At the end of the 18th century, Jeremy Bentham, the father of Utilitarianism, created the Panopticon, a very successful model for building prisons, as well as factories and schools. The objective of the panoptic structure is to allow its guardian, hidden in a central tower, to watch all the prisoners, locked up in individual cells surrounding the tower, while they remain unaware if they’re being observed.
Between 1959 and 1963, the Stammheim prison was built in Stuttgart, and it came into operation in 1964 as a Supermax prison (short for super-maximum security).
By 1975, the prison had become known as one of the most secure in the world. That year, many members of the militant group Rote Armee Fraktion were imprisoned there. The penal wing had to be modified, and a special cellblock for these prisoners was added, as well as a courthouse to avoid the necessity of the defendants leaving the facility.
The Project Supermax has been possible thanks the support of: