Prison design is crucial to the relationship between the 'carceral' and the state, in that it is the process which determines, in large part, how the goals of a criminal justice system are materially expressed. With this, the chapter takes forward the notion of prison buildings as coded, scripted entities, exploring the design of prisons and the intentions behind their operation in terms of the imperatives of states and their criminal justice systems. It pursues the notion that the design of carceral space has a significant role to play in understanding the extent to which the aims of a carceral system are translated into experiences of imprisonment. Drawing on scholarship at the intersection between criminology and carceral geography, the chapter briefly traces the history and significance of prison design, with a focus on the UK. It suggests that prison buildings can be read, and are experienced, as symbolic of the relationship between the 'carceral' and a punitive state.