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Cruel and Unusual Blues

I know it's sacrilege to mess with this song, but the days of Johnny Cash playing concerts in California prisons are over, replaced by Governor Jerry Brown whining about federal judges sticking their noses in our prisons.  Never mind the deaths, sterilizations and lack of clean water, among other things. 
Prisoners are continuing the biggest inmate hunger strike in California history, sparked by the state's excessive use of solitary confinement.  Some pretty nasty things are being done in our name, so it's time we paid more attention before the pressure cooker blows. 
For those of you who are just itching to say "lock 'em up and throw away the key" in the comments, just remember, we can't give all prisoners life sentences in solitary confinement.  The dysfunction and lack of rehabilitation in our prisons comes back to haunt us when inmates are released.  So if the human compassion argument doesn't win you over, think about how we're all better off if prisoners return to the outside without being completely traumatized and dehumanized on the inside.

Comments (4)

  • Chris


    25 July 2013 at 12:36 |
    I think that Johnny Cash, a huge advocate of prison reform in his time, would have approved.


  • michael


    25 July 2013 at 16:00 |
    Mr. Cash would be proud of this rendition!


  • Robyn


    27 July 2013 at 12:35 |
    The video will only play up to 22 seconds


  • watajob


    28 July 2013 at 04:33 |
    California is the new Texas?! Most excellent vid!


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