op ed: ‘The prison boom comes home to roost’

This Boston Globe op-ed piece about prisons and the high rate of incarceration in the US raises many SRV relevant points, such as:

• the pervasive influence of non-programmatic factors, such as the employment and profit incentive behind the prison boom

• the link between impoverishment and imprisonment (particularly in light of societal devaluation and heightened vulnerability)

• how the valued roles of husband and father can be driven out by the devalued role of prisoner. Note that this example of ‘role destruction’ can occur whether we think the person is guilty or not, or should be imprisoned or not.

Given the societal and personal effects of imprisonment–especially in terms of societal devaluation, wounding, devalued roles, heightened vulnerability–it is well worth considering from an SRV perspective what positive difference(s) that access to valued social roles can make for individuals/groups.

• How are prisoners/ex-prisoners likely to be devalued? What societal values are they seen as contradicting or standing in opposition to?

• What wounds are prisoners/ex-prisoners likely to experience?

• What are prisoners and ex-prisoners vulnerable to?

• What ‘good things of life’ are prisoners/ex-prisoners cut off from (whether you believe they deserve it or not)?

• What valued roles can prisoners access, when and if they are released but even while in jail or prison? What ‘good things of life’ can they experience, when and if they are released but even while in jail or prison?

• What image enhancement and competency enhancement strategies can be used in prison and after release to help (ex) prisoners acquire, regain and/or maintain valued social roles?

• How can interpersonal identification between prisoners and guards be facilitated? How about between prisoners/ex-prisoners and typical citizens (e.g., such as potential employers, neighbors or landlords)?

Thanks to Ed Wilson for sending me this article.

Posted on November 29, 2010 at 2:24 pm by MTumeinski · Permalink
In: Uncategorized · Tagged with: , , , ,

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