By Megan Comfort
By way of quadrupling the variety of humans in the back of bars in twenty years, the us has turn into the realm chief in incarceration. a lot has been written at the males who make up nearly all of the nation’s million inmates. yet what of the ladies they depart in the back of? Doing Time jointly vividly info the ways in which prisons form and infiltrate the lives of girls with husbands, fianc?s, and boyfriends at the inside.Megan convenience spent years discovering girls traveling males at San Quentin kingdom legal, looking at how their romantic relationships drew them into touch with the detention center. Tangling with the prison’s intrusive scrutiny and inflexible ideas turns those girls into “quasi-inmates,” eroding the boundary among domestic and legal and changing their feel of intimacy, love, and justice. but convenience additionally unearths that with social welfare weakened, prisons are the main strong public associations to be had to ladies suffering to beat untreated social ills and maintain relationships with marginalized males. for that reason, they convey nice ambivalence in regards to the felony and the keep an eye on it exerts over their day-by-day lives.An illuminating research of ladies stuck within the shadow of America’s gigantic criminal procedure, Comfort’s publication may be crucial for a person considering the results of our punitive tradition. (20070326)
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Extra resources for Doing Time Together: Love and Family in the Shadow of the Prison
42 “O N - L I N E” AT S A N Q U E N T I N (Mann 1969, 353), whose time is considered inferior to and more expendable than that of the higher-ups running the show. Tellingly, personal association with a prisoner de facto erases any other privileges connected to economic or cultural capital when it comes to visitor processing: although most people lining up to enter San Quentin are lowincome African Americans or Hispanics, the well-to-do white women coming to see their loved ones endure the exact same conditions of waiting as everyone else.
On the other end of the rope, visitors—cognizant of their status as legally “free” people— resist this imposed prisoner label, clamor for respectful, 1. Following Rogers Brubaker and Fred Cooper (2000), I avoid the use of “identity” as a preformed entity or substance since the issue here is precisely to examine how various forms of group membership and institutional processes of categorization inﬂuence social conduct and representation. 21 CHAPTER TWO nonpunitive treatment, and ﬁercely struggle to import the “outside world” into the facility via their personally stylized appearances and comportment.
The sharp heels of her stiletto shoes clacked on the concrete as she paced the hallway. I was frozen to my spot along with the other visitors, barely daring to sneak sideways glances at her; when I ﬁnally braved a head-on look I noticed that her makeup, always heavy and striking, today was completed by thick, perfectly delineated eyebrows drawn over her outraged eyes. As this excerpt from my notes indicates, the unpredictability of the precise moment when processing begins causes signiﬁcant strain for visitors.
Doing Time Together: Love and Family in the Shadow of the Prison by Megan Comfort