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Taylor Milne's picture

      Eastern State Penitentiary was an innovative attempt at changing the very hearts of prisoners, but which failed to take into account the role of kindness. 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. It started out as an attempt to reform individulas but even now the corruption and evolution of corruption is visible in the empty space. I see how everyone lived and cannot imagine how they managed to stay alive—the conditions this place holds serves to no ones sustainability to survive. Eastern State Penitentiary now looks the way it made the prisoners feel: empty, broken, and alone. 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.

         Prison reform in Eastern State was one of the cruelest and severe. Prisoner’s lack of communication and isolation did not aid in improvement but rather inspired rebellion. The morals of Eastern State are questionable, and the role of success of reforming prisoners (rather than simply punishing them) is disappointingly low for how many people were forced to stay there. Eastern State seemed more like a place of torture than reform. Solitary confinement can quickly make a person go mad, so I understand why Eastern State had so many problems, especially after getting a short glimpse at what the prisoners experienced. Freedom belongs to everyone, no matter who made mistakes or not.