Download Doing Time Together: Love and Family in the Shadow of the by Megan Comfort PDF

By Megan Comfort

By way of quadrupling the variety of humans in the back of bars in 20 years, the USA has turn into the area chief in incarceration. a lot has been written at the males who make up the majority of the nation’s million inmates. yet what of the ladies they go away in the back of? Doing Time jointly vividly information the ways in which prisons form and infiltrate the lives of ladies with husbands, fianc?s, and boyfriends at the inside.Megan convenience spent years studying ladies traveling males at San Quentin nation criminal, looking at how their romantic relationships drew them into touch with the reformatory. Tangling with the prison’s intrusive scrutiny and inflexible principles turns those ladies into “quasi-inmates,” eroding the boundary among domestic and legal and changing their experience of intimacy, love, and justice. but convenience additionally reveals that with social welfare weakened, prisons are the main robust public associations to be had to girls suffering to beat untreated social ills and maintain relationships with marginalized males. accordingly, they show nice ambivalence in regards to the criminal and the keep watch over it exerts over their day-by-day lives.An illuminating research of ladies stuck within the shadow of America’s sizeable criminal method, Comfort’s booklet might be crucial for an individual keen on the implications of our punitive tradition. (20070326)

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Additional resources for Doing Time Together: Love and Family in the Shadow of the Prison

Sample text

In order to enter San Quentin, visitors must be eighteen years of age or older, or they must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian who presents the child’s birth certificate, which permitted me to ensure that all participants were considered legal adults by the state of California. 19 CHAPTER ONE impossible to obtain at an unfamiliar site where I was unknown. I did not select San Quentin as a penitentiary that is positively or negatively remarkable, and the focus of my investigation is women’s interactions with the prison as a social institution, not their interactions specifically with San Quentin.

Once inside the processing area, people undergo a series of identity and security checks characteristic of those implemented by what Zygmunt Bauman (1995, 107) calls “factories of order . . sites of purposeful activity calculated to result in a product conceived in advance . . 4 She then hands over her shoes, coat, and other belongings to be sent on a conveyor belt through an x-ray machine, and she walks through a metal 4. The only way someone can be approved to visit a prisoner at San Quentin is for the prisoner to send her the required clearance forms.

The three types of waits imposed on visitors of San Quentin—the morning waiting line, the count period, and the redial purgatory of appointment scheduling—converge to signify the devaluation of prisoners’ intimates and kin in the eyes of the authorities. Indeed, “the distribution of waiting time coincides with the distribution of power” since “waiting limits productive uses of time and in so doing generates distinct social and personal costs” (Schwartz 1975, 5). For this reason, “queuing is confined largely to the less-privileged groups in society” 15.

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