We’ve been thoroughly trained to not have empathy for people who’ve been convicted of violent offenses—even though that could mean many things, and I believe all of us have the capacity to do violence. People have also been trained to be fearful.
Posts Tagged: prison
Drugs and petty crime landed Daniel Genis in prison for ten years. He spent his term reading and working on his three-hundred page novel—but only after dropping $375 on a clear plastic typewriter, the only model he was allowed. Genis spoke with The Airship, describing what it was like writing from prison:
A typewriter contains enough metal rods and plastic shards to murder a fair amount of people, so one would think that this would be an issue.
The New York Comics & Picture-Story Symposium is a weekly forum for discussing the tradition and future of text/image work. Open to the public, it meets Tuesday nights from 7-9 p.m. EST in New York City....more
MobyLives reports that British prisons have banned books sent as gifts, a right even allowed in notorious Guantanamo Bay. Many British authors have criticized the new policy—an online petition has collected more than 20,000 signatures. Even prison staff seem to think the policy is a bad idea....more
Cullen Thomas sits down with Mitchell S. Jackson to discuss The Residue Years, overlooked and ignored communities, studying with Gordon Lish, and writing dangerously....more
Daniel Alarcón talks about his latest novel, At Night We Walk in Circles, drawing inspiration from Bolaño and Chekhov, the writer’s place of privilege, and the questions that arise from an imagined life that easily could have been....more
He has no short-term memory and will probably never walk again on his own. He was twenty-five when he was incarcerated for larceny over $250 in 2005. His name is Paul....more
Billy Hayes, the writer of Midnight Express, candidly discusses his memoir about escaping from a Turkish prison in the 1970s, the pros and cons of having your story adapted by Hollywood, and what the War on Drugs has meant for incarceration....more
Patricia McConnel, who served time in a federal prison in the 1950s, sits down to talk about her past, and about Sing Soft, Sing Loud...more
At the Tazewell County Justice Center, on a Monday night in May, five women gather for a creative-writing class. They microwave plastic cups of instant coffee, then drag chairs up to the conference table where we’ll write....more
We’ve blogged a bit about Orange is the New Black from storytelling and feminist angles, but what do real-life women who have been to prison think about the show?
According to the women Kat Stoeffel talked to, it’s actually pretty accurate—especially the part about the maxi-pads....more
In Meridian, when schools want to discipline children, they do much more than just send them to the principal’s office. They call the police, who show up to arrest children who are as young as 10 years old. Arrests, the Department of Justice says, happen automatically, regardless of whether the police officer knows exactly what kind of offense the child has committed or whether that offense is even worthy of an arrest.
Piper Kerman is the author of the memoir Orange is the New Black, a story of how, years after running money for an international heroin gang, she was indicted, convicted, and did time in a federal women’s prison....more
Mother Jones features a gripping story by Shane Bauer, who in 2009 was apprehended on the Iraqi border and imprisoned in Tehran’s Evin Prison in Iran for 26 months, 4 of which were spent in solitary.
Using his experience as reference, he probes American prison policies on solitary confinement, particularly the processes of California’s Pelican Bay State Prison’s Security Housing Units, or SHUs....more
“We couldn’t even imagine that the authorities would be so dumb that they would actually legitimize our influence by arresting us. Sure, Tsentr E tried to intimidate us by tailing us constantly. But unlike Putin, we’re not chickenshit—so we didn’t stop performing.”...more
J.M. Benjamin spent more than twelve years in state and federal prisons in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. But he read and read in prison, and eventually wrote more than a dozen urban fiction novels....more
Fifteen years after serving my time, I still think about prison and the ways in which it might have affected me....more
“..currently, there isn’t a single federal law requiring state-run jails and prisons to report detainee deaths, or what caused them. Not one.”
After the Death in Custody Act expired back in 2006, there has been no accountability for the reporting of in-prison deaths, making the mortality rates data completely voluntary for the past 5 years....more
A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be around while one of my best friends gave birth to a baby boy. It was an amazing experience. As a result, unfortunately, I had to spend a lot of time at SF General....more
I was nineteen. Prison seemed sexy and foreign—as did most forbidden things. Maybe I wanted to seem tough. Maybe I needed something to differentiate me from all the other over-achieving, world-traveled students at the university I attended. Maybe I felt I had something to give....more