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Prisons Today: Questions in the Age of Mass Incarceration

Eastern State Penitentiary, the abandoned prison turned penal museum and stabilized ruin on Fairmount Avenue, will soon be using more of its historic site to ask tough questions about contemporary issues surrounding imprisonment in America. Starting on May 6, the penitentiary will feature their groundbreaking new exhibit, “Prisons Today: Questions in the Age of Mass Incarceration.”

“It’s all part of the same big push to make the subject of mass incarceration and contemporary prisons interesting to a broad audience,” says Sean Kelley, senior vice president of Eastern State Penitentiary.

Kelley, who led the development of the new exhibit, can’t hide his excitement about the soon to be finished construction and the exhibit’s place in the museum’s mission as a whole. Eastern State may be famous for past inmates like the notorious Al Capone, or for its spooky Halloween attraction fundraiser, Terror Behind The Walls, but in the last several years the site’s programming has been increasingly focused on the evolution of incarceration and the problems facing prisons today.