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Title: Plans and Illustrations of Prisons and Reformatories
Author: Various
Language: English
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LEWIS F. PILCHER, _Architect_]

                     Plans and Illustrations _of_
                       Prisons and Reformatories

                            _Collected by_
                        HASTINGS H. HART, LL.D.
              _President of American Prison Association_

                            _Presented at_
                      _The_ FIFTY-SECOND CONGRESS
                          OF THE ASSOCIATION

                        DETROIT, OCTOBER, 1922


                               NEW YORK
                        RUSSELL SAGE FOUNDATION

                          COPYRIGHT, 1922, BY
                      THE RUSSELL SAGE FOUNDATION

                       WM. F. FELL CO. PRINTERS
                           PHILADELPHIA, PA.

                           Table of Contents


    INTRODUCTION. By Hastings H. Hart, LL.D.                     7

    A SKYSCRAPER JAIL. A Possible Solution of the Cook
    County Jail Problem. By Hastings H. Hart                     9

    THE NEW SING SING PRISON.                                   16

        The Clinic Building at the New Sing Sing Prison. By
        Walter B. James, M.D.                                   16

        Psychiatric Classification in Prison. By Lewis F.
        Pilcher, New York State Architect                       18

    THE WINGDALE PRISON. By Lewis F. Pilcher, New York
    State Architect                                             27


        Preliminary Note. By Hastings H. Hart                   30

        Notes on the Design and Construction of Kilby Prison.
        By Martin J. Lide, Engineer and Architect               31

    PRISON FARMS FOR WOMEN. By Hastings H. Hart                 38

        State Farm for Women at Niantic, Connecticut            38

        The Caroline Bayard Wittpenn Cottage at the New
        Jersey State Reformatory for Women                      42

    Architect                                                   45

    Architect                                                   46

    WHITE PLAINS, N. Y. By Alfred Hopkins, Architect            47

    By Albert Kahn, Architect                                   55

    DELINQUENT BOYS). By Hastings H. Hart                       59

    DELINQUENT BOYS). By Hastings H. Hart                       61

                         List of Illustrations


    CHAPEL OF NEW SING SING PRISON.                  _Frontispiece_

       A Plan for a Metropolitan Jail                            9
       Administration Floor Plan                                11
       Typical Cell Floor Plan                                  13
       Hospital and Clinics--Floor Plan                         15

        Psychiatric Building                                    17
        Typical Detail of Construction of All Buildings         19
        Outside Cell Building--North Elevation                  20
        Outside Cell Building--First Floor Plan                 21
        Detention Building--First Floor Plan                    22
        Detention Building--South Elevation                     23
        Mess Hall and Kitchen Building--Basement                24
        Mess Hall and Kitchen Building--First Floor             25

        General View                                            28

        Front Elevation                                         30
        General Plan                                            32
        Administration Building--Floor Plan                     33
        Cell Blocks--Floor Plan                                 35
        Laundry, Bath and Detention Building--Floor Plans       36

        Perspective of Reception Building                       38
        Reception Building--First Floor Plan                    39
        Reception Building--Second Floor Plan                   40
        Reception Building--Basement Plan                       41

        South Elevation                                         42
        Maternity Cottage--First Floor Plan                     43
        Maternity Cottage--Second Floor Plan                    44

        Photograph                                              45
        Proposed State Prison--Plan                             45

    PROPOSED REFORMATORY PLAN.                                  46

        General View from Approach                              47
        Administration Building--Entrance Side                  48
        Administration Building--First and Second Floor Plans   49
        Typical Floor Plans of Cell Blocks                      50
        Elevations of Corridor and Cell                         51
        Ground Plans of Corridors and Cells                     51
        Recreation Corridor                                     52
        Stair Hall--Administration Building                     53
        View of Mess Hall from Corridor                         53
        Cell Block Corridor                                     54
        Typical Cell                                            54

        First Floor Plan                                        56
        Second Floor Plan                                       57
        Third Floor Plan                                        58

        Reception Cottage                                       59
        Reception Cottage--First Floor Plan                     60
        Reception Cottage--Second Floor Plan                    60

        One-story Cottage--Floor Plan                           61
        One-story Cottage. Photograph                           62


Prison building has been for the most part suspended during the past
seven years. State prisons have been under construction at Bellefonte,
Pennsylvania; Sing Sing, New York; Statesville, near Joliet, Illinois;
and Montgomery, Alabama. Westchester County, New York, has built and
Detroit, Michigan, has begun a prison for short term misdemeanants.
New York City and the District of Columbia have partially completed
reformatories for young men. New reformatories for women have been
established in Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Iowa, Kansas, Maine,
Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and
Wisconsin. Most of them have adopted cottage plans similar to those of
industrial schools for delinquent girls. All of them are in process of
development. Most of them have erected from one to three new buildings
and are making use of old farmhouses as temporary cottages.

Comparatively few new county jails have been built. Probably the most
notable one built in the past seven years is the Hamilton County
Jail in Cincinnati, which is reported as a modern and model jail,
located in the top of the Court House, like the jails in Philadelphia,
Minneapolis, Oakland, California, and Raleigh, North Carolina. Plans
for a new county jail system at Chicago for Cook County are being
worked out by a local committee which has retained Dr. George W.
Kirchwey, of New York, as expert adviser.

From the newer prisons, a selection of noteworthy plans and
illustrations is presented herewith. They have been selected with
special reference to unusual or improved features, such as modern cell
houses, clinical laboratories, improved lighting, and sanitation.
The plans selected include state prisons in New York and Alabama and
tentative plans for a state prison and a state reformatory; plans for
single buildings at two reformatories for women; plans for cottages at
two reformatories for boys, and tentative plans for a metropolitan jail
designed by the writer with special reference to the needs of Chicago.

It was desired to include the plans of the projected prisons of
Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Illinois, but it was found impracticable.
Elaborate plans were made and published some years ago for a new Ohio
Penitentiary, but building has not commenced and it is understood
that the plans will be abandoned or greatly modified. The new state
penitentiary at Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, which is to supersede both
the Eastern and Western Penitentiaries and to provide for 4,000 to
5,000 prisoners on a farm of over 5,000 acres, was begun ten years ago;
but its development was hindered by the war, and thus far temporary
provision has been made for about 500 prisoners. Construction is
now proceeding rapidly. The ultimate plans are still in process of

The state of Illinois is erecting a great penitentiary, designed by
Zimmerman, Saxe and Zimmerman, Architects, about six miles from the
old prison site. It is intended to accommodate about 2,000 prisoners.
Two cell buildings have been erected, each containing 248 cells. The
cells are 6½ feet wide, 10 feet 8 inches long and 8 feet high, and are
intended to house but one prisoner.

The cell houses are circular, resembling a gas tank with a conical
roof. They are a practical execution of the “Panopticon” proposed by
Jeremy Bentham in the year 1787, a plan of which will be found in
Punishment and Reformation, by Dr. Frederick Howard Wines, page 144.
The interior wall of each cell is of glass and a central tower enables
the guard to keep every prisoner under observation every moment,
day and night. Each cell is well lighted by an exterior window. An
elaborate system of ventilation was installed, but on a recent visit
the writer discovered that the cell houses ventilate themselves through
the outer windows and the skylight, and the fans were not in use. It is
doubtful whether a system of perpetual espionage will find favor with
prison administrators, but the experiment is an interesting one.

Special efforts were made to obtain the plans of the new Illinois
Penitentiary for this publication, but were unsuccessful.

                                                       HASTINGS H. HART

                           A Skyscraper Jail

                Proposed Design for a Metropolitan Jail

   (A Possible Solution of the Cook County Jail Problem in Chicago)

                     _By_ HASTINGS H. HART, LL.D.

             President of the American Prison Association

[Illustration: A SKYSCRAPER JAIL



The lower floor represents the Criminal Court Building, which may have
any number of stories]

County jails are schools of crime, according to prison officials
and jail inspectors. They are so constructed and conducted that the
prisoners generally come out far worse than they went in.

No metropolitan city of the United States has yet succeeded in
constructing a satisfactory jail for the detention of prisoners
awaiting trial. The New York City “Tombs” is a gloomy pile, properly
described by its name. The ancient Charles Street Jail of Boston has
recently been reconstructed at a very large expense, but does not meet
the needs of the present day.

The county jail ought to be the most reformatory institution in
the land. It receives offenders at the beginning of their careers,
before they have become hardened and confirmed criminals. More can be
accomplished for the reformation of a young criminal in the first week
of his imprisonment than by six months’ confinement in a state prison
after he has become a confirmed law-breaker. This was demonstrated by
John L. Whitman when he was jailer in the Cook County Jail, where,
notwithstanding the most unfavorable conditions, he did wonders for the
reclamation of wayward boys and young men.

The utter inadequacy of the Cook County Jail has long been realized
by thoughtful people. The Chicago Community Trust, by request of the
Board of County Commissioners, has made a Cook County Jail Survey and
has organized a committee of representative Chicago citizens for the
purpose of abolishing the old Cook County Jail and removing the scandal
which has disgraced Cook County for more than fifty years.

                          AN OFFICIAL REPORT

In 1919, after the State Board of Public Charities had labored fifty
years to reform the county jails, the State Department of Public
Welfare made a study of the county jails of Illinois. This report
contained the following statement:

    “Illinois has 20 county jails which maybe classified as good;
    19 as fair; 41 as very poor or bad; 21 as unfit for use. Except
    for the high standard of cleanliness of the women’s department,
    it is difficult to find any good points about the Cook County
    Jail.... It is recognized as an insanitary, dark, overcrowded
    institution that is a disgrace to Cook County.... They [the
    prisoners] are locked in their cells from 11.30 in the morning
    to 3.30 in the afternoon. There are two or three men in each
    small cell (six by nine feet and eight feet high). It is
    impossible to distribute the men according to their habits of
    cleanliness or decency. Twenty hours out of each twenty-four
    must be spent locked in the insanitary, dirty, crowded cell.
    All meals are served to the men in their cells. The time for
    exercise, 9.30-11.30 A. M. and 3.30-5.30 P. M., they stand
    or walk around or sit down on the floor of the ‘bull pen’ or
    ‘exercise corridor.’ In the ‘old jail’ this ‘pen’ includes all
    the floor space of the cell house not occupied by the cell
    block. It is a big room swarming with men. In the departments
    of the ‘new’ it is the corridor into which the cells open. The
    cells are kept locked during the four exercise hours. There
    are no seats or benches in the ‘bull pens.’ In all departments
    the pens are crowded during the four ‘exercise’ hours.... Cook
    County does not furnish jail clothes for prisoners. They have
    access to laundry tubs once a week. Prisoners wash their own
    clothes.... Those who do not [have changes of clothing] manage
    the best way they can. They may wash their clothes, dry them,
    and put them on again; they may also borrow from cell mates....
    There are only 14 shower baths, exclusive of the receiving
    ward, for all the men prisoners ... (population on the day of
    inspection, 546).

    “One part of the floor space on the dark side of main cell
    house of the old jail is screened off for a hospital ward.
    There are no windows in this hospital. The air comes from the
    ‘old jail.’ It is lighted always by electric light.... The
    large airy hospital on the eighth floor of the ‘new jail’ is
    used only for special cases.”

The Committee has retained as adviser with reference to the jail
problem Dr. George W. Kirchwey, of New York, formerly Dean of Columbia
University Law School, ex-warden of Sing Sing Prison, and a leading
expert in penology. He finds all of the evils above mentioned and
many others--especially that prisoners are inevitably degenerated in
body and soul by the present conditions; that the Cook County Jail,
like most county jails, instead of being a preventive, is a prolific
source of crime; and that the county bears a heavy burden of expense in
detaining prisoners who might better be at large, as is shown by the
fact that in many cases, after several months’ detention in the county
jail, the prisoner is released by order of the State’s Attorney, either
because he is found to be innocent or for lack of sufficient evidence
to convict. He finds also that many prisoners are held because they
cannot give bail who might safely be at large pending trial, without
damage to the community.


Dr. Kirchwey recommends that steps be taken to reduce the jail
population: first, by prompt and thorough investigation immediately
after arrest, in order to ascertain whether there is sufficient
evidence to justify holding the prisoner; second, by so reorganizing
the courts as to secure speedy trials and avoid the necessity for long
detention; third, by releasing, on their own recognizance without bail,
many prisoners who, having families or having regular employment, are
not likely to run away.

Dr. Kirchwey regards the present jail site as entirely inadequate. He
would prefer to remove the jail to some other part of the city where
sufficient ground could be had to provide a suitable yard for outdoor
exercise. The present site is only 600 feet square, and it contains
both the jail and the Criminal Court Building.

The writer is in the fullest sympathy with the purposes of the
Committee and with the principles advocated by Dr. Kirchwey. He agrees
with Dr. Kirchwey that women, young prisoners, witnesses, and insane
persons should be excluded from the county jail and provided for in
separate detention houses. When this is done, however, there will
still remain an indefinite number of men, which may be 200, 300, or
at times even 500, who must be held in detention awaiting the action
of the grand jury or the criminal courts. He believes that suitable
provision may be made for these prisoners, in strict accordance with
the principles advocated by Dr. Kirchwey, in the manner hereinafter


                         EVILS TO BE REMEDIED

The evils in the present Cook County Jail, as pointed out by Dean
Kirchwey and his associate, Mr. Winthrop D. Lane, are as follows:

First, insufficient yard space for exercise and separation from the
public. The county owns a piece of ground about 600 feet square on
which are located the Criminal Court, the old jail, and the “new jail”
(built some thirty years ago). To provide a suitable jail yard with
room for exercise would require a space at least 1,200 feet square;
and even with that space the jail yard must necessarily be dark and be
deprived of the free circulation of air because of the proximity of
high buildings.

Second, overcrowding, under conditions which make it practically
impossible to enlarge the present plant, with the result of confining
two or three men in each cell. The jail should be so situated as to
permit of enlargement at any time without disturbing its general plan.

Third, lack of classification. It is generally agreed that prisoners
ought to be divided into classes according to age, color, criminal
experience, condition of health, especially with reference to
communicable diseases, and disposition to attempt escape or inflict
injury upon officers or other prisoners. Such classification is
impossible in a jail of the ancient type which characterizes the
present buildings.

Fourth, enforced association with the worst people to be found in the
county. The prisoners are released from their cells four hours out of
the twenty-four to relieve the bitterness of their confinement under
present conditions and to obtain such exercise as they may by moving
about in the crowded corridors.

Fifth, lack of employment. The constitutional provision that slavery
or involuntary servitude, except for crime, shall not be permitted
within the boundaries of the United States is universally construed to
mean that unconvicted prisoners cannot be compelled to labor. But such
prisoners may be _permitted_ to labor, to their own great benefit; and
the jail should be so constructed as to make it possible to provide
workshops where prisoners may labor voluntarily at simple employments
with proper compensation. An admirable example of the possibility
of such employment is found in the Indiana State Prison at Michigan
City in the department for insane prisoners who formerly stagnated in
the insane wards but who are now diligently, profitably, and happily
employed in a variety of simple industries.

Sixth, lack of exercise and recreation. These unconvicted prisoners
are not only entitled to humane and decent detention pending trial
and conviction, but are entitled to be kept under such conditions as
will not impair their health. Physical exercise is indispensable to
good bodily health, and we have now come to recognize that wholesome
recreation is equally indispensable to mental and spiritual health; and
it is very desirable that both physical exercise and recreation shall
be provided, as far as practicable, outdoors.

Seventh, lack of clinical and hospital provision. The majority of the
inmates of our jails are in need of medical, surgical, dental, or
psychiatric treatment. In many cases their unsocial tendencies are due,
in greater or less degree, to these conditions. It is necessary to
treat those who come in with communicable diseases in order to protect
the other prisoners and to protect the public after their discharge. It
is necessary also (a necessity which is being recognized increasingly
by judges and legislators) to enlist the psychologist and psychiatrist,
both for the study and treatment of such prisoners, in order that they
may be so dealt with as to conserve the public interests.

                         WHY NOT A SKYSCRAPER?

While agreeing fully with Dr. Kirchwey that separate and distinct
provision entirely apart from the county jail must be made for the
younger men, for women, insane prisoners, and witnesses; and that it
is desirable to locate the central jail for the older male prisoners
on a larger tract of ground in a less congested district: if, however,
it should be decided for economic reasons, or for the convenience of
proximity to the Criminal Court, that it is necessary to build the new
jail and Criminal Court on the present site, the plan set forth in the
accompanying illustrations is proposed by the writer as a possible
solution of the problem.

It must be borne in mind that the prisoner awaiting trial in the
county jail is on a different footing from the convicted prisoner.
The law provides that every person shall be deemed innocent until he
is proved guilty, and it is universally recognized that the person
awaiting trial is entitled to humane treatment. He is entitled to
decent living conditions and as little hardship as is consistent with
his safe-keeping. The theory of the law is that the prisoner is not to
be punished until he is proved to be guilty. It has been the practice
in this country to use the county jails as places of confinement for
sentenced prisoners convicted of minor offenses, and in most of the
county jails these two classes of prisoners mingle freely together. Not
only that, but insane prisoners and witnesses, accused of no crime,
are often kept in the jails, where they come in contact with other


The prevailing type of building in Chicago for offices, for light
manufacturing, for residences, is the skyscraper. Its adaptability
for public purposes is exemplified in the City Hall and Court House
Building. In New York City this type of building is being used
successfully in the Manhattan Trade School for Girls, 10 stories high,
closely resembling an ordinary office building. A roof garden, reached
by elevators, provides playgrounds which are used by the pupils in
sections at different hours. The possibility is suggested of adapting
this plan of building to the Criminal Court and County Jail.

Let the Criminal Court Building be 400 feet square, with interior
lighting courts, or in the form of a cross, with a frontage of 200 feet
on each of the four sides. Let the Court House contain as many stories
as may be needed: four, five, or six, as the case may be.

Let the County Jail start from the roof of the Court House in the form
of a cross, of which the arms will be 90 by 40 feet, with a central
rotunda on each floor about 60 feet square.

Assuming that the Criminal Court Building will be four stories high
(in the drawing a typical building of one story is given in order
to indicate the relations of the court building and the jail), the
jail proper, will begin on the fifth floor. On this floor will be the
jailer’s offices and residence, the kitchen, officers’ dining room,
officers’ lodging rooms, etc. The street elevators and the street
stairways will terminate on the fifth floor and will be connected by
a grated and guarded passageway with the jail elevator and stairway,
which will start from the fifth floor, in order to prevent escapes.
If prisoners were to “hold up” the prison elevator, they could get no
further than the fifth floor.

The “typical floor plan” indicates the arrangement of the cells. Each
floor will be separate and distinct and will contain 100 cells, each
7 by 10 feet and 10 feet high, to accommodate one prisoner. The cells
will be placed on the outside wall, with windows 4 by 4 feet, providing
abundant light and air. There will be four distinct sections on each
floor, containing 25 cells each. There will be as many floors as may
be necessary to provide for the highest estimated number of prisoners.
The drawings contemplate six cell floors which would accommodate 600
prisoners, with additional accommodation for 56 prisoners in the

The building will be planned with a view to erecting additional
stories whenever required, without change of the administrative

The arrangement of the building will be such that the cell windows will
be about 350 feet distant from the windows of the buildings on the
street opposite. These cell windows can be set at any desired distance
from the floor and the lower sash may be fixed in place and supplied
with ribbed glass.


The lower cells can be used for prisoners who are not likely to attempt
to escape, and the upper ones for those who are recognized as dangerous
criminals who are likely to escape. There will be a distance of six
feet from the top of one window to the bottom of the next above, and
the windows will be so constructed as to give the least possible
opportunity for a foothold. The height of the building will be so great
as to make escape by means of ropes practically impossible. The outer
walls will be illuminated at night and four night guards on the roof of
the Criminal Court Building can keep the entire exterior of the jail in
view. The short cell wings will be easily supervised from the central
rotundas, and the jail elevator will permit of prompt re-enforcement of
the guards on the several floors in case of necessity.

The sixth floor will be devoted to the clinics and the hospital. There
will be provision for medical, surgical, dental, psychologic, and
psychiatric clinics with two wards, 32 by 90 feet, for 22 beds each,
and a third wing containing 12 single rooms in order to permit of
isolating contagious and infectious cases.

                       EMPLOYMENT AND RECREATION

The ninth floor (the fifth floor of the jail proper) will contain an
auditorium to accommodate 600 men; four school-rooms, instead of the
one school-room in the present Cook County Jail; and four small shops
where prisoners who desire to work may be permitted to do so and to
receive their earnings for themselves or their families; these shops
to be organized on a plan similar to that of the occupational therapy
shop in the Indiana State Prison at Michigan City. This floor will
be 14 feet high instead of 10 feet, in order to give head room for
the auditorium. The auditorium will be located in the middle of the
building, in order to minimize the stair climbing of prisoners going to
that floor.


A roof garden will give opportunity for outdoor exercise. It will
contain four sections, each 32 by 90 feet, which will give opportunity
for indoor baseball, handball, tennis, walking, and so forth. The
rotunda in the central space will give opportunity for invalids
to get the benefit of fresh air. The prisoners will be divided into
sections for exercise on the roof, coming up in squads of 50 or more.
The roof garden will be enclosed in a strong netting, to obviate danger
of suicides or attempted escapes.

The separation of each floor will simplify the problem of heating and
ventilation, which will be as simple as that of any office building.
The division of each floor into four distinct compartments will permit
of classification in as many groups of 25 as may be desired. If there
are six floors, there will be 27 possible groups.


The plans here submitted will overcome all of the “evils” above
enumerated as far as it is practicable on so small a piece of ground as
the present site. First, it will provide separation from the public,
and the roof garden will give opportunity for fresh air and outdoor
exercise. The space will be small, but will be conveniently arranged
and can be equipped with outdoor gymnastic apparatus. Second, it
will do away with overcrowding by providing 600 individual cells,
with provision for adding new cells at any time without modifying
the general plan of the building. Third, it will provide abundant
classification; there can be 30 separate classes if desired. Fourth,
the evils of promiscuous association can be prevented by assembling
prisoners in small groups, under supervision, on the roof garden and
in the shops and school-rooms. Fifth, the evils of enforced idleness
will be obviated by providing shops where prisoners can be employed at
simple but remunerative tasks. Sixth, wholesome recreation and schools
will be provided in place of unwholesome association and idle brooding.
Seventh, the clinics and the hospital will prevent the jail from
becoming a breeding-place for disease.

Under these conditions the jail will become what it ought to be, a
humane place of detention for persons awaiting trial, bearing in mind
that such prisoners are presumed to be innocent in the eyes of the law
until the courts find them guilty and determine the question of their
subsequent treatment.

                       The New Sing Sing Prison

            The Clinic Building at the New Sing Sing Prison

                      _By_ WALTER B. JAMES, M.D.

        (Reprinted by permission from the _American Architect_
                         of January 28, 1920)

It is many years since men began to realize that their diseases were
not the result of a divine purpose, and so they have attempted, first,
to understand their origin, through study and analysis, and then from
these to discover means of prevention and cure. As a result of these
efforts, the prolongation of human life has more than doubled, and
the disease and suffering rate has markedly diminished and is still

To-day, resignation and patient submission in the presence of disease
of the body are no longer virtues. Mental disease has only more
recently been looked at from this same viewpoint, and gratifying
headway is being made in this direction. The world is just beginning to
realize that misbehavior or anti-social behavior presents to society a
problem somewhat similar to that of physical and mental disease.

I do not mean that misbehavior is necessarily the result of or
associated with disease, either physical or mental, although this is
often the case, but that it presents an analogous problem to society,
and that it should be attacked in the same manner, that is, through
scientific analysis and classification, the discovery of causes,
probably very complex, and the application of remedies, probably
chiefly preventive, and based upon these causes. Only in this way can
it be hoped to turn this costly waste product of social life into a
useful by-product.

                             A NEW POLICY

When the “Sage Prison Bill” became a law, providing for the demolition
of the old Sing Sing cell block and the erection there of a new study,
classification and distributing prison, and creating the “State
Commission on New Prisons,” New York State committed itself to a new
and more intelligent policy toward its offenders and toward the whole
problem of misbehavior. The new commission, commanded to carry out the
above and other provisions, soon found itself confronted by problems
that belonged essentially to modern medical science, and it turned
to the “National Committee for Mental Hygiene” for counsel, and an
advisory medical committee was formed. About a year before this,
realizing the need of a more thorough psychiatric study of criminals
along the lines that had been followed so well by Dr. Healy at the
Juvenile Detention Home in Chicago, the National Committee had placed
Dr. Bernard Glueck in Sing Sing Prison, with the consent and sympathy
of the Department of Prisons, to carry out a complete mental analysis
of all new admissions.


LEWIS F. PILCHER, _New York State Architect_]

The results of Dr. Glueck’s studies have been published in full in
“Mental Hygiene” and elsewhere, and form a valuable foundation for the
scientific handling of the mental side of prisoners.

The commission and the state were fortunate in having Mr. Pilcher,
the New York State Architect, to translate these ideals into actual
construction, and the completion of an important part of the plans,
including the Clinic Building, and, most of all, the final assigning
of the contract for the erection, insured the carrying out of this
interesting and important project.

                          THE CLINIC BUILDING

Mr. Pilcher has thrown himself into the undertaking with singular
diligence and intelligence, and has entered thoroughly into the spirit
of modern scientific treatment and research.

The newest and most original feature of the prison is the Clinic
Building, in which the study and classification of the prisoners is to
take place, and in which, as well, the general medical and surgical
work of the institution will be carried on. It provides for the
complete physical and mental examination of every inmate. It contains
the hospital wards, dispensary, operating rooms and laboratories
and X-ray plant, and indeed, it corresponds on a small scale to the
hospital of any community, but differs from this in that it assumes
that the whole population of the community may be abnormal, and
therefore requires that every member of it shall at some time pass
through the clinic for purposes of study and analysis. For this reason,
the psychiatric or mental division of the clinic is relatively more

It requires courage to attack such a problem as this, an attack that
may carry us into troublesome social fields. It seems to be a fact,
however, that no other method gives promise of relieving society of
any considerable part of this burden of suffering and cost. We must
not expect ever to be entirely rid of this burden, just as we shall
never be rid of the burden of physical and mental disease; but just
as science has diminished and is still diminishing these latter, so
we have reason to believe that similar scientific methods, properly
applied, will diminish the burden of anti-social behavior, and help
us to approach the irreducible minimum, a minimum which must probably
always exist in a human world like ours, but a minimum from which we
are at present still very far.

                 Psychiatric Classification in Prison

           _By_ LEWIS F. PILCHER, _New York State Architect_

        (Reprinted by permission from the _American Architect_
                         of January 28, 1920)

Commercial efficiency is determined by the use of the by-products of
manufacture. Prisoners are by-products of society.

The modern enterprise that used to discard as waste the by-products
of its plant now aims to reduce its overhead and better its system
by returning to the community in usable form that which in past
times had been considered as lost and unavailable material. Is it
not true that the criminal has been for the most part considered in
the past as an irreclaimable waste of society, his progress toward a
better life inhibited by being held in the strait-jacket of strictly
materialistic institutional management and maintenance? As in the case
of manufacturing concerns so in the modern penal system, its success
will be determined by the economic use, and measured, not by the
development of model prisoners enchained securely behind bastioned
walls, but by returning to society decent citizens.

In the past the achievement of positive human results has been
seemingly impossible to obtain. The chief reason for this failure
was due to the inevitable clash between institutional and political
interests that always arose and rendered abortive the many attempts
that have been made to treat successfully the complex questions of
crime and punishment.


Any betterment procedure must be in the direction of individualization.
The modern prison, penitentiary, jail or reformatory should embody in
their respective organizations the function of scientific study
of the individual prisoner--and this should be made the fundamental
element of the entire correctional process.



The side elevations show the terracing of the site and the advantages
derived from the differences in levels]


The dynamic unit of all human problems is the individual. Modern
medical science makes the appraisal of this unit possible through
the medium of psychiatric treatment and social service research. An
undertaking, however, which is really consciously intent on reclaiming
the individual prisoner to the limit of his capacity with a view
of preventing future returning to misbehavior, would be hampered
in its effect if it were to concern itself solely with the native
endowments of the individual prisoner. The source of the prisoner’s
particular being, life, is a dynamic process; and every contact the
individual makes throughout life not only leaves its impression on
him, but shapes his mental attitude toward his environment. Thus, it
is obvious that the housing problem, touching as it does every phase
of the life of man, is of fundamental importance, for the environment
determines, through the influence of the associative imagery of the
inmate, a control of his conscious acts and the mechanization of the
conscious acts of the prisoner establishes his habits. The manner in
which the prisoner has been handled in the past has unquestionably
been responsible, if not for the great amount of criminal careers,
certainly for the confirming of the individual in his life of crime.
The character and kind of prison we have had, in the past, had as its
sole aim to achieve mediæval security; a housing condition crude and
archaic in conception, which has not helped to relieve and protect
society against the spirit of crime, but on the contrary has actually
tended to its increase.

Here in New York City the municipality protects the interests of
its citizens by the enactment of a structural and sanitary code.
Structural safety and physical security and health are provided for
all classifications of human activities under the maturely established
provisions of that code.


Typical floor plan of Detention Building, a basement and four-story
outside cell building. This plan shows the arrangement of cells against
outside walls, which gives to each inmate direct sunlight and air]

                        A PRISON PLANNER’S CODE

Scientifically, psychologically and practically important as is the
structural side of this great prison problem, I have yet to see
any workmanlike attempt to establish for prison planners a code so
carefully developed and yet with an elasticity to adapt it to various
localities and climates, to the end that the inhumanity of the present
day, 1920, toward prisoners would be for all time impossible.

The tremendous security and help that such a code would provide for the
development of state prisons and jails and reformatories is at once

The complete findings of a competent Code Committee would be the
average of the experience of all penal housing problems throughout the
country and should be determined by a two-group committee, acting under
an organization of national scope. In one group should be available
the experience and suggestion of the leaders in penal administration,
medicinal, psychiatric, industrial, vocational, educational and
religious activities. The second group should consist of a small number
of architects, engineers or contractual experts--men who have actually
planned and structurally executed prison buildings and whose practical
experience would enable them sympathetically to translate into
constructive form and crystallize the theoretical standards recommended
by the sub-committee on strictly scientific phases.

As it is an admitted fact that apperception and interest are the
cardinal principles of thought foundation, it may be seen that the
chance of improvement in the prisoner will vary in accordance with the
thought and action required of him. In order, therefore, that this idea
may be efficiently carried out, the prisoner, immediately on commitment
to prison, should receive the benefit of an expert clinical examination
to determine through his mental and economic possibilities what branch
of work he should follow during his term of imprisonment to insure a
better existence and a chance to live a decent and productive life
after discharge.

                         A DISTRIBUTING PRISON

The new Sing Sing, therefore, has been planned as a Classification
and Distributing Prison, from which the prisoner, after a definite
determination has been made of his mental, physical and economic
possibilities, will be assigned to that State institution best suited
to his individual demands. For example, if it be found that a prisoner
is physically unsound, he will be sent to an institution where he
can be therapeutically bettered; or, if mentally deficient, to an
institution where he can be scientifically treated, and, if possible,
given work that will enable him to direct his minimal capacity so as to
exempt him from purely custodial care.

The construction and location of the buildings at Sing Sing mean much
more, therefore, than the mere erection of a series of large prison
buildings for the detention of those who have violated the laws of
the State. It will exist as a twentieth century prison elixir, which
will take the recrement of society and so purge and refine it that the
result will advance, rather than retard, the onward and upward movement
of humanity.

                         STUDY OF THE PRISONER


In order fully to understand the problem of prison registration,
let us follow the course taken by the convict upon his arrival at
the Sing Sing of the future: Immediately upon entering the prison
grounds, the Court Officer conducts him to the arrival room in the
basement of the Registration Building. Here he is turned over to the
prison authorities, who take and receipt for his personal property
and clothes. The civilian clothes are removed for disinfection and
storage. He is then led to the baths, situated across the hall from
the property room. After being thoroughly bathed, and subjected to a
hasty medical inspection, clean prison clothes are provided. Then,
contagion from outside sources having been removed, the prisoner is
lodged in a classification cell on the first floor, to await his turn
for examination in the rooms provided for that purpose on the second
floor. When the examiner is ready for him, he is taken upstairs to be
photographed, weighed, finger-printed and generally “Bertilloned,” and
is then sent across the hall to be given a preliminary examination for
the determination of his general physical condition. This over, he is
led to the educational examination room, where facts concerning his
birth, occupation and general history are recorded, and an examination
conducted to determine both the extent of his education and his
occupational skill. Following that comes a careful mental examination
in which the findings of those just preceding are fully utilized. As
a result of these different examinations his first classification is
made, subject of course to change from examinations to be conducted

                       THE REGISTRATION BUILDING

Besides containing the general Administration Offices, the Bureau of
Registration and the Record Bureau the Registration Building will
include a reception room where prisoners may converse with visiting
relatives and friends. In the past this problem of a reception room for
the visitors to prisoners was a difficult one for prison authorities,
as it was practically impossible while allowing prisoners a reasonable
amount of freedom for the discussion of private and confidential
matters to prevent the transfer of weapons, liquors, drugs and
implements of escape. This difficulty, however, we think, has now been
successfully solved through the following arrangement: Two parts of a
large room are separated by two wire nettings, so placed that they form
an enclosed passage six feet in width, where guards can be stationed to
prevent any attempt to pass articles to the prisoners without, at the
same time, interfering in the carrying on of a conversation.










Adjacent to the Registration Building, and on the same high plateau
overlooking the Hudson, is the Temporary Detention Building, with cell
rooms on separate floors, so arranged as to place the prisoners under
the constant supervision of the clinical experts, who will conduct
their examinations in the adjoining Clinic Building.

                        THE CLINICAL LABORATORY

The clinical laboratory was developed under a medical commission
composed of: Dr. Walter B. James, President of the New York Academy of
Medicine; Dr. Charles W. Pilgrim, Chairman, New York State Hospital
Commission; Dr. Thomas W. Salmon, Director of the National Committee
for Mental Hygiene; Dr. G. H. Kirby, Director of the Psychiatric
Institute of the State of New York; Dr. Isham G. Harris, Superintendent
of the Brooklyn State Hospital; Dr. Carlos F. MacDonald, Alienist, and
Dr. W. F. Brewer, Surgeon. Provision has been made on the first floor
for a modern X-ray apparatus and its various accessories; three rooms
for the physician in charge of the venereal examinations; a surgical
laboratory; rooms fitted for the examinations of the eye, ear and
throat, psychiatric and psychological examining room, dental operating
room and laboratory, and a laboratory for the use of the staff working
in the diagnosis and examination rooms.

On the second floor is a quantitative and qualitative laboratory; a
museum, a recording room, a library and lecture rooms, and on the third
floor are surgical wards, subdivided for major and minor operative
cases, together with medical wards, so planned as to have ordinary and
chronic medical cases in separate divisions. The hospital is to be
freely used for detailed observation as well as for treatment.

The fourth floor contains a complete operating department with two
operating rooms, one for major and the other for minor operations, each
having separate sterilization facilities, together with preparation,
etherizing and recovery rooms, while the remainder of the floor is
given up to rooms for the male nurses and a convalescent solarium.

                     A TRAINING SCHOOL FOR NURSES

In addition to using the building as a clinical hospital for the
housing of psychiatric and medical requirements of the prison, it is
also planned to use it as a school for the education of male nurses, as
it is found that efficiency in prison nursing is directly proportional
to the nurse’s understanding of the relation of scientific, medical and
psychiatric knowledge to the peculiar problems of a prison community.

The entire Sing Sing project includes kitchens, dining rooms, library,
school, vocational shops, recreation hall, roads, walks, a modern
sewage plant, a power house to heat and light the many buildings and
to operate the industrial plants, and a church for the development of
religious and community ideals.

In addition to the proper placing and co-ordination of the structures
and their component parts, and the abolishment of unsanitary conditions
in the interiors, by the architectural treatment of buildings and site,
a great step forward has been taken in the creating of a proper and
fitting atmosphere and environment. The old idea of the ugly, heavy
barred and broken walls, which produced the dismal, forsaken, isolated
and jail-like appearance of former prisons, has been discarded. In
their places will be many-windowed, substantial brick structures,
extending from the river to the plateau in the rear of the elevated
site, in dignified and well-proportioned stages.

The causes which formerly created in prisoners the feeling of being
entombed, useless and hopeless exiles have been done away with. It
is our hope that ideals of respectability, industry, efficiency and
co-operation will arise from these new prison conditions and make
strong, beneficial and lasting impressions on the mind of each prisoner.

It is only by such utilization of the experiences in allied fields and
their thoughtful application to prison conditions that progress may be
hoped for in solving this important human problem.

                          The Wingdale Prison

           _By_ LEWIS F. PILCHER, _New York State Architect_

       (Reprinted by permission from the _American Architect_ of
                           January 28, 1920)

The more advanced of the modern penologists are rapidly discarding the
old theory that a certain humanity and kindliness should be eliminated
from society’s dealings with its less responsible citizens. They are
substituting in its place the idea that the majority of criminals are
not inherently bad, but, lacking the idealistic principles of good
citizenship which result from environment and education, are only

If we accept this new theory, and make negligible the assumption that
most criminals have inherited a tendency toward wrong-doing, it becomes
necessary for us to revise many of our ideas concerning the government,
discipline and housing of prisoners, and to acquire an impressionable
quality of mind susceptible to new theories and experiments which
concern the welfare and advancement of our less fortunate fellow men.

With all these things in mind, and with the desire to do our part in
ameliorating prison government, the Commission on New Prisons has
endeavored, in the building of the Wingdale Prison, to achieve a good
architectural result combined with these essential reforms. In order
that these aims may be fully understood, I shall attempt to explain
both the architectural plan of this new prison and the reasons for
selecting a sloping rather than a level topographical site.

                       ARCHITECTURAL PRECEDENTS

If one surveys the history of civilization and investigates the growth
and final results of the structural plan of either religious or civil
communities, it is at once apparent that the final housing scheme of
any given settlement is determined by the topography of the region of
its location.

For example, the study of the settlements of antiquity shows that the
higher locations were universally chosen as the sites of palaces and
temples, and that where the configuration of land did not permit of
such natural elevation, mounds or raised crepidomas were constructed,
in order that by means of the terraced elevations a distinction might
be made between the different degrees of religious prominence.

That the Egyptians who inhabited the level areas of the alluvial Nile
appreciated the psychological effect of such terraced elevation is
shown by the architectural arrangement of their temples. To emphasize
the hieratic mysteries, the worshiper was led from a pyloned gateway
into an atrium with a pavement slightly graded above the level of the
dromos. This atrium, open as it was to the effects of the brilliant
Egyptian atmosphere, offered a subtle psychic preparation for that
elation of soul which stimulated the novitiate when, after ascending
the steps on the far side of the atrium, he entered the sombre shadow
of the hypostyle hall. This elation increased in many cases to a
religious ecstasy when the novitiate ascended into the upper region
where the esoteric mysteries were performed.

A simpler expression of this religious constructive arrangement may
be seen in the Temple of Kohn. Here the priestcraft developed a form
of temple construction which crystallized all the associative imagery
of man and reflected in its different stages of elevation of the
various sections the relevant distinctions of class and the progress of
humanity toward its idealistic goal.

Thus in the low grade level of the atrium the light, the air, and
freedom of movement suggested that lack of function and freedom from
formal life which exists among the multitudes; the conscious effort of
ascent in walking from the atrium to the hypostyle hall suggested the
difficulties of rising from a lower to a higher social order, while the
further ascent to the small, calm and dimly illuminated holy-of-holies
symbolized the fact that only through struggle, loneliness and pain may
a devout one hope to attain the quiet and sublime dwelling place of the

When the Greeks rose to intellectual and artistic position they evolved
the Greek form of temple, which was simply an Hellenic translation,
through the medium of the Mosaic temple, of the Egyptian hieratic
imagery. Perhaps the most typical of these temples is the great marble
Parthenon (438 B. C.) which was reared upon a three-stepped crepidoma,
a worthy stylobate support, a marvelous peristyle, reminiscent of the
open air atrium of its Egyptian prototype. Further on, and beyond the
peripteros, and at a higher level, the pronaos led through a great door
into the shrine chamber of Athena. Thus did the architects, Ictinus
and Callicrates, express in much the same manner as the Egyptians the
essence of crystallized human experience.


LEWIS F. PILCHER, New York State Architect]

In the flat country of Mesopotamia the architects built lofty zekkurats
in order to provide high substructures for the crowning cella or
shrine, and these lofty, temple-capped pyramids had a materialistic
as well as a spiritual value in that they helped to form in the minds
of the people an ideal as to the position in the community of both
temporal and spiritual power.

To the north, at Khorsabad, a city of Assyria, the rulers constructed,
as part of the great wall, an enormous plateau. This artificial mound,
towering as it did some sixty feet above the level of the city, was
used as a place of residence for the king and his court, while back
of it, and so high that it bathed the plateau with its shadows, was
constructed the many-stepped, cella-crowned temple of the priests. Thus
religion looked down upon royalty and royalty, in turn, on its walled
city with its level streets and multitudinous inhabitants, and thus in
this segregated and self-sufficient community a natural and unwitting
psychological arrangement of class housing was worked out by these
early architects.

This same community phenomenon which we have noted in the Orient
existed at the same time at Mycenae, Thyrns, Argos, Attica and
Rome,--the heights being always occupied by the rulers, the foot-hills
by the nobles and the adjacent plains by the people.

By these few examples taken from the religious and civil architecture
of early civilization I have endeavored to show that class distinction
tends to express itself through the use of different housing levels,
the height of each group being directly proportional to the power
of its social division, thus giving a concrete expression to the
theoretical grades by which the human mind differentiates the social
status of the people who comprise any given group.

                        APPLICATION TO WINGDALE

If we apply this rather pragmatic psychology to the problem of
planning a new prison, we find it obvious at the outset that a prison
population forms, together with its dependencies, a complete segregated
community and therefore presents few phases which have not been
successfully solved in the various treatments of community houses in
past eras. Bearing in mind both this and the psychological principles
which determine the function of any segregated community, it becomes
perfectly clear that the old system of plotting an entire prison plan
on an absolutely level piece of ground does not agree with either the
teachings of history or the psychological principles which determine
the site of community housing, and it thus becomes manifest that if we
are to plan a prison which will be both a protection and a benefit to
society we must select our site and construct our plans with the idea
of having different grades of elevation for different degrees of social

If, remembering this, we summon practical experience to our aid we find
that a prison population divides itself naturally into three major
divisions, two of which are composed of actual inmates and a third of
those in authority over them. The first and largest of these groups is
made up of sub-normals and general recalcitrants who of necessity must
work, eat, and sleep under constant and direct supervision. These will
be confined in strong, well-guarded buildings situated within a walled
enclosure and the work which they do will be such as can be efficiently
done within the comparatively small space to which they are restricted.

The second group, composed of prisoners who have shown themselves
worthy of trust, will be allowed privileges which are denied the first.
A concrete expression of these privileges will consist of lodging them
in buildings situated on a higher level and with no enclosing walls,
thus allowing them to carry on dairying, farming, stone crushing and
similar industries.

As the working out of our community idea demands that the governing
class occupy a higher site than those they govern, we have planned an
adjacent but higher elevation for the offices, dwellings and other
buildings necessary for the proper maintenance of a model prison.

In our plan for the new Wingdale Prison we have attempted to express
a prison which will meet the scientific and historic precedents which
we have at our command, and we fully believe that our plan will exert
as beneficial an influence on our prisoners as did the noble monuments
on the Acropolis at Athens on the humble people who constructed their
mud-brick houses at its base.

      Kilby Prison--The New Alabama Penitentiary Near Montgomery

                           Preliminary Note

                     _By_ HASTINGS H. HART, LL.D.

Alabama was the last of the Southern States to retain the convict
lease system. The system has been very profitable, having produced for
several years past more than $1,000,000 per year of net revenue.

The last legislature decreed the abandonment of the convict lease
system in January, 1924, and in preparation for this change the State
has undertaken the construction of the most elaborate prison in the
south, with the possible exception of the United States Prison in

Under the laws of the State the prison managers have authority to
expend the revenues from convict labor for land and improvements.
Acting under this authority, Gov. Thomas E. Kilby; Hon. C. B. Rogers,
President of the State Board of Control; and Dr. William F. Feagin,
Warden General of the penitentiary system, have united in the effort to
perfect a model southern prison.

The general plan of this prison was suggested by the Minnesota State
Prison, with the important change, however, of adopting the outside
cell system instead of the interior cage system. The adoption of
the outside cell plan of construction increases the opportunity for
escapes; therefore the prison wall surrounds the entire prison. None of
the buildings except the office building is on the outer wall.

Following the example of the United States Government prison at
Atlanta, the cells above the first tier are constructed to accommodate
five prisoners each. The lower cells for one man each are of generous
capacity, 7 feet wide, 10 feet long, and 8½ feet high, with an outside
window for every cell, and elaborate ventilation system.

Alabama has about 3,000 prisoners. The new prison is designed to
accommodate 800 men, with plans for enlargement to double that
capacity. The remainder of the State convicts will probably be kept,
as heretofore, in prison camps and employed on State farms. It is
probable that the prison at Speigner, with the State cotton mill, will
be continued, at least for the present.

[Illustration: FRONT ELEVATION]

The employment of prisoners in the cotton-mill industry has been
successfully tested at Speigner, and it is purposed to establish a new
cotton mill at Kilby Prison which will employ the greater part of
the prisoners. It is proposed to manufacture cotton cloth suitable
for shirting and to establish a shirt factory where the cloth will be
manufactured into shirts for the market. The manufacturing will be on
State account, the shirts to be sold at a contract price agreed upon in
advance under certain standards of quality.

A large farm is attached to the prison where a model dairy has already
been constructed with a herd of 90 Guernsey cows and an extensive

It is expected that this new departure will bring Alabama from the rear
of the procession in prison administration to the front rank.

         Notes on the Design and Construction of Kilby Prison,
                       Near Montgomery, Alabama

             _By_ MARTIN J. LIDE, _Engineer and Architect_

Kilby Prison is designed essentially as an industrial prison. There are
about 3,000 State convicts in Alabama. The labor of the majority of
these heretofore has been leased out, principally to mining and lumber
corporations. The State is poor in revenue and backward in education.
It is, therefore, essential that these convicts be put to productive
work in order that they may be at least self-sustaining. By act of the
Legislature the leasing of convicts must cease after January, 1924. In
order to receive these convicts from the mines and lumber camps and to
place them into productive work this prison is being constructed.

As will be noted from the ground plan, the prison, exclusive of the
administration building, is contained within a surrounding walled
enclosure. The wall is about 20 feet high, 12 inches thick at the top,
and 20 inches thick at the bottom, and sits on a concrete mat 6 feet
wide. At the four corners of the wall are concrete guard towers, and on
one side there is a lock gate 120 feet long, equipped with steel doors
suspended with rollers. The walls are 1,000 feet long at the front and
are 1,200 feet long on the sides. The wall is constructed in sections
30 feet long. Expansion is taken care of by the construction joints.
During cool weather these joints were painted with tar, the thickness
of the coating depending on the temperature at the time of the pouring.
The concrete aggregate was mixed in the proportion of 1: 2: 4 parts
of cement, sand, and gravel, the sand and gravel being mined on the
property by the State. At the top of the wall four strands of barbed
wire are mounted, alternate strands being charged to a potential of
6,600 volts, and the other strands being grounded. The connections to
these strands are such that in case the charged wire is either cut or
short circuited, an electric siren will blow.

It will be noted from the ground plan that the administration building
is in front of the prison on the outside of the walls. Thus all
free office employees work outside the prison. The administration
building is a one-story building of brick and concrete. Connecting the
Administration Building with the cell house is a corridor flanked on
either side by rooms whose purposes are set forth in the ground plan

                            MAIN CELL HOUSE

The main cell house is a monolithic concrete structure veneered with
brick and with cement tile roof laid on steel purlins. All cells and
walkways are of concrete. The cell house contains five tiers of cells,
the first tier being composed of single man cells and the remaining
four tiers of five or six man cells. The single man cells are 7 feet
wide, 8½ feet high, and 10 feet deep, and the multiple man cells are
of the same height and depth, but are 22 feet wide. The rows of cells
are separated by a 15-foot corridor with an open well in the center
and with 3 feet 6 inches walkways in front. Every cell has one or
more windows which are screened, barred with tool-proof steel guards,
and equipped with counterbalanced steel sash. The cell building is
so constructed that the multiple man cells may be converted into
single man cells at any time in the future. Toilets and lavatories are
provided for each cell. Forty-eight-inch roof ventilators are mounted
on the cell house at 15-foot intervals. These ventilators also have
fans mounted in them, the fans being driven by a common line shaft from
a motor in the attic. By means of these fans it will be possible to
completely ventilate the cell house at intervals, the air being drawn
in from the windows and discharged from the roof.

As will be noted from the plans, large day-rooms or school-rooms
separate the two wings of the cell house. These rooms are located on
the second and third floors. These rooms will be used for religious
purposes, as school-rooms, and for rest-rooms during rainy Sundays and
holidays. In the rear of the cell house is a corridor flanked on either
side by rooms whose purposes are explained on the ground plan. The
corridor connects with a concrete and steel building in the rear, one
wing of which will be used as a detention cell house and punitive cell
house and the other wing as a utility house.



                         DETENTION CELL HOUSE

The detention cell house is two tiers high and contains 60 single man
cells, each 6 by 10 feet, and 8½ feet high. These cells are otherwise
similar to the single man cells in the main cell house. As may be
inferred from the designation, the detention cell house will be used
as a clearing-house for all new State convicts. All new convicts will
be sent here for a quarantine period of ten days to two weeks. During
this period the new convict will be given a careful mental, moral, and
physical examination, and his past history will also be investigated.
Obviously, the purpose will be to protect the prison body from the
infectious diseases brought in by new convicts, to correct physical
defects in the new prisoner, to make the necessary identification
records, and to study the mental and physical characteristics of the
prisoner, in addition to his past history, in order that he may be
properly classified. By this means the mental and physical degenerates,
confirmed criminals, and diseased criminals may be isolated from their
fellows by placing them in the single man cells. It will also be
possible, by proper classification, to segregate convicts of the same
social and moral strata into the same multiple man cells.

At the outer end of the detention cell building is the punitive cell
building, containing 24 concrete cells supplied with mechanical
ventilation. Twelve of these cells will face the windows and will
thus be solitary light cells, while the remaining 12 cells will face
the dark corridor and will thus be solitary dark cells. In future,
confinement and other methods of punishment will supersede corporal
punishment in Alabama prisons.

On the opposite wing from the detention cell house is a utility
building which is a brick and steel building containing clothing
storage rooms, laundry, shower-bath, clothing and shoe repair room, and
locker room for the clothes.

                         KITCHEN AND MESS HALL

A concrete and brick corridor, 10 feet wide, connects the detention
cell house with the kitchen and mess hall in the rear. Space is
provided between these two buildings for the future construction of
another cell house which will double the cell facilities.

The mess hall and kitchen consists of an open brick and steel building,
with brick walls, steel trusses, cement tile roof, no ceiling, and with
concrete floor. The building is approximately 65 feet wide and 225 feet
long. Forty-eight-inch ventilators are mounted between each pair of
trusses. Steel factory sash with large ventilators are used throughout.
All windows are barred and screened. The mess hall will also be used
temporarily as an auditorium for speakers and picture shows. On the
opposite wing from the mess hall is the kitchen, which will be equipped
with steam cooking equipment. In the rear of the kitchen is the cold
storage plant, consisting of vegetable, meat and ice storage rooms,
and a complete refrigerating plant. In the rear of the mess hall is a
covered concrete walk connecting same with the power plant. This walk
is of permanent construction, with cement tile roof. The essential
purpose of the shed covering the walk is to protect prisoners from the
rain in going to and from the factories in the rear of the prison yard.

The power plant is located at the end of the covered walk. It consists
of a brick and steel building with cement tile roof and concrete
floors. The boiler plant consists of three 200 H.P. boilers connected
to a radial brick stack 6 feet 6 inches in diameter by 150 feet high.
In front of the boilers is a concrete bin underneath the railroad
tracks, which are on the yard grade. The power plant contains a 100
K.W. emergency lighting generator, switchboard, vacuum pumps, feed
water pumps, heater, and piping. All buildings are supplied from the
power plant with vacuum steam heat, hot water, and electricity through
a system of tunnels which connect the power plant with all buildings.
Hot water is also supplied to the several buildings from a large heater
located in the laundry room.


To the left of the prison proper is located the hospital, as indicated
on the ground plan. This building is of brick and concrete, with cement
tile roof. In general, as indicated, the hospital consists of a central
administrative and operative portion, connected to wings at either
end by means of corridors which are also flanked by rooms. Racial
segregation will take place by placing white and colored patients at
opposite ends of the hospital. At each end of the hospital are provided
surgical and medical wards, each connecting into a sun-room.

By the construction of an additional cell house in the space indicated
by the dotted lines on the ground plan, and by the construction of an
additional kitchen and mess hall between the present mess hall and the
power house, the population of the prison may be doubled. The present
prison is designed to accommodate 800 prisoners on a basis of five
men to the large cells. By putting six men in the cells, however,
the present population may be increased to something over 900. By
constructing an additional mess hall and kitchen, racial segregation
may be more completely effected.


The present capacity of the hospital is 32 patients, but this capacity
may be increased by extending the surgical and medical wards.

At the rear of the prison a cotton mill and a shirt factory are being
constructed to consume the labor of the present prison population.



The dominant consideration in the construction of the present prison
has been the question of the maximum possible economy in first cost
consistent with permanency and the security and welfare of the
prisoners. All buildings are practically fireproof, but are no larger
than are absolutely essential, and as far as possible all non-essential
features have been eliminated. All essential utilities, such as a
complete telephone system, alarm signal system, steam heat, an adequate
lighting system for both the interior and the exterior of the prison,
hot and cold water, etc., have been provided.

                             OUTSIDE CELLS

Economy in first cost was the guiding consideration in the construction
of the cell houses, although a monolithic concrete structure with
brick veneered exterior walls is by no means a cheap construction. But
it is a permanent and safe construction. Economy in the construction of
the cell house was secured through its compactness.

The outside type of cell house can be made practically secure for all
classes of prisoners when surrounded by an outside wall of adequate
height, with its top guarded by high tension charged wires, provided
the windows to the cell houses are barred with steel-proof window
guards and the prisoners are reasonably well guarded.

The relative hygienic and physiologic advantages of the outside and
inside cell construction I will not discuss here except to say that we
considered the outside cell construction manifestly superior in both
of these respects. While we consider these features very important in
a permanent prison, the question of economy in initial cost was also
important in that the outside cell type of prison is a considerably
narrower prison for the same cell capacity, and, furthermore, since
continuous mechanical ventilation is not essential with the outside
cell type, it can be more densely occupied, which further promotes
economy in construction.

In designing the outside cell type of prison the problem is one of
providing a certain definite external wall area for the sides of the
prison, since for given dimensions of cells and a specified number of
these cells a definite external wall area is required. The problem of
maximum economy in construction then resolves itself into a question
of providing the maximum of wall area with the minimum of floor area.
Two general forms of outside cell buildings have been proposed: one,
the narrow rectangular type adopted at the Kilby prison, and the other
the cylindric type. It is demonstrated in geometry that of all figures
a circle has a maximum of area for a given length of periphery, while
a very narrow rectangle or quadrilateral has a minimum of area for a
given periphery. It is, therefore, obvious that for a given external
wall area, or a given cell capacity, the narrow rectangular type is
more economical in first cost, since it reduces the ceiling and floor
area to a minimum.

Economy in construction was also promoted by constructing our cell
house five tiers high instead of four tiers, as is more usual.

Finally, additional economy was secured by the use of the multiple
man cell. Our multiple man cells accommodate six prisoners, while
three single man cells of the same cubic contents containing two
partitions, two extra prison doors and locks, two extra lavatories, two
extra water-closets, two extra radiators, with all of the necessary
connections to these utilities, will only accommodate half as many
prisoners. It will, therefore, cost more than twice as much in
cell-house construction to incarcerate a given number of prisoners in
the single man cells than in the six man cells.

It will, therefore, be noted that we have secured economy in cell-house
construction (which is the most expensive item of prison construction)
by increasing the density of occupancy in the cell houses. But this
density of occupancy carries with it responsibilities in the matter
of providing adequate ventilation for the inmates. Recognizing this
responsibility, we have designed our cell house to secure the very
maximum of natural ventilation. This is secured, first of all, by a
very large proportion of window area to wall area; by ventilating
the windows top and bottom; by constructing the cell house with a
cross-section shaped like a chimney, with a large number of large
ventilators on top of an open pitched roof, so as to secure the very
maximum of chimney effect and also the very maximum effect from breezes.

Finally, to insure an adequate supply of ventilation in the summer,
when there may be neither wind nor temperature difference, we have
mounted disc fans in each ventilator, driven by ball-bearing shafting
from a push-button-controlled motor. By this means the cell attendants,
by pushing a button, will be enabled to flood the cell house with fresh
air at any time the air becomes foul, and since the attendants will be
on the inside of the prison, where the air will be most foul, they will
probably make use of their opportunities.

Apart from humanitarian considerations, which in a large measure should
dominate the designer of a prison, there is also the economic question
of securing the maximum mental and physical output from the prisoner
while at work. In an industrial prison a man can do more and better
work if he sleeps and rests sufficiently. If the cotton mills are to be
operated double shift during summer months with a large portion of the
population sleeping during hot summer days, it is doubly important that
the prisoners be confined in well-ventilated and sanitary quarters.
This fact we have borne in mind in the design of the cell houses at
Kilby Prison.

                        Prison Farms for Women

                     _By_ HASTINGS H. HART, LL.D.


Several States are developing prison farms for women on the cottage
plan. We present herewith plans of two cottages recently constructed
at the Connecticut State Farm for Women at Niantic and the New Jersey
Reformatory for Women at Clinton.

   State Farm for Women at Niantic, Connecticut--Reception Building

State reformatory institutions for women are rapidly being developed
in the United States. The first two institutions of this class,
the Indiana State Reformatory for Women at Indianapolis and the
Massachusetts Reformatory for Women at Framingham, were prison
structures, less rigid and formal than typical prisons for men, but
still following prison models.

In the meantime the cottage system for younger girls grew up, and it
was soon found that delinquent girls could be safely kept in ordinary
cottages without any surrounding wall and without prison construction.

When the New York State Reformatory for Women was built at Bedford,
cottages were erected instead of a large congregate building, and the
gates of the institution stood open day and night. While occasionally
escapes took place, the number was not large, and the fugitives were
usually speedily recaptured.

All the new institutions for delinquent women are on the cottage plan,
and in most cases the cottages are of simple construction, without
window gratings, strong bars, walls, or even fences. In some cottages
an iron grill protects the lower sash; sometimes this grill is masked
by window plants.

The Connecticut State Farm for Women receives women committed for
misdemeanors from all parts of Connecticut. There are only eight women
convicted of felonies in the Connecticut State Prison at Wethersfield,
but a considerable number of women are still committed to the county
jails throughout the State. All the women at Niantic are committed for
criminal offenses.

Three old farmhouses have been refitted to serve as cottages, and one
new Reception Building has been erected to accommodate 27 incoming
women. This is a wooden building, similar in construction to a
well-built farmhouse. On the first floor are a kitchen, a dining-room,
a living-room, and a reception department for incoming prisoners, with
hospital wards, isolation wards, and accommodations for officers.


The dining-room and living-room are practically one room, so that the
dining-room with its tables is available as an evening sitting-room and

On the second floor are single rooms for inmates, with accommodations
for the matron and her assistant. The rooms are about 7 by 10 feet.
They are simply but neatly furnished. Notwithstanding the fact that
this cottage is designed for the incoming prisoners who are most likely
to run away, the doors of this house are unlocked throughout the day.

The farm contains about 500 acres. Three old farmhouses, having been
repaired and supplied with plumbing, furnish houseroom for three groups
of women, each under charge of a matron. No one of these buildings
is in any sense “secure”; but escapes are infrequent, and escaping
prisoners are usually recaptured.


The only secure place on the farm consists of three small “thinking
rooms” located in the basement of the receiving cottage. These rooms
have strong doors and barred windows. Their construction is not
satisfactory, but they will be replaced by more suitable detention
rooms when additional buildings are erected.

The present buildings are inconvenient and ill adapted to the care and
supervision of the women. When permanent buildings are erected, the
work of the officers will be greatly simplified; but the probability is
that the new buildings will be of simple construction, similar to that
of the buildings that have already been erected.


The small number of escapes from the Connecticut State Farm for Women
and Clinton Farms in New Jersey appears to be due to the establishment
of a certain morale among the women. This morale rests partly on the
fine spirit of the superintendents and their staffs, partly upon the
certainty of recapture, and partly upon the spirit of the inmates.
Running away is contrary to the practice of the place. “It isn’t done.”

Newcomers have to be carefully watched for the first few days until
they overcome homesickness and become won to the place. After that they
are less likely to attempt to abscond.

     The Caroline Bayard Wittpenn Cottage at the New Jersey State
              Reformatory for Women, Clinton, New Jersey

We present herewith the plan of the maternity cottage of the New
Jersey State Reformatory for Women. This cottage is designed for
the reception, care, and treatment of young mothers and babies. The
building is 102 feet long and 40 feet wide, with a rear extension 24 by
28, containing the kitchen on the first floor and bedrooms for inmates
on the second floor. The whole aspect of the house is cheerful and
there is no appearance of a prison about the place.

The building contains 20 sleeping rooms for inmates, with a sleeping
porch having room for ten additional inmates, and having a separate
dressing-room for each person. There is a nursery for 12 or 14 infants,
with a large sleeping porch.

The building is so arranged on both floors as to minimize the amount
of waste space. There is a corridor on each floor which is only 60
feet long and 6 feet wide. This corridor terminates at each end in a
large room so as to avoid unnecessary corridor space. The rooms for the
inmates are about 6½ by 10 feet. Each room has a good outside window.

In this cottage kitchen space adequate for preparing of mothers’ and
infants’ food is provided. A diet kitchen adjoining the larger kitchen
assists in the preparation of the infants’ food. A dumbwaiter shaft
extends from this diet kitchen to the second floor, where a small diet
kitchen for food service and storage of milk formulas is provided. In
this diet kitchen is a refrigerator especially adapted to the needs.
This refrigerator is six feet high and six feet wide, porcelain lined,
with shelving specially planned to hold wire baskets containing the
regular eight ounce nursing bottle. No other foods except the milk
formulas are kept in this refrigerator.

Room is provided in the basement for milk pasteurizer with 144 bottle
capacity. This is connected with high pressure steam.

Adjoining the nursery is a specially equipped infants’ bath-room. A
small bath-tub and two bath-slabs provide ample bathing facilities for
both small infants and those of larger size. Tiled floors and hard
finished walls make this a most sanitary arrangement.


FRANCIS H. BENT, _Architect_]

This building is constructed entirely of hollow tile and stucco
corridors of cement, and rear stair and front stair fireproof towers
of metal, and fire glass construction with cement stairways. The
room floors and nursery floor, living room floor, and dining room are
of hardwood construction, but you will note that all exits and main
corridors are fireproof.

General plan of using gray slate roof on our institution buildings has
been adopted. Dormer windows in the roof give ample storage space in
the attic for clothing and other stock. The laundry is situated in the
basement, and here the mothers are taught properly to care for their
infants’ clothing.

The other cottages are similar to those which are built for younger
delinquent girls in State industrial schools, without prison
construction, strong doors, or window-bars, except that in some
cottages the lower window-sash is protected by an iron grill which
obstructs but does not prevent egress. Some of the cottages are old
farmhouses which have been repaired and equipped with plumbing in order
to adapt them to their present use.


It must be borne in mind that all the women in this institution are
committed for criminal offenses, including many petty offenses and sex
offenses. They include also such crimes as grand larceny, burglary,
assault with intent to kill, atrocious assault and battery, highway
robbery, and manslaughter.

There are no walls or high fences surrounding the buildings.

Notwithstanding the absence of prison walls and prison buildings, the
number of escapes is very small and escaping prisoners are usually
recovered within a few hours.

The institution was opened January 8, 1912, and it has received 584
women. Of these, 33 have escaped, of whom 25 have been recaptured and
8 still remain at large. This makes a record of only one and one-third
per cent of successful escapes, which in view of the absence of prison
restraints is a remarkable record. It certainly justifies the policy
of the Board of Managers in adopting the cottage plan and discarding
prison walls.


                   Proposed Plans for a State Prison


ALFRED HOPKINS, _Architect_]

In 1915 Mr. Alfred Hopkins, architect of the Westchester County
Penitentiary, drew tentative plans of a large state prison for the
New York Prison Association. These plans were drawn in consultation
with the late Dr. Orlando F. Lewis, Secretary of the Association. Mr.
Hopkins describes the plans as follows:


It was proposed to house 1500 inmates, all told. These were divided
into four general classifications: the main or institutional group was
to contain 800 inmates, a disciplinary group was to house 150 inmates,
a defective or abnormal group was to contain 150 inmates, and the honor
group in cottages was to house 400. By looking at the accompanying plan
it will be seen that the institutional group is composed of eight cell
blocks of 100 men each, four cell blocks disposed on either side of the
main court and all joined by a connecting corridor, establishing two
general classifications which are consistently maintained throughout
every function of the institution.

The cell blocks are three stories high, each floor separated and
segregated from the other floors, which makes 24 classifications--all
that will ever be required. There are two bath-houses, one for each
group of four-cell blocks.

The administration building is placed at one end of the court and the
mess hall at the other. The mess hall is arranged with entrances at
each end so that the two general classifications can be kept separate
in the dining room as well as in the school-rooms on the floor above.
On the third floor is the large auditorium. This has been set back at
the ends so as to let into the main court the maximum amount of air and

To the right of the institution are the cell blocks and shops for the
hardened offenders who will be confined here and will not leave their
quarters. On the corresponding side to the left is the hospital and
the quarters for the abnormal and defectives. The power house, over
which is a gymnasium, is located behind the institution. The shops
have been placed so that they form a large enclosure, giving two
athletic fields with the gymnasium between and used jointly for both,
so that the two general classifications of the institution group each
have their special fields for exercise. In front of the institutions
is the cottage group, whose inmates will work largely in the fields.
The cottages are all in smaller units where the men may be housed in
dormitories or in single rooms.

                    Proposed Plan for a Reformatory

                      ALFRED HOPKINS, _Architect_

This tentative plan was developed by Mr. Alfred Hopkins, Architect,
along lines suggested by Superintendent Frank Moore, of the New
Jersey State Reformatory at Rahway. It provides for three general
classifications: An Administration and Custodial Group, an Agricultural
Group and an Industrial Group; the various departments of the
institution being connected by a covered passageway. Mr. Hopkins
remarks: “While this plan is only in the nature of a preliminary
sketch, it is interesting in showing that a practical prison man is
quite willing to get away from the old idea of supervision which
established the radiating plan and the long type of cell block.”


ALFRED HOPKINS, _Architect_]

  Westchester County Penitentiary and Workhouse, White Plains, N. Y.

                   _By_ ALFRED HOPKINS, _Architect_

                  (First published in February, 1918)


ALFRED HOPKINS, _Architect_]

The Westchester County Penitentiary is a simple form of the type of
a plan whose various parts are brought together by the use of the
connecting corridor to provide indoor circulation throughout the group.
This system of design is well known in connection with other types of
building, but seems to be new to prison architecture. Indeed, such an
arrangement would have only been tolerated in the present attitude
toward the offender. Modern penology demands, first of all, adequate
possibilities for segregation and classification. These are of vital
importance in the administration of the modern penal institution,
and cannot be properly had in the huge cell block. To achieve this
classification and segregation, the connecting corridor offers the
greatest possibilities.

                          THE GENERAL PROBLEM

The general problem was as follows:

Westchester County had purchased at East View, at a very reasonable
price, a fine estate of some four hundred acres of exceptionally
tillable land. On this property it was proposed to build a Poor House
for about 700 and a penitentiary and workhouse for about 350, all
short-term prisoners, the maximum sentence being thirteen months. Most
of the men were to be employed on the farm, but in an institution of
this size there are always men who will do better in shops so that the
two kinds of work ought to be available. The plan was to build the
institution by contract and the shops by prison labor.

The general scheme is set forth clearly in the plan, and it may be
said that at the very beginning it was determined the men should be
housed in smaller units than was usual. There are four cell blocks
of three tiers each, all with outside cells, there being 27 men on a
floor and 81 to a cell block. The connecting corridor 16 feet wide
runs approximately east and west, and to this are joined the four cell
blocks on the south, and on the north the reception building, the
refectory, and school building. Between the two central cell blocks
is placed the administration building, connected to them by an open

The administration building has on the ground floor the warden’s
office on one side of the hall, and the clerical office on the other,
and in the rear, a long corridor which has been called the “guards’
corridor” but which will be used largely for the intercourse between
the prisoners and the public. On the second floor of the administration
building are quarters for a hospital and some rooms for the officers.
It will be noted that the officers’ rooms on the second floor and
the guards’ rooms on the third floor are accessible from the public
space, but the hospital is accessible only from the prison side. In
other words, the hospital is in the fortified portion and the guards’
quarters in the unfortified. The main stairway goes up to the third
floor of the administration building, devoted entirely to guards’
rooms, and these were made large enough so that two guards could occupy
one room, and while this is not generally advisable it was a wise
forethought because some of the rooms have already been used in this


The hospital quarters are small, because in the prison with the
individual room a man who is sick is better off in his cell than he
would be in a general hospital ward, and the men very frequently prefer
to stay by themselves.

The prisoners brought to the institution enter the bath and reception
building at the rear, where the process of their reception is as


They enter to the left, where they undress and bathe. Their clothes are
tied up in a bag, temporarily placed in a metal-lined closet, which
can be fumigated, and later taken to the general county farm laundry
and sterilized. After the prisoner has had his bath he goes into the
doctor’s office, where he is given a careful physical examination, and
here also are made the finger-print and other records of identification
which are very desirable from many points of view.

He then goes to the barber if necessary and has his hair cut. It is not
now the custom to crop all prisoners’ heads unless the actual physical
condition makes such treatment necessary. After he has been given clean
underclothes and a clean prison suit he goes to the warden’s office
and is there interviewed by him. The prisoner is told what the rules
of the institution are, and his first meeting with the warden is of
consequence to both, as it gives the warden an intimate opportunity to
regard and to counsel his man, and the prisoner his first intimation
of what is expected of him and what his treatment will be. After
his interview with the warden the prisoner is placed in cell block
3 to stay during the period of observation, which is usually about
two weeks. This is not only for the purpose of finding out what his
physical condition may be, and to guard against the development of
contagious disease, but also that the prison authorities may make the
equally important diagnosis of his mentality, from which is largely
determined his future treatment.

                        OBSERVATION CELL BLOCK

This cell block set apart for the observation period of the inmate
adjoins the administration building, and it is easy for the warden to
be in frequent touch with the new men. An inmate who is only sentenced
for a week or ten days would never leave this cell block, but would
serve his sentence and be released from there. Men confined for a
longer period, however, would be assigned to whatever classification
seemed best after the observation period expires. In the reception
building are also included the shower baths, twenty-seven in number, so
that all the inmates of each floor may be bathed at one period. Shower
baths are frequently put in the basement, about the worst possible
place for them at all times, but especially in a prison. At Westchester
no quarters of any kind were put in the basement. It was determined at
the outset that all requirements should be accommodated above ground,
a very wise provision for every prison building. Adjoining the shower
room is a store room which would be small under ordinary circumstances,
but in this instance there is a large general storehouse which will be
maintained independently for the penitentiary and workhouse.



The school building contains four rooms with accommodations for 30
pupils in each school-room.

                               MESS HALL

The mess hall has been laid out so that the prisoners will sit at the
table in the ordinary way, facing one another, with alternate wide
aisles for service. Feeding the prisoners in a large mess hall has now
been generally adopted in this country, and is infinitely better than
the continental system of feeding them in the cell. Man is a gregarious
animal, especially when his waywardness has landed him in prison,
and the old systems, which aimed at the solitary confinement of the
prisoner and tried to reform him by opposing all the things which were
natural to him, were as stupid as they were cruel.

Over the mess hall is the auditorium, large enough for all, with two
stairways so that the inmates from cell blocks 3 and 4 may be separated
from those in cell blocks 1 and 2, and the connecting corridor has been
divided by mesh grilles, so that these two general classifications
which are very desirable may be maintained.

                        THE CONNECTING CORRIDOR

The connecting corridor is not only advantageous in permitting all
portions of the institution to be reached under cover, but has been
very desirable as a place of recreation for the prisoners. It will be
noted that it is cross ventilated by windows north and south and that,
with its extended southern exposure, it makes a very satisfactory place
for recreation and exercise in bad weather when the men cannot work
outdoors. A signal advantage, too, arising from this type of plan is
that the cell blocks on the second and third stories are lighted on all
four sides because of the one story height of the connecting corridor.
The cell blocks are not only closed off from the connecting corridor
by a glass partition, but at each floor the corridor between the cells
is again closed off from the stair hall so as to make the quarters for
the men as quiet as possible. The intolerable banging, rattling, and
reverberation of the usual steel cell in the huge modern cell block is
one of the chief things to be said against it.

It will be noticed that the institution as planned resolves itself into
three courts, all of which will be kept in grass and planting and will
look as little like the usual prison enclosure as is possible to make
them through gardening means.


                         THREE DOMINANT IDEAS

In designing Westchester the dominant idea was to accomplish three
things: first, to create an institution which would look as little like
the conventional jail as possible; second, to give each inmate the
privacy of a separate compartment; and third, to build a county jail
that, without giving much more in appearance and accommodation than the
old type, should not exceed it in cost.

[Illustration: PLANS AND CELLS


With the first idea in mind the bars to the windows were all located
on the inside of the sash, instead of on the outside, so that this
distinguishing mark of the usual penal institution should be as little
evident as possible.


By a special dispensation of the New York State Prison Commission
permission was given to place the bars six inches on centers instead
of the usual four and one-half inches on centers. The windows were
designed so that only three bars were necessary. These are painted
light in color, and consequently offer much less obstruction to the
light. They are of tool-proof steel, and as the inmates are all
short-term men, the desire for escape is not so great as in the longer
term prisoner. At the time this idea was developed the author would
have hesitated to put long-term men behind prison bars which were so
readily accessible to the ingenuity of the accomplished crook, but he
would not hesitate to do so now.

In the cells a toilet has been placed where it will be screened as
much as possible, and the usual prison seat has been arranged to close
down over it and conceal it almost entirely from view. The cell walls
have been painted a soft gray, and each cell has a cot, a table and
chair, a shelf and hook for the prisoner’s clothes, and a wash-basin.
The dining-room has been furnished with very creditable looking tables
and chairs, and the floor paved with a bright red tile, and the
dull monotony of color usual in a prison building has been avoided
throughout the institution.


                           THE OUTSIDE CELL

In designing the Westchester County Penitentiary and Workhouse, the
second ambition realized by the author was to give each prisoner an
outside cell. When the plan was first developed, three years ago,
the outside cell was much more a matter of controversy than it is at
the present time. The inside cell of the American prison is a type
peculiar to this country, and its design is based on the principle
that the prisoner is to be retained above every other consideration.
Consequently our jails have been designed with what has come to be
known as “interior cells,” that is, the cells are placed not against
the outside walls, but in the center of the building, back to back,
separated by a passageway from three to four feet in width, referred to
as a utility corridor, in which all the plumbing and ventilating pipes
are placed. The space between the outside of the building and the front
of the cells is frequently divided by a steel grille forming two long
corridors, the outside corridor being called the guards’ corridor, and
the inside corridor, next to the cells, the prisoners’ corridor. The
object of this division was to protect the guard from the prisoner,
for this system is devised on the theory that every jail building must
be constructed on the basis of making it safe for the worst possible
criminal which might ever get into it. Indeed, every once in a while a
guard is killed by a prisoner; but so every once in a while a man is
killed crossing the street, but this does not mean that our streets are
unsafe, if reasonable care is observed in traversing them.

                     LIGHT, HEAT, AND VENTILATION

Placing the cells in the center of the cell block makes it possible
to fill the outside wall with windows--in fact, a proportion of light
area which came to be established was that the outside wall should be
50 per cent glass. The radiation was placed between the windows, which
open like louvres, and with an exhaust fan in the top of the utility
corridor it was possible to draw the warm fresh air through the cell to
the roof, thereby obtaining very satisfactory results in heating and


While a good deal may be said for such a prison from the standpoint
of its mechanical heating and ventilation, from the standpoint of the
welfare of the prisoner hardly too much can be said against it. The
great disadvantages of the cage type of cell are the complete loss of
all privacy to the inmate, the inhuman and grotesque appearance which
it gives to his confinement, and the difficulty of providing really
adequate segregation and classification. Important prisons like the
Great Meadow Prison of New York State and the prison at Stillwater,
Minn., both of which are renowned for enlightened and efficient
administration, have this inside cell arrangement. These prisons,
however, were constructed when very little was known of the outside
cell construction, and many practical prison men were largely against
its adoption.

There is really no place in this country where it is possible to study
adequately the outside cell, long advocated by our more progressive
penologists, so that the author made a tour of Continental prisons
for the sole purpose of discovering wherein lay their advantage and
how they should be designed to make them suitable to this country and

                       CONTINENTAL CONSTRUCTION

In the Continental prison the chief difficulty with the outside cell
is found in its ventilation. In England the windows are intentionally
made loose fitting so that they cannot lie entirely closed. Where it
is possible to close the windows tightly, insufficient ventilation
invariably results during cold weather because the great majority of
prisoners seem to shun fresh air and invariably keep their windows shut.


Two methods are in use abroad for ventilating the outside cell, but
neither is adequate. The English way is to build in the front wall of
the cell a panel of special bricks which are made with diagonal or
curved openings which will let the air through, but which will not
permit the prisoner to see through. This arrangement is intended to
ventilate the cell into the central corridor; but the central corridor
is usually quite as much in need of ventilation as the cell itself.
In the majority of English prisons the cell blocks are four tiers
high, the cells being on the outside walls reached by galleries with
the central corridor running clear through from main floor to roof.
This is always bad, as such interior spaces can only be lighted and
ventilated through the roof; and while overhead lighting is always
questionable, overhead ventilation is still more so. This condition is
made worse as the cell block increases in length, and some of them, as
at Pentonville, I think, are 175 feet long. This method of reaching the
cells from galleries came about as a means of facilitating supervision,
for the guard standing on the main floor has a view of all the inmates
as they come out of their cells. As a matter of fact, the top galleries
have very little supervision owing to their distance from the guard’s
station. Better supervision is had and better discipline maintained
when the cell floors run through, for then a guard may always be on the
same floor with the prisoner. This arrangement also makes for better
classification and greater quiet throughout the cell block.


On the Continent, and in some of the older English prisons, the cells
are ventilated by ducts or flues built in the walls, each cell with
its separate flue, the registers of which are sometimes controlled
by the guard from the corridor, but usually by the prisoner from the
cell. The results of this method of ventilation, however, did not seem
satisfactory to the author on the chilly February days when he was in
Holland and Germany, for without exception he found the cell windows
shut, in spite of the prison rules requiring that the prisoner shall
always keep his window open.

Apart from this one point of ventilation, to the mind of the most
casual visitor there can be no question that there is a great advantage
in the privacy afforded by the outside cell. The doors are closed and
the discipline and quiet of the prison are perfect. There are no cat
calls through the night, nor is there the intolerable argument and
vile language which are continually bandied back and forth in many
American prisons, and particularly in our miserable county jails. This
one thing, the lack of privacy, if there were no other, should condemn
the inside cell system for all time. There is nothing in the suggestion
frequently made that the outside cell is another name for solitary
confinement, except where such a system is intentionally carried out,
as formerly was the practice.

[Illustration: TYPICAL CELL]

As our modern prisons are administered, the men are fed in a general
mess hall and not in the cell, and with the work on the farm and in
the shops, and in the freedom which is now permitted in the recreation
periods, there is not the slightest reason to feel that the inmate has
anything to endure in the outside cell at all comparable to solitary

In New York State the regulations of the State Commission of Prisons
are very precise on one point, and that is that each cell must have
a toilet and a wash-basin. At Westchester vertical shafts were
constructed between each pair of cells to contain all the plumbing
pipes for those fixtures. The basins are designed so that the prisoner
may drink from the flow of water, which is from the outside of the
bowl rather than the wall side, thereby doing away with the necessity
of a cup. The closet is suspended, fastened to the wall and not the
floor, and equipped with a vent connected to galvanized pipes and ducts
which are controlled by an exhaust fan, there being one fan for each
cell block. This is a simple and effective way of providing against
the prisoner’s habit of closing his window in the winter. The toilet
has been placed behind the wall of the utility duct and is screened in
that position. In the usual type of the inside cell block the closet is
placed squarely in front of the door, with no screen whatever, and no
effort seems to have been made to give it any privacy.

                       VENTILATION BY CELL DOORS

The cell doors operate on an automatic device, with which it is
possible to open all the doors at once, or each one individually.
The author’s contribution to this device was that they could also be
locked five inches open. In this way it is possible in warm weather
to ventilate the cell into the central corridor; which in turn is
ventilated at each end by accessible windows across its entire width.
It is true that the prisoners can look out through the five-inch
opening and communicate with one another across the corridor; but if
this privilege is abused, the door can be closed separately and the
offending inmate may be disciplined without affecting the comfort
of the others. In the new cell block at the Eastern Penitentiary at
Philadelphia the cells have been equipped with two doors--one of solid
wood and the other an iron grating. In warm weather the grating only
is used, and if a prisoner becomes unruly or noisy, the wooden door is
closed. The upper portions of the doors at Westchester are glazed, as
they always should be, because it is necessary for the guard at all
times to see if the prisoner is in his cell.

Almost the whole problem of the outside cell lies of course in the
window. Our climate is such in summer that it would be almost inhuman
to put a man in a cell and shut the door without providing adequate
window area. The English cell with its small window opening would be
intolerable here. So would those in the Holland and German prisons,
where the windows are hinged at the bottom and open at the top. The
Westchester windows are steel sash of the usual casement type except
that they are pivoted top and bottom 4 inches from the jamb. This
enables the window to be readily cleaned on each side. The window opens
at right angles to the wall, and the opening is entirely adequate for
our weather conditions, the window being two feet wide and four feet
high. The adjuster is a commercial type, and will keep the window open
at 90 degrees, 45 degrees, and about 15 degrees.

           Proposed Plans of the Detroit House of Correction

                     _By_ ALBERT KAHN, _Architect_

The plan of the new Detroit House of Correction is the result of a
careful survey of the most recently designed penological institutions
and the assembling of what was considered best about them, adding such
features as seemed desirable to the Hoard of Commissioners and its

                       CORRELATION OF DIVISIONS

Foremost in the general scheme is the proper correlation of the various
divisions, for administration, the admission, care, and education
of prisoners; the workshops and recreation courts. With all, the
idea of preserving the prisoner’s self-respect as far as possible
and impressing him with the idea that while he must receive deserved
punishment, every chance of rehabilitation is offered him.

A study of the plans will reveal the fact that the center wing houses,
the administration offices, the receiving rooms for prisoners, the
social service offices, and all departments general to the institution,
such as visitors’ rooms, commissary rooms, main dining-room, kitchen,
main auditorium, chapel, hospital wards, educational rooms, and
library. Thus located, they are close to the administrative center and
make for easy supervision.

                            TEN CELL BLOCKS

On both sides of the central wing are placed the cell blocks, connected
by a corridor wide enough to serve as recreation space. By this
arrangement privacy is assured the prisoners and freedom from the gaze
of visitors to the more public departments of the institution. Ten
cell blocks, five on each side, and each three stories high, afford
opportunity for the segregation of prisoners, which is so essential.
General baths and barber-shops are placed in the center of each group.
The cell blocks in the main are of the outside type, though for the
most hardened prisoners and for punishment some inside cells are
provided. The floors, however, are entirely separated, the regulation
cell block being avoided.

[Illustration: FIRST FLOOR PLAN]

The prisoners enter by a private drive, and through one of the exterior
courts, into the receiving room, which is adjacent to the social
service offices and close to the administrative offices.

[Illustration: SECOND FLOOR PLAN]

The kitchen and main dining-room occupy the extreme south end of the
center wing, and the latter is accessible to the prisoners without
traversing the more public corridors. Directly above the dining-room
is placed the auditorium, with a stage, all equally accessible to the
prisoners. Opposite the auditorium is the chapel. The second floor of
the administration building is given over to the hospital, dispensary,
etc.; the third floor to classrooms and library; also quarters for

                           A MODERN FACTORY

The Industrial Building forms the south group. It is planned along
the line of modern factory construction, with concrete floors and
ample daylight. It is arranged for progressive woodworking, the raw
material being received at one point, passing through the machines to
the other end of the plant, then up to the second floor, and back to
the shipping-room adjoining the receiving-room. Dry kilns of the most
approved type and proper trackage for railway shipment are provided;
also a garage for trucks and a machine shop.

The power and heating plant is located on the center axis north of the
Industrial Building. The general laundry adjoins the heating plant.
On the second floor of this building the gymnasium is placed. This
building divides the open space into two courts for the recreation
of the two classes of prisoners. Each court is adequate, in size for
baseball and other games. The ground occupied rises considerably to
the north, whereby opportunity is offered to keep the recreation
courts fully 12 feet below the first floor level, and for a full
basement, which affords ample and well-lighted space for the Commissary
Department, tailor shop, shoe shop, and other shops and store-rooms of
all kinds.

[Illustration: THIRD FLOOR PLAN]

                         PRISON WALLS OBVIATED

As will be noted, save for a short connecting wall, the buildings
themselves form the enclosure of the courts, whereby forbidding walls
are obviated.

The buildings throughout will be fireproof constructed, in the main
of reinforced concrete, and faced on the exterior with tapestry
brick. Spanish tile will be used for the roof of the center building.
Such trimmings as occur will be of Bedford limestone. The exterior
is treated in the character of Lombard brick architecture, which
style lends itself particularly well to the problem. All ostentation
has been avoided and architectural effect has been sought in the
general grouping and proportions rather than in the ornamentation;
nevertheless, the psychology of attractive buildings has not been

Particular attention will be paid to the proper setting of the
buildings and to the planting of trees and shrubs about them. Placed a
considerable distance back from the main road, and partially concealed
by trees and the undulating land, a certain degree of privacy desired
by the Board will be secured.

The aim of the Board and its architect throughout has been to produce a
group of buildings economical in construction and maintenance, though
attractive and sanitary, and easy of supervision, while assuring the
prisoners privacy and comfort. Through proper surroundings it is hoped
to strengthen their manhood.

    Reception Cottage at the Hawthorne School (for Delinquent Boys)

  Maintained by the Board of Jewish Guardians at Hawthorne, New York

                         _By_ HASTINGS H. HART




The Receiving Cottage of the Hawthorne School is an admirable example
of a dormitory cottage for boys. We present herewith a photograph of
the exterior, together with the first-and second-story plans.

The hall on the first floor terminates at one end of the house in the
living-room, and at the other end in the dining-room, economizing
space. The living-room has windows on three sides, and has an
attractive fireplace. The dining-room at the opposite end of the
cottage has also windows on three sides. The kitchen is so arranged
as to give cross ventilation, both east and west and north and south,
in hot weather. The first floor has also a small sewing room, with
suitable storage.

On the second floor there are two dormitories, each containing 10 beds.
Each dormitory is connected with shower bath, toilet, and locker room,
so arranged that the day clothing of the boys is locked up at night.
The second floor contains a commodious room for the matron, with bath
and a room for a monitor.



The arrangement of the cottage is such that there is not an inch of
waste space and its appearance outside and inside is very attractive.
The building is thoroughly well constructed, with excellent hardwood
floors which are maintained in perfect condition after five years’ use.

The Hawthorne School has developed by the process of evolution,
which has produced four types of cottages, each new one presenting
improvements upon its predecessors. It illustrates the advantage
of building institutions by successive steps in order to profit by

   One-Story Cottage at the Thorn Hill School (for Delinquent Boys)

                         _By_ HASTINGS H. HART

The Thorn Hill School is an institution for delinquent boys maintained
by Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, and located at Thorn Hill, 20 miles
north of Pittsburgh. When the school was instituted, in 1911, on the
advice of the writer, two wooden shacks, without basements, with a
capacity of 24 boys each, were built for temporary use. These buildings
were well constructed, with floors of southern pine and were ceiled
with southern pine, and equipped with good plumbing.


Soon after some excellent two-story brick cottages of modern
construction were built. The superintendent said to one of the house
fathers: “You have done so well in this temporary cottage that we
intend to give you one of the new cottages.” The house father replied
that he and his wife would prefer to remain in the one-story cottage.
This preference led to a study which resulted in the construction of
three one-story brick cottages, two of which had a small basement under
a part of the building, and the other had no excavation. The first two
one-story cottages were planned by Mr. T. E. Billquist, architect, and
have been in satisfactory use for a number of years.

The writer said to one of the cottage matrons: “You have worked in a
one-story cottage and in a two-story cottage: which do you prefer?”
She replied: “The one-story cottage is greatly to be preferred. The
matrons in the two-story cottages are tired to death climbing up and
down stairs. When they are upstairs, the boys are doing mischief on the
first floor, and vice versa. But I can stand in the door of my room and
can see the kitchen, the dining-room, the living-room, the porch, the
dormitory, and the locker room, and it makes the work very much easier.”

We submit a photograph of the exterior and floor plan of a one-story
cottage, which was built without any excavation. Heat was supplied by
natural gas, which simplified the problem. The dormitory contained
20 beds and was readily overlooked from the adjoining room of the
house father. The foundation and the floor were of concrete, and the
superstructure of brick. A large part of the work of construction was
done by the boys.

In the first two cottages small basements contain heating apparatus,
lavatories, and playroom for stormy weather. All of these one-story
cottages are attractive in appearance inside and out. The temporary
one-story “shacks,” built in 1911, are still in use. They cost only
$4,000 each.

The one-story plan is gradually coming into favor. At Mooseheart, the
great institution for dependent children, maintained by the Loyal Order
of Moose, they have adopted as a standard cottage unit a one-story
cottage for 16 children, with two dormitories containing eight beds


Designed by FRANKLIN H. BRIGGS, _Superintendent_]

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