"here in the legal library fighting our cases on typewriters"
October 2, 2019 10:04 AM   Subscribe

Want to Time Travel Back to the 80s? Visit a Prison "Typing Room" [The Marshall Project ] "Most federal prisons have a designated area for inmates to pursue legal work: a legal library/typing room." posted by readinghippo (11 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I did a shallow dive into commissary suppliers and prison tech a while ago, including that Core 77 link. Union Supply Direct, JL Marcus, and Keefe Group are still doing big business selling obsolete products to literally captive populations.
posted by zamboni at 10:24 AM on October 2, 2019 [3 favorites]

That first link was interesting, but on the whole, I think I would prefer not to read things written by child pornographers.
posted by jacquilynne at 11:12 AM on October 2, 2019 [8 favorites]

I started to write a longer response about how trivializing it is to dismiss an article raising an important issue seriously impeding the access of prisoners to actual justice, health care, religious freedom, and physical safety, among other things, because of who the author is, but, man, if you don't get that already, you're not going to.
posted by praemunire at 11:31 AM on October 2, 2019 [19 favorites]

Sure, that's fair enough criticism and I should know better -- obviously voices from inside prisons aren't usually going to be coming from problem free people. The article itself is so informal and filled with the voice and personality of the author that it really resonates and then you get to the end and discover that you've been resonating with a child pornographer. That left me feeling deeply uncomfortable in a very visceral sort of way. I'll just have to find my own way past that discomfort.
posted by jacquilynne at 11:45 AM on October 2, 2019 [5 favorites]

I pretty much agree with both of you but I would have liked a warning tag somewhere, that probably would have been plenty for me to have my head right going into it in the authorial front.

It's interesting material and makes me all the less likely to curse the next time I have to install/fix someone's God forsaken printer drivers.
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:16 PM on October 2, 2019 [2 favorites]

Thinking of people in prison as the embodiment of their criminal acts is one of the causes of injustice in the incarceration industry. That the prison law library is the place were dreams of justice go to die is utterly wrong, and it's always wrong even if it's highlighted by a sinner rather than a saint.
posted by scruss at 12:26 PM on October 2, 2019 [19 favorites]

As a counterpoint to some of the attitudes in this thread I want to offer this recent piece in the guardian , which is written by a woman who works assessing sex offenders. Even she is amazed by the capacity for change shown by some offenders, while recognising the coruscating effects of working near such people.
posted by The River Ivel at 1:40 AM on October 3, 2019 [4 favorites]

How does one differentiate between the capacity for change and the capacity for “change”, for Mouthing That Jesus Shit with sufficient skill to get early parole? It's a nontrivial problem, and probably always will be.
posted by acb at 5:39 AM on October 3, 2019 [1 favorite]

It is worth mentioning that people who commit crimes, even pretty terrible crimes are people. People we know and see every day. They’re just the ones who get caught, tried and convicted. They’re not monsters from another world. They look like everyone else. Other than their particular crimes that is.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 8:24 AM on October 3, 2019 [2 favorites]

"Early parole" is mostly not determined by believing an inmate has changed, but by overcrowding and actual sentence length.
posted by agregoli at 5:30 AM on October 4, 2019

They’re just the ones who get caught, tried and convicted

Also, sometimes they are tried and convicted, but innocent!
posted by agregoli at 5:43 AM on October 4, 2019

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