“Walls Turned Sideways are Bridges”: Carceral Scripts and the Transformation of the Prison Space

  • Rashad Shabazz The University of Vermont Department of Geography
Keywords: Prisoners, prison, carceral space, writings, carceral script, landscapes of punishment, landscapes of confinement, space, social justice


This essay explores the ways prisoners use writing to re-make and reimagine their relationship to carceral space. Focusing on the writings of politically progressive prisoner writings or carceral script in the post-Civil Rights era, I contend that these prisoners used their relationship to landscapes of punishment and confinement to develop critical perspectives about space. They also created alternative sites within prison that enabled them to counter the banishing geography of incarceration and to remake its punitive spatiality. Thus, writing becomes a portal to a different place; it is a means of resisting. This study reveals how space is linked to struggles for social justice within prison.
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