Culture and Society
After I stoppped having concerns over a Row Five assignment, there was only one thing I actively feared: the tap. Once every week or so the Narc would tap an attendant on the shoulder and send him or her to the backroom to thin out the population.
It’s already sweltering at sunrise on this August Sunday morning in Norfolk, Virginia. My Lebanese grandfather is taking my brother and me fishing for blue crabs on the Elizabeth River. He stands on the dock and drops the oars into the flat-bottomed rowboat.
We went to sleep, and in the morning they were here. We saw them on our screens as they emerged from a grove of trees a hundred miles west of us. Their ship had crashed. It was made of a rose-gold metal and looked like a claw with a broken tip. Within hours the government had moved these beings — the “blues,” we eventually came to call them — to a holding station outside the nearest city. There we could watch them whenever we wanted, because of the cameras in each room.
November 15, 1975, 3 AM on a Saturday morning, two months after my twentieth birthday. When the police came knocking on my door, I was sleeping. I’ve heard that’s how evil comes, in the dark of night. It don’t want to be seen.
Maya Schenwar On The Failure Of Mass Incarceration
Prison deepened my sister’s addiction, crushed her self-esteem, narrowed her options for jobs and education, and diminished her hope for a good life. She was in a much worse situation each time she came out.