Some of my best students are sex offenders. These are the untouchable lepers of US prison systems. (More…)
Elmore Leonard’s critically neglected novel Escape from Five Shadows speaks to social attitudes about incarceration that too many in the US public have forgotten. Leonard published the novel in 1956 during his early career as a Westerns writer. Some would argue, of course, that Leonard never stopped being a Westerns writer, only he changed locations. (More…)
To read #metoo testimonies from many women and some men on social media concerning the sexual harassment and assaults they have endured is to be horrified at the accounts. The sadness brings a quiet. It becomes inappropriate to speak. (More…)
I loathe seeing people in handcuffs. It is a common enough experience, yet not one that I witnessed until mature adulthood. There is a deep offense to the sight of people in handcuffs or leg-chains, worse than imprisonment. (More…)
The city is full of police. Armed police, bearing pistols, and a bewildering diversity of foreign machine guns. God forbid they get into a firefight and find they can’t exchange exchange ammunition with each other. Isn’t Belgium home to FN Herstal, one of the world’s biggest gun manufacturers? (More…)
Varoufakis took it in his stride. Attacked by Stephen Sackur for being unable to reconcile his radicalism with reality, Greece’s maverick ex-finance minister grinned, and moved on. This was HARDtalk. Whether Sackur meant it or not, the BBC interview program was living up to its name. And so was its guest, Europe’s best-known leftist of the moment. (More…)
Wheelchairs and rainbow flags blocked Berlin’s Kotbusser Damm. Equal parts pride parade and disabled rights protest, the pairing made sense. This was an in-gathering of the margins, not normally linked at this level, considering the degree of recognition accorded gays and lesbians today. Their equalization was a strong reminder of the shared discrimination both communities could once claim in the Nazi era. (More…)
You don’t have to have an eye for street art, to notice. Wherever you turn, in Belgium’s capital, there are stickers, and in the poorer neighborhoods, posters, denouncing the construction of a new prison. Located in Haren, in north Brussels, the prison-to-be is the stuff of post-modern fantasy. (More…)
For a world without borders and jails.
As a generation that only knows the domination of capital, every day we roam the landscapes of a world that constantly declares its own justification. While the ubiquity of the commodity seems to repress poverty (as lack of the means of survival,) misery spreads (as dispossession of our dreams.) (More…)
Florence, Arizona isn’t really the kind of town people think of going to for a vacation. Home of the Arizona State Prison complex — a sprawling mass of electric fence, surveillance towers, and cell blocks, Florence is the kind of town you drive through on your way to somewhere else. (More…)
Leave it to late Khmer Rouge head Pol Pot to turn a high school into a prison. As though that weren’t an apt metaphor for the late dictator’s philosophy of education. After all, his regime is credited with popularizing the term re-education camp, following the death of a million Cambodians in such centers. A more formal detention facility, this picture was taken at Tuol Sleng in Phnom Penh. Now a museum, it has turned back into an educational space – teaching Cambodians about genocide.