I Thought I was Seeing Convicts/ Ich glaubte Gefangene zu sehen
That detention can turn into a horror like that at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison is hard to fathom, but incarceration of any sort always seems to exist on the edge of sanity, ready to transmute into grim, even fatal, encounters.The inhumane treatment of prisoners in Iraq or Afghanistan is emblematic of the worst sort of pendulum swing tracked in Harun Farocki's study of prison control in California or mass beatings at Chicago's Cook County Jail. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., writing from a cell in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963 when jailed by Bull Connor for demonstrating without a permit, wrote, "Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly." Dr. King's words give succor to those who want to make a difference. While we may not be able to change the prison-industrial complex that has grown so much over the last decades we can, as working librarians, take first steps. We can seek to ensure that people held in local jails have library service. There are some public libraries and projects that provide guidance in this path. If we help one even one person, we help all.
--from "Public Libraries and People in Jail" Reference and User Services Quarterly 44 (Fall 2004): 26-30.
I thought I was seeing convicts. .
Nine minutes in the yard.
Posted by Librarian at 2/18/2005 09:17:00 PM