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Bentham's Prison – A Study of the Panopticon Penitentiary - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Bentham's Prison: A Study of the Panopticon Penitentiary

Janet Semple


At the end of the 18th century, Jeremy Bentham devised a scheme for a prison that he called the panopticon. It soon became an obsession. For twenty years he tried to build it; in the end he failed, but the story of his attempt offers fascinating insights into both Bentham's complex character and the ideas of the period. This book chronicles Bentham's dealings with the politicians as he tried to put his plans into practice, basing the analysis on hitherto unexamined manuscripts. The book assesses the panopticon in the context of penal philosophy and 18th-century punishment, and discusses it as ... More

Keywords: Jeremy Bentham, penal policy, prison, panopticon, penal philosophy, punishment, subjection

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 1993 Print ISBN-13: 9780198273875
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198273875.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Janet Semple, author
University College London