Front Page Titles (by Subject) SECTION X.: COMMUNICATIONS. Prisoners' Staircases. - The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 4
SECTION X.: COMMUNICATIONS. Prisoners’ Staircases. - 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.
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
- A View of the Hard-labour Bill; Being an Abstract of a Pamphlet, Intituled, “draught of a Bill, to Punish By Imprisonment and Hard Labour, Certain Offenders; and to Establish Proper Places For Their Reception:” Interspersed With Observations Relative T
- Panopticon; Or, the Inspection-house: Containing the Idea of a New Principle of Construction Applicable to Any Sort of Establishment, In Which Persons of Any Description Are to Be Kept Under Inspection; and In Particular to Penitentiary-houses,
- Letter I.: Idea of the Inspection Principle.
- Letter II.: Plan For a Penitentiary Inspection-house.
- Letter III.: Extent For a Single Building.
- Letter IV.: The Principle Extended to Uncovered Areas.
- Letter V.: Essential Points of the Plan.
- Letter VI.: Advantages of the Plan.
- Letter VII.: Penitentiary-houses—safe Custody.
- Letter VIII.: Uses—penitentiary-houses—reformation.
- Letter IX.: Penitentiary-houses—economy—contract—plan.
- Letter X.: Choice of Trades Should Be Free.
- Letter XI.: Multiplication of Trades Is Not Necessary.
- Letter XII.: Contractor’s Checks.
- Letter XIII.: Means of Extracting Labour.
- Letter XIV.: Provision For Liberated Persons.
- Letter XV.: Prospect of Saving From This Plan.
- Letter XVI.: Houses of Correction.
- Letter XVII.: Prisons For Safe Custody Merely.
- Letter XVIII.: Manufactories.
- Letter XIX.: Mad-houses.
- Letter XX.: Hospitals.
- Letter XXI.: Schools.
- Postscript, Part I. Containing Further Particulars and Alterations Relative to the Plan of Construction Originally Proposed; Principally Adapted to the Purpose of a Panopticon Penitentiary-house. *
- Section I.: Principal Particulars. Principal Particulars Either Settled Or Altered, Since the First Hasty Design, As Described In Letter II. And Imperfectly Represented In Plate I. See Plate II. †
- Section II.: General View of the Whole Edifice. In a General View of the Whole Building, According to Its Present Form, Three Very Different, Though Connected Masses, May Be Distinguished.
- Section III.: Annular Well. Annular Well, Instead of Stories of Intermediate Annular Area.
- Section IV.: Protracted Partitions Omitted. Protracted Partitions Omitted; Or Rather, Taken Into the Cells.
- Section V.: Cells, Double Instead of Single.
- Section VI.: Dead-part.
- Section VII.: Chapel. Chapel Introduced. *
- Section VIII.: Inspection-galleries and Lodge.
- Section IX.: Of the Communications In General.
- Section X.: Communications. Prisoners’ Staircases.
- Section XI.: Communications—inspectors Staircases.
- Section XII.: Staircase For Chapel Visitors, and For the Officers’ Apartments.
- Section XIII.: Cell-galleries.
- Section XIV.: Doors.
- Section XV.: Diametrical Passage.
- Section XVI.: Communications—exit Into the Yards.
- Section XVII.: Exterior Annular Well. ‡
- Section XVIII.: Windows Reaching Low, and Glazed; Instead of High Up, and Open.
- Section XIX.: Materials. Arched Work—much Iron—plaster Floors.
- Section XX.: Outlets, Including Airing-yards.
- Section XXI.: Approach and Fences.
- Section XXII.: Means of Supplying Water.
- Section XXIII.: Of the Mode of Warming the Building.
- Section XXIV.: Of the Economy Observed In the Construction.
- Postscript—part II. Principles and Plan of Management.
- Section I.: Leading Positions.
- Section II.: Management—in What Hands, and On What Terms.
- Section III.: Of Separation As Between the Sexes.
- Section IV.: Of Separation Into Companies and Classes.
- Section V.: Employment.
- Section VI.: Diet.
- Section VII.: Clothing.
- Section VIII.: Bedding.
- Section IX.: Health and Cleanliness.
- Section X.: Of Airing and Exercise.
- Section XI.: Schooling and Sunday Employment.
- Section XII.: Of Ventilation, Shading, and Cooling.
- Section XIII.: Distribution of Time.
- Section XIV.: Of Punishments.
- Section XV.: Mode of Guarding On the Outside.
- Section XVI.: Provision For Liberated Prisoners.
- The Following Note Respecting This Work Was Given By Bentham to Dr. Bowring, 24 Th January 1821.
- Panopticon Versus New South Wales: Or, the Panopticon Penitentiary System, and the Penal Colonization System, Compared.
- A Plea For the Constitution: Shewing the Enormities Committed, to the Oppression of British Subjects, Innocent As Well As Guilty;
- Section I.: Subject Matter—object—plan.
- Section II.: Power of Legislation—its Necessity In New South Wales.
- Section III: Legislation—how Far Lawful In New South Wales.
- Section IV.: American, &c. Legislation No Precedent For New South Wales.
- Section V.: Even In America, the Crown Had No Right to Legislate Without Parliament.
- Section VI.: Nullity of Legislation In New South Wales, For Want of an Assembly to Consent.
- Section VII.: Nullity of Governor’s Ordinances. For Want of a Court to Try Offences Against Them.
- Section VIII.: King’s Law-servants Not Infallible.
- Section IX.: Nullity of New South Wales Legislation, Proved By the Granada Case.
- Section X.: Governor’s Illegal Ordinances Exemplified.
- Section XI.: Governor’s Illegal Ordinances Exemplified.
- Section XII.: Expirees Forcibly Detained.
- Section XIII.: Expirees, During Detention, Kept In a State of Bondage.
- Section XIV.: Statutes Transgressed By the Legislation and Government of New South Wales.
- Draught of a Code For the Organization of the Judicial Establishment In France: With Critical Observations On the Draught Proposed By the National Assembly Committee, In the Form of a Perpetual Commentary.
- Bentham’s Draught For the Organization of Judicial Establishments, Compared With That of the National Assembly, With a Commentary On the Same.
- Emancipate Your Colonies! Addressed to the National Convention of France, Anno 1793.
- Jeremy Bentham to His Fellow-citizens of France, On Houses of Peers and Senates.
- Papers Relative to Codification and Public Instruction: Including Correspondence With the Russian Emperor, and Divers Constituted Authorities In the American United States.
- Part I.—: On Codification.
- No. I.: To the President of the United States of America.
- No. II.: James Madison, Then President of the Congress of the American United States, to Jeremy Bentham, London.
- No. III.: Albert Gallatin, Minister Plenipotentiary From the American United States to the Court of London, to Simon Snyder, Governor of Pennsylvania, Introducing a Letter From Jeremy Bentham to the Said Governor.
- No. IV.: Jeremy Bentham, London, to Simon Snyder, Governor of Pennsylvania.
- No. V.: Simon Snyder, Governor of Pennsylvania, to David Meade Randolph, Esq. Williamsburgh, Virginia, On the Subject of the Above Letter of Jeremy Bentham.
- No. VI.: Extract From a Printed Paper, Signed Simon Snyder, Dated Harrisburg, December 5 Th 1816, James Peacock, Printer, Intituled “ Governor’s Message to the Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, ” Containing Seve
- No. VII.: Circular. — to the Governor of the State of
- No. VIII.: Jeremy Bentham, an Englishman, to the Citizens of the Several American United States.
- No. IX.: Jeremy Bentham to James Madison, Late President of the American United States.
- No. X.: Jeremy Bentham to the Emperor of All the Russias.
- No. XI.: Alexander I. Emperor of All the Russias, to Jeremy Bentham, London—written With His Imperial Majesty’s Own Hand, In Answer to the Above, [no. X.]
- No. XII.: Jeremy Bentham to the Emperor of All the Russias.
- No. XIII.: Prince Adam Czartoriski, of Poland, to Jeremy Bentham, London. *
- No. XIV.: Jeremy Bentham, London, to Prince Adam Czartoriski of Poland.
- Part II.: Public Instruction.
- No. I.: ( Circular. )— Letter From His Excellency Wilson Cary Nicholas, Governor of Virginia, On the Subject of Public Instruction.—addressed (the Copy of Which This Is a Transcript) to His Excellency John Quincy Adams, Minister Plenipotentiary From the U
- No. II.: ( Circular. )— to the Governor of the State of
- No. III.
- No. IV. Notice Concerning Chrestomathia, By the Paris Lancasterian Instruction Society. Report of the British and Foreign School Society to the General Meeting, Dec. 12, 1816.—EXTRACT.
- Codification Proposal, Addressed By Jeremy Bentham to All Nations Professing Liberal Opinions; Or Idea of a Proposed All-comprehensive Body of Law, With an Accompaniment of Reasons, Applying All Along to the Several Proposed Arrangements:
- Part I.—ARGUMENTS.: Positions, With Reasons For Proofs.
- Section 1.: In Every Political State, the Greatest Happiness of the Greatest Number Requires, That It Be Provided With an All-comprehensive Body of Law. All-comprehensiveness, Practicable, and Indispensable.
- Section 2.: The Greatest Happiness of the Greatest Number Requires, That Such Body of Law Be Throughout Accompanied By Its Rationale: an Indication of the Reasons On Which the Several Arrangements Contained In It Are Grounded. Rationale, Though Unex
- Section 3.: The Greatest Happiness of the Greatest Number Requires, That Those Reasons Be Such, Throughout, As Shall Show the Conduciveness of the Several Arrangements to the All-comprehensive and Only Defensible End Thus Expressed. Rationale, Indicat
- Section 4.: The Greatest Happiness of the Greatest Number Requires, That, of This Rationale, the Several Parts Be Placed In the Most Immediate Contact With the Several Arrangements to Which They Respectively Apply. Rationale, Interwoven, Not Detached.
- Section 5.: The Greatest Happiness of the Greatest Number Requires, That For the Function Exercised By the Drawing of the Original Draught of Such a Code, the Competitors He As Many As, Without Reward At the Public Expense, Can Be Obtained: and So, For T
- Section 6.: The Greatest Happiness of the Greatest Number Requires—that, For the Drawing of Any Such Draught, No Reward At the Public Expense Be Given. At Additional Expense, Reward None.
- Section 7.: The Greatest Happiness of the Greatest Number Requires—that Every Draught, So Given In, Be, From Beginning to End, If Possible, the Work of a Single Hand. Hands Not More Than One.
- Section 8.: The Greatest Happiness of the Greatest Number Requires—that Such Original Draught, Being the Work of a Single Hand, Be Known to Be So. Hand, Known to Be But One.
- Section 9.: The Greatest Happiness of the Greatest Number Requires, That the Work, Being the Work of a Single Hand, and Known to Be So, It Be Known Whose the Hand Is. Hand, Known Whose It Is.
- Section 10.: The Greatest Happiness of the Greatest Number Requires, That, For the Drawing of the Original Draught, All Foreigners Be Admitted Into the Competition: and That, In So Far As Applicable, Unless It Be In All Particulars Taken Together Decid
- Section 11.: On the Part of an Individual, Proposing Himself As Draughtsman For the Original Draught of a Code of Laws, Willingness Or Unwillingness to Interweave In His Draught a Rationale As Above, Is the Most Conclusive Preliminary Test, and That
- Section 12.: On the Part of a Ruler, Willingness Or Unwillingness to See Established an All-comprehensive Code, With Its Rationale As Above, and to Receive Original Draughts From All Hands, Are Among the Most Conclusive Tests of Appropriate Aptitude,
- Part II.—TESTIMONIALS.
- I. England
- II. Geneva
- III.: Spain.
- IV.: Portugal.
- V.: Italy.
- VI.: France.
- VII.: Anglo-american United States.
- VIII.: Greece.
- IX.: South America.
Staircases for the prisoners are of course requisite from the bottom to the top of that part of the building which they are to inhabit: from the sunk story below the cells, to the upper story of the cells.
I make two sets of staircases, and but two—I put them into the dead-part—I place them in stories one over another, and not, as was once proposed to me, winding all over the building—I place them in a line within the inner boundary or back front of the cells, yet not extending so far the other way, as to the exterior boundary or fore front—I make them of iron bars—I make the flight of steps run in a direction parallel, and not at right angles, to the cell-galleries and inspection-galleries—I give them pulley-doors with warning-bells where they open into the galleries—I carry them down to the sunk story below the cells—I make them at the utmost not wider than the galleries.
1. I make two of them, partly to shorten in some degree the passage to each, but principally to provide for the separation of the sexes, if both are received into one building, as in a building of this kind they might be without inconvenience.
2. I make no more than two. In a building for ordinary uses this number might be scanty; it is not so in such an one as the present. The occasions on which they will be wanted are few; they may be all known and numbered.
3. I place the staircases of different stories in one pile, one over another, not in a spiral running round the building. In the latter case, the prisoners on each side would in their ascent and descent pass each of them by the cells of all the floors below his own. But such a perambulation would but ill accord with that plan of seclusion, which, from the mitigation given to it, may and ought to be adhered to with the greater strictness. On the plan here preferred, the perambulation, and thence the opportunity of converse, is reduced to its least limits.
4. I place them in the dead-part—1. Because by that means I do not make sacrifice of any of the cells; 2. Because I thereby bring them within reach of the governor, or sub-governor, or both, in such manner, that those officers may give an eye that way, without quitting for the purpose the projecting front, in which will be the principal abode of the one, and the occasional business of the other.
5. I place them within the interior boundary or back front of the cells, and consequently within the line of the cell-galleries. This I do, that the width of the cell-galleries in that part may afford sufficient landing-place, as well for a prisoner when he has opened the door leading to the staircase from the cell-gallery, as to an inspector in his way to the prisoners’ staircase from the inspection-gallery, of which a little further on.
6. Instead of carryng them home to a line with the fore front or exterior boundary of the cells, so as to occupy the whole depth, I make them fall short of that line by a few feet—say four feet, exclusive of the thickness of the wall, and the apertures, corresponding to windows, that may be made in that thickness. In the space thus reserved, I put waterclosets, at least for the governor’s house on his side; more especially on his ground-floor. In this recess ne commands, without being seen, a view of the staircase, by which means he is necessarily obliged, as well as without trouble enabled, to give a look into the prison once a-day at least, at uncertain and unexpected times. The ground-floor is more peculiarly adapted to this purpose, since from that station his chance of getting a sight of the prisoners, as they ascend and descend, extends to the inhabitants of every story of cells in the semicircle on that side: whereas on a superior story the chance would not extend to such of the prisoners, whose cells were situated in any inferior one.
7. The staircases are of iron bars, and not of brick or stone—1. That they may be the more airy; 2. That one part may intercept the light from another as little as possible; 3. That the prisoners, as they go up and down, may be exposed as much as possible to view from the inspection-galleries in that quarter.
8. It is also for the latter reason that the flights of steps run parallel to the inspection-galleries. Had their course been at right angles to those galleries, the stairs being interposed, between the prisoners in their ascent or descent and the inspector’s eye, would have screened them from his view.
9. The use of the pulley-doors, which, on opening, ring warning bells, is to give notice of the approach of a prisoner, upon an occasion mentioned elsewhere; to the inspector, who, by that means, is summoned to let him into his cell, and in the mean time to have an eye upon his motions.
10. I place the doors, as in a protracted partition, crossing the cell-gallery at that part in its whole width, and consequently terminating in a line with the balustrade; the door being hung on at the side nearest to the cells, and opening from the landing-place, behind which runs the staircase upon the cell-gallery, and not from the cell-gallery upon the landing-place. In this way, partly by the wall, partly by the mode of opening, the view is pretty effectually cut off, as between the prisoners on the staircase and those within the cells.
11. In making the staircases at all wider than the galleries, there would be no use:—1. There can never be any occasion for conveying by the former anything that cannot pass along the latter. 2. There is not even so much occasion for width in the staircase as in the galleries, since anything that could not be conveyed by the staircases might be hoisted up into the galleries by the crane. 3. Anything that required greater width, might be conveyed, either by the lodge staircase or through the central aperture, to the inspection-gallery on that floor, and to the two higher floors by the chapel-visitors’ staircases,—of which presently.