Did anyone read the prison piece in last Sunday’s New York Times magazine?
Did anyone read the prison piece in last Sunday’s New
York Times magazine? Dear god, I gasped out loud in public three times while
reading the horrors that go in ADX, one of those Supermax federal prisons. I
cannot recall ever gasping out loud in public over an article in my lifetime.
It made me want to become a human rights lawyer. I have had first hand
experience with a sociopath or two, complete narcicist, compulsive liar, etc.
with all the disorders that are so scary because the person with the disorder
is great at tricking people into sympathy. I know how rough those interactions
can be, how cunning and relentless the person can be and how it is human nature
to get tricked. I understand why the workers and enforcers are jaded, but
still.I am way aware of all that
and I still believe that there has got to be a better way, that there needs to
be room for humanity, that creating an environment that makes messed up people
even worse is never the answer.
I actually took a class on prisons in high school and
it was fascinating. We discussed the purpose of prison and if it worked and
looked at the changing prison philosophies over time in the US. I have no
answers, but I do seek information. I know that our prison systems are teeming
with young men and especially young black men. http://www.prisonpolicy.org/graphs/raceinc.html
I know that most of the worst offenders in ADX, America’s toughest federal
prison, are not black. In the article they have a photo gallery of the worst
offender and they are primarily white. Weird, huh?
And The Farm-Angola USA, which wasn’t available on dvd
but you can see on you tube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFqVIlL0A2A.
I especially love how some of the lifers just shine with peace and love, you
can see their transformation. They may have been murderers and they are stuck
there forever, but they have healed and changed, it is visual and palpable. Even
the most brilliant con artist with the best personality disorder tactic cannot
manifest that glow of transformation. Its real. I believe in the possibility to
heal and change.