Eastern State Prison

1054 Words5 Pages
A shadow cast from the massive castle wall meets you as you stride down the street. But the castle wasn’t a castle at all, it was a former prison, Eastern State Penitentiary to be exact. Approaching the front gate, looking away from the wall is nearly impossible. The wall was made of large stones, the color of faded grave stones, piled one on top of the other, and intertwined like a miss matched puzzle that had been cemented together. Along the walls patches of vines run up the length, attempting to escape to freedom. With the stone walls towering thirty feet above the ground, and ten feet below, it is easy to lose yourself in the structure that was Eastern State, much like many of the prisoners who were treated in solitary. Eastern State…show more content…
The use of solitary confinement to help rehabilitate the inmates. The idea was that while these criminals were in solitary they would be able to think more clearly about the crime they had committed, giving them time to repent, and so they would be able to receive penitence. Yet in reality the silence of the prison didn’t help the prisoners. Now studies have found keeping a prisoner isolated for long amounts of time can lead to more damage than good. Many men have been found to have become violently insane during their stay at Eastern State. Solitary is still used today in prisons but as a punishment, and the prisoners aren’t keep for long periods of time because of the dangers it could cause to their mental…show more content…
Maybe the original idea was intended to help “straighten” out the prisoners. These criminals were thought to be missing a part of themselves, and through work, silence, and darkness they would be able fully realize the awfulness of their crimes and truly repent. Surrounded by perfection in each brick that was placed. Or were these high ceiling meant for so much more? They stand perfectly rounded close to twenty feet high, every few steps there are long paneled windows in the roof. Each window is outfitted with the mesh wiring throughout. It would seem Haviland was prepared for anything. Maybe these rounded ceiling were another way to keep the criminals inside the prison. With curved ceiling such as these there is no way for someone to escape through the window, which just so happens to be reinforced, just in case. With ceiling as high as these a comforting warmth is hard to find. These halls were made for ventilation, now with most of the building condemned it would be hard to know if the breezes of chilled wind are due the cracks and creaks that run throughout or because the heat just rises leaving coldness in its
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