The Labyrinth: The New Holloway and its Problems

Paul Rock

in Reconstructing a Women's Prison

Published in print May 1996 | ISBN: 9780198260950
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682179 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Studies in Criminology

The Labyrinth: The New Holloway and its Problems

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This chapter argues that design, inmate ‘disturbance’ and staff incertitude in the new Holloway prison proved to be an unstable compound. Problems attained public prominence as telling contrasts were drawn between the prison's high aspirations and grand appearance. They were emphasised by the manner in which design worked physically to amplify disorder: what had successfully been hidden behind the old Holloway prison's tall walls and strong, well-placed wings, was to be revealed most starkly by the new anti-panopticon. These contrasts were also emphasised by the confrontational character of a building with weak boundaries and small spaces. The chapter explains how that sense of the anomie and danger of Holloway arose and became a public issue. It proceeds stage by descriptive stage, returning to the distinctive properties of the new prison that were flagged by the Design Team in September 1970.

Keywords: design; inmate disturbance; disorder; anti-panopticon; anomie; Holloway prison

Chapter.  13888 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Criminal Law

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