The Politics of Punishment: A Critical Analysis of Prisons in America (Harper colophon books, CN318)

By Erik Olin Wright

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Just about all disciplinary motion is initiated by means of the guards. W h e n they see an infraction, they've got a number of offerings. T h e y can permit the infraction move by way of; they could provide the prisoner concerned a verbal r e p r i m a n d ; they could remove the prisoner's privilege card; or they could ship the prisoner to B part (i. e. , isolation). in the event that they select one of many final strategies, the prisoner needs to look ahead of the disciplinary committee, along with numerous counselors and a lieutenant in command of the block. T h e committee meets as soon as every week, so a prisoner could spend six days within the gap ahead of his case is officially h e a r d . three F o r so much infractions—preparation of domestic brew, stealing cookies from the kitchen, insolence to an officer—the punishment w i l l be five to ten days in isolation and lack of privileges for 30 to 60 days. however the prisoner might be sentenced to a interval of isolation after which a interval (perhaps indeterminate) of segregation from the final inhabitants. He may have his safeguard point raised and his actions constrained for a longer interval. If he's thought of a major chance to felony order, he might be despatched to the adjustment middle, the place he w i l l be stored thoroughly out of touch w i t h the overall inhabitants of the criminal. F o r prisoners sentenced to segregation or to the adjustment heart, hearings are periodically held to figure out whether or not they could be allowed to r e t u r n to the mainline inhabitants. A l l prisoners sentenced to punishment have the formal correct to three. F o r a d e t a i l e d dialogue of a n u m b e r of d i s c i p l i n a r y hearings at S a n Q u e n tin, see C h a p t e r five, p p . eighty three ff. T h e prisoners' v i e w of those hearings is p r e s e n t e d in C h a p t e r 6, p p . a hundred twenty five ff. San Q u e n t i n : G e n e r a l positive aspects seventy three allure the choice so far as the warden. H o w e v e r , few prisoners ever struggle through this strategy, both simply because they believe it really is unnecessary or simply because they don't seem to be expert of it. A disciplinary motion is almost by no means reversed. bankruptcy five San Quentin felony as visible through t h e criminal officers C O N C E P T I O N O F THE R O L E O F THE P R I S O N within the view of such a lot criminal officers, the 2 easy capabilities of prisons are custody and rehabilitation. To a undeniable quantity those services are obvious via many officers as reinforcing one another, as being collectively interdependent. In October, 1970, I attended an orientation day for brand spanking new staff at San Q u e n t i n . D u r i n g his introductory feedback, the director of in-service education at San Q u e n t i n said, " W e are right here to educate conformi t y . " T h e principles of right behavior, the self-discipline, the enforced conformity of gown and haircuts—all are a part of this attempt to "teach conformity" to the prisoners. it really is was hoping, he stated, that a few of these behavior w i l l proceed at the outdoor and that the prisoner w i l l learn how to agree to the principles of society. This normal orientation used to be expressed again and again to me by way of a variety of officers at San Q u e n t i n .

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