Her entry begins:
My current reading list reveals a slight propensity towards doing too many things at once. I am listening to an audio recording of Joan Didion’s book of essays, Slouching Towards Bethlehem, and I am in the middle of reading Evicted by Matthew Desmond and Bone Swans by C.S.E. Cooney. I love Joan Didion’s blend of personal narrative and cultural critique, and as someone who has lived on both the east and west coast and travels frequently between them, I especially appreciate her bi-coastal perspective. And Slouching Towards Bethlehem, now almost half a century old, is full of...[read on]About 23/7: Pelican Bay Prison and the Rise of Long-Term Solitary Confinement, from the publisher:
How America’s prisons turned a “brutal and inhumane” practice into standard procedureVisit Keramet Reiter's website, and learn more about 23/7: Pelican Bay Prison and the Rise of Long-Term Solitary Confinement at the Yale University Press website.
Originally meant to be brief and exceptional, solitary confinement in U.S. prisons has become long-term and common. Prisoners spend twenty-three hours a day in featureless cells, with no visitors or human contact for years on end, and they are held entirely at administrators’ discretion. Keramet Reiter tells the history of one “supermax,” California’s Pelican Bay State Prison, whose extreme conditions recently sparked a statewide hunger strike by 30,000 prisoners. This book describes how Pelican Bay was created without legislative oversight, in fearful response to 1970s radicals; how easily prisoners slip into solitary; and the mental havoc and social costs of years and decades in isolation. The product of fifteen years of research in and about prisons, this book provides essential background to a subject now drawing national attention.
The Page 99 Test: 23/7: Pelican Bay Prison and the Rise of Long-Term Solitary Confinement.
Writers Read: Keramet Reiter.