February 22, 2012

Prison and liberalism

"The moral failings of advanced liberal societies, not least this one, tend to be slow-motion sins. We don’t stone the adulterer or hang the sodomite or massacre the restive inner-city residents. We allow the atmosphere to be filled with greenhouse gases; we allow the hypertrophic growth of inequality; we let the prison population grow to the size of a megalopolis. And the key is that there’s no particular moment when they happened, no single event to expose and decry. It’s the slow-motion violence of mass incarceration that enables it to elude our moral immune system. Prisons stop time. We need to find ways, from the outside, to accelerate our awareness."

Excerpt of "Notes on The Caging of America", an interesting piece on American jails, by Adam Gopnik.
Foto: Lizzie Sadin

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