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Dying Inside: The HIV/AIDS Ward at Limestone Prison (Law, Meaning, and Violence) [Kindle Edition]

Benjamin Fleury-Steiner
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Print List Price: $32.95
Kindle Price: $27.95
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Book Description

"The HIV+ men incarcerated in Limestone Prison's Dorm 16 were put there to be forgotten. Not only do Benjamin Fleury-Steiner and Carla Crowder bring these men to life, Fleury-Steiner and Crowder also insist on placing these men in the middle of critical conversations about health policy, mass incarceration, and race. Dense with firsthand accounts, Dying Inside is a nimble, far-ranging and unblinking look at the cruelty inherent in our current penal policies."
---Lisa Kung, Director, Southern Center for Human Rights

"The looming prison health crisis, documented here at its extreme, is a shocking stain on American values and a clear opportunity to rethink our carceral approach to security."
---Jonathan Simon, University of California, Berkeley

"Dying Inside is a riveting account of a health crisis in a hidden prison facility."
---Michael Musheno, San Francisco State University, and coauthor of Deployed

"This fresh and original study should prick all of our consciences about the horrific consequences of the massive carceral state the United States has built over the last three decades."
---Marie Gottschalk, University of Pennsylvania, and author of The Prison and the Gallows

"An important, bold, and humanitarian book."
---Alison Liebling, University of Cambridge

"Fleury-Steiner makes a compelling case that inmate health care in America's prisons and jails has reached the point of catastrophe."
---Sharon Dolovich, University of California, Los Angeles

"Fleury-Steiner's persuasive argument not only exposes the sins of commission and omission on prison cellblocks, but also does an excellent job of showing how these problems are the natural result of our nation's shortsighted and punitive criminal justice policy."
---Allen Hornblum, Temple University, and author of Sentenced to Science

Dying Inside brings the reader face-to-face with the nightmarish conditions inside Limestone Prison's Dorm 16---the segregated HIV ward. Here, patients chained to beds share their space with insects and vermin in the filthy, drafty rooms, and contagious diseases spread like wildfire through a population with untreated---or poorly managed at best---HIV.

While Dorm 16 is a particularly horrific human rights tragedy, it is also a symptom of a disease afflicting the entire U.S. prison system. In recent decades, prison populations have exploded as Americans made mass incarceration the solution to crime, drugs, and other social problems even as privatization of prison services, especially health care, resulted in an overcrowded, underfunded system in which the most marginalized members of our society slowly wither from what the author calls "lethal abandonment."

This eye-opening account of one prison's failed health-care standards is a wake-up call, asking us to examine how we treat our forgotten citizens and compelling us to rethink the American prison system in this increasingly punitive age.

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Between 1999 and 2003, 43 HIV-positive inmates died at Limestone Prison in Alabama. Fleury-Steiner (sociology & criminal justice, Univ. of Delaware) takes an in-depth look at the Limestone Prison case to demonstrate larger problems in the U.S. penal system. He argues that the Limestone deaths did not happen because of an isolated incident by a few ineffective administrators but rather because of a combination of circumstances that have become commonplace in many penal organizations: changes to national criminal law enforcement (e.g., the passage of the Prisoner Litigation Reform Act); increased pressure on politicians to get "tough on crime," which contributes to prison overcrowding; the trend toward privatization of prison health-care services; communication problems; decreased funding; understaffing; and an overriding emphasis on security that trumps medical care. The author hopes this detailed look at one institutional failure will provide lessons that may avert catastrophes at other institutions serving vulnerable populations. A list of prison advocacy organizations and a lengthy bibliography are useful additions. Recommended for academic criminology and management collections.—Tina Neville, Univ. of South Florida at St. Petersburg Lib.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 491 KB
  • Print Length: 248 pages
  • Publisher: The University of Michigan Press (March 25, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002LE8JBA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,968,803 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shines light into dark places December 21, 2009
By jccbme
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I am adjunct faculty at a historically black university. I became aware of this book in discussions with a high school classmate. My research and teaching is focused on engineering and science ethics education. This study illuminates topics of environmental injustice and inadequate health care.

Many states have a perfect storm of officials who run and are elected on "tough on crime" platforms (i.e., put more offenders in prison for longer), decreased state budgets, public resentment of or indifference to prisoners, and a prison population which is overwhelmingly differentially race-based. The result in Limestone Prison in Alabama was that all HIV/AIDS-diagnosed prisoners, numbers of whom were inordinately African-American, were housed in a single converted warehouse which was structurally deficient, filled with vermin, and overcrowded, and from which even the most ill were forced to walk to a remote dispensary several times a day to receive medications which were often not available.

A faculty friend has visited Limestone as a volunteer for many years to help prisoners pursue their GEDs while in prison. As I write this review, half a world away Greg Mortenson and others in the Central Asia Institute are helping young Pakistani and Afghani children, especially girls, by building schools for them. Whether in the war zone of Afghanistan or the war zone of the American inner city, the path to peace is not through aggression or fearful control, but through relationship, education and love.

This book chronicles a shameful past but also sheds light on a way ahead.
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