A New Panopticon For The Age Of Prison Labor

Post London riots last year, conservative commentators worried that England’s jails resembled a “holiday camp” with too much leisure and not enough unpaid work. Architect Alexis Kalli’s HMPark Life is a set of blueprints and renderings for a hypothetical, fantastical new prison complex, based in part on Dante’s Inferno, to fulfill the needs of today’s society:

With a Government forcing inmates to work a full week for virtually no pay in order to earn their keep, ‘HMPark Life’ is a new prison located in Brockwell Park, South London. It questions this drive to turn a prison population into a cheap labour force, one that works not just to provide skills in the name of ‘rehabilitation’ but forces offenders to be visibly productive and punished to quench the public’s ever present blood thirst for justice.

A public viewing platform perched on the prison’s main circulation core provides an ideal point from which to survey the throng of productive inmates, leaving the public with that sense of satisfaction. This is the new panopticon.

11 Comments on "A New Panopticon For The Age Of Prison Labor"

  1. Liam_McGonagle | Sep 8, 2012 at 11:42 am |

    This is an illustration of what is known as “kick the dog”.  It makes most people feel more vigorous and virtuous to brutally punish a misdemeanor than to make even the most feeble protest against the vilest of outrages.

    For one thing, the weak offer less resistance.  So the certainty/satisfaction ratio is much better when prosecuting petty theft than when prosecuting securities fraud. It’s also pretty damned easy to big up the emotional impact of stealing a bottle of spring water once you’ve comitted to the much more fundamental lie of lassez faire capitalism.

    Humans are lazy.  Difficult to believe, but they are almost certainly smarter than they look, and their capacity to disappoint is more attributable to a lack of effort than a constitutional inability to acheive a better result.

    The problem seems to be motivating them to WANT to acheive more.  How do you promote the benefits of a 3-dimensional worldview to a person who’s lived their whole life within only 2-dimensions?  And do it in a way that gives them a sense of ownership over that 3rd dimension?

    Some say it can’t be done.

    • Hadrian999 | Sep 8, 2012 at 10:45 pm |

      seems to me that linking labor with punishment might be counter productive, tiered living quarters that are spartan for non workers and improve by moving up job ladders from unskilled to skilled would be better for readjusting people from a criminal lifestyle

      • Liam_McGonagle | Sep 9, 2012 at 2:59 pm |

        That’s more on point than my original comment, which was more or less only a bitchfest about how content we seem to be living in retribution mode.  Kudos.

  2. I suk for cndies

  3. Coyne Tibbets | Sep 8, 2012 at 3:10 pm |

    This will make some of the ultra-rich drool. Just imagine: The entire population working, while safely locked away in places like this, while the rich live on the garden world above.

  4. And every prison laborer the public enjoys seeing is a massively tax-subsidized slave labor competitor for their own jobs.

    • And the fact that the public enjoys seeing prison slave labor implies (to me at least) that much of the public endorses slavery, even to the enslavement of itself. It would probably oppose it only if it realized that slavery implies extreme poverty and the inability to get out.

  5. Gabrielsnicker | Sep 9, 2012 at 1:45 am |

    I work in a prison and can attest to the fact that it is of benefit to the prisoner, as well as to society to have these people be busy and productive.  they can be given very minimal pay so that they can make purchases at the commisary.  They do NOT need anything other than very minimal pay as their needs for food, clothing, shelter and healthcare are being provided.  They should NOT be paid other than very minimal pay to purchase those items for personal hygeine, etc.  Society has a right to expect that they will pitch in toward their keep, just as you and I pitch in for our keep.  there should be no free ride for anyone, except the most profoundly disabled.  Society has alot of work that needs to be done and not enough people who want to do certain jobs.  so, if the public welfare system is keeping you housed, fed, clothed, and provides health care you SHOULD give back.  There are tasks you CAN do.  I have worked for 30+ years with criminals and enjoy my work and my time spent with them.  I treat them well, as I should, and that is reciprocated.  however, I clearly see that they feel entitled to many things because they are angry.  However, they are not the only eople on the planet who have had horrible lives, but they do react in a way that is not like the majority of people.   their anger allows them to lash out, to harm, to exploit, to brutalize, to take what is not theirs to take.  that needs to cange for them and a good, honest effort, every day, to give back, is a beginning.

  6. This is a great idea!  We can all visit the prisons and watch those suckers do some real, honest to goodness work!  All the petty drug offenders, all the poor bastards who couldn’t afford competent legal help, addicts who would be in counseling, getting real help, in a different world… all of them could do the nasty, dirty, work that we don’t want to do.  And the best part, the lovely part of this plan is that if we don’t have enough ‘help’, why we could just go out and round up some more!  And then, then the prisons that have been converted to ‘run for profit’ would earn even more millions.  A few sweeps in any major metropolitan area would surely net hundreds of ‘criminals’, not to mention the folks we could arrest and detain for as long as we want in the name of homeland security.  Really, it’s a win/win situation for everyone!  Eventually we could feed the prisoners a healthy blend of – oh I don’t know – solyen-green, something to meet their dietary needs that doesn’t involve a lot of labor intensive preparation.  If depression or anger issues become a problem, we could make small ‘adjustments’ that would resolve the issue.  Why, its almost like we could ‘engineer’ the prison population, so that they become obedient, docile, creatures that just love to work.

    But the best part of the whole scheme would be the fear… er, I mean caution that this plan would instill in the rest of the population, people wold surely think twice before committing even the smallest of infractions.  It would be social engineering at it’s best.

    Really, it’s a no-brainer.

  7. The majority of the accessible see bastille as a “Holiday
    Camp”,demanding added instances of ‘restorative justice’ area offenders
    anon accomplish apology with the victims of their crimes. With a
    Government banishment inmates to plan a abounding anniversary for around
    no pay in adjustment to acquire their keep, ‘HMPark Life’ is a new
    bastille amid in Brockwell Park, South London.


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