In ten essays I’m marking on Aboriginal deaths in custody, not one student has questioned whether prisons should exist at all. In class we watched The Death of Malcolm Smith, which paints a dramatically horrific picture of conditions inside most Australian jails and reformatories. The essay I’m marking right now suggests that if adequate and fair treatment was provided for Aboriginal prisoners, then everything would be fine. It’s incredible. I can’t quite believe that they accept the necessity of incarceration so calmly.
On this note, Cruciferous links to two remarkable resources on the treatment of queer/trans people in prisons, and why queer/trans anti-incarceration work is so important. Go read them.