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In what way can we characterize inmate literature - Essay Example

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Name: Professor: Course: Date: In what way can we characterize inmate literature? Introduction Inmates live in a confinement with very limited access to the outside world and have restrained privileges. Despite this restriction, the prisoners have devised a technique of communicating to their fellows behind the prison walls, regardless of whether they know them personally or not…
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In what way can we characterize inmate literature

Download file to see previous pages... Gallardo) written by inmates portrays feelings of prisoners. The question is how can we characterize inmate literature? Inmates use literature for many purposes. The most prominent use of literary work by prisoners is to communicate to their loved ones back at home. Open Line gives evidences of inmates communicating to their families back at home through pieces of literature. Frank Valdivia, an inmate, communicates to his two daughters. He says, “I lost everything I had and everything I loved when I came to prison. But the person I was didn’t deserve any of it. There are people outside this wall that love you or that you love. They deserve the best, so be your best. I’m finally doing my best and my two daughters Kayla and Alicia deserve it.” (Gallardo 58) He uses literature to assure his two daughters that he is doing his best to become a changed person. Inmates also use literary work in criticizing unfair judgments in courts, especially towards young criminals who stand a better chance of rehabilitation. In Open Line, Charlie Spence indicates in his confession that underage criminals are not given a judgment as a juvenile but instead as adults. He says, “Had I been tried and convicted as a juvenile, I would have been given a better chance at rehabilitation and a second chance in society at the age of 25. I feel even more strongly now that I ever did back then, that trying juvenile offenders as adults and convicting them to life in prison is immoral.” (11) He feels that juvenile offenders should not be judged as adults, regardless of the magnitude of their crime, because they can easily be rehabilitated. Inmates value the fact that, despite their misconducts, there are people out there who still care so much about them and would rather they came back into the society after serving their terms in prison. Evidences cited from the book Open Line prove this statement. For instance, Michael Endres, a prisoner, receives a letter from his daughter who does not even know him because he has been in prison since she was an infant. He says, “When I realized who the letter was from, I was surprised and shocked. While reading it, the emotions kicked into gear, I was tickled to death to know that she wanted to know me, and I was sad for her cause she didn’t know how I would feel about hearing from her. She didn’t know that her letter caused my heart to truly smile.” (34) This is an indication that Michael’s daughter loves him despite the fact that she does not know him because he has been in prison for such a long time. In addition to the love and affection from those outside, inmates also value the welfare of others who are yet to be convicted for various crimes. It is important to note how Charlie Spence, an inmate, advocates for the rights of juveniles, even though he is in prison. He gives a strong argument against the conviction of juveniles as adults when they are sentenced for life imprisonment ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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