Skip to content

abookaweek 2012: week fourteen

2012 April 8

Inside This Place, Not of It, compiled and edited by Robin Levi and Ayelet Waldman

Category: Non-fiction

Story: A collection of narratives from women who have suffered some horrible human rights violation during their stay in women’s prison in the U.S. In addition to the thirteen stories, there is a lot of background information about the legal systems and women’s fight for protection and adequate health services within U.S. prisons.

Opinion: After reading Patriot Acts, Narratives of Post-9/11 Injustice  last year I was eager to read more from the Voice of Witness series, so I picked up a few more. As shocked as I was by the stories in Patriot Acts, the ones in this volume were even more gripping. I found it hard to swallow that a country like the United States (which by all measures considers itself to be a (if not the) first world country) treats its prisoners like animals.

Abuse in male prisons has been documented for a while now, but the circumstances in women’s prisons are not given nearly as much attention. As much as I think everyone should take responsibility for their own actions, it’s hard not to see these women as victims of the system, of social inequality, of racial stereotyping, and so to see them being treated the way they are (raped, beaten up, denied medical care, denied justice) is harrowing. A fascinating, sobering read.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS