Prison wisdom

December 16, 2008 at 10:19 am | Posted in Prison Reform | Leave a comment

Since many of my posts on this topic tend to focus on all that’s wrong with our penal system, I thought I’d share a more positive, humerous story about what happens when you give inmates the chance to read, think and talk about poetry, philosophy and politics:

Is it a good idea to talk about revolution in prison? Where better? Although we do have CCTV in the classrooms now. I thought that Blake and the French revolution might be a good way in. Blake never fails to grip: Tyger, London, The Sick Rose.

“Everything,” says Ian, “contains the seeds of its own destruction.”

“He wrote Jerusalem,” says Richard and we get into the legend of Christ visiting England.”It’s stupid,” says Richard.

“It’s not. Why shouldn’t he visit England.”

“Oh, yeah,” says Richard. “Imagine him at immigration. Nationality? Palestinian. Reason for visit? Building Jerusalem. Profession? Son of God. Think they’d let him in? They’d jog him on straight away.”

He’s got a point. More here.

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