Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 91.djvu/579

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Popular Science Monthly


��any other style of prison architecture. The most striking sanitary feature is the lighting. Each cell, being on the per- iphery of the building, has an outside window; in addition, by means of a sky- light and refracting glasses, direct sunlight reaches every cell every clear day. The small height in comparison with the diam- eter — each cell-house is 150 feet in diameter — makes little refraction necessary, even for direct sunlight to reach the cells on the north side on the lower floor. It is expected that on clear days each cell will have at least two hours of direct sunlight on short winter days.

��ture of seventy degrees in the cells when the outside temperature is ten below zero. A radiator is placed in each cell. There is also a lavatory and water-closet for each cell, with running water.

Although ease of administration and sanitation have been given great attention, there has been no neglect of the primary purpose of the buildings — to confine pris- oners. In fact, the close observation made possible by the circular arrangement, the elaborate construction to prevent egress at the windows, and the front and doors of glazed steel make escape all but hopeless.

���The circular construction makes excellent lighting possible. Each cell has an outside window and gets the benefit of the skylight. The guard enters his cage through an underground passage so there are no resounding footsteps to warn the prisoners when he is approaching or leaving

��Fresh air is furnished through ducts in the triangular shaft between each pair of cells. Air is drawn from the outside over blast heating-coils and through a water spray washer; it then passes directly to each cell in the building. As each cell is really an individual room, the air leaves through the transom over the door and is forced out through the central space and into the open air through an opening in the skylight. In the usual prison the cells are supplied from the foul air in the corridors. Of course the windows, opening on the outside, may be used for supple- mentary ventilation.

The heating system, which is entirely independent of the ventilating system, is sufficient to maintain a uniform tempera-

��The plan of construction is, in its way, as remarkable as the plan of the buildings. All the work is done by honor prisoners working under the direction of a general superintendent and a foreman chosen by civil service examinations. Although the new buildings are outside the old prison- walls and the men are unguarded, not one attempted to escape at the time of a recent outbreak in the penitentiary proper. The work has been considerably delayed because the number of honor men has not been as large as was planned for.

Though the general plan marks a radical departure from the old style prison, there seems to be little doubt that it will be widely copied by other states when new con- struction work of this kind is undertaken.

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