How Biotech Could Make Life in Prison a Living Hell

At the University of Oxford, a team of scholars led by the philosopher Rebecca Roache has begun thinking about the ways futuristic technologies might transform punishment. In January, I spoke with Roache and her colleagues Anders Sandberg and Hannah Maslen about emotional enhancement, 'supercrimes', and the ethics of… » 3/17/14 11:00am 3/17/14 11:00am

Architect Sentenced to Year in Jail For Firefighter's Death

There have been plenty of civil cases against architects over the years, for all manner of negligence. But, today, an extremely rare criminal case was decided: An architect was sentenced to a year in LA county jail after pleading no contest to the manslaughter of a firefighter who died while trying to contain a fire in … » 1/03/14 4:40pm 1/03/14 4:40pm

UK Moves to Ban Phones Designed to Fit Up Prisoner Butts

Necessity is the mother of invention, and invention is the father of designing things that you can fit into your butt to sneak them into prison. And so a phone shaped exactly like a small butt plug has come into our world, and the UK government is trying to ban it. » 8/21/13 4:00pm 8/21/13 4:00pm

A Prison Cell-Sized Room Designed by the Inmates Who Live in Them

If necessity is the mother of invention, prison cells must be veritable hotbeds of creativity—and not just for making wine in toilets or tattoo guns from Bic pens and guitar strings. According to three Italian designers who've been holding design workshops with prisoners since 2003, the incarcerated are brilliant… » 4/22/13 9:05am 4/22/13 9:05am

Cell Phone Prison Keeps Distracting Apps on Lockdown

A plastic prison for cellphones might only seem useful for parents who want to make sure their kids are doing homework instead of texting friends. But just think how much work you could get done without easy access to Twitter, Facebook, and Words With Friends. This $20 novelty item could vastly improve the nation's… » 8/24/12 2:20pm 8/24/12 2:20pm

Rotten Fruit and Hot Pots: The Secret Techniques of Cellblock Cuisine

Prison is a sad, cold, horrible place to be. What reminds you of home more than a hot, home-cooked meal? Nothing. Since these prisoners can't go home— Maybe ever—they have to bring home to the cell block. » 10/28/11 12:00pm 10/28/11 12:00pm

The DIY Wizards of San Quentin

Prison Hacks are the big house's answer to Gizmodo's homemod. Prison is designed to be uncomfortable—it's prison, after all. But even incarceration can't lock up the spirit of human ingenuity. What prisoners do with extremely limited resources is incredible. » 10/24/11 1:00pm 10/24/11 1:00pm