Telephone Pole Design
A prison built according to the telephone pole design has several wings or buildings constructed parallel to one another that are connected by a central corridor or passageway that divides the institution into two halves. From above, the layout of such a prison resembles the top of a telephone pole. Each of the parallel buildings houses a different area of the institution. Some of the buildings contain cells, whereas others are dedicated to the facility's school, shops, dining hall, and support programs. This style of prison architecture was most popular in the United States at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, although institutions were built according to this design until the 1970s. Prison architecture always reflects in part larger societal ideas about the purpose of punishment. Thus, as ideas about incarceration change, so too does the design of penal institutions. In the first ...