by Jennifer Swift
Aug 27, 2013
05:43 AM
Connecticut Politics

Cool Justice Opinion: Not CT Dept. of Corrections; It's Ignorance, Recidivism, Sadism

Cool Justice Opinion: Not CT Dept. of Corrections; It's Ignorance, Recidivism, Sadism

Our prison economy gives huge leeway to those who control the jail cells, the corridors, the unseen and what passes for libraries. Every now and then we get a glimpse of the hidden reality: Any expression of hope or humanity must be stamped out; dare to act as a person and you certainly will be punished.

This is why actual education is a threat to business as usual at the Niantic jail – aka York Correctional Institution – or any other jail in Connecticut.

Who is in prison? For the most part, the Niantic inmates are poor, people of color and victims of sexual abuse. They are the same people who start life being tracked in our worst schools in the cities where the infant mortality rate is worse than in some Third World countries.

The bullies who victimize the victims scatter like rats under a spotlight when they are exposed. They hide behind banal statements about processes that ban books and give bureaucratic weight to the forces of repression. As soon as the public spotlight is off, they find new ways to retaliate for the greatest crime of all in prison – pretending you are a human being.

These are among the reasons the novelist and prison workshop leader Wally Lamb is now The Most Dangerous Man in Connecticut. Lamb cried out for help on social media when the malicious bosses and hacks banned his Oprah Book Club novel “She’s Come Undone” and put the inmate-written “I’ll Fly Away” on the chopping block. The public responded and humanitarian leaders in state government finessed the fastest backflip in state history.

Click here for a listing of banned and approved books and periodicals, Connecticut Department of Correction

See the full column at the Register Citizen online.

 

Cool Justice Opinion: Not CT Dept. of Corrections; It's Ignorance, Recidivism, Sadism

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