Direct Engagement: Question 11 - Prison Industrial Complex

While I found browsing Critical Resistance, Women And Prison: A Site For Resistance, and Corrections enlightening, I agree with grapefruit's sentiment, that something was left to be desired. For me, this deficiency was keenly felt in terms of citations. The groups make many strong accusations, which may certainly be true, but I had difficulty finding sources for them.

I am not trying to be nit-picky, for lack a better phrase, and overshadow the hard work of the members of these initiatives and their persuasive arguments for prison reform. Instead, I worry that anti-reform readers will discredit this hard work, and the goals of these groups won't be realized. Take, for example, an excerpt from the CR Statement on Policing:

When people die at the hands of the police, more often than not, the state concludes that the use of force was reasonable [according to whom?]. Police review boards are completely useless.

First, this statement would be much more persuasive if statistics on use of force rulings were presented. Second, while it may or may not be true, I'm not sure that calling review boards "completely useless" adds credence to CR's argument.

For another example, Women and Prison: A Site For Resistance had an excellent draft of a Bill of Health Rights for Incarcerated Girls, but some of the rights are in need of quantification if they are to be implemented:

5. Proper Hygiene. We believe girls should have more time to bathe, quality bathing products, as well as clean clothes and towels more often.

While I certainly agree that incarcerated girls deserve the right to proper hygiene, neither the current nor desired situations are described - how much time is "more time to bathe"?

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This page contains a single entry by Thunder_Fox published on April 18, 2010 11:39 PM.

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