Relocation Blues and Deliberate Indifference

Gender conflict is an issue that still exists within our society, long after the days of the Women’s Rights Movements and the division of career opportunities amongst men and women. While many times women are the ones facing obstacles, there are several instances in which the U.S. Prison System has made it harder for men to deal with their convictions. In Joanne Mariner’s article, “Deliberate Indifference,” she thoroughly describes the horrendous acts of rape and assault that occur within prison cells across the country. As male inmates are raped and violated, their suffering is setting the standards for different types of “masculinity” within our society. Nell Bernstein also discusses how the use of video-chat software is affecting the outlooks of convicted fathers and their struggle to keep contact with their families in his article, “Relocation Blues.” Both articles reveal the unrecognized struggle of male prisoners as they fight to survive in some of the harshest facilities within the country.

Gender related issues within U.S. Prisons initially involve consideration of the family. Family bonds are often broken whenever a convicted parent is sentenced to jail, according to Nell Bernstein’s article “Relocation Blues.” However, as stated by Carol Fennelly, “There was an outcry about mothers being separated from their children, but nobody bothered to ask what would happen to the dads and their relationship with their kids,” (109). Due to overcrowding, Fennelly explains how convicted fathers are constantly being moved into prisons far from their families, mainly because they do not seem to share that special bond a mother shares with her children; however, this is not always the case. Fennelly’s contribution of using Microsoft Ne...

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...Blues” discusses the challenges fathers face in keeping in touch with their children while in jail, Joanne Mariner’s “Deliberate Indifference” highlights the horrors of prison-rape conducted by male inmates. Despite whether one is a victim or a potential threat, or a good father or a bad father, each article shows the strength and courage a male must face in these harsh environments, and how his “masculinity” is ultimately determined by his will to survive.

Works Cited

Bernstein, Nell. "Relocation Blues." Prison Nation: The Warehousing of America's Poor. Ed.

Tara Herivel and Paul Wright. New York: Routledge, 2003. 106-110. Print.

Mariner, Joanne. "Deliberate Indifference: State Authorities’ Response to Prisoner-on-Prisoner

Sexual Abuse." Prison Nation: The Warehousing of America's Poor. Ed. Tara Herivel and Paul Wright. New York: Routledge, 2003. 73-84. Print.
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