Thursday, April 23, 2015

American Outcasts: US Prisons And Modern Day Banishment

In 1986, Patty Prewitt was sent to prison for the murder of her husband. In addition to maintaining her innocence, she, like many others her age, has also been a model prisoner for nearly 30 years. Yet Prewitt, now 65 years old, will not be eligible for parole until 2036, so she is virtually guaranteed to spend the rest of her life behind bars.
In an essay published in the 2013 anthology Too Cruel, Not Unusual Enough, Prewitt described an incident in a women’s prison in Missouri a decade ago, when a caseworker sat her down and presented a modest proposal. “I think we should start a cemetery behind 2-House,” the caseworker said. “A graveyard for you and the others serving no-parole.”

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