The Architecture of Prisons Is Everywhere We Look

By Marianela D’aprile

Read the full article from Jacobin, here.

Public buildings — all buildings — perform social functions; they organize people and their activities. Prisons remove people from their environment and therefore their humanity; they discipline and isolate. In a capitalist state, where schools are charged largely with creating orderly and disciplined future workers, it follows that they would share their form with prisons.

Architecture serves as a billboard for the priorities of its commissioners — and generous, welcoming public buildings are low on their list. That’s how we end up with schools and libraries that look like prisons — and prisons that don’t.

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