Is it Alright With You?
United States is number one country that imprisons its own people in such large numbers.
Twenty-five per cent of the world’s imprisoned is in the United States. One in one
hundred people are caught up in the prison system. The industrial prison complex prvides
It is interesting to contemplate one’s feelings and follow one’s internal dialogue when
receiving that information. Is it alright with you that this is a reality? By putting forth this
question it could be assumed that anyone contemplating the statistics concerning the
imprisoned have some power to affect the numbers of those imprisoned. One could
assume, given the daily news report that Americans should feel safer because the bulk of
those imprisoned are those who steal, rape and kill. Prisons are presented as spaces of
protection; places to hold and rehabilitate those who break the laws that are created to
protect United States citizens and their possessions.
Unfortunately, research does not support this. Everyone occupies a place in prison
has violated a crime against someone else; broken a law created for protecting the well
being of someone else. It is also true that all those who threaten the well being of others,
even large numbers of others, are rarely sent to prison, such a white collar criminals,
environmental offenders, pharmaceutical offenders.
Considering “the three elements of Lefebvre’s theory of space”, it is important to
revisit the representation of the space of prison. As individuals, where have we gotten our
emotional understandings of why people are sent to prison, who are these people that
occupy our prisons, and what efforts are being made for rehabilitation. Angela Davis, in a
discussion about the prison industrial complex, presented on the Youtube.com by
danostamper 714, says that we have forgotten how to talk about prison and prisoners. The
issues of the prison complex are not talked about. It is an emotional issue that we are
taught to turn a blind eye.
The purpose of this presentation is not only to give statistics connected with the
prison system, but also to encourage the awareness of the individual’s power to look
clearly at this system that is incarcerating growing numbers of our citizens (I am using
the term citizen loosely to mean those who live, work and contribute to the well-being of
the United States of America) unjustly or crime that has been manufactured that has
nothing to do with safety of anyone.
In a conversation with Inside USA, Aljazeera English, on October 05, 2008,
Angela Davis speaks of the difficulty of the general population to incorporate
conversation on the of prisons is because the prison system, as a holding place for
increasing numbers of poor, Black and others that society doesn’t know what to do with.
The liminality of this situation is that too often prisons have become a structural way that
a trajectory for certain of populations to be deposited into the prison system (Angela
Davis, Inside USA, 2008) that has nothing to do with crime..the prisons people, men,
women and children, has many presented on UtubeWith one out of every one hundredIf
there are injustices committed by those who determine the laws and policies that cause
people to be imprisoned, would
Liminality of the Place of Prisons
Just as Gotham uses the concept of liminality in “The Authentic New Orleans to explore
dualism in the creation of tourism; the concept of liminality effectively contributes to
understanding the place nature of prisons. The role the prison system in the United States
was a place that those who were imprisoned were supposed to have an opportunity to be
rehabilitated and reconnect with God. Angela Davis tells us that the role that the prison
system works as the entanglement of slavery, because black people were given legal
agency only in regards to being a law breaker. The tremendous number of black women
in prison today is due to the war of on drug having a concentration of police surveillance
in low income black communities. Maine and Vermont are the only two states that
prisoners can vote. Former prisoners not allowed to vote or even suspected in 2000
election. CongressDemoc 600,000 ex-felony in Florida alone were not allowed to vote.
Those who are imprisoned at the time could not vote. In South Africa there are voting
machines in prisons. Collaterial consequences of being prison – not able to vote, extreme
difficulty getting jobs, difficulty reconnecting with family and community, civil death
(Angela Davis, 2007). Many people who spent years in solitary confinement went insane.
War on Drugs
Blacks, for example, are currently arrested on drug charges at more than three
times the rates of whites. They are sent to state prisons with drug convictions at
ten times the rate of whites. Although there are approximately six times as many
whites who use and sell drugs as blacks, almost half of state prisoners sentenced
for drugs are black.
Prisons as Tourist Destination
Prison Industrial Complex
Angela Davis – Critical Resistance
13.5 million people go through the prison system in a year as of 2006. (Bureau of Justice.
Children of those Imprisoned
What is Being Done to Assist Imprisoned Women
Angela Davis. 2008. The Prison: A Sign of Democracy? http://www.youtube.com/watch?
Bureau of Justice. 2007. Prison Inmates at Midyear 2007.