Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 10. 24 May 1972

Jeremy Bentham's Ideas ..

Jeremy Bentham's Ideas ...

As always at the beginning of a new period of penal reform the first attempts at prison construction after the 1779 Act were fired by idealism, and a genuine desire for reform. The first penitentiary was to be built under contract and in 1791 Jeremy Bentham was advanced 3000 pound from treasury funds to purchase the site for a prison, to be built to his own design — he called it a Panopticon. If we are to look at prison reform from an historical angle, it is interesting to bear in mind New Zealand's latest attempt at an advance in high security prison construction - Paremoremo - when reading of some of his suggested measures: The essential requirement of reformative penologists of Bentham's day was that of "seclusion". Prisoners were to be kept separated from each other to the greatest possible extent, in order to protect them from each other's corrupting influence Behtham hoped to acheive this at the least expense by constructing his Panopticon in the form of a giant cage, with a central viewing platform from which all the prisoners could be seen, and to which they were all connected by a system of speaking tubes (Paremoremo's supervision system by television from a central office).

His suggestions for security were as follows:
(1)Light thrown upon the whole surface of the four surrounding walls.
(2)On top of the walls all around, a range of spikes, iron or wooden, of such slightness, that in the attempt to set a ladder against them or throw a rope over them to get up by, they would give way and break, and in either case strike against a range of wires, by which a number of bells would be set a-ringing.
(3)On the outside of each of the surrounding walls a ditch, the water of which would, on any attempt to undermine the continous wall, inundate the miners, and, while it betrayed their operations, render an exit if not absolutely impracticable, at least impracticable without such a noise as would give abundant warning to the guard house.
(4)To each such guard-house, a dog or dogs, of the sort of those which in the night are set a-barking by any the least noise.
Jail cartoon 3

Than I Got Married Even More of a Jail!

Jail cartoon 4

Until I Got Drafted into the Army. The Worst Jail Yet!