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First modern penitentiary lies in the heart of Philadelphia

At its completion in 1829, the Eastern State Penitentiary was the largest and most expensive public structure ever erected in the United States, and quickly became a model for 300  prisons worldwide

At its completion in 1829, the Eastern State Penitentiary was the largest and most expensive public structure ever erected in the United States, and quickly became a model for 300+ prisons worldwide

Famous visitors to see the prison included Charles Dickens and Alexis de Tocqueville while notable inmates included Willie Sutton and Al Capone in 1929; an excellent audioguide takes you through the prison today

Famous visitors to see the prison included Charles Dickens and Alexis de Tocqueville while notable inmates included Willie Sutton and Al Capone in 1929; an excellent audioguide takes you through the prison today

Tina Turner filmed the music video for One of the Living (part of the soundtrack for Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome) here in 1985; the prison closed in 1971 and was then abandoned for decades

Tina Turner filmed the music video for One of the Living (part of the soundtrack for Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome) here in 1985; the prison closed in 1971 and was then abandoned for decades

Cell accommodations were advanced for their time, including a faucet with running water over a flush toilet; the architect gave the prison a neo-Gothic look to instill fear into those who thought of committing a crime

Cell accommodations were advanced for their time, including a faucet with running water over a flush toilet; the architect gave the prison a neo-Gothic look to instill fear into those who thought of committing a crime

The Eastern State Penitentiary refined the revolutionary system of separate incarceration first pioneered at the Walnut Street Jail which emphasized principles of reform rather than punishment

The Eastern State Penitentiary refined the revolutionary system of separate incarceration first pioneered at the Walnut Street Jail which emphasized principles of reform rather than punishment

It seems like there should be a national law to address this since there's no reason for the policy to vary by state; it has become an important issue affecting millions of potential voters

It seems like there should be a national law to address this since there's no reason for the policy to vary by state; it has become an important issue affecting millions of potential voters

In 1923 Leo Callahan escaped from Eastern State Penitentiary and was the only escapee never to be recaptured; I wonder why they didn't call the prison the Penn Pen?

In 1923 Leo Callahan escaped from Eastern State Penitentiary and was the only escapee never to be recaptured; I wonder why they didn't call the prison the Penn Pen?

Research has found the US govt spends $1  million to imprison people from just an individual city block and these blocks can stretch for miles; imagine if that same investment were deployed in these struggling neighborhoods

Research has found the US govt spends $1+ million to imprison people from just an individual city block and these blocks can stretch for miles; imagine if that same investment were deployed in these struggling neighborhoods

She looks guilty to me!; most of the early prisoners were petty criminals jailed for various robbery and theft charges with first time offenders usually serving 2 years

She looks guilty to me!; most of the early prisoners were petty criminals jailed for various robbery and theft charges with first time offenders usually serving 2 years

The Penitentiary was intended not simply to punish, but to move the criminal toward spiritual reflection and change; as a contrast, today there are 80,000  US inmates living in solitary confinement

The Penitentiary was intended not simply to punish, but to move the criminal toward spiritual reflection and change; as a contrast, today there are 80,000+ US inmates living in solitary confinement

The idea of this new prison was created in a meeting held at Benjamin Franklin's house in 1787; Eastern State is considered to be the world's first true penitentiary;

The idea of this new prison was created in a meeting held at Benjamin Franklin's house in 1787; Eastern State is considered to be the world's first true penitentiary;

The rate at which the US imprisons people is staggering; the US prison system is also the most expensive in the world costing American taxpayers $80  billion each year

The rate at which the US imprisons people is staggering; the US prison system is also the most expensive in the world costing American taxpayers $80+ billion each year

The original design of the building was for seven one-story cell blocks, but by the time cell block three was completed, the prison was already over capacity; all subsequent cell blocks had two floors

The original design of the building was for seven one-story cell blocks, but by the time cell block three was completed, the prison was already over capacity; all subsequent cell blocks had two floors

With no increase in violent crime, the increase in prison population in the US is largely the result of low level drug offenses and people either unable to make bail or awaiting trial (and thus not convicted of any crime)

With no increase in violent crime, the increase in prison population in the US is largely the result of low level drug offenses and people either unable to make bail or awaiting trial (and thus not convicted of any crime)

Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis filmed the 1995 movie 12 Monkeys here; there was a 600 % increase in the US prison population between 1970 and 2010

Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis filmed the 1995 movie 12 Monkeys here; there was a 600+% increase in the US prison population between 1970 and 2010

Visitors are allowed to walk through several cell blocks, but most of them remain off limits and are filled with original rubble and debris from years of neglect; I would not have visited except it was #1 on TripAdvisor

Visitors are allowed to walk through several cell blocks, but most of them remain off limits and are filled with original rubble and debris from years of neglect; I would not have visited except it was #1 on TripAdvisor

Posted by VagabondCowboy 02:01

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