome.Now a pilgrimage site
 
Modern steps lead down to the upper level of the prison, which is atthe original ground level of ancient Rome. The doorway is modern.The upper room of the prison is trapezoidal in shape and dates fromthe 2nd century BC. The walls are made of blocks of tufa. The lowerroom, the Tullianum, is circular and made of blocks of 
 peperino
held together without mortar. This was the most inner and secretpart of the larger complex, and here the condemned were thrownand usually strangled. The lower room was originally accessedthrough a round opening in the floor of the upper room, which isnow covered with a grate. Today, access is by means of amodern staircase on the left.
Medieval Prisons
During the Medieval times a lot of castle keeps or fortresses wereconverted to prisons. A very famous example of this type of a prisonis the
Bastille
in France.
Yedikule Hisari
in modern-day Istanbul,Castle of Spielberg, Venetian Ducal Palace are more examples of this type.
Bastille, France
In the early 17thcentury, the Bastillewas converted from amedieval fortress to astate prison for theupper class, thoughprisoners had beenconfined there longbefore. But at the endof the 17th centurythis began to changeas more commoncriminals wereincarcerated; Living conditions declined as this new class of criminal became the majority. There was a marked difference in thetreatment of upper class and lower class prisoners. Torture andexacution was a very well known trait of Bastille. The prisonBastille was purposely cloaked in mystery to instill horror by its
 
Ground floor plan of the BastilleElevation of the Bastille
 
very name. However, the reality of the Bastille was far less cruelthan other such medieval prisons of the time.
Yedikule Hisari (Seven Towers Dungeon), Istanbul
A seven-towered fortress, itwas initially built to protect
the kingdom‟s treasury. But
when the treasury wasrelocated, it began to be usedas dungeons forincarceration. The place of imprisonment of many foreignambassadors andOttomanstatesman, as well as a place of executionfor some, the fortress was last used as a prison in 1831.
Bridewells
 
Tudor period
 – 
Beggars and vagrants would be providedwith compulsory employment.
 
In a bridewell in Holland, there were 9 rooms housing 4-12prisoners each. A room being 5.2m x 3.2m, larger ones were8.5m x 5.0m, and 2.4m in height. They had cement floors,boarded walls and a toilet bucket. Windows had only irongrills and no glazing. There was no provision for heatingrooms in winter. Other chambers were used for school,church, dining, administration and punishment.
 
 
The idea of segregation of men and women in prison camefrom the Dutch in 1593.
 Country Gaols and Bridewells in England
 
Gaols were for safe custody of debtors and others awaitingtrial or sentence.
 
Bridewells had small rooms, no chimneys, glass shutters,court, water or employment. They were discontinued in the18
th
century.
 
Women‟s wards were unusual in gaols.
 
 
Buildings were usually two or three storied structuresarranged in a haphazard way to enclose one or more courts,which were used for exercise.
 
Often these were never designed to house prisoners in thefirst place and many rooms and buildings quickly developed
 
Seven Towers dungeon, Istanbul

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