Architecture, incarceration and penal ideology :a model prison for Houston
Master of Architecture
I was drawn to the colossus of criminal man. The wealth of penal history, theory, experimentation, and questions made me reconsider some widely held assumptions. Illustrations of sixth century Italian monasteries show single carceri, the more severe being for more heinous offenders.The common use of these carceri in Europe belie reports that early prisons did not have a punitive function in addition to the detentive, did not classify inmates,and that cellular confinement is a modern American invention. Attribution of punitive and solitary incarceration to modernity might be taken as an indication,perhaps,of their greater use in it, not of negligibility in earlier times. Foucault’s brilliant writings also blind one to the fact that the modern penal code was not suddenly created in a leap from dramatic spectacle to pervasive institutionalization in nineteenth century Europe. I was dissatisfied, because my tremendous effort showed me that incarceration as a tool for criminal regulation,if not an evil failure, was fraught with ugliness. Yet we could not do without it. But I was still interested. Because the incarceration of Man by Man is, deeply, a measure of ourselves. I used the penal history of the West to locate architecture within contemporary penal practice because, worldwide, the modern prison, in meaning and form, grew largely from post-sixteenth century developments in, Europe and Britain. The term Colonial States denotes the USA before independence.