The Panopticon Essay

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The panopticon is a type of punishment where the prisoner is left alone but is on constant surveillance. The idea behind this punishment technique is that prisoners will behave for fear that someone is watching. In a panopticon there is a round room with jail cells in the wall. There is a central tower where a guard is supposed to keep an eye on the surrounding cells. The cells are made for only one person and there is a solid wall in between each cell so that prisoners cannot communicate. There are also bars in the front of the cell so the guard can keep an eye on the prisoners. The source of light in a panopticon is a light source coming from a small window on the outside of the cell. The purpose of constructing a prison this way is to keep the prisoner in seclusion. On the other side of the spectrum you will find the dungeon. The dungeon is based on corporal punishment. Prisoners are locked up together in a dark room, tied to the wall with chains, beaten, etc. In terms of punishment the panopticon is the most ethical form of punishment as well as the most effective form of rehab for criminals. Those who would disagree with the idea that the panopticon is an ethical form of punishment would argue that it is wrong to leave the prisoners alone. They would have a problem with the permanent solitary confinement. They would argue that the prisoners should be allowed to leave the cell every now and then. They would have a problem with the fact that the prisoners have no privacy because of the constant visibility. They would not like the fact that the prisoners are not allowed to socialize with anyone else because they do not have a chance to make any friends or even help pass the time by just hanging out with someone who is also in their position. They would argue that it is unfair to put the prisoners under so much psychological abuse, and would hate

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