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Eastern State Collage Essay

Clairity's picture

Eastern state will be a new kind of prison, one where the prisoners will spend time alone to contemplate their action, and learn to reform their ways. ESP was a place where they believed prisoners in solidarity would be able to repent for their sins, so that upon their release they would live more wholesome lives. The idea of reforming prisoners rather than just locking them up was revolutionary and enlightening, even though it tended not to work in the practices Eastern State used.

Solitary confinement was not a situation to be accepted without a fight. From the POV of Samuel Brewster, "Eastern State cannot change me or control me, the “new prison” is just like all the rest and I will defeat it." He had to be uncooperative to give himself something to do. 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. Prisoner’s lack of communication and isolation did not aid in improvement but rather inspired rebellion.