baz dreisinger

baz dreisinger

intro’d to Baz via (share by Marlon) an interview on her new book – incarceration nation:


One to One – Baz Dreisinger: “Incarceration Nations” via @YouTube

most missing in convo – 1/ global context 2/ philosophical/moral underpinnings..

something unbeknownst to many… about 200 yrs ago.. along lines w/birth of our nation.. we manifested ideas popular in europe… this concept of a prison… america is considered having built first modern prisons… leaders came from around the world to see this model.. and took it back home with them

4 min – prison tied deeply to capitalism.. long been about creating a labor force.. globally… there is a direct link between need for labor and criminalizing of “others” generally ethic minority. .. and of criminalizing poverty and using that as way to create labor force

5 min – a grand national experiment – rwanda – reconciliation approaches.. forums for people to speak..  to create systems of reparations… prisons slowly liquidated.. no system is perfect.. but rwanda looked at having tried something that seems to work..

7 min – victims of genocide wanted to meet with prisoners.. for reconciliation and healing…

8 min – rwandan prisons seemed to be peaceful.. prisoner run…

9 min – my focus in s africa – rather than national level.. on 1 to 1 basis – restorative justice program…

1o min – drop in bucket to problems.. we know inequality is greatest producer of crime… and s africa is deeply unequal.. can’t solve problem… i’m more interested in it as a philosophy that could be at heart of justice system..

11 min – uganda – did literature class there… small impact but valuable..  creative writing.. arts in prison is a popular conception… arts can do a lot of healing work.. in some ways it can be a bandaid that keep us from looking at deeper issues..

12 min – salves and bandaids are valuable.. problem is they can’t substitute for deep seated dramatic reform..

deep enough.. for all of us

13 min – brazil and solitary.. solitary is the most frightening export.. the real boon was in the 80s.. brazil is one of countries that copied that model.. what i saw in brazil was terrifying… ie: 20 hours a day for years at a time..

15 min – australia and privately run prisons… aboriginal’s 20x whites.. we give them tremendous lobbying power.. tons of profit.. extremely troublesome… what i saw in australia was an ie (just 2 i visited) there was an ability to innovate.. being private and not public.. to overpass red tape.. so innovative programs happening…

18 min – on privatization.. if it weren’t about keeping beds filled than recidivism rates… much like charter schools..

progressive ness of norway – ones i visited.. not rep of whole country – open prisons…

19 min – main lessons from 9 countries:

1\ historical – prisons are relatively recent.. so can be undone.. rethought.. clearly not working and spreading globally…

sounds like Ed

2\ rethinking punishment as a moral concept

3\ how we can enact corrections/rehabilitation and not just play lip service

21 min – the essence of our system is punishment and revenge and harming people because we say they have harmed others…

in this country .. spend 53 bill on prison…

22 min – justice re investment – on the front end.. causing crime in the first place… and on back end.. of people coming home…

23 min – initiatives you find hopeful…. absolutely… people waking up all over the world.. progressive minds that need to be listened to..

24 min – moving away from long sentences.. europe and norway.. too much focus on non violent offenders… we need to have it across the board… i see convo/movements happening in u.s. .. talking about drug offenders.. i’d like to see it across board..


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Professor, Journalist, Justice Advocate, Founder of the Prison-to-College Pipeline, Globetrotter in the Name of Justice & Culture…

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