i recently bought a book written by michael foucault called ‘discipline and punish: the birth of the prison’
i bought it because i was looking for a well-written and informative read on prisons in american society. the reason i was looking for literature like this was because i had spent two nights in the dade county jail over last christmas weekend for the first time in my life. there i was introduced to a monolithic penal system that has been running for generations and i never once had given a thought to it. at the time i was in it, despite the resent and despair that resided deep within the feelings in my chest, i was intensely fascinated by the infrastructure, the culture and the organization of the jail house. this was a place that has received street-level criminals on daily basis since who knows when? decades perhaps. so, after my release, i naturally wanted to learn more about it.
but now, i feel so distant from the subject material that is within those pages. why would i want to muddle my mind with thoughts and theories concerning the penal system and human punishment …
i fear that i am guilty of buying books out of vanity