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Monthly Archives: August 2013

The architecture of prison emerged as a result of the existence of power. Power once exist in imperial society in a pyramid structure : the top of the pyramid sets the regulations for protecting both its own power and the benefits of its general public. Once there are people who do not follow the laws and are not able to overtake the top power. They are regarded as crimes or violations and being isolated by the society in a space called prison.

It is hard to find a prison in city centers. Prisons are always far away from the center and invisible from the general public. It is also common in the old times that prisons are built on the islands like the island pianosa, Santo Stefano and Ventotene. The architecture itselfs provides security and supervision to avoid the escape of prisoners . For example, the panopticon building is designed in a way that the watchman is always in front of the prisoners. The prison is an isolated system from the society, but at the same time they are an activator of the society. The existence of prison bring job opportunities, it links with the society subtly. Once the island of Santo Stefano was dis-functioned, the island was abandoned because the people who lives there are workers in the prison and their families.

Nowadays we are trying to  create a peaceful environment for the society, organizations are fighting for prisoners’ rights and their necessary integration to the society. It has been years that italian prisons are famous for overcrowding. Prisoners are living in a poor condition. The organizations started to find opportunities on fields like production, cultural and agricultural for the prisoners to engage with the society. In Livorno the prison Casa di Reclusione di Gorgona the prisoners make bread and the breads are sold to local kindergartens and supermarkets. In Genoa, the prison Casa Circondariale di Genoa Marassi the prisoners has a major production on T-shirts and they are well sold to the society. Other than that there are lots of prisons  involve in theater field.

As an integration to the society these activities undoubtedly presents the abilities and the importance of the prisoners in the society. They are no longer the abandoned and the lowest layers of the society. They started to find a way to be part of the society and to achieve a mutual beneficial situations. Although the prisoners still live under restrictions, this integrations allows them to get back to the society easier in the future and help them to avoid crimes again.

Of course we started to find a balance in between the prison and the society. But these integration activities are still under controlled and sometimes they became a propaganda for businessmen and the organizations on getting public attentions. Things that are made in prison should not became an advertisments. They should be treated equally, with no separate eyes.

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