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Bentham's PrisonA Study of the Panopticon Penitentiary$
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Janet Semple

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780198273875

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198273875.001.0001

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The Final Failure

The Final Failure

(p.254) 11 The Final Failure
Bentham's Prison

Janet Semple

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the final failure of Jeremy Bentham's proposed construction of the panopticon prison. In 1803, Prime Minister Henry Addington refused to fund the building of the panopticon and ten years later, as Home Secretary and Viscount Sidmouth, he finally rejected the scheme. The rejection of the panopticon during 1810 to 1813 was an important turning point in the development of penal ideology and architecture. The chapter explains the reasons why the panopticon failed, how the media and the political nation responded to it, and what reasons were adduced for its rejection. It also tells the story of Bentham's final battles with the politicians and civil servants.

Keywords:   panopticon, Jeremy Bentham, Henry Addington, penal architecture, prison

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