the big house

April 14, 2012 — Leave a comment

The Presidio Model, or model prison, was a round, panopticon-style penitentiary on the Isla de la Juventud in Cuba -

Built between 1926 and 1928, it was closed in 1967 and now serves as a museum.

Jeremy Bentham, the 18th century British philosopher who proposed the panopticon concept, described its design as follows: “A building circular… The prisoners in their cells, occupying the circumference — The officers in the centre. By blinds and other contrivances, the Inspectors concealed … from the observation of the prisoners: hence the sentiment of a sort of omnipresence — The whole circuit reviewable with little, or … without any, change of place. One station in the inspection part affording the most perfect view of every cell.

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