Hell Is a Very Small Place

Voices from Solitary Confinement

Author: Jean Casella,James Ridgeway,Sarah Shourd

Publisher: New Press, The

ISBN: 1620971380

Category: Social Science

Page: 240

View: 3112

The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture has denounced the use of solitary confinement beyond fifteen days as a form of cruel and degrading treatment that often rises to the level of torture. Yet the United States holds more than eighty thousand people in isolation on any given day. Now sixteen authors vividly describe the miserable realities of life in solitary. In a book that will add a startling new dimension to the debates around human rights and prison reform, former and current prisoners describe the devastating effects of solitary confinement on their minds and bodies, the solidarity expressed between individuals who live side by side for years without ever meeting one another face to face, the ever-present specters of madness and suicide, and the struggle to maintain hope and humanity. These firsthand accounts are supplemented by the writing of noted experts, exploring the psychological, legal, ethical, and political dimensions of solitary confinement, and a comprehensive introduction by James Ridgeway and Jean Casella. Sarah Shourd, herself a survivor of more than a year of solitary confinement, writes eloquently in a preface about an experience that changed her life.
Posted in Social Science

Supermax

Controlling Risk Through Solitary Confinement

Author: Sharon Shalev

Publisher: Willan

ISBN: 1134026676

Category: Social Science

Page: 256

View: 5429

This book examines the rise and proliferation of 'Supermaxes', large prisons dedicated to holding prisoners in prolonged and strict solitary confinement, in the United States since the late 1980s.
Posted in Social Science

Hell Is a Very Small Place

Voices from Solitary Confinement

Author: Jean Casella,James Ridgeway,Sarah Shourd

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781620973516

Category:

Page: N.A

View: 399

NOW IN PAPERBACK The "elegant but harrowing" (San Francisco Chronicle) collection of writing from solitary confinement that lifts the veil on this widespread modern-day form of torture
Posted in

Behind the Walls

A Guide for Family and Friends of Texas Inmates

Author: Jorge Antonio Renaud

Publisher: University of North Texas Press

ISBN: 1574411527

Category: Family & Relationships

Page: 218

View: 4403

Written by a Texas inmate trained as a reporter, this book gives practical advice on how inmates live, eat, play, work, and die in the Texas prison system. It spotlights the day-to-day workings of the Texas Department of Criminal Justicewhat's good, what's bad, which programs work and which ones do not, and examines if practice really follows official policy. While the book is meant to be a primer for those with loved ones in prison, it should be required reading for any attorney involved in criminal law.”Texas Lawyer de Novo Magazine
Posted in Family & Relationships

Solitary

The Inside Story of Supermax Isolation and How We Can Abolish It

Author: Terry A. Kupers

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520292235

Category: Prisoners

Page: 312

View: 2636

"When I testify in court, I am often asked: 'What is the damage of long-term solitary confinement?' . . . Many prisoners emerge from prison after years in solitary with very serious psychiatric symptoms even though outwardly they may appear emotionally stable. The damage from isolation is dreadfully real." --Terry Allen Kupers Imagine spending nearly twenty-four hours a day alone, confined to an eight-by-ten-foot windowless cell. This is the reality of approximately one hundred thousand inmates in solitary confinement in the United States today. Terry Allen Kupers, one of the nation's foremost experts on the mental health effects of solitary confinement, tells the powerful stories of the inmates he has interviewed while investigating prison conditions during the past forty years. Touring supermax security prisons as a forensic psychiatrist, Kupers has met prisoners who have been viciously beaten or raped, subdued with immobilizing gas, or ignored in the face of urgent medical and psychiatric needs. Kupers criticizes the physical and psychological abuse of prisoners and then offers rehabilitative alternatives to supermax isolation. Solitary is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the true damage that solitary confinement inflicts on individuals living in isolation as well as on our society as a whole.
Posted in Prisoners

The Medieval Prison

A Social History

Author: Guy Geltner

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691135335

Category: History

Page: 197

View: 4158

The modern prison is commonly thought to be the fruit of an Enlightenment penology that stressed man's ability to reform his soul. The Medieval Prison challenges this view by tracing the institution's emergence to a much earlier period beginning in the late thirteenth century, and in doing so provides a unique view of medieval prison life. G. Geltner carefully reconstructs life inside the walls of prisons in medieval Venice, Florence, Bologna, and elsewhere in Europe. He argues that many enduring features of the modern prison--including administration, finance, and the classification of inmates--were already developed by the end of the fourteenth century, and that incarceration as a formal punishment was far more widespread in this period than is often realized. Geltner likewise shows that inmates in medieval prisons, unlike their modern counterparts, enjoyed frequent contact with society at large. The prison typically stood in the heart of the medieval city, and inmates were not locked away but, rather, subjected to a more coercive version of ordinary life. Geltner explores every facet of this remarkable prison experience--from the terror of an inmate's arrest to the moment of his release, escape, or death--and the ways it was viewed by contemporary observers. The Medieval Prison rewrites penal history and reveals that medieval society did not have a "persecuting mentality" but in fact was more nuanced in defining and dealing with its marginal elements than is commonly recognized.
Posted in History

A Question of Freedom

A Memoir of Survival, Learning, and Coming of Age in Prison

Author: R. Dwayne Betts

Publisher: Avery Publishing Group

ISBN: 9781583333969

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 240

View: 7862

At the age of sixteen, R. Dwayne Betts, a good student from a lower-middle-class family, carjacked a man with a friend. He had never held a gun before, but within a matter of minutes he had committed six felonies. In Virginia, carjacking is an offense requiring treatment as an adult. A bright young kid, weighing only 126 pounds, he served his eight-year sentence as part of the adult population in some of the worst prisons in the state. This is his coming-of-age story. Utterly alone, and with the growing realization that he really is not going home any time soon, Dwayne confronts profound questions about violence, freedom, crime, race, and the justice system, and above all, a quest for identity. --From publisher description.
Posted in Biography & Autobiography

A Sliver of Light

Three Americans Imprisoned in Iran

Author: Shane Bauer,Joshua Fattal,Sarah Shourd

Publisher: HMH

ISBN: 0547985649

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 336

View: 3796

Hikers held captive in Tehran tell their story in “a moving memoir by three individuals who found the strength to survive” (San Jose Mercury News). During the summer of 2009, Shane Bauer, Joshua Fattal, and Sarah Shourd were hiking in the mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan when they unknowingly crossed into Iran and were captured by border patrol. Wrongly accused of espionage, the three Americans ultimately found themselves in Tehran’s infamous Evin Prison, where activists and protesters from the Green Movement were still being confined and tortured. Cut off from the world and trapped in a legal black hole, the three friends discovered that pooling their strength of will and relying on one another was the only way they could survive. In A Sliver of Light, Bauer, Fattal, and Shourd finally get to tell their side of the story. They offer a rare glimpse inside Iran at a time when understanding this fractured state has never been more important. But beyond that, this memoir is a profoundly humane account of defiance, hope, and the elemental power of friendship—and a “ record of a human rights triumph” (San Jose Mercury News).
Posted in Biography & Autobiography

The Graybar Hotel

Stories

Author: Curtis Dawkins

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1501162292

Category: Fiction

Page: 224

View: 8690

In this stunning debut collection, Curtis Dawkins, an MFA graduate and convicted murderer serving life without parole, takes us inside the worlds of prison and prisoners with stories that dazzle with their humor and insight, even as they describe a harsh and barren existence. In Curtis Dawkins’s first short story collection, he offers a window into prison life through the eyes of his narrators and their cellmates. Dawkins reveals the idiosyncrasies, tedium, and desperation of long-term incarceration—he describes men who struggle to keep their souls alive despite the challenges they face. In “A Human Number,” a man spends his days collect-calling strangers just to hear the sounds of the outside world. In “573543,” an inmate recalls his descent into addiction as his prison softball team gears up for an annual tournament against another unit. In “Leche Quemada,” an inmate is released and finds freedom more complex and baffling then he expected. Dawkins’s stories are funny and sad, filled with unforgettable detail—the barter system based on calligraphy-ink tattoos, handmade cards, and cigarettes; a single dandelion smuggled in from the rec yard; candy made from powdered milk, water, sugar, and hot sauce. His characters are nuanced and sympathetic, despite their obvious flaws. The Graybar Hotel tells moving, human stories about men enduring impossible circumstances. Dawkins takes readers beyond the cells into characters’ pasts and memories and desires, into the unusual bonds that form during incarceration and the strained relationships with family members on the outside. He’s an extraordinary writer with a knack for metaphor, and this is a powerful compilation of stories that gives voice to the experience of perhaps the most overlooked members of our society.
Posted in Fiction

Living on Death Row

The Psychology of Waiting to Die

Author: Hans Toch,James R. Acker,Vincent Martin Bonventre

Publisher: American Psychological Association (APA)

ISBN: 9781433829000

Category: Psychology

Page: 408

View: 7668

This book synthesizes scholarly reflections with personal accounts from prison administrators and inmates to show the harsh reality of life on death row.
Posted in Psychology

Slamming Open the Door

Author: Kathleen Sheeder Bonanno

Publisher: Alice James Books

ISBN: 1938584635

Category: Poetry

Page: 80

View: 8367

Of all the losses we may be asked to bear, the murder of one’s child must be the most terrible. These poems evoke that keenly, seeking justice but transcending judgment as they grieve loss, celebrate love, and find healing.
Posted in Poetry

23/7

Pelican Bay Prison and the Rise of Long-Term Solitary Confinement

Author: Keramet Reiter

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780300240191

Category:

Page: 312

View: 3827

How America's prisons turned a "brutal and inhumane" practice into standard procedure Originally meant to be brief and exceptional, solitary confinement in U.S. prisons has become long-term and common. Prisoners spend twenty-three hours a day in featureless cells, with no visitors or human contact for years on end, and they are held entirely at administrators' discretion. Keramet Reiter tells the history of one "supermax," California's Pelican Bay State Prison, whose extreme conditions recently sparked a statewide hunger strike by 30,000 prisoners. This book describes how Pelican Bay was created without legislative oversight, in fearful response to 1970s radicals; how easily prisoners slip into solitary; and the mental havoc and social costs of years and decades in isolation. The product of fifteen years of research in and about prisons, this book provides essential background to a subject now drawing national attention.
Posted in

A Place to Stand

Author: Jimmy Santiago Baca

Publisher: Open Road + Grove/Atlantic

ISBN: 9781555848903

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 272

View: 2125

A vivid portrait of life inside a maximum-security prison and an affirmation of one man’s spirit in overcoming the most brutal adversity. Jimmy Santiago Baca’s harrowing, brilliant memoir of his life before, during, and immediately after the years he spent in a maximum-security prison garnered tremendous critical acclaim and went on to win the prestigious 2001 International Prize. Long considered one of the best poets in America today, Baca was illiterate at the age of twenty-one and facing five to ten years behind bars for selling drugs. This raw, unflinching memoir is the remarkable tale of how he emerged after his years in the penitentiary—much of it spent in isolation—with the ability to read and a passion for writing poetry. “Proof there is always hope in even the most desperate lives.” —Fort Worth Star-Telegram “A hell of a book, quite literally. You won’t soon forget it.” —The San Diego Union-Tribune “This book will have a permanent place in American letters.” —Jim Harrison, New York Times–bestselling author of A Good Day to Die
Posted in Biography & Autobiography

Racehoss

Big Emma's Boy

Author: Albert Sample

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1501183990

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 416

View: 8809

“A timeless classic” (San Antonio Express-News), reissued with a new foreword, afterword, and ten percent more material about a black man who spent seventeen years on a brutal Texas prison plantation and underwent a remarkable transformation. First published in 1984, Racehoss: Big Emma’s Boy is Albert Race Sample’s “unforgettable” (The Dallas Morning News) tale of resilience, revelation, and redemption. Born in 1930, the mixed-race son of a hard-drinking black prostitute and a white cotton broker, Sample was raised in the Jim Crow South by an abusive mother who refused to let her son—who could pass for white—call her Mama. He watched for the police while she worked, whether as a prostitute, bootlegger, or running the best dice game in town. He loved his mother deeply but could no longer take her abuse and ran away from home at the age of twelve. In his early twenties, Sample was arrested for burglary, robbery, and robbery by assault and was sentenced to nearly twenty years in the Texas prison system in the 1950s and 60s. His light complexion made him stand out in the all-black prison plantation known as the “burnin’ hell,” where he and over four hundred prisoners picked cotton and worked the land while white shotgun-carrying guards followed on horseback. Sample earned the moniker “Racehoss” for his ability to hoe cotton faster than anyone else in his squad. A profound spiritual awakening in solitary confinement was a decisive moment for him, and he became determined to turn his life around. When he was finally released in 1972, he did just that. Though Sample was incarcerated in the twentieth century, his memoir reads like it came from the nineteenth. With new stories that had been edited out of the first edition, a foreword by Texas attorney and writer David R. Dow, and an afterword by Sample’s widow, Carol, this new edition of Racehoss: Big Emma’s Boy offers a more complete picture of this extraordinary time in America’s recent past.
Posted in Biography & Autobiography

His Natural Life

Author: Marcus Andrew Hislop Clarke,Lurline Stuart,Michael Roe,Elizabeth Webby

Publisher: Univ. of Queensland Press

ISBN: 9780702231773

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 686

View: 5727

His Natural Life has retained Australian classic status for over one hundred years. Scarcely ever out of print since first written during the early 1870s, it has provided successive generations with a vivid account of a brutal phase of colonial life. The main focus of this great convict novel is the complex interaction between those in power and those who suffer, made meaningful because of its hero's struggle against the destructiveness of his wrongful imprisonment. While much of the story is necessarily grim, Marcus Clarke has used elements of romance, incidents of family life and passages of scenic description to both relieve and give emphasis to the tragedy that forms its heart.
Posted in Biography & Autobiography

Life and Death in Shanghai

Author: Cheng Nien

Publisher: Open Road + Grove/Atlantic

ISBN: 0802196152

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 560

View: 4102

The national-bestselling memoir of a woman’s resistance and struggles in Communist China—“an absorbing story of resourcefulness and courage” (The New York Times). A NEW YORK TIMES BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR In August 1966, a group of Red Guards ransacked the home of Nien Cheng. Her background made her an obvious target for the fanatics of the Cultural Revolution: educated in London, the widow of an official of Chiang Kai-shek’s regime, and an employee of Shell Oil. When she refused to confess that any of this made he an enemy of the state, she was placed in solitary confinement, where she would remain for more than six years. Life and Death in Shanghai recounts the story of Nien Cheng’s imprisonment—a time of extreme deprivation which she met with heroic resistance—as well as her quest for justice when she was released. It is also the story of a country torn apart by Mao Tse-tung’s vicious campaign to topple party moderates. An incisive, personal account of a terrifying chapter in twentieth-century history, Life and Death in Shanghai is also an astounding portrait of one woman’s courage.
Posted in Biography & Autobiography

Six by Ten

Dispatches from Solitary Confinement

Author: Mateo Hoke,Taylor Pendergrass

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781608469567

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 345

View: 2473

A collection of intimate portraits told directly by people whose lives have been devastated by solitary confinement in America.
Posted in Biography & Autobiography

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Author: Tennessee Williams

Publisher: Dramatists Play Service Inc

ISBN: 9780822201892

Category: Drama

Page: 85

View: 370

THE STORY: In a plantation house, a family celebrates the sixty-fifth birthday of Big Daddy, as they sentimentally dub him. The mood is somber, despite the festivities, because a number of evils poison the gaiety: greed, sins of the past and desper
Posted in Drama

The Mis-education of the Negro

Author: Carter Godwin Woodson

Publisher: ReadaClassic.com

ISBN: N.A

Category: African Americans

Page: 207

View: 8075

Woodson's classic work of criticism explores how the education received by blacks has failed to give them an appreciation of themselves as a race and their contributions to history. Woodson puts forward a program that calls for the educated to learn about their past and serve the black community. (Education/Teaching)
Posted in African Americans

Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984)

Author: George Orwell,Matthew Dunster

Publisher: Oberon Books

ISBN: 1849433496

Category: Drama

Page: 120

View: 8225

War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. Winston Smith rewrites history for the Ministry of Truth, but when he’s handed a note that says simply ‘I love you’ by a woman he hardly knows, he decides to risk everything in a search for the real truth. In a world where cheap entertainment keeps the proles ignorant but content, where a war without end is always fought and the government is always watching, can Winston possibly hold onto what he feels inside? Or will he renounce everything, accept the Party’s reality and learn to love Big Brother? ‘Dunster – both in his faithful take on the story and in his sometimes extreme but always enthralling adaptation – gets close to the heart of Orwell’s warning, pointing up but not overemphasising its current political resonances.... Newspeak, Doublethink, Room 101 and Thought Police take on a chilling reality in this compelling production.’ – The Independent
Posted in Drama