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(p. 541) 24. Prison architecture and design: perspectives from criminology and carceral geography 

(p. 541) 24. Prison architecture and design: perspectives from criminology and carceral geography
Chapter:
(p. 541) 24. Prison architecture and design: perspectives from criminology and carceral geography
Author(s):

Yvonne Jewkes

and Dominique Moran

DOI:
10.1093/he/9780198719441.003.0025
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date: 12 November 2019

This chapter seeks to convey why the architecture and design of prisons is pivotal to a full and nuanced understanding of ‘prison studies’. Placing prison design in historical and geographical perspectives, the chapter considers how evolving penal philosophies have been manifested in the form and fabric of prison buildings over the last two centuries. The current policy context in the UK, as new prisons have been built in Scotland and are being planned for England and Wales and Northern Ireland, is discussed. It is argued that this represents a rare opportunity not only to build new facilities that are fit-for-purpose but to re-assess how their aesthetic and spatial design might be mobilized to support a different model of criminal justice than that which has dominated since the last major wave of prison construction in the 1960s. Finally, the relationship between prisons and the communities in which they are situated is considered, and it is suggested that recently built prisons are no less a manifestation of society’s attitudes to offenders than Pentonville was in the mid-1800s. It is suggested that it may be more effective in the long term to influence public opinion through humane prison design than it is to build new prisons based on assumptions about public expectations.

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