Thursday, July 08, 2010

Closer than Gitmo, Further from Humane

In case any of you were still operating under the illusion that our prisons at home are somehow better than our secret prisons abroad, Lousiana has stepped in to disabuse you of that misconception. Sheriff Jack Strain of St. Tammany Parish is currently under scrutiny for his practice of confining "suicidal" inmates to 3'x3' metal cages (also known as "squirrel cages"), half-naked, with no bed, blanket or toilet facilities, and in the full view (and constant ridicule) of guards and other inmates. If you're keeping score at home, those cages are exactly HALF the size of the cages required by Lousinana state law for dogs.

1 comment:

Scu said...

Wow, thanks for sharing this. Sometimes this has been my theoretical fear of Agamben and the focus on things like Gitmo. The rhetoric of state of exception somehow tends to focus on the exotic spaces, while ignoring the very real, very violent, regular legal system issues.

(I understand that Agamben and state of exception doesn't mean we can't focus on prison issues, just that seems to be practically what happens).

Outside of theoretical issues, this issue is disgusting and evil, and I wish there would be an outcry over this.