I decided this semester to stay with a similar topic and, like the first semester project, to look into another problem that is prominent and important but mostly ignored. I chose to look into the prison system, and life for women in prison specifically. Just doing a little research there’s a lot of aspects I can look into, including the dehumanization of inmates in prison, abuse, mental effects, social life, overcrowding, gangs, health, and opinions about what steps should be taken, if any. I am unsure about sticking with a specific topic, because all the aspects in prison all play a role in the bigger picture. I find this topic interesting because its a somewhat taboo subject, and I know people personally who believe and argue that because they are criminals they don’t deserve certain rights and treatment.
I am starting my project with a book, which seems inspirational, about how a woman went from modeling and being wealthy to cheating on her husband and abusing drugs and alcohol to prison and how that effected her life. I’ve read a little, and it’s interesting because overall it seems positive and her story about how she changed her life, but the book opens with,” When I was charged and placed in the God-awful, sick and abusive Franklin County Jail Workhouse in my hometown…”. The words God-awful, sick, and abusive have a very negative connotation to them which is conflicting when I think about how the book is supposed to be about how she improved her life. I am interested in seeing how that plays out. I think it might be about how in such a dark place she found her self and improved. The next source I have planned for this project, and cited, is a TED talk about how “Prisons Can Help Inmates Live Meaningful Lives”. I am biased in thinking that prison is a negative place and I am looking forward to seeing his argument about how prisons are beneficial. Other than these, my mom has a friend who is a security guard at the all girl’s prison in Eagle River, and she is helping me with getting an interview with him, and possibly the inmates. I am hoping to save this for last, after I have a better knowledge and have better questions to ask. I am very excited about this and I think it will do a good job of getting personal stories from Alaska and tie up my project. If you have suggestions about articles to read or another book, I’d be glad to hear them!
Wickes-Passmore, Amy, and Kristine Stevens. From Privilege to Prison: Finding Purpose in a Dark Place. Ed. Martin Yant. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 11 Dec. 2014. Web.
Pacholke, Dan. “How Prisons Can Help Inmates Live Meaningful Lives.” How Prisons Can Help Inmates Live Meaningful Lives. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Jan. 2015.