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

By Lee Bernstein

Within the Seventies, whereas politicians and activists open air prisons debated the right kind reaction to crime, incarcerated humans assisted in shaping these debates notwithstanding a huge 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 artwork. those incorporated every thing from George Jackson's progressive Soledad Brother to Miguel Piñero's acclaimed off-Broadway play and Hollywood movie brief Eyes . a rare diversity of criminal programs--fine arts, theater, secondary schooling, and prisoner-run programs--allowed the voices of prisoners to persuade the Black Arts circulation, the Nuyorican writers, ''New Journalism,'' and political theater, one of the most crucial aesthetic contributions of the last decade. through the Nineteen Eighties and '90s, prisoners' academic and creative 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 americans to reconsider the which means of the partitions themselves and, eventually, the that means of the society that produced them. 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 through 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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Extra resources for America Is the Prison: Arts and Politics in Prison in the 1970s

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As Nixon recited his script, the screen displayed images of drug users, crime victims, a rainbow of “decent citizens,” and, finally, of criminals cowering before police officers. ” Although Nixon did not specify in words how he would do this, images of uniformed officers arresting young thugs made clear his intentions. In his use of the idea of a “decent citizen,” Nixon could draw on a homey phrase while invoking threatening images and foreboding statistics. The images and statistics supported Nixon’s belief that the normal coercive controls that govern the behavior of most people were not in place in some parts of the United States.

W e Sh a l l Have Or d e r 35 Thus, while Moynihan may have seen himself as a liberal in that he emphasized the social causes of poverty and inequality, he was conservative in that he saw these social causes within African American communities. For Moynihan, alleviating poverty required changing the culture of African American families and communities. For Wilson, controlling crime required similar long-term social and cultural transformations. In the meantime, if social disorganization and damage resulted in criminality, poor black communities needed intensive, communitylevel policing and clear consequences for deviation from majority norms.

In her assessment of the “slum clearance” housing projects championed by New York City’s Robert Moses and other city planners, Jacobs wrote that the first thing to understand is that the public peace—the sidewalk and street peace—of cities is not kept primarily by the police, necessary as police are. It is kept primarily by an intricate, almost unconscious, network of voluntary controls and standards among the people themselves, and enforced by the people themselves. In some city areas—older public housing projects and streets with very high population turnover are often conspicuous examples—the keeping W e Sha l l Have Or d e r 37 of public sidewalk law and order is left almost entirely to the police and special guards.

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