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We Are Not SlavesState Violence, Coerced Labor, and Prisoners' Rights in Postwar America$
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Robert T. Chase

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781469653570

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469653570.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

Stuck between Justice and the Carceral State

Stuck between Justice and the Carceral State

Ruiz v. Estelle and the Politics of Mass Incarceration

(p.311) Chapter 9 Stuck between Justice and the Carceral State
We Are Not Slaves

Robert T. Chase

University of North Carolina Press

Chapter 9 analyzes the Ruiz trial itself as drawing from prisoner-initiated narrative, but it situates even the most far-reaching courtroom victory within a political arrangement of carceral massive resistance, where southern Democrats resisted court orders and new southern Republicans consciously reinterpreted the court’s intent as part of mass incarceration’s broader political project. In the immediate aftermath of the 1980 Ruiz decision, the prisoners’ courtroom victory was stuck over a political struggle between the state and the federal system. Prisoners were at the mercy of a variation on “massive resistance,” where the TDC resisted federal court intervention at every turn. Making matters worse, as mass incarceration was now fully taking hold, the prisons were becoming more and more overcrowded and prone to violence. Trapped between the court and the state, prisoners had fewer external political allies as the 1980s dawned.

Keywords:   Carceral Massive Resistance, Ruiz v. Estelle, Ed Idar, David Ruiz, William Bennett Turner, William P. Clements, Mark White, Mass Incarceration

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