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America Is the PrisonArts and Politics in Prison in the 1970s$
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Lee Bernstein

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780807833872

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807898321_bernstein

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What Works? Reform and Repression in Prison Programs

What Works? Reform and Repression in Prison Programs

(p.75) Chapter Three What Works? Reform and Repression in Prison Programs
America Is the Prison

Lee Bernstein

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter describes how the Attica Brothers reacted to and amplified the goals spearheaded on the West Coast as the culmination of their immersion in radical political theory and prison activism. In the immediate aftermath of the uprising, correctional authorities made Attica a living hell for its inmates. The uprising left eleven employees of the facility and twenty-nine inmates dead. Despite the creation of an official state commission, the only short-term change at Attica was the erection of new gun towers. Over time, the uprising left another legacy: the correctional facility met several of the inmates' demands, particularly those that affected cultural and educational programs. The Attica prisoners proposed to “modernize the inmate education system.” In the spring of 1972, one winter removed from the murders of the previous September, the New York State Council on the Arts provided funds to start a writing workshop at the facility.

Keywords:   Attica Brothers, West Coast, radical political theory, prison activism, correctional authorities

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