e-book The Big House in a Small Town: Prisons, Communities, and Economics in Rural America

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This issue is much more complex than big city folk can truly appreciate. How does one compensate for the areas of the heart and soul which will be lost forever when that last box of memories have been packed up and placed in the pickup truck? I was born in a tiny central Illinois town.

When I was in third grade, my parents made the decision to move to Champaign-Urbana, Ill. Immigrants make huge and often dangerous journeys to improve their chances and those of their children.

When A Small Town’s Private Prison Goes Bust | The Marshall Project

There are many small and midsize cities that offer much better education and job opportunities. Sioux County, Nebraska, may never be a tech hub, but why not make an effort in Columbus, Ohio? Tech companies claim H1-B visas are critical to their success. So make the visas geographically dependent. If 43, visas are to be given out, grant to each Congressional District rather than giving them all to the firms in Silicon Valley or New York.

Give tech a reason to set up facilities in places other than the usual. In the s the government began implementing economic policies intended to move people off farms and into manufacturing, such as mines and timber mills.

At the same time, the farms kept getting bigger. We are seeing the culmination of all that now. How to fix it? Change economic policy to favor small and midsize farms and factories, and invest in rural infrastructure, especially high-speed internet.

When a Small Town’s Private Prison Goes Bust

Plenty of folk would happily trade in the expensive, crowded cities. The author fails to understand the power of lots of little. I come from farm country and we were able to support the growth of IBM just fine. We were resilient and hardworking. We are a community of people, each with many skills.

Spread the peanut butter already. I live in Winthrop, Me.

When A Small Town’s Private Prison Goes Bust

Maine has suffered the way other rural areas have, with the same results: opioid addiction, an aging population, low-wage jobs. Statewide, affordable high-speed broadband internet connection would be a huge help, allowing people to telecommute or start up their own small businesses. What has not worked is luring big businesses in with tax breaks. Been there, done that, and most of them left. Tech industries and manufacturers now look at the quality of life, not just tax breaks, when scouting locations. I was able to return to my small-town roots once the internet became reliable. I am able to fly to major clients in big cities when needed, but live on a working crop farm.

Telecommuting is on the rise. People do not have to be in the same room to work together. This article came out during the same week that the Natural Resources Defense Council posted its latest analysis of rural job growth in the wind and solar sectors. A bison commons would not be a stretch.

Outside Looking In

It has campaigned to be known as a center of adventure tourism, a geological hotspot, an agricultural community. It has sought redefinition as the site of the Royal Gorge, as a quaint mountain town, and as a tourist destination. In , when Colorado joined the union, the federal government transferred management of the existing Colorado Territorial Prison to the new state, then renamed the facility Colorado State Penitentiary CSP. Since the s, the proliferation of incarceration facilities in and around the seat of Fremont county has resulted from a combination of necessity and convenience.

What the hell else were we supposed to do? The presence of correctional facilities in Fremont County is now seen by most residents as a necessary evil, but there is no denying that it is in some respects an evil. Once a town has a prison, the prison often begins to define it. The town is still seeking to outrun how it branded itself in the first place, and prove there is more to its community than its prisons. General sentiment toward prisons has shifted in the last three centuries from a view in which prison was a holding place until punishment was determined to understanding of incarceration as itself the punishment for criminality.

By the mid-nineteenth century, public discourse worked against public shaming or capital punishment and in favor of social exclusion through imprisonment for most offenders.

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Today critics of the carceral state such as Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow , argue that the prison system is a tool used to discriminately suppress African American males. On the night of January 22, , for instance, four CSP inmates escaped the prison.

Attica Correctional Facility - Prison Documentary

In the confusion, prison officials feared all the prisoners may have fled. Quickly, the town responded. Hardware store owners contributed guns, axes, and other weapons for men to arm themselves while women and children huddled indoors.


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Three days later, word got around that two of the escapees had been captured and brought back to CSP. Concealing their weapons and motives, the men crowded the prison gate as Reynolds, the fourth prisoner, was brought back in. Overpowering the guards, the townsmen dragged Reynolds to an electric light pole stand and hanged him.


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Another escape attempt instructive about town-prison relations took place in