Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 1 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds   

Prisons: Past, Present, Future

By       (Page 1 of 5 pages)     (# of views)   2 comments
Author 48557
Message Kenneth E. Hartman
Become a Fan
  (3 fans)

When I came to prison in 1980, it was at the beginning of the mass lock-up of Californians that only crested when the economy crested and broke on bad loans and deflated bubbles. The coming decade must surely overturn the terrible decisions made in the previous three.

At the start of my term, prisons were apolitical backwaters. This was well before the creation of the hard conservative movement that swept the country backward to punishment for the sake of inflicting pain.

I was at old Folsom Prison just outside of Sacramento in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. California had been governed by a series of administrations that left the management of the prison system up to professionals. What went on in these places never mattered much unless there was an uprising that left too many convicts dead to ignore.

Social changes that had upended the old order, spearheaded by federal court interventions, were still being adjusted to when I arrived. The older cons told me about the way it was back in the '50s and '60s.

Back then, the guards could exact brutal punishments without fear of penalty. Books were mostly barred, as were visits and televisions; even radios were forbidden. Prisoners lived lives of isolated desperation, part of a hidden society of outcasts.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5

 

Well Said 4   Must Read 3   Valuable 3  
Rate It | View Ratings

Kenneth E. Hartman Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Kenneth E. Hartman has served 30 continuous years in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation on a life without the possibility of parole (LWOP) sentence. He is the author of "Mother California: A Story of Redemption Behind (more...)
 
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Prisons: Past, Present, Future

It's Time To Change The Prisons

Bad Things Happen in the Dark

Why I'd Vote for the SAFE California Act

Prop 34: Truth, Indeed, But Not The Whole Truth

Us Against The World