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Figure 1, Kindlen, A. (2014)

PRISON DESIGN Prison Architecture as a Potential Correlate of Inmate Misconduct and Recidivism Research Portfolio by Tyler Daniel





02. 03. 04. 05. 06. 07. 08. 09. 10. 11.

Abstract Introduction The Howard League Penal Reform The Panoptic Influence The Deprivation Theory Current Issues: Prison Architecture Recent Advancements: Prison Architecture How to Design a Prison That Rehabilitates Conclusion Bibliography

5-7 9 - 10 12 - 13 15 - 17 19 - 20 22 - 30 32 - 39 41 - 49 51 - 52 54 - 59




ABSTRACT Prior to investigating the effects of a new prison typology and the benefits of recent architectural modifications aimed to diminish recidivism rates and lessen inmate misconduct, it is integral that we first discern and analyse the history of our prisons and the cognitive and engineered desires of the penal system. The current penal system in Britain is failing, with recidivism rates at an all time high sitting at 60% for the past decade (O’Leary, J. 2016, February 08) we must ask ourselves why the current system isn’t working. Many prisons operate as nothing but warehouses for those convicted, with little knowledge or consideration of the influences which design has on human behaviour.

This study aims to highlight and explore in detail, the limitations of the archaic architectural physiognomy within British confinement, and the importance, from a designers point of view, of creating an environment which fulfils the needs of the human within. The rationale here is that by creating this new prison classification, through designing quality spaces considering the wellbeing and emotions of the inmates, architecture could be the key to rehabilitation which has been overlooked in British history for centuries. It is important to bring to light the psychological effects which prison design can have on the inmates, every element from the interior colour scheme to the layout of the institution has the capacity to increase stress leading to misconduct.


The focus will firstly explore the history of the first British penal institution, then further discuss the influences and failures of Panopticism, a social theory named after the Panopticon, originally developed by French Philosopher Michel Foucault in his book Discipline an Punish. The Panopticon layout, dreamt up by social reformer Jeremy Bentham in the late 1700’s, would be the most detrimental to inmate life. The fundamental theory of Panopticism is to grant the prison guards with full authority over the inmates, controlling their behaviour through a feeling of perpetual paranoia; Panopticism will be revisited throughout this study.

The effects which interior factors such as colours, crowding, and acoustic issues have on the inmates will also be explored, all findings within this investigation will come from secondary text based research using books and academic journals. It will be stressed throughout this study that although there has been a rise of effective, rehabilitating prisons in recent years, many are still hugely outdated and do not reflect the cognitive urgencies of todays prisoners. Likewise with common law, prison architecture must continue to be modified at a pace which constantly satisfies the psychological advancements of the intended occupier. If this is not achieved then our prisons will be nothing but hotels full of buried noble spirits and dreams, with no hope for anybody confined within its walls.

Figure 2, Ponzi, E. (2012)





INTRODUCTION The history of British prisons dates back as early as the 12th Century, where the first penal institution, Newgate prison, was constructed in London by order of King Henry II (, 2017). The intent of correctional facilities here was not to rehabilitate nor fathom, but to hold the accused until a verdict had been called by the judges. It is evident that the subjective and architectural repercussions of the 12th century prison conditions had been hugely unchartered, thus, providing no means for overhaul for the accused. .

Between the 13th and 17th century, prison conditions were primitive; inmates were made to sleep on the bare floor with only small meals every other day. Confinement was dreadfully overcrowded, exacerbating this was the aftermath of the industrial revolution which lead to the deracination of many people. This, coupled with the return of prisoners from war from the rivalry with Napoleonic France made the penitentiary environment within Newgate dilapidated. The neglected issues of Newgate’s barbaric and attenuating circumstances was noticed by the high sheriff of Bedfordshire, John Howard, who had studied the controversy over confinement for 17 years. He submitted that like with any institution, the environment should be disease free and the inmates basic human rights should be met despite the crime. It was from this point that the neglected state of prisons in Britain were noticed, and improved architecture began to play a better, but still quite modest role in the construction of penitentiaries.

Figure 3, Berhoud, P. (2012) Newgate Prison, London





THE HOWARD LEAGUE FOR PENAL REFORM John Howard was a philanthropist and social reformer who historically pushed for architectural advances within prisons and other health institutions in the late 17th century. As a consequence of his tour of British penitentiaries in the 1770’s to the 1780’s, Howard discovered a ‘more rational plan for softening the mind in order to its’ amendment’ (Evans, 1982 p. 7). So dismayed at his encounters of prisons across Britain, Howard published his first book, ‘The state of Prisons in England and Wales,’ which highlights the disastrous failures of British confinement. It was between this decade that Howard established the necessary developments which were essential to the health and rehabilitation of inmates across Britain.

This was a hugely monumental time in the history of British confinement as for decades prior to John Howard’s penal reformation critics, theorists and practitioners only allowed for architecture to have only the most modest influence on the lives of inmates. Prisons began to have an altered role, and the duty of confinement was now remarkably broadened beyond the limits in which it was originally ascribed. “Howard’s detailed proposals for improvements were designed to enhance the physical and mental health of the prisons. His recommendations pertaining to such matters as the prison location, plan and furnishings..” (Carlson, 1990)


Eighty years following Howard’s death in 1790 after contracting typhus on a prison visit in Kherson, the Howard association was founded in London, which passed that all penal institutions must promote the most efficient treatment of inmates and crime prevention. The beliefs of the association were also that the ambitions of the penal environment should be to reform, rehabilitate, and reduce recidivism through humane treatment and effective architectural design.

From then, until now, British prisons have been the product of conscious design and a huge focus has been put into the reconstruction and aims of prisons by both architects and penal reformers. It is this collaboration which has lead to a powerful approach to reformative architecture for correctional institutions (Emberson, 2016).




THE PANOPTIC INFLUENCE Exploring the roots of Panopticism within this study is fundamental to further understanding the limitations which original prison designs have on the rehabilitation of the user, gathering the failures of this dated social theory will thus conclude how design advancements can be made within areas of confinement in the 21st century which will truly satisfy the psychological and spatial needs of todays inmates. Panopticism refers to the social theory of the Panopticon, a penitentiary layout first developed by English philosopher, jurist and social reformer Jeremy Bentham in the late 18th century. An institutional building which embraces the Panopticon arrangement would be seen to have an annular building at the periphery, with a central watchtower perforated with wide windows . The outer building would be divided into cells which would extend to the width of the building, each cell would have two windows, one which would correlate with the windows of the inner watchtower and the other on the outside allowing light to pass through the cell creating a shadow of the inmate. This effect means that each inmate can be observed from the tower, creating the theory of ‘being seen, but not seeing.’

“ The building circular - A cage, glazed - a glass lantern about the size of Ranelagh - The prisoners in their cells, occupying the circumference The officers in the centre. By blinds and other contrivances, hence the sentiment of a sort of omnipresence The whole circuit reviewable with little, or if necessary without any, change of place. One station in the inspection part affording the most perfect view of every cell.” (Bentham, 1798 in: Evans, 1982 p.195)

Figure 4, Unknown Panopticism



Figure 5, V. (2015) The Abandoned Panopticon Prison, Cuba


This was Bentham’s description of the panopticon, and his plan to obtain power through architectural design. The idea of the panopticon was that, by putting inmates in a constant state of paranoia and fear, it was believed by Bentham that once this paranoia was installed into the inmates, they would be able to control their behaviour through a ‘socially beneficial form of paranoia.’ However, the limitations of this social theory are argued by Michel Foucault in his book ‘Discipline and Punish: The birth of the prison.’

Foucault compares the Panopticon to the surveillance undertaken in a town suffering the disaster of the plague in the 17th century. All families were demanded to stay in doors, each street would be under constant surveillance by a syndic. ‘Each individual is fixed in his place. And if he moves, he does so at the risk of his life, contagion or punishment.’ (Foucault, 1975 p. 195). At the edge of the town there stood an observation post, where every movement of the syndic’s and inhabitant’s could be constantly monitored, creating a system of permanent registration. This approach of maintaining power and surveillance over a group of people all embodies a compact model of the panopticon, however a number of theorists and authors including Michel Foucault, discuss the detrimental effects of this type of surveillance over inmates which will be discussed in more detail throughout this paper.



Figure 6, Ponzi, E. (2012)



THE DEPRIVATION THEORY In the Robert G.Morris and John L.. Worrall article ‘Prison Architecture and Inmate Misconduct: A Multilevel Assessment,’ the authors explore in detail the influences which prison design has on inmate behaviour, and how the current prison structure heightens internal strife and misconduct. Likewise with this study, the authors aim to prove that prison architecture is in fact a huge factor of the transgression on inmates and architects doubtlessly have a social responsibility to create penitentiary environments which will rehabilitate. Within the article, Morris and Worral discuss the many correlates of inmate misconduct, however one theory, the Deprivation Theory, supports the idea that inmate misconduct to an extent can be, and is influenced by the architectural surroundings.

The deprivation theory posts that when a person (inmate) is subjected to a restrictive environment, such as that of prison, certain basic needs may go unsatisfied and an inmate may adapt to the situation by satisfying needs via maladaptive behaviour (Morris and Worrall, 2014 p. 1087). If we then consider panopticism and its desire to maintain power by instilling a self-regulation of paranoia and fear into the inmate, we begin to understand how intellectual needs are not being met therefore making many prisons debilitating. Michael Foucault also describes prisons and other disciplinary systems which abide by the panoptic type, to be rather cruel and crushing of individual freedom and expression (Prison Design and Control. n.d.). Systems which use architecture as a weapon for power in this way prove to be the most detrimental and contrary to rehabilitation, which should be the central aim of penal confinement.




CURRENT ISSUES: PRISON ARCHITECTURE The problem is that the society within many areas of confinement does not focus on design as being important nor a factor in rehabilitating inmates, as a matter of fact, many institutions do not prioritise rehabilitation at all, but rather administer punishment and harsh conditions on the prisoners. The conflict here is that by making prison conditions more humane and improved for the inmates would contradict the victims rights, this coupled with the constant shrinking penitentiary budgets means that British prisons have given up almost all attempts at rehabilitation. It would be assumed, likewise with institutions such as schools and hospitals, the penal society should aim to teach and heal the user and focus on their reintegration into the world. Sadly, this assumption couldn’t be further from the truth in many prison environments, in reality, prison is yet but a simple retribution and punishment for infringement.

It has been proven that eduction is one of the most effective ways to slash recidivism (CityLab, 2017), however from the approach of a designer, the behavioural and environmental psychology of the inmates must be explored as a way to create more positive, effective spaces of confinement through design and architecture.


HM Prison Manchester It is contradictory to believe that any human would be satisfied in the surroundings of dull grey walls and no view into the natural environment. To expect inmates not to be affected by such an uninspiring setting is illogical and alternative design methods ought to be explored to ensure correctional facilities are putting rehabilitation at the forefront of their aims. Speaking with a former member of the housing team at HM prison Manchester, Strangeways, it was easy to gain an insight into the interior of the prison and how the design could be one of the main influences of inmate behaviour. Mrs. Hall spoke of how the main issues she found when working within the prison for over 15 years, was the lack of colours and the uninterrupted echoing noise of voices and rattling metal bars. This constant cacophony of noise is amplified due to the long narrow corridors surrounding the watchtower at the heart of the prison.

HM prison, Manchester, also known as ‘Strangeways,’ was partly developed by one of the greatest architects of the Victorian era, Alfred Waterhouse, also the architect for the National History Museum, London (Bennett, O. 2015, December 07). The prison is an impeccable example of the panopticon model, with ten wings emanating from the core of the structure where the watchtower is positioned to overlook the inmates.

Figure 7, Walkden, R. (2017) HM Prison, Manchester Birdseye View Aftermath of the 1990’s Riots



Acoustic Issues A number of studies have been carried out surrounding the effects of noise on inmates within correctional facilities. Not only does the excessive noise cause behavioural issues such as increased aggression, increased irritability, and low compliance and cooperation, but it can also trigger many health problems including high blood pressure, hearing impairments and vertigo (Moreland, S. 2016). Dealing with such an abundance of noise for a prolonged period of time increases adrenaline levels and further results in negative, aggressive behaviour. The noise concern within prisons is just one of the internal factors which makes the penitentiary environment debilitating and a failure to its inhabitants.

Such rejuvenating design solutions have been applied in correctional facilities such as Halden, the high security prison in Norway which is considered to be one of the most humane prisons in the world. However the issue found within prisons in the UK especially is that penitentiary budgets are not stretched to meet architectural urgencies, but rather focus on education as a means for rehabilitation. This obvious ignorance towards the relationship between design and inmate progression is the very insensitivity which causes our prisons to fail our inmates and release Such anger provoking factors can be them back into the world having had solved by a number of design and no true means of reformation. construction processes including: Placing upholstered furniture in the wings, cells, and social areas of the prison; Adding acoustic materials to the walls, floors and ceilings of the prison; Ensuring acoustic materials are at least one inch thick; Using carpet rather than hard materials for the flooring in high traffic areas.

Figure 8, Peachey, P. (2015) Wakefield Prison, West Yorkshire



A small scale study conducted by Alexander G. Schauss at the U.S. Naval Correctional Centre in Seattle, Washington, highlighted the short term affects which the colour pink had on new inmates. The chief warrant officer of the correctional centre, Gene Baker, called for all holding cells used for initial confinement to be painted pink, except the floor (Schauss, A. G. 1979, October 28). The inmates were housed in the cells for no longer than 15 minutes before being released to their permanent cells. The memorandum to the Bureau of Naval Personnel, Law enforcement, and Corrections division reported that prior to the study, transferring inmates from holding cells to permanent cells had been a “whale of a problem.� Being confined within such an environment instilled weakness into the inmate, this calmness was proven to last for around 30 minutes after the inmate was released from the initial holding cell.

Schauss’ study is limited, as the psychological effect of the colour pink only lasted for a short amount of time, and was just a short term solution for prison guards to maintain power in a situation which they felt needed control. Again, the focus here was not on the needs of the inmate nor the long term rehabilitation, and the influence of colour and design was nothing more than a momentary solution for a bigger dilemma. In an ideal world, this study would be stretched much further than the initial walls of confinement for the inmate. Given that colour in this study had the ability to evoke calmness and diminish, or even eliminate, inmate aggression and misconduct, can we begin to envision the interior penitentiary environment if the effect of colour was the focus of all areas within.


Overcrowded Conditions The Prison Reform Trust determined that over 20,000 prisoners in England and Wales are confined to crowded conditions which counts for nearly a quarter of all inmates held in jail in both countries (Shaw, D. 2017, January 26). The overcrowding crisis has been an issue for decades within penitentiaries in Britain which can be put down to a number of factors; An increase in average sentence lengths; inadequately designed prison layout; and higher rates of recidivism meaning an increase in the number of inmates returning to prison after release. The Prison Reform Trust (PRT) calculated the increase in prisoners in Britain and Wales to have risen by 90% in the past two decades, with an escalation of 45,000 prisoners in 1991 to over 85,000 today; with these figures it is clear too see how overcrowding is one of the biggest issues prisons in Britain are facing. Lord Woolf, author for the Strangeways report, described the overcrowding catastrophe to be ‘..eating away at the ability to deliver effective education, tackle offending behaviour, and prepare prisoners for life on the outside,’ but why is overcrowding so detrimental to inmate rehabilitation?

“It is clear that overcrowding is having a hugely damaging impact on the delivery of rehabilitative regimes across the prison estate, both in terms of quality and quantity of appropriate interventions.” - Home Affairs Committee report, 2004/05.


The Criminal Justice Alliance have explored the many ways in which overcrowding is failing both inmates and the government. Placing prisoners in overcrowded conditions heightens the risk of offenders committing crimes upon being released due to circumstances surrounding mental health, lack of access to education, and deterioration of living conditions (Helyar-Cardwell, V. 2012, March. P.10). It is the purpose of this paper to justify how the influence of architecture and design could aid the rehabilitation of inmates and diminish such issues, but how could architecture cope with the complications of overcrowded correctional institutions and the impact on inmate recidivism and misconduct?

The lack of space within British prisons can undoubtedly be put down to architecture, and constructing prisons of a more open-plan rather than panoptic model could of course dwindle the congested conditions. However, given the lack of funds invested into prison design it is unlikely that the existing models will be rebuilt to deal with the growing inmate population. One way in which architecture could assist in the abatement of overcrowding is by tackling the rates of recidivism through good, thought out design. Little research has been conducted however, as to any other ways in which architecture could deal with overcrowding and how this could further diminish inmate misconduct.

Figure 9, Cavendish, A. (1970)




Figure 10, Ortiz, B. (2014) The Los Colinas Detention Facility, San Diego



RECENT ADVANCEMENTS: PRISON ARCHITECTURE The Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility ‘The prison systems approach of administering punishment instead of integration isn’t working.’ - HMC architects. The architects have worked closely with the health care industry and One penitentiary facility fighting the have found significant information to days of dated prison designs and substantiate the theory. Although the considering the needs of the 21st Las Colinas Detention and Re-entry century is the Las Colinas Detention Facility is not a British prison, penal and Re-entry Facility in San Diego, institutions across the world have designed by KMD and HMC experienced a similar past and many Architects, a healthcare, education and fail to notice how the system is failing civil architecture firm (Fast Company, inmates through ignoring the influence 2017). The company focuses on of architecture. Setting this unique, designing for the greater good and effective facility as precedent when accordingly delivered a project designing contemporary prisons would which considers the mental and undeniably mark the beginning of a physical wellbeing of the user, setting new word for the penal system. precedent for many other institutions. The firm considered how the effects of factors such as; access to nature; natural light; light colours; air quality; and texture, have a cognitive repercussion on the inmates and thus used these findings to inform design decisions.

Figure 11, Walsh, M. (2015)



KMD and HMC Architects did not look at the arrangement of existing prisons for their inspiration, but comparatively used the layout of higher education campus planning as the incentive for the facility. Affinities can be found within considerations such as spreading out facilities and programmes connected by pathways as adversed to all amenities being central to one audited space. This accommodation of domestic resources complies with the ‘Freedom of Movement’ Concept, acknowledging the belief that ‘treating inmates as autonomous and responsible human beings (albeit within a controlled and managed environment) means they will be more likely to act accordingly.’ This is a contrasting notion to the beliefs of many prisons encompassing the panoptic approach to inmate control and reform, assuming that they should be induced in a state of conscious and permanent visibility to prevent inmate misconduct and recidivism.

It is evident to my understanding thus far, that for British prisons to become successful spaces for reform and retribution, both architects and psychologists must use their skills harmoniously to further execute a concept which is effective for the occupier. This couldn’t be more true for spaces of confinement, we must stop punishing as a means for ‘rehabilitation.’

Figure 12, Krueger, J. (2015)



Halden Prison, Norway Halden prison, Norway, is said to be one of the worlds most humane prisons, with flat screen TV’s and ensuite showers in every cell, but what is the bigger picture? Hoidal, the main architect of the prison, expressed that he wanted to create normality when designing the prison, and felt that the inmates should not feel as if they are in a prison, although undoubtedly their freedom outside of confinement has been taken away (Gentleman, A. 2012, May 18). The 1.3 billion Norwegian krone institution is worlds apart from any prison found here in Britain, it is comprised of communal apartmentstyle areas where inmates live jointly in groups of 8. Amelia Gentleman, journalist for the Guardian, described the tranquility of the place and how remarkably quiet it was compared to British prisons. This may be due to the fact that inmates here are not locked up for the greater part of the day, and are free to partake in activities and workshops from 7.30am - 8.30pm every day.

The hallways decorated with large photos of flowers and Parisian street scenes, access to games rooms and freedom to cook their own meals, this all seems different than what we would expect in an environment inhabiting murders, paedophiles and rapists. However, with recidivism rates the lowest in Europe at 20% after 2 years, as opposed to 50% in England, instating rehabilitating means of design and control as opposed to punishment has proved to be extremely effective for Halden prison, and sets the mark for other prisons in Europe and worldwide.

Figure 13, Leung, J. (2014)



The issue with our prisons which Gentleman mentions is that prison reformers don’t believe there is a large enough budget to spend on improving the design standards of prisons in the UK. Funds tend to be spent on improving education and implementing new activities and classes within jails, meaning many inmates are deprived of the very things which we need as humans. Ultimately, given the £13 billion annual cost of recidivism (O’leary, J. 2016, February 08) within UK prisons due to lack of rehabilitation and other circumstances, investing in the architectural aspects of prisons as opposed to putting all funds into the educational programmes may in fact save tax payer money in the long haul.



Figure 14, Crabapple, M. (2015)



HOW TO DESIGN A PRISON THAT REHABILITATES Given all of the information established within this investigation and the many alternating opinions and findings as to whether architecture could be a possible correlate of inmate misconduct, it may still be difficult to understand how design and architecture could be used to alter inmate behaviour. Firstly, the basic cognitive needs of the inmates must be met and understood through design, i.e. colours, lighting, and space are three of the essential elements which we need as humans to feel inspired, and in touch with the out side world.

Layout “More open plan layouts can improve inmate - guard relations and support a culture of progress rather than fear.� - Karen Beijersbergen, Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement (Bennett, O. 2015). Here, Beijersbergen suggests that it is in fact the influence which the prison layout has on the relationship between the guards and the inmates as opposed to the psychological effects on the inmate alone. This suggestion agrees with the belief that architecture shapes our experience (Benfield, F. K. 2014), but is not necessarily an experience in itself; we can look at the successes of Scandinavian prison design to understand how the prison layout can promote rehabilitation and lessen inmate misconduct and recidivism (Webster, R. 2017).

Figure 15, Griffiths, A. (2017) Marseille Detention Centre



The design of a Scandinavian penal institution sees that inmate cells in fact reflect typical rooms which we would find in our homes, the architects’ desire here is for the interior prison environment to reflect that of ‘normal life,’ subsiding the emotion of isolation for the inmates. Every aspect of the interior environment should seek to mirror that of the real world, and provide as much freedom as constitutionally possible for the inmates through design. This could be achieved by: .

Allocating inmates ‘rooms’ rather than ‘cells’; Using technology efficiently i.e. installing discreet means of CCTV so the inmate does not feel paranoia ; Using glazing rather than bars for security to create a sense of ‘freedom of movement’; Installing passive and active spaces i.e. jogging paths, breakout spaces, quiet zones etc.

Figure 16, World’s Most Luxurious Prisons – RawInterest. (2016) Bastoy prison, Norway Bastoy Island



Figure 17, Havran, J. (2010, Halden prison, Norway


Acoustic Solutions The acoustic solutions for successfully designing penal institutions for inmate rehabilitation are highlighted within chapter seven of this study. Noise is one of the largest issues within penitentiaries today, causing mental health issues and in the worst possible circumstances, death (Moreland, S. 2016). Simple, but effective acoustic considerations from designers and architects of penal confinement could lower inmate violence and prevent mental health issues provoked by noise disturbance. Placing soft seating rather than hard seating within communal spaces, corridors and the inmates rooms not only diminishes the echoing of voices and other noises within the space, but also provides comfort and warmth. Good acoustic design has evidently been proven important and successful within many other institutions. Well thought out acoustics within schools have resulted in improved pupil behaviour, whilst a better nights sleep due to positive acoustic solutions within hospitals has resulted in an improvement in health (S. 2017). The same results must be expected when such solutions are incorporated within prisons, and it would be ludicrous for designers to assume otherwise.


Variation of colours As also explored within chapter seven of this study, a variation of colours and shades are integral to the reformation and mental state of inmates, and the psychological influences which colours have on our mood and behaviour mustn’t be disregarded within the penal environment. Implementing colours and positive distractions i.e. imagery within prisons as well as other institutions i.e. care homes, hospitals and schools, has a positive effect on user behaviour, by lifting spirits and creating harmony within the environment. Combining natural light, reduced acoustics, and a sense of freedom and control can belie harsh institutional nuances and reduce aggression and tension (Hill, T. 2015), ultimately leading to diminished inmate violence and recidivism. .

Through research, is it understood that the design components above are the most influential to inmate behaviour and well-being. Colours, acoustics and prison layout have the highest priority when designing penitentiaries, not to overlook essential factors such as materials and natural light, however for the purpose of this study not all areas of prison design can be explored in too much detail.

Figure 18, Anderson, L. (2014) Los Colinas Detention Facility, San Diego





CONCLUSION Could prison architecture be a potential correlate of inmate misconduct and recidivism? Research has shown, that to an extent prison architecture does in fact influence inmate behaviour which leads to higher rates of recidivism due to lack of rehabilitation during their time within confinement (Jacobs, R. 2014, June 17). However, conducting more studies and experiments concerning the role in which prison architecture has on inmate misconduct and recidivism would require a lot of time and money which many penal reformers and theorists are not yet willing to spend. Within this paper, research has been gathered from a number of sources leading us to believe that architecture has the potential to be the overlooked cure for the struggles of the penal system, yet without appropriate funding it seems as though we will continue to see British prisons overcrowded, debilitating, and ineffective for our inmates.

Referring back to the panoptic influence, it can be said that penitentiaries of this model including HM prison Manchester, are assuredly failures to the rehabilitation of prisoners. The layout of prisons of this model provide no opportunity for the inmate to feel trusted or free, invariably instilling the feeling of paranoia into the individual which further leads to rebellious behaviour and misconduct.


To truly understand the effects of architecture on inmate behaviour, individual and environmental links to misconduct should initially be analysed for us to fathom how architecture could further diminish any detrimental sensitiveness the inmate may be feeling. We cannot forget the historical purpose of the penal system and the aims to give justice to those who may have been affected by the actions of the individual confined. Removing criminals from the streets and placing them into penitentiaries, stripping them of their freedom, improves the safety of the public ensures that those convicted do not commit any further crimes whilst they are in prison. Nevertheless, it is unjustifiable and archaic to suppose that one could become rehabilitated and have a better chance at life whilst being in the confines of dull, dreary walls surrounded by the echo’s and pains of other broken spirits.

Colour deprivation and overcrowding are undeniably two of the most concerning factors within prisons today, two aspects which many people would agree that architects have the social responsibility to tackle. It is unlikely for prisons in the UK to adopt such designs seen within Halden prison, Norway (Gentleman, A. 2012, May 18) or the Los Colinas Detention Facility, California (Fast Company, 2012). However, highlighting the severe need for small architectural advances to be made and the positive effects which these design influences have been proven to have on the rehabilitation of inmates can only lead to a positive future for prison architecture.





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Peachey, P. (2015, August 24). Britain’s most dangerous convicts reveal reality of life in highly restricted ‘jails within jails’. Retrieved January 08, 2018, from http:// Ponzi, E. (2012, April 12). Find out why illustrator Emiliano Ponzi is so respected at The New York Times. Retrieved January 07, 2018, from Ponzi, E. (2012, January 06). Unjust Justice. Retrieved January 07, 2018, from


Saul, H. (2013, December 12). Prisoners given in-cell phones and screens. Retrieved January 08, 2018, from prisoners-given-in-cell-phones-and-screens-9000003. html Unknown, Retrieved January 05, 2018, from https://www. merism/668D43B13BE3408A9A3447946E8CAC85



V. (2015, January 13). Haunting Images from Inside the Abandoned Panopticon Prison in Cuba. Retrieved January 08, 2018, from Walkden, R. (2017, February 21). In pictures: The Strangeways prison riots. Retrieved January 07, 2018, from http://www. gallery/pictures-strangeways-prison-riots-8871094 Walsh, M. (2015, October 13). The Surprising Reason for the Decline in Inmate-On-Inmate Violence. Retrieved January 07, 2018, from World’s Most Luxurious Prisons – RawInterest. (2016, April 30). Retrieved January 07, 2018, from worlds-most-luxurious-prisons/

Research Portfolio word count: 5,502 Bibliography word count: 1,176 Total word count: 6, 648

Profile for Tyler Daniel

Prison Architecture: Interior Architecture Research Portfolio  

Prison Architecture as a Potential Correlate of Inmate Misconduct and Recidivism

Prison Architecture: Interior Architecture Research Portfolio  

Prison Architecture as a Potential Correlate of Inmate Misconduct and Recidivism