prisons

Sam Pawlett rsp at SPAMuniserve.com
Tue Sep 7 01:32:49 MDT 1999



Michael Yates wrote:
>
> Next month I will begin teaching a class at a maximum security state
> prison in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Be careful.

Short,
> clearly writtten articles that illustrate features of the political
> econmy might be especially useful.  Thanks.
>
  I would recommend *The Profit System* by Francis Green and Bob
Sutcliffe. Those illustrated books *Marx For Beginners* etc. are good
for people with low literacy.

  There's a lot of excellent literature on prisons including _Lockdown
America_ by Christian Parenti [don't know if this is on shelves yet] and
_Rise and Fall of California's Radical Prison Movement_ by Eric Cumins
with a couple of good chapters on the prison education movement. The
favorite amongst radical prisoners was always *The Communist Manifesto*.
Cumins goes into the interesting detail about the construction of E.
Cleaver and George Jackson as icons of the Bay Area left and how this
turned out to be a disaster. The romantisization of crime and prisoners
as anti-establishment led certain left groups into the ground. People
like Cleaver and Jackson had been lifelong criminals [in and out],
socialized in prison and saw the outside through the prison subculture.
Cleaver in particular sees all of society as composed of two classes.
Obviously he had internalized and accepted the prison subculture.
Cumins mentions that the analytical Marxist Erik Olin Wright was a
chaplain in San Quentin in the early 70's.

   The group Stop Prisoner Rape http://www.igc.apc.org/spr/ has some
interesting and truly horrific
stuff on their webpage about how patriarchy is reproduced in male
prisons
when there are no women around, especially see The Amicus Brief, A
Punk's Song and the poem The Seventh Rapist [these writings are raw and
graphic].
   Books by Hans Toch _Ecology of Survival. Surviving Prison._ and
_Mosaics of Despair. Human Breakdown in Prison_ are interesting.
There's also Parker and Wooden _Men Behind Bars. Sexual Exploitation in
Prison._
   I underatand habeas corpus is being eliminated for American
prisoners. Yikes.

Sam P.









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