History of Eastern State Penitentiary

Essay by 472900380College, UndergraduateA, October 2014

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Eastern State Penitentiary



Eastern State Penitentiary

I think that a prisoner in the Eastern State Penitentiary has the dullest daily routine that any human could ever have. Picture a prisoner living behind a cell with a heavy dungeon-door and thick walls. Literally, speaking, the daily routine revolves around the cell. As…notes, a prisoner "is led to the cell from which he never again comes forth, until his whole term of imprisonment has expired" (Dickens, n. d, pg. 13). A prisoner typically wakes up, takes a bath and turns the bed up and against his cell wall to create space for working on it. The works include personal interests ranging from painting to manufacturing a Dutch clock. He receives food through the grated iron door in the cell and at the end of the day lies on the bed in despair.

He moans, and tries to listen to identify if a cell similar to the one he is in exists besides him. He wonders how the person in the next cell, if exists, would be doing, walking, dressed and his emotional status until sleep takes him away.

I find that I have difficulty describing a daily routine of a prisoner in Eastern State Penitentiary because it literally does not exist. The prisoners are in confinement, thus restricted to have a typical life. They simply live in misery. I think that this could be attributed to the contradicting effects of the prison structure that deviates from the intended outcomes. As Eastern State Penitentiary (2014) notes, the prison was simply meant to facilitate a shift from punishing offenders to rehabilitating them through change and spiritual reflection. The proponents of the prison believed that solitary would provoke criminals to think about their behavior and...