The United States has 5% of the world's population, but 25% of its prisoners. Incarceration as economic stimulus is nothing new, so what better way to fully capitalize on our investment than to charge admission to people who want to gawk at Old Sparky? The AP reports that Sing Sing Correctional Facility may get its own museum.
Initially proposed in 2005, the idea of a 22,000 square-foot exhibition located in a defunct power plant adjacent to the prison is gaining traction again because we live in an era of #Brands and #Brands are meant to be monetized.
“Sing Sing is a brand name,” John Wunderlich, president of the Ossining Historical Society says. “You go anywhere in this country, in Europe even, everybody’s heard of Sing Sing.”
“Now we’re at a very good point for this,” Assemblywoman Sandra Galef adds. “The state’s economic plan calls for construction and tourism.”
The plant, which hasn't been operational since the early 1960s, supplied power to Old Sparky so it could kill 614 people condemned to death, including Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were convicted in federal court in the Southern District of New York.
“It’s full of history, that’s for sure,” state correction officer Arthur Wolpinsky says. Wolpinsky has worked at the maximum security prison since 1971 and also acts as its historian. “Electrocutions, riots, escape attempts. And so much has changed over the years. Inmates can have cable TV in their cells now.”
Sing Sing has some catching up to do: Alcatraz has had a Twitter account since 2008.