This is a link to a blog post considering the potential impact of the proposed new ‘super’ prison in Wrexham, Wales. Wrexham prison is set to become the largest prison within England and Wales and will also be the second largest prison in Western Europe. However, since the announcement of this new prison, it has been plagued with strong opposition in the local area. The article in question considers some of the arguments against the prison, as well as some of the arguments for it.
This is an interesting post considering whether architects should be using design to help a system that punishes or a system that rehabilitates. This is a good website for posts and discussions surrounding architecture and is worth a browse if you have time.
This is an interesting wed piece that I stumbled across today looking at some of the more modern, forward thinking and unusual prison designs from architects and designers across the world.
This is an interesting peer reviewed article that I came across recently. It considers the impact of prison architecture on prisoner and prison staff health.
After a long stint away from blogging, I thought that I would return with a post on what I have been doing with my time . My main activity has been researching and writing my dissertation. After achieving a decent grade for my work I thought I would share it for anyone who may be interested…
Discovering Public Opinion of Prison Architecture
For a long time prison architecture has been an important part of the penal system, with the potential to either hinder or help the running of any type of prison system. Following a series of high profile objections from the general public of some prison regimes, Jack Straw stated that all things relating to the penal system must pass the public acceptability test. This, however, has not occurred in relation to proposed designs of prisons. My research therefore aimed to fill a gap in knowledge, attempting to discover the public’s opinions on prison architecture and design. This research is significant due to proposals for new prison designs often enter political discourse in an attempt to deal with the issue of prison overcrowding.
My study made use of a cross-sectional design, chosen due to its low cost and expedient nature. Participants were gathered using a snowball sampling method. Although typically criticised for a lack of representativeness and generalisability due to creating and elite sample, this was to some degree avoided. This was through sending the surveys to buisnesses and community groups as well as individuals that the researcher knew. Data was gathered using online surveys which made use of image methodology. Image methodology was used due to information emerging from the literature review that the majority of the general public have not come into contact with a prison and thus will not have seen the interior of a prison. So in order to gain participants opinions on the architecture and design of different prisons, images and photographs were required to illustrate what different types of prisons look like.
The research findings were similar to previous research on public opinion of other areas of the penal system. Opinion on prison architecture and design when looking narrowly appeared to be punitive, yet when looking broadly at all of the responses, many of them were contradictory and unfixed. When responses were looked at in relation to gender categories, the findings were rarely different. However, when looked at in relation to age groups, not all groups gave punitive responses, with the 21-30 age group in particular providing a mixture of punitive and lenient responses.
It was concluded that opinions are rarely fixed and appear to be influenced by many other factors.
So there is a brief entry of the results of many months of hard work. If you would like any more information regarding the research, or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
An interesting post by Michael Sorkin. It supports the call for architects to refuse designing so called ‘chambers of living death’, the main example of this in the article being the designs of Supermax prisons. It is well worth a read and looks closely at the codes and ethics of architects.
Feel free to comment on what you think of the article.
An interesting article on the dilemma that architects face when designing a prison and the arguments for both sides of the dilemma.