NY Times: Uncaptive Minds

fevereiro 20, 2005 at 11:19 pm (matutando)

Este artigo do NY Times de hoje fala de uma penitenciária de segurança máxima onde os presos estão tendo acesso à educação universitária. Uncaptive Minds, por Ian Buruma:

(…) I had been assured by Kenner and Karpowitz that the students would be enthusiastic. This was an understatement. But as I learned in my first weeks of teaching, the main difference between these students and those on the Bard campus was their polite formality. I was invariably addressed as ”professor,” not so much for my sake, I sensed, as for their own self-respect. Somewhat patronizingly, I suppose, I had expected talk about sword-fight movies and Oriental wisdom. Instead, from the very start, questions of a far more sophisticated kind came quick and fast: about the economics of the Opium Wars in China, about the criminal activities of unemployed samurai, about the impact on Japanese cultural identity of Western ideas. One of the black Muslims, a tough New Yorker, mentioned Alexis de Tocqueville in the context of the Meiji Restoration.


Deputy Superintendent Butler likes to refer to Eastern as a ”therapeutic community.” She has spent decades of her life inside the prison. Her son works there now. Eastern is her community, too. Walking around the prison one day, she sounded almost wistful when she told me about the flowers she’d received from inmates when she was hospitalized for a serious illness. I asked her about the trouble that inmates had making friends, when they know they might be transferred at any time. She replied that inmates get ”very attached to staff, too, you know. They have tears when they leave. We bring them up, like our children.”


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