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can see into the other end of the same rooms through an inspection hole, or he may enter at that end, but he must, for those purposes come out of his apartments, and go up a few steps from an outer gallery, which runs round the centre building. The first objection which I see to this plan is, that these twenty-four day-rooms are all of the same size, viz. about thirteen feet wide, and eighty-five feet long, and all, by the construction of the building, incapable of being sub-divided; whereas, if a passage were to run by the side of a range of cells, or small rooms, there might be any number of entrances made from the passage into the day-rooms, 1 some of which might in that case be used with one or other of the adjoining wards, as occasion might require; and the partitions running across the cells, would not create any obstruction to sight through the inspection holes from the passage. The space taken up by this passage would not be thrown away, for the prisoners might exercise in the passage when the weather would not admit of their going into the court-yard for that purpose; according to the present design, they must, in wet weather, remain during the whole of the day in their work-rooms, which are not very well ventilated, having windows only on one side.
My next objection is, that there is not sufficient inspection. It must be difficult for a person looking through an aperture at one extremity of a narrow room eighty-five feet long, to see what prisoners are doing at the other end of the room, even if there were nothing in the apartment to obstruct his sight; but this difficulty seems increased to an impossibility, when a number of human bodies and looms, or other implements of manufacture, shall be interposed. If it be said, that the governor will inspect at the other end, it may be replied, that very little expectation can be entertained of inspection into twenty-four work-rooms from a governor, who will have the general care of the whole prison thrown upon him, especially as he cannot inspect at all without coming out of his house for that purpose; but even while he shall be looking in upon the prisoners at one end, and the superintendent inspecting
1 In this figure cells B and C may be used indifferently with A or with D having a communication with either, as well as with the passage P.
at the other, they would neither of them know much of what was passing in the middle of a room eighty-five feet long, and would hear nothing of what might be said there. Inspection must be very imperfect, if an officer cannot occasionally approach near enough to prisoners to ascertain what is going on, and even to hear them converse, without their being conscious that they are under his observation. You cannot prevent cards and dice from being brought into a county gaol, and if you could, pieces of money have heads and tails, and very good dominoes may be made out of leather. The only way to prevent gambling is, occasionally to come upon the prisoners unawares.
In their court-yards the prisoners will be still less under inspection than in their work-rooms, or to speak more correctly, they will be under no inspection at all. The superintendent having four wards, (or classes of prisoners,) under his care, to which two court-yards are attached, (one on each side of his building,) must have two classes at work, while two others are taking exercise in the two yards, and his room is so placed, that he cannot see from it into either of the yards; either, therefore, the prisoners in both the court-yards must take air and exercise without being seen by him, or he must abandon his working wards, and one courtyard, to attend to the other; and if the number of superintendents be doubled, still one of the yards, or both the work-rooms, must remain uninspected by either of them, while the inspection of the governor, from the gallery round the central building, can be of very little avail; for the ranges of building radiating from the centre create so much obstruction to sight from thence, that I do not believe there is a single point in that gallery from which the whole of any one court-yard can be seen at once. It is also very objectionable to place the superintendent at the greatest possible distance from the governor, as the inspection of the governor should be directed much more to his officers than to the prisoners; but this defect might perhaps be remedied, by putting the superintendent at the other end, next the centre building, as the loss of the governor's power to look in at the opposite end to that of the superintendent's rooms would not be very important.
The fourth objection to this windmill plan, is the little security against escape which it affords, compared with those in which the court-yards are surrounded by buildings. It must be a very high wall that can keep in a prisoner who has a friend on the outside to throw over to him the end of a rope-and the practice of placing loose bricks at the top of the outer wall of a prison, for the purpose of giving alarm in case of an attempt to climb over it, may be useful in small prisons, but the bricks would fall without being heard, from the top of a wall of sufficient extent to enclose three acres of
ground. Nor can I see where, according to the construction of this prison, it will be possible to make an effectual separation between male and female prisoners. I presume it is intended, that one or two of the ranges of building should be appropriated to females, but two airing grounds used by them would in either case be contiguous to those of the males, and it would require very high party-walls to court-yards, over which there is so little inspection, to prevent communication between the men and the women; by night they would certainly talk from cell to cell. The kitchens in this design, of which there are but two, appear to me to be much too small, nor do I see how such of the prisoners, as may be allowed to dress their own food, in addition to some from each of the other classes, could have access to them, without a greater degree of communication between prisoners of different descriptions than would be desirable: more kitchens however might perhaps be made, by taking for that purpose the rooms intended for store-rooms, and making store-rooms at the farthest end of the prisoners' buildings. I mean here to dwell upon those objections only which seem to show, that the windmill plan is not well calculated for a large pri
I believe it will be found, that no one form of building will be advantageous for prisons of all sizes-the windmill plan may possibly be the best for prisons which are too small to admit of their enclosing the court-yards within the buildings, and in which, there being only one or two officers to take care of all the prisoners, it is very convenient that the keeper should reside in the midst of them; but where many prisoners are to be provided for, it appears to me that convenience, inspection, and security, will be most easily combined in those plans in which the buildings shall be so disposed as entirely to enclose the court-yards, and a passage shall run round the whole prison on each floor. From this passage you may have as many distinct day-rooms as may be found convenient, and as many inspection holes into such rooms as may be necessary to bring every portion of the prisoners within the reach of both the eye and the ear of their officer, whenever he shall find occasion to watch them.
Of the prisons built upon the principle of surrounding the yards there may of course be many shapes. The plans in Mr. Howard's time were chiefly squares and rectangular figures-but the courtyards cannot conveniently be divided or brought under the governor's inspection in such figures, and the modern designs are more commonly polygons, or figures of many sides approaching to circles, but composed of short straight sides, to avoid the inconvenience and expense of the circular form. The plan of the Penitentiary at Millbank, consisting of six pentagons formed on the sides of a hol
low hexagon, in the centre of which is the chapel, could not well be so contracted as to suit a county gaol for three or four hundred prisoners, for the court-yards of a prison similar to that at Millbank, built on a very reduced scale, would not be large enough or sufficiently airy: but I am strongly inclined to think, that a conve nient prison for a few hundred prisoners might be formed on a design uniting the windmill plan with that of the polygon-i. e. adding some ranges of building which should join the circumference to the centre. In every prison built on the principle of the polygon, two such ranges of building seem to be necessary:1 one from the porter's lodge to protect the entrance passage to the governor's house from the male prisoners, and the other at the other end of the portion of the prison used for male prisoners, to divide them effectually from the females-but more such ranges of building may perhaps be convenient, for the purpose of separating parts of the prison used for the male prisoners from each other. In this prison the inspection of the governor and matron over the yards used by their respective prisoners would be complete, and the male prisoners would be fenced in by themselves.
But whatever may be considered as the best form for a prison of a particular size, I would earnestly recommend it to Magistrates who may contemplate such an erection, to settle in the first instance not only the number of classes into which their prisoners are to be divided, but the principles by which the treatment of each class is to be regulated-which shall dress dinner in their own wards, and which take it from a public kitchen; which shall be put to hard
'In this figure the black lines are ranges of building, and the dotted line is the wall dividing the part of the prison occupied by females from the passage from the porter's lodge to the governor's house.
labor in the open air, under sheds or arcades, and which be employed in close work-rooms; and where fires shall be made; for the method of heating the buildings is an important point to be arranged in the original plan, the position of coal-cellars and dustholes heing of great consequence in a prison. In general, when architects are applied to for a plan of a prison, they are not furnished with sufficient data. It is common to build the prison first, and to set about making rules and regulations for it when completed; but it would be a wiser course to make the rules, or at least to agree upon the substance of them, and to settle the establishment of officers and servants, before a brick or a stone were laid.