America Is the Prison: Arts and Politics in Prison in the by Lee Bernstein

By Lee Bernstein

Within the Nineteen Seventies, whereas politicians and activists open air prisons debated the right kind reaction to crime, incarcerated humans contributed to shaping these debates notwithstanding a vast diversity of outstanding political and literary writings. Lee Bernstein explores the forces that sparked a dramatic ''prison artwork renaissance,'' laying off gentle on how incarcerated humans produced strong works of writing, functionality, and visible paintings. those integrated every little thing from George Jackson's innovative Soledad Brother to Miguel Piñero's acclaimed off-Broadway play and Hollywood movie brief Eyes . a rare diversity of felony programs--fine arts, theater, secondary schooling, and prisoner-run programs--allowed the voices of prisoners to steer the Black Arts move, the Nuyorican writers, ''New Journalism,'' and political theater, one of the most vital aesthetic contributions of the last decade. by means of the Eighties and '90s, prisoners' academic and inventive courses have been scaled again or eradicated because the ''war on crime'' escalated. yet via then those prisoners' phrases had crossed over the wall, supporting many american citizens to reconsider the which means of the partitions themselves and, eventually, the which means of the society that produced them. by way of the Eighties and '90s, prisoners' academic and creative courses have been scaled again or eradicated because the ''war on crime'' escalated. yet by way of then those prisoners' phrases had crossed over the wall, supporting many american citizens to reconsider the which means of the partitions themselves and, finally, the which means of the society that produced them.

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S. criminal justice system in its long history. 3 As a political and social flashpoint, “law and order” brought together conservative contempt for government programs and professional experts while drawing on growing public concern about urban uprisings, radical protest, and street crime. 7 The prison building boom of the 1980s and 1990s was closely linked to major political and economic changes of the late 1960s and early 1970s. ”9 In response, law-and-order politics sought to subdue what the government saw as domestic insurgencies.

Police violence and urban rioting would be chalked up to poor relations between police officers and African Americans. These narratives downplayed racial and economic inequality, emphasizing instead a loss of values. They also avoided criticizing government bureaucracy in the same ways they confronted other aspects of the Great Society. Rather than seeing criminal justice as a repressive regime that established and maintained 32╇ We Sha ll Have Or d e r control of actual and potential critics of a fundamentally exploitative economic system, the criminal justice system represented the interests of law-abiding citizens.

In New York, the anticorruption Lexow Commission and the reform mayor Fiorello LaGuardia recommended and instituted similar changes. Most of these reforms would not take final form until the 1950s and 1960s, but they trace their origins to the 1930s. Despite institutional aversions to working closely with the federal agents, urban police administrators refashioned their administrations on the model of the G-men. This was particularly true among new units created during the reform period. While beat cops continued to wear uniforms and follow a militaristic chain of command, new investigative units and anticorruption officers donned suits and ties, much like other professionals.

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