Essay: The first prisons built in the US

The first prisons to be built in theUSwere built with one-person cells that radiated from a central building. According to Bosworth (2002) this system was based on the ‘panopticon’ model, created by Jeremy Bentham, was dominant in the European andUSprison system for many years. The basic plan of the building was more of a roundhouse scheme as the cells faced each other in a circular manner. The supervision tower was in the center and at four tires higher that the rest of the building. This provided for the confinement of more inmates. This style of architecture resembles thePennsylvaniamodel Carlson and Garrett (2007).

                This model was built with the officer’s quarters in the upper tires. The building was built with concrete or masonry, and has steel bunks and steel cell fronts. The noise levels in this building were ambient due to the hard walls, and the circular shape provided for amplification. This kind of sound amplification added to the stress, as normal conversations sounded like shouting. This design was used to keep prisoners in solitary confinement US Bureau of Prisons (1949).

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