Bentham's Prison : A Study of the Panopticon Penitentiary: A Study of the Panopticon Penitentiary

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Clarendon Press, Jul 8, 1993 - 354 pages
At the end of the eighteenth century, Jeremy Bentham devised a scheme for a prison that he called the panopticon. It soon became an obsession. For twenty years he tried to build it; in the end he failed, but the story of his attempt offers fascinating insights into both Bentham's complex character and the ideas of the period. Basing her analysis on hitherto unexamined manuscripts, Janet Semple chronicles Bentham's dealings with the politicians as he tried to put his plans into practice. She assesses the panopticon in the context of penal philosophy and eighteenth-century punishment and discusses it as an instrument of the modern technology of subjection as revealed and analysed by Foucault. Her entertainingly written study is full of drama: at times it is hilariously funny, at others it approaches tragedy. It illuminates a subject of immense historical importance and which is particularly relevant to modern controversies about penal policy.
 

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Contents

Jeremy Bentham and the Origins of the Panopticon
20
A View of the Hard Labour Bill and the Penitentiary
42
John Howard and the Origins of the Panopticon
62
The First Phase 17861793
95
Proposal and Contract I
131
The Panopticon Bill of 1794
166
Hanging Wood and Tothill Fields
192
A Picture of a Treasury
218
The Final Failure
254
Plans Visions and Utopia
282
Conclusion
309
Appendix History of the War between Jeremy
324
Index
337
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Page 330 - Metropolis, explaining the various crimes and misdemeanours which at present are felt as a Pressure upon the Community; and suggesting remedies for their prevention, By a Magistrate (London, 1796).

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