Final Blog Post

Media covered:

  1. From Privledge to Prison- Book
  2. Stanford Prison Experiment- Website/Slideshow
  3. U.N.:Tasers are a form of torture- Article
  4. How Prisons Can Help Inmates Lead Meaningful Lives- TED Talk
  5. Sustainability In Prisons Project- Website
  6. Resistance Behind Bars- Book
  7. We Got to Get Outta This Place- TED Talk
  8. Discussion with prison guard at Highland Correctional Center- Experimental
  9. Worst Female Prisons in the World- Documentary
  10. Women in Prison -Photo Essay
  11. Pregnant In Prison– Essay
  12. Women in Prison episode 1&2- TV series
  13. Cellblock 6: Female Lockup- Documentary

One thing I noticed about the pattern is that I started with a personal story in the form of a book and ended with personal stories in the form of the final documentary. In between there was a mixture of personal stories, generalizations, and statistics. I started with one book I found interesting and followed it from there, focusing a lot on the wrongdoings of the prison system and the mistreatment of women in prison. There was some implications or mention of fixing the prison system and changing it for the better in everything I read or watched.


I started with a book which covers the changes Amy went through and the effects of her life decisions. There was one situation with a pregnant women being tased which effected me emotionally and made me think of the Stanford prison experiment and the force used in prisons. This led to one of the questions I asked the prison guard about the force they use there. I learned that there are tasers in the prison, but they have not been used yet. This also led to the flip side of the topic, in which it is argued that prisons can add to prisoners lives and improve them. This led me to the sustainability in prisons project and gave me the idea about reforming the prison system. This also led to questions for the prison guard about the GED programs and programs against recidivism, which led to the TED talk by piper kerman. I found the documentary about the correctional center in Baltimore just looking for something to watch, and found it especially interesting because it takes place close to where I lived before I moved to Alaska. The photo essay was just something I found while searching the internet for things relevant to my project, and just as Nora Ephron argues in her essay about the Boston photographs, I found the pictures to be a lot more impactful emotionally than the narrative and words in the things I covered before. During that same search of things to add to my project I came across the Pregnant in Prison essay. The topic of pregnant women in prison is one thing that was a recurring theme throughout my project. I think that and the specific medical attention women need is one interesting thing to think about throughout the project. My mom found the other documentary I watched on TV one day when she was flipping through channels and recorded it for me, knowing it was relevant to my project. One interesting connection between the first TED talk and the documentary my mom found and the one about Baltimore is that the documentaries placed high emphasis on the changes and programs in the prisons that are put in place to improve the inmates lives and prevent recidivism.


  • One thing I didn’t even consider before the project was the idea of hope, that it is possible to change the system and the behavior of those incarcerated and that there are many programs available to those willing to change. Programs range from rehab to GED classes to anger management classes and group therapy. In the documentary about Baltimore, there was one program that was a rehab halfway house for prostitutes, but the success of this program relies on the willingness of those involved. The Highland Correctional Center is very active in give back programs, not inherently focusing on improving those incarcerated but focusing more on improving the community. Every Christmas they make clothing such as hats and gloves and raise money for families or villages in need. In the past they have raised over $14000.00 for donations.
  • What I found shocking and heartbreaking at the same time was the statistics that USA has 25% of the worlds population, and those rates continue to climb. The population at the Highland Correctional Center has doubled in the past 15 years. One reason for this is because when inmates get out they leave to the same unhealthy environment and people who caused them to get incarcerated in the first place, causing the revolving door.
  • I also was surprised at the fact that a lot of prisons and jails focus more on controlling and containing prisoners in contrast to the rehab and improvement I believe should happen.
  • Another thing not specific to my project but more about my thinking is that I found the statistics to not effect me in the same way documentaries and photos did. I believe they are more personal and more impactful and I found that really compelling.

I am going to create a slideshow for the final project. I believe because my project follows a very chronological pattern and flows directly from one media to another. This will translate well into a slide show, where I can put slides summarizing the media, my thoughts, and how those thoughts led to the next.


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One thought on “Final Blog Post

  1. A slide show will definitely work, but since you mentioned chronology, you might also consider using an online timeline builder where you can insert all kinds of media, including text, video, still visual, and audio. I your letter is also going to go in chrono order you might choose to actually create and embed multiple timelines to break the project down into smaller more easily understood parts for the class. The pattern here seems like a problem solution structure to me. There’s clearly something that can be done to reduce recidivism, but it costs money and most people are not sympathetic to those who have landed in prison. That said, doing the hard part, and focusing on rehab would likely result in an overall savings for taxpayers. There’s probably also room for a discussion about the types of crimes we incarcerate people for, which I think Kerman mentions in her book and in her TED talk.

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