The horrors of the incarceration system are so robust and complex that there’s truly no one answer the problem. There is no end to what we could cover in this episode. It’s been a really difficult episode to plan for. In a two-part special, Ghouls are discussing the horrors of our mass incarceration system. Gabe explores the many issues and offers an abundance of documentary suggestions while also reviewing the claymation film, Wendell & Wild. Special guest, Pascale Vallee, shares her findings from her Masters research about the harmful effects on one's mental health while incarcerated. There are many ways our system fails us. We encourage you to learn more about our monstrous and horrific systems so that you can help change them.
Sources in this Episode: Why Is Rikers Island Still Open And Why Won't NYC Mayor Eric Adams Accept The Help He Needs? 40% of incarcerated people have chronic conditions — how good is the health care they get behind bars? Access to primary care in Philly varies greatly by neighborhood A Reckoning in Philadelphia The Healing Power of Greek Tragedy The Dose–Response of Time Served in Prison on Mortality: New York State, 1989–2003 Explore Data on Philadelphia's Returning CitizensCountries with the largest number of prisoners per 100,000 of the national population, as of May 2021 Impact of Incarceration on Health Chronic Punishment: The unmet health needs of people in state prisons Incarceration and Population Health in Wealthy Democracies Reentry Preparedness among soon-to-be-released inmates and the role of time served
Recommended Reading/Ways to Help: Ten Years After “The New Jim Crow” | The New Yorker
Fighting to #FreeTheVulnerable During the Pandemic | Amistad Law Project PETITION: Close Rikers Without Building New Jails in NYC - Action Network Prison Abolition Resource Guide – micah herskind Full Reading List — Abolitionist Futures
Kids For Cash | Documentary
Media from this week's episode:
Wendell & Wild (2022):
Two scheming demon brothers, Wendell and Wild, enlist the aid of 13-year-old Kat Elliot to summon them to the Land of the Living.
Director: Henry Selick (Coraline)
Writers: Henry Selick(screenplay), Jordan Peele(screenplay), Clay McLeod Chapman(based on the book by)
The Unending, complex problems with the prison industrial complex. (oh and a review about Wendell & Wild) by Gabe Castro
RED: Quotes, someone else's words.
There are remarkably no horror movies overtly about prison. Horror is a genre that is often used to criticize real-world horrors and I was expecting to find no end to content options. Horror isn’t a genre that shies away from truly horrifying issues but is hauntingly quiet about this one. There are plenty of films about prisons and it can be argued that the documentaries about our prison system are horror on their own. But it’s truly been a struggle to find content to cover this week. We’ve covered prisons before in different ways. We even interviewed the director of Belly of the Beast, a horrifying documentary about the California prisons that were forcibly sterilizing women of color. We’ve even covered documentaries on our show before, it isn’t always narrative work. So we worked rather hard to find one to talk about. The thing about the horrors of America’s Mass Incarceration system is that there is no one film that can truly cover it. Ava Duvernay’s Thirteenth does an amazing job of exploring the thesis behind Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. Both cover the racist and oppressive system we find a large chunk of our population to be victims of.
The horrors of the incarceration system are so robust and complex that there’s truly no one answer the problem, other than abolition. Our systems aren’t built for rehabilitation. They are not given tools or education with the intention that once they return to society, they’ll be able to live better lives. The prison system isn’t even a band-aid. It’s a weapon. It’s a strategy. The system works to get people, very specific people, in, for profit, for control. And they make it impossible to get out and stay out. There is no end to what we could cover in this episode. It’s been a really difficult episode to plan for. We could talk about how incarcerated people work for pennies, a new form of slavery or indentured servitude. We could talk about how they are confined to spaces that are damaging to them physically, mentally, and spiritually. Studies have been done explaining the mental damage of folx institutionalized. We could discuss the sexual assault or the overall assault and abuse on incarcerated people. We could again discuss the forced steralization and other eugenics practices conducted in our prisons. We could cover our bail system which is an oppressive tool that affects the lower class, imprisoning people because they are poor. You’ll hear in next week’s episode when I talk with an incarcerated individual and a social worker, that commissary prices have gone up.