I am a french photographer specialized in architectural heritage and derelict buildings around the world. A few years ago, I had the chance to explore and photograph the last panopticon prison in France, here are a few shots I made there!

The panopticon system is a penal structure of circular design in which prisoners are placed in cells along the circumference, and the guardroom is in the center of the structure. Here the guardroom doesn’t exist anymore. The important thing is that the prisoners had no privacy at all and were always observable by guards. They never knew when they were being watched by guards.

Another advantage of that system is that you needed fewer guards to watch the inmates. But the panopticon concept ended up as a failure: the few prisons using the system reported an increase of violence and unsanitary, also higher rates of suicides and craziness.

Now, the prison is abandoned for decades but will have a bright future soon as a museum. Let’s hope its new life will bring more joy than its previous nature!

More info: romainveillon.com