Prisons and ‘setting access’
This NY Times article entitled ‘Alabama’s White Elephant’ describes several likely problematic consequences of a new federal prison for women being built in Alabama (US). Many of these problems can be framed and understood in an SRV/PASSING context. It would also be possible to draw out even more likely negative consequences which are not mentioned in the article, but also to draw up potentially valid steps aimed at reducing the impacts of social and societal devaluation and wounding. This would make a good exercise for an SRV study/discussion group and/or university classroom.
I will point out just one issue identified in the article: “for many of the prisoners, the rural isolation of this expensive facility will hurt their chances of returning permanently to their families and communities after doing their time.” We might consider this issue against the particular backdrop of the PASSING tool–for example, the rating R2111 Setting Access–Recipients and Families (p. 291 in the 2007 edition)–and ask ourselves: what are the likely negative consequences on the competencies of the women prisoners as a result of such dislocation? How about the likely negative consequences on any valued social roles which the women had prior to incarceration–how likely are the women to be able to sustain and/or return to these valued roles after they are released? What steps might help to shore up any valued roles? What steps might help to minimize the negative consequences of the wounds of distantiation, segregation and congregation? And so on.
Also note the powerful non-programmatic issue raised by the author of the newspaper article: “Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama pushed hard for Aliceville, promoting the prison as a boon to economic development and a source of jobs for a needy part of the state. For a generation, that rationale has helped justify expanding America’s prison system.”Tweet
In: Uncategorized · Tagged with: non-programmatic, PASSING, prison, social devaluation, Social Role Valorization, SRV