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Iron City Magazine: Creative Expressions By and For the Incarcerated

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Iron City Magazine is an online and print journal devoted entirely to writing and art from the prison world. It is our hope that through this creative platform, incarcerated artists and writers find value in their stories, fuel for personal

Iron City Magazine is an online and print journal devoted entirely to writing and art from the prison world. It is our hope that through this creative platform, incarcerated artists and writers find value in their stories, fuel for personal growth, and pride in their accomplishments. Inmates are, first and foremost, people. They own stories worthy of telling and sharing. Iron City Magazine aims to highlight these stories in a way more permanent than a private journal. In addition, we serve to remind the general public that inmates can make meaningful contributions to their communities. So often, this potential is forgotten or overshadowed by their crimes. By validating inmates' humanity through writing and art, we encourage a culture of understanding and transformation.

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Date Created
2016-05

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But some of them are fierce: navigating and negotiating the terrain of motherhood as formerly incarcerated and convicted women

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Women who are incarcerated are viewed as having departed from the hegemonic standard of motherhood, and become questionable in their roles as mothers, and are often perceived as "bad" mothers. While the challenges of parenting behind bars has

Women who are incarcerated are viewed as having departed from the hegemonic standard of motherhood, and become questionable in their roles as mothers, and are often perceived as "bad" mothers. While the challenges of parenting behind bars has been widely researched, there is a paucity of research that centers the experiences and challenges of mothers post-incarceration or probation and a void in the literature that attempts to view this population outside of the confines of the good/bad mother dichotomy. This dissertation explores how mothers who are formerly incarcerated or convicted describe their experiences navigating and negotiating their roles not as good or bad mothers but as fierce mothers. The concept of fierce mother exists outside of the good/bad mother binary; it is based on themes that emerged from the stories women told during our conversations about the practice of mothering. The energy of hard-won survival is what they bring to their mother roles and for many it drives their activism around prison abolition issues. Their stories challenge the normative discourse on good/bad mothers, justice, rights, freedom and dignity.

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Created

Date Created
2015

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Hard time and hard love: issues and challenges of visitation for men of incarcerated women

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The United States prison population is rapidly rising. Consequently, more families are losing loved ones to the system. While many researchers have focused on women of incarcerated men and children of incarcerated parents, none have looked at the partners of

The United States prison population is rapidly rising. Consequently, more families are losing loved ones to the system. While many researchers have focused on women of incarcerated men and children of incarcerated parents, none have looked at the partners of incarcerated women. This paper explores the issues and challenges of prison visitation for the significant others of women incarcerated at Perryville Prison in Goodyear AZ. It is known that prison visitation is important for supporting and maintaining romantic relationships. It is also beneficial to the prison institution. Visitation assists in social control and high inmate morale; both of which lower the instances of violent acts. However, it has been reported that visitation is a daunting task for the visitors. Many sources of information and data were used for this study; formal and informal interviews with family members and others with prison visitation experience, government websites that contain visitation policies, online forums for family and friends of inmates to discuss their concerns, existing research literature, direct observations, and discussions with scholar experts and prison activists. These resources act as a window to visitation at Perryville. With insights derived from symbolic interactionism and previous research guiding the project, it was found that visitation is a good experience for the significant others, incarcerated women, and Perryville. However, the troubles the significant others have with money, the institution and social support strongly suggest that these men encounter hurdles that make the positive act of visitation at times nearly impossible.

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Created

Date Created
2011

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The gendering of criminal stigma: an experiment testing the effects of race/ethnicity and incarceration on women's entry-level job prospects

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Over the past 40 years, the rate at which women are incarcerated has increased dramatically. Of the 111,000-plus female inmates currently in prison, most will be returned to the community and reenter the labor market. Despite its significance in prisoner

Over the past 40 years, the rate at which women are incarcerated has increased dramatically. Of the 111,000-plus female inmates currently in prison, most will be returned to the community and reenter the labor market. Despite its significance in prisoner reentry and in how ex-offenders remain crime-free, previous research finds that employers are unwilling to hire employees with a criminal record. Moreover, Pager (2003) and Pager, Western, and Bonikowski (2009) found that White job applicants with a prison record were more likely to be interviewed or hired than Black or Hispanic applicants without a record. These troubling findings regarding the effect of race/ethnicity, however, are from research that focuses on men's employment. Given the already low job prospects of ex-prisoners makes it more difficult for women with a prison record to find employment, who also face labor market barriers on account of their race/ethnicity and gender. This dissertation research uses two audit methods with an experimental design to examine the independent and interaction effects of race/ethnicity and incarceration on the likelihood women job applicants will advance through the hiring process. Job applications were submitted online and in-person. The effect of race/ethnicity varied by the method used to apply for jobs. When applying for jobs online, Black women had lower odds of employment than White women. Hispanic women, however, had higher odds of employment than White women when food service jobs were applied for in-person. The effect of a prison record was significant in both experiments; the effect was direct online, but conditioned by ethnicity in-person. Hispanic women with a prison record were less likely than White women with a prison record to advance through the hiring process. The results point to the importance of understanding how women are disadvantaged by incarceration and how mass incarceration contributes to racial/ethnic inequality through its effect in the labor market. Several recommendations follow for future research and policies concerning prisoner reentry and the use of criminal record information by employers.

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Created

Date Created
2014

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Guantánamo: The Amen Temple of Empire

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Guantánamo: The Amen Temple of Empire connects the fetishization of the trauma of nine/eleven with the co-constitution of subjects at Guantánamo—that of the contained Muslim terrorist prisoner silhouetted against the ideal nationalistic military body—circulated as ‘afterimages’ that carry ideological narratives

Guantánamo: The Amen Temple of Empire connects the fetishization of the trauma of nine/eleven with the co-constitution of subjects at Guantánamo—that of the contained Muslim terrorist prisoner silhouetted against the ideal nationalistic military body—circulated as ‘afterimages’ that carry ideological narratives about U.S. Empire. These narratives in turn religiously and racially charge the new normative practices of the security state and its historically haunted symbolic order. As individuals with complex subjectivities, the prisoners and guards are, of course, not reducible to the standardizing imprimatur of the state or its narratives. Despite the circulation of these ‘afterimages’ as fixed currency, the prisoners and guards produce their own metanarratives, through their para-ethnographic accounts of containment and of self. From within the panopticon of the prison, they seek sight lines, and gaze back at the state. This dissertation is thus a meditation on US militarism, violence, torture, race, and carceral practices, revealed thematically through metaphors of hungry ghosts, nature, journey and death, liminality, time, space, community, and salvage. Based on a multi-sited, empirical and imaginary ethnography, as well as textual and discourse analysis, I draw on the writing and testimony of prisoners, and military and intelligence personnel, whom I consider insightful para-ethnographers of the haunting valence of this fetishized historical event.

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Created

Date Created
2018

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A perspective of Navajo adult prisoners on their experiences: from school to prison

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This dissertation discusses the intersection of schooling, justice systems, and educational achievements of American Indians. This dissertation is divided into three parts covering six sections; American Indians in the U.S. as a political and racial group, current trends in Indian

This dissertation discusses the intersection of schooling, justice systems, and educational achievements of American Indians. This dissertation is divided into three parts covering six sections; American Indians in the U.S. as a political and racial group, current trends in Indian education and economic conditions with a discussion on the role of epistemological and ontological clashes between Indian ways of thinking and western education practices. Six policy eras are discussed that have shaped Indian education followed by a discussion on how and in what ways the justice system and schooling intersect with the educational achievement of American Indian students.

A qualitative case study explored the experiences of six Navajo prisoners, ages 24-35, in the Winslow State Prison in Arizona. Open-ended interviews inquired about their K-12 education, family, community, and institutional experiences with discipline. Findings revealed negative experiences with schooling had powerful impacts on participants in contrast to family, community, and other institutions. All participants reported experiences in school contributed to interfacing with the justice system. Second, teachers and principals were identified as powerful forces contributing to participants’ negative school experiences. Third, negative family impacts triggered participants’ dependency on the school for support. Findings from this study, evidence suggests that schooling plays a pivotal role influencing a Navajo man's life chances.

This type of research focusing on Indigenous prison inmate voices is needed to understand the experiences of Navajo male offenders who are within the criminal justice system and to then make policy recommendations to support healing and rehabilitation. I conclude by calling for a reimagining of schooling practices based on restorative justice that can mitigate negative disciplinary and violent schooling experiences and restore trust and success of American Indians in the education system.

Keywords: American Indian schooling, school to prison, federal boarding schools

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Created

Date Created
2018

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The Effect of Time Since Last Incarceration Spell in Situations of Trust: A Factorial Vignette Study

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Studies on what shapes public perceptions of ex-prisoners are abundant. One omission is the detailed investigation of how perceptions of former inmates might vary by the amount of time since their last incarceration term. More specifically, it remains unknown whether

Studies on what shapes public perceptions of ex-prisoners are abundant. One omission is the detailed investigation of how perceptions of former inmates might vary by the amount of time since their last incarceration term. More specifically, it remains unknown whether increased length since an ex-prisoner’s last incarceration spell is positively linked to higher levels of trust. This study (N = 448) uses a factorial vignette design to test the perceived trustworthiness of former inmates across two hypothetical scenarios. Time since last incarceration spell is used as the independent variables in a series of ordered logistic regression models. The role of gender is also explored. Results show that trust perceptions of ex-prisoners minimally vary by time since last incarceration spell when personal victimization is at risk, but the magnitude is small and shows no clear pattern of declining risk over time. Less support is observed in situations where property victimization is at risk. These findings illustrate the complexity of how people perceive and feel about ex-inmates in situations of trust.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2018

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Looking Within: Examining the Short- and Longer-Term Consequences of Criminal Justice Confinement on Internalizing Problems

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This study examined whether periods of secure confinement in juvenile detention, jails, and prisons are associated with short- and longer-term increases in adolescent males’ internalizing problems during adolescence and young adulthood. Data came from a longitudinal community sample of 506

This study examined whether periods of secure confinement in juvenile detention, jails, and prisons are associated with short- and longer-term increases in adolescent males’ internalizing problems during adolescence and young adulthood. Data came from a longitudinal community sample of 506 male adolescents who were assessed every six months for three years and annually for ten subsequent years. At each assessment, participants reported on their confinement experiences and internalizing problems (i.e., anxiety, depression) during the recall period. Fixed-effects models examined within-individual changes in internalizing problems before, during, and after youth reported any overnight stay in a correctional facility, after controlling for the time-varying confounds of externalizing problem behaviors and previous justice system contact. Additionally, this study tested whether changes in the participants’ internalizing problems varied depending on the confinement facility (i.e., juvenile detention, jail, prison). Overall, results indicated that internalizing problems increased during periods where participants had been confined in a facility. In contrast, there were no changes in internalizing problems in the period prior to confinement and internalizing problems returned to baseline levels in the year following confinement. Facility-specific analyses indicated confinement in prison was associated with the largest increase in internalizing problems. Findings from this study indicate confinement does influence internalizing problems and interventions sensitive to internalizing problems should focus on providing services during confinement and immediate reentry period.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2020