Tag: Prisons

Kelly Lytle Hernández’s City of Inmates is both enlightening and troubling.  Aside from famous institutions such as Sing-Sing, prison and jail systems appear as ahistorical institutional structures.  They seem as though they materialized in response to a need to house criminals. Yet all prisons and jails have histories. They are often responses to the criminalization of human categories rather than criminal violence. (More…)

Prisons are holistic and extended social systems, a point that remains too little recognized in public discussions of prisons and imprisonment. That system includes prison staff and their families, people equally capable of social expression as prisoners and their own families. While prisoners often write of their experiences, prison wardens and guards are far more reticent. (More…)

Lale Colak died upon release from Kartal Prison, Istanbul, on December 20, 2000. She couldn’t speak, her mouth was ulcerated, and her hair had turned white after 222 days without solid food. Lale’s mother says that she didn’t want to die, but was militantly devoted to a wave of prisoner hunger strikes that took aim at the expansion of Turkish mass incarceration. (More…)

Few European capitals are as loathed as Brussels. Whether it be on the right, as the scapegoat for everything wrong with national political policies, or on the left, as the enforcer of American-style neoliberal reforms, the EU’s lead city has definitely seen better days. No one will argue that the economic crisis has damaged the prospects of further European integration. (More…)

While leftists in Germany today often focus on the plight of immigrants, particularly from the Middle East and North Africa — and the corollary concerns in the homelands of those immigrants — attention is also directed at the self-righteous superpower whose long shadow still falls over Europe: the United States of America. (More…)

Arizona has become the site of a little-noticed literary flowering:  it is home to some of the best prison writing in North America. During the last two decades, Jimmy Santiago Baca, Ken Lamberton, and Richard Shelton have converted their experiences with Arizona’s penitentiaries into prize-winning books.  No US state can claim a similar cluster of prominent prison writers. (More…)