By Sasha Abramsky
During this dramatic exposé of U.S. penitentiaries and the groups round them, Sasha Abramsky unearths that prisons have dumped their age-old objective of rehabilitation, frequently for political purposes. the hot “ideal,” unknown to so much americans, is a punitive mandate marked by way of a force towards vengeance.
Surveying this nation of affairs—life sentences for nonviolent crimes, appalling stipulations, the expansion of personal prisons, the remedy of juveniles—Abramsky asks: Does the vengeful impulse ennoble our tradition or demean it? What can develop into of people that are quarantined for years in a violent lifestyle? California’s 3 moves legislation typifies the politics that take advantage of the grief of victims’ households and our fears of violent crime. Brilliantly researched and compellingly advised, American Furies indicates that the ethos of “lock ’em up and throw away the key” has huge, immense social expenses.
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Extra resources for American Furies: Crime, Punishment, and Vengeance in the Age of Mass Imprisonment
These guys throw piss, shit on trays, put sperm in cups. That’s a health hazard. But it’s not okay to take a photo of a prisoner nude and strapped up? There are worse things going on in the system. ” “It’s Greene County,” said one of Kinsell’s colleagues in the tourism o‰ce. ” There was, according to Lucy Northrup, co-owner and general manager of the Observer, one of two local papers, “more of a protest about the fact we published some of the pictures on the front page than about the acts themselves.
As the shocks increased in intensity, most often the volunteers’ moral confusion grew. The teacher would look to the authority ﬁgure—the experimenter —for guidance, and, when ordered to continue with the experiment, frequently would do so, even though the experimenter was not making physical threats against the volunteer teachers. A few stopped giving the shocks as soon as the learner asked for the experiment to be brought to a close; others stopped at a higher level, when, for example, the learner ceased to respond verbally to questions.
The notorious thrill-killer Charles Manson resides in a supermax in California, his view of the world restricted to the few square inches he can see through the rectangular Plexiglas window in his cell. Nobody escapes from these overwhelmingly fortiﬁed institutions. ¹⁴ Hardly surprisingly, as occurred at Eastern State, prisoners in these isolated facilities—many of whom are mentally ill to begin with, many others of whom develop signs of mental illness while in lockdown—routinely hurt themselves as a way to get attention, or to get sent to the marginally less unpleasant environs of the prison hospital or psychiatric ward.