Front Page Titles (by Subject) SECTION VI.: DEAD-PART. - The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 4
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SECTION VI.: DEAD-PART. - Jeremy Bentham, The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 4 
The Works of Jeremy Bentham, published under the Superintendence of his Executor, John Bowring (Edinburgh: William Tait, 1838-1843). 11 vols. Vol. 4.
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It will be necessary, on a variety of accounts, to reserve some part of the circuit of the building for other purposes than that of being disposed of into cells. A chapel, a part of the establishment for which a place must be found somewhere, occupies upon the present plan a considerable portion of the inspection-tower. Even the whole of that circle, were there to be no chapel, would not suffice for the lodgment of all the persons for whom lodgment would be necessary. There must be a chaplain, a surgeon, and a matron; especially, if besides male, there should be female prisoners, which in a building of this kind there may be, as we shall see, without inconvenience.† Should the establishment not be of sufficient magnitude to call upon the chaplain and the surgeon for the whole of their time, and to give a complete lodgment to those officers and their families, some sort of separate apartment they must still have, the surgeon at least, to occupy while they are there.
To such an establishment, not only a governor, but a sub-governor, will probably be requisite: and for the sake of giving an inspecting eye to the approach without, as well as for other purposes, it will be necessary, as we shall see, that the former, and convenient that the latter at least, should have an apartment fronting and looking out that way. And for the lodgment of the governor, at least, there will be required a space sufficient for a style of living, equal or approaching to that of a gentleman.‡
There must therefore be some part of the building, over and above the central, provided for the lodgment of these several sorts of curators, and consequently not like the rest, disposed of in the form of cells. The part of the circuit thus sacrificed and blocked up, as we shall see, by a projecting front, is what I call the dead-part.*
To take from the cells the whole of the space thus meant to be employed, would absorb a greater part of the circuit than would be necessary, and thus make an uneconomical diminution in the number of prisoners capable of being provided for. To obviate this inconvenience, in a building of 120 feet diameter, which, were the whole of it disposed into cells, would, by having 24 double cells in a story, and six such stories, contain 288 prisoners, I take, for supposition’s sake, for the dead part, a space no more than equal to five such cells.
To obtain what further room may be requisite, and that without any further prejudice to the number of the cells, I add a quadrangular front, projecting, say for instance 20 feet, reckoning from a tangent to the circle. This, with the help of the space included by a perpendicular drawn from such tangent to the last of the cells thus sacrificed on each side, would form a considerable projection, extending in front about 73 feet.† By this means, the officers in question might all of them possess some sort of communication with the exterior approach, while the back part of the space thus appropriated would give them communication with and inspection into the part allotted to the prisoners, and, to such of them as required to be stationed in the heart of the building, access to their common lodgment in that place.
The front, thus formed, would not however require to be carried up to the utmost height of a building so lofty as the circular part, viz. upon the present plan about 68 feet, roof included. Prisoners, as their occasion to ascend and descend recurs, as we shall see, at very few and stated periods, may be lodged at almost any height, without sensible inconvenience;‡ but this is not equally the case with members of families in a state of liberty. The ceilings, though higher than those of the cells (which are 8 feet in the clear,) would not require to be so lofty as the distance from floor to floor in the inspection part; a number of stories, though not so great as six, yet greater than three, might therefore be thus alloted. To dispose of the surplus to advantage, I omit a height at top equal to and level with that of the uppermost story of cells. The corresponding part of the circuit of cells, comprehending a space equal to that of five of these double cells, is thus restored to the light, and free to be converted into cells.∥ This part, or any of the cells composing it, may answer upon occasion the purpose of an infirmary.
It possesses in this view a peculiar advantage: The front may have a flat roof, which, being raised to the level of the floor, or the bottom of the windows of this infirmary part, and covered with lead or copper, will form a terrace, on which convalescents, though incapable of the fatigue of descending and reascending, may take the air. A space of 73 feet in front, and in width where narrowest, (viz. at its junction with the circle,) 20 feet, and where widest (viz. at the furthest part from the circle,) near 32 feet, would afford very convenient room for this purpose; and the separation between the males and females might here likewise, if thought necessary, be kept up by a partition wall cutting the terrace in the middle.
A more convenient infirmary could scarce be wished for. The only expense attending it, is the difference between that of a flat and that of an ordinary roof for the quadrangular projection over which it looks; and even this difference is not an essential one. On the ordinary plans, while there are no sick, the infirmary is vacant and useless. Such need not be the case here. Guarded and watched in the same manner, the infirmary cells are as fit for the reception of prisoners in health as any other cells. When the establishment is in this state of repletion, suppose an infirmary cell wanted for a sick person, it is but dismissing its former inhabitant, or inhabitants, to an ordinary cell or cells, upon the principle already mentioned.
The part thus denominated the dead-part, would be very far from lost. It would afford room for many necessary articles in the composition of the building. Out of it ought to be taken:—
1. Staircases for the prisoners and inspectors; for which, see the head of Communications.
2. Entrance and staircases for the chapel visitors; for which, also see the head of Communications.
3. Passage and staircase to the inspector’s lodge; for which, see the same title.
4. Vestry for the chaplain.
5. Organ and organ-loft.
6. Clock-house and belfry.
[† ]See the Section on the separation of the sexes.
[‡ ]To a person of this description, or not much below it, must the provision made in point of room be suited, upon whatever plan the governor is to find an inducement to take upon him the office. Upon the plan of payment by salary, a man who in point of education and responsibility had not some pretensions to be considered as upon that footing, would hardly be entrusted with a concern of such magnitude and importance. Upon the contract plan recommended in the letters (See Letter 9th,) a man who was not of sufficient responsibility and account to require provision to be made for him in the way of lodgment upon a similar footing, would hardly be accepted of. In the former case, the governor would require a master manufacturer, or task-master, under him, to ease him of the most irksome and laborious part of the details, and occasionally of the whole, in case of sickness or necessary absence. And in the latter case, were a master manufacturer to be the contractor, while his own attention was principally employed in turning the establishment to account in the way of profit, he would find it necessary to have under him a man of trust, in the character of keeper, for the purpose of superintending the government of the prison, and paying a more particular attention than the occupations of the principal could admit of his paying to the great objects of safe custody and good order.
[* ]A wall, in contradistinction to erections with windows in them, is commonly called a dead wall.
[† ]This part could not be delineated in the draught Plate IL, nor, consequently, the deadpart distinguished from the rest. The disposition of these two parts must be governed in a considerable degree by local circumstances, and in its details is not essential to the composition of the building. The outline of it is, however, represented in Plate III.
[‡ ]This would be, exclusive of the roof, 54 feet, being the aggregate height of the six cells; the floor of the lowest story of cells being supposed level with the ground; that is, even with the ground-floor of the projecting front upon the same level. But it will probably be found convenient, as we shall see, to raise the ground-floor of the front to a level with that of the lowermost story of the inspection part, the floor of which must be 4½ above that of the lowermost story of cells; and to put under the cells a sunk floor, running all around, which may be about 7½ feet lower than that of the cells, and consequently about 12 lower than that of the lowermost story of the inspection part. In that case, if the ground is at the same height before the front as all round the cells, there must be steps from it to the height of 4½ feet (say 9 steps 6 inches each) to reach the ground-floor: which will reduce to 49½ feet the height from the ground-floor to the ceiling of the highest story of cells; and to 43½ that from the same ground-floor to the windows of the same story of cells: at which level the projection must terminate, in order to afford by its roof a terrace for the Infirmary, in manner here proposed.
[∥ ]It may possibly, however, be found eligible to sacrifice one of these cells, viz. the centre one, to let in light by a sky-light for the staircase for chapel visitors. See Sect. 12, Communications—Staircases.