A New Blog

I have been struggling for prison reform for twenty-three years. I’ve taught creative writing in prisons both in Canada and in the States and what I’ve seen fills me with horror. I’m starting a blog on Prison Uncensored. I hope you’ll take a look at it. It’s called Prison Uncensored:   http://prisonuncensored.wordpress.com/

Here’s the first entry

A Call for Prison Reform

Posted: January 18, 2012 in Prison, Reform
Tags: Crime, Crime Schools, Human Warehouse, Prison, Prison Reform, Reform, Rehabilitation, Slave Trade, Slavery

prison handsSlavery. Fathers, mothers ripped from their children. People thrown in the bottom of slave ships where many of them died. Transported from Africa to America. Prodded and displayed for sale in markets.

Today we look in horror at what our ancestors did. How could human beings do those things to other people?

I fear, however, that our descendents will look back at our era and say the same things:

They put their law-breakers in cages? They had these things called prisons, fenced in spaces where there weren’t any trees. They ripped the identity out of the people, told them in countless ways that they were evil. Some of the law-breakers they executed. And these people of the 21st century claimed to be educated.

I can hear it now. A descendent of mine. She studies my history. What did he do? Did he support this evil by paying for it? Yes he did. He paid his taxes.

So I take a very small step. I’m going to write a blog on prison reform. Who am I? I’ve been teaching creative writing in prison for 23 years. My heart aches with what I see.

What do I believe? Yes, a very small minority of those currently locked up in prison have to stay there, at least until they change. But most men and women need something besides prison. They need rehabilitation. Our current prisons are warehouses for human beings – and they are crime schools.

I don’t know all the answers. I’d like to hear your views. But we must start. Our descendents are watching.

What do you think about prison?

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3 responses to “A New Blog

  1. Ed, Happy to come on board. I’m just a bit confused. You write as if there are no degrees of misdemeanour. Surely one of the most important things to do in prison reform, rather than spending all the resources on improving conditions for everybody is to separate murderers and rapists, etc, from white collar criminals and those who’ve done nothing more than armed robbery without violence. It seems to me that resources, which are always limited, might be better spent in this way, rather than trying for reform right across the board.

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