WATER-INCASED PRISON CELL.

WATER-INCASED PRISON CELL.

There is on exhibition in Boston a model cell for prisoners from which a criminal would find it practically impossible to attempt’ an escape without giving an alarm that would bring a guard rushing up to his door before either the lock on the door or the steel tubes of which the cell is composed were broken or even cracked. The protection is not afforded primarily by electricity, although electricity plays a part in the device. The chief protective agent is water, which fills every length and every joint in the steel tubes forming the entire cell. The water is maintained in the tubes at a certain pressure, indicated on a gauge in the watchman’s room, and the slightest decrease in pressure of this water, such as would be made by the cracking of a tube so that no more than a cubic inch of water could escape, would release the pointer on the gauge, allowing it to turn slightly and thus make an electrical connection with an electric bell. The bell then rings continuously until the circuit is broken by the watchman. At the same time that the bell rings,on an annunciator above is shown the number of the cell where the water is escaping from the tube. Unlike modern cells that are made with solid steel bar» through which the criminal can often cut his way or on which his movements in the cell keep up a continuous noise sufficient to make the cell room too noisy for the watchman to hear the slight sound of a saw or auger in a particular cell, this new cell is a cage. The sides, floor, ceiling, and door are all made of steel tubes, set so closely together that they could not be sprung apart to any advantage. Kven the hinges and the bolt •n the door are filled with water always ready to give the alarm if its pressure is changed in the slightest degree, yet inclosed is such a manner that the prisoner cannot make any attempt to break or cut his way out of the cell without changing the pressure.

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