“Prisons and the Body of Christ”: Jason Byassee

review of several books; from 2009, but still very much worth your time:

I bailed my mom out of jail once. She made her one phone call not to a lawyer or adult friend, but to her son. “Come get me, I’m in the lockup in Raleigh,” she said. I asked a friend old enough to drive to take me out there. I couldn’t have been older than fourteen.

The cop behind the desk tried to comfort me. The white kid from the suburbs didn’t represent his normal constituency, I’m guessing. “Assault can mean a lot of things.” He took out his comb and touched my arm with it. “There, I just assaulted you, technically,” he said.

I didn’t feel better.

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