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  • Hidden Lives, Illuminated

    COMING FALL 2019 Eastern State Penitentiary’s Hidden Lives, Illuminated will offer a rare look into daily life inside America’s correctional system through four newly commissioned, animated short films, created by artists living or working in prisons. Each film will be projected onto Eastern State’s 30-foot facade for one week, accompanied by a soundtrack that viewers can download to their smartphones.

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  • Prisons Today

    The United States now has the highest rate of incarceration in the world, by far, with 2.2 million citizens in prison or jail. This phenomenon has generally been driven by changes in laws, policing, and sentencing, not by changes in behavior.

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  • The Big Graph

    The United States imprisons 2.2 million citizens, the highest incarceration rate in the world, by far, and yet has no national prison museum. Now, Eastern State Penitentiary is introducing public dialogue around issues of crime, justice, and the changing face of our criminal justice system. 

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  • Murals of the Catholic Chaplain's Office

    Warden Michael Cassidy built these impressive spaces for his offices in the 1880s. Later wardens moved their offices back to the Administration Building, a safer location isolated from the inmates.  This space became the offices of the prison’s religious staff: the Protestant, Jewish, and Catholic chaplains.

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  • Al Capone's Cell

    Alphonse “Scarface” Capone got his first taste of prison life in Philadelphia. 

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2017 American Aliance of Museums Excellence in Exhibitions Overall Winner