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3.From the point of view of Philadelphia journalist Thomas Rowe in 1856

Clairity's picture

The prison was a site of mental torture, inconceivably harsh to anyone who had not seen it with his own eyes.


Eastern State was an eerie place, not necessarily having the effects on its prisoners it hoped to.


Eastern State was a prison unlike any other, where the methods were so damaging to the human spirit, and was so radical that the fascination that came with the prison was far greater than the suffering.


It is a place where prisoners try to fight against isolation, which is meant by the builders in order to make the inmates contemplate and reflect towards reformation.


The prison would seem useless-does it really do anything for reform and penitence? Who rules the prison, the guard or the prisoners, comes into question.


ESP was a place you wouldn’t want to end up in lest you enjoyed the company of your own criminal soul and the judging eye of god.


Eastern State is truly unlike the other prisons today, prisoners must face perhaps the strongest punishment of our time, solitude.


This doesn’t work well-most of prisoners have no ability to read and spend their time (which is what they got) in trying to communicate with their neighbors.


Eastern State is not successful. Treating prisoners so cruelly with isolation will only drive them madder.


Eastern State is a marvel of prison technology. Heating and plumbing systems for each cell, a design that absolutely minimizes contact with other prisoners-while there is debate on whether it does what it set out to do, there is no doubt it is a far better prison than any other in America, or even the world.


More than two decades since the opening of this … prison, I cannot imagine the games the mind must play when it only has itself for company.


“The prison is horrible. I saw the hopelessness in the eyes of the prisoners.”


From the outside, one thinks this fortress is strict and organized and is reforming thousands of prisoners. From the inside, the prison is falling apart. Things are no longer so organized and officials are doing what they can to keep prisoners under control. No reform is occurring.