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CRM 331: Corrections   Prison History

Listed below is the internet assignment at the Library of Congress. Further down I have put up some links for additional information on prison history. If you liked the tape of Race Hoss, there's more information about the book and how to get a copy of the tape. If you liked the prison work songs, check out more in the Library of Congress (limit the search to music recordings) or the links to several CDs you can buy. 

Internet Assignment: Go to the Library of Congress website and click on the American Memory Project (make sure to click on the larger American memory Project rather than What Happened Today in History). Click on the option to search and type in a word or words related to this class – prison, jail, punishment, etc. (If you want to try ‘chain gang’ or ‘death penalty’, change the search option to ‘search as phrase’.)

Not all entries for the search will be relevant, but find several pictures, songs, movies, or documents. In your 2 page paper: (1) clearly identify what items you examined (title, artist or photographer, reference number etc) (2) why this material interested you and (3) how it related to material in Welch that you have read so far. Please note that points will be deducted for not citing the material you examined and point (3) is an extremely important aspect of this paper, so make sure you have done the reading for this class before writing the paper.

Race Hoss: The man interviewed on the tape we heard is Albert Race Sample, whose book is called Race Hoss. has a great description of the book but says it is out of print. However, says they can get a copy. (The links in the last sentences take you to the pages with the Race Hoss book on them - not to the 'front door' of the book stores.)  To get your own copy of the Race Hoss interview, call 202/885-1200 and tell them that you want the show where Diane Rehm interviewed Race Hoss (it's $10 including postage & handling). 

Prison Songs: The songs I played were from Prison Songs: Historical Recordings From Parchman Prison 1947-48 (Vol 1). (There's also a Prison Songs Vol II.) Folklorist Alan Lomax traved the U.S recording American folk music, much of which developed in prisons. Clicking on the links above or the covers will take you to a page on Amazon where you can download samples of many songs. There's a good review online of Prison Songs, volume 2. 

If the rise of the plantation is of interest, I would highly recommend David Oshinsky's book,  'Worse Than Slavery' : Parchman Farm and the Ordeal of Jim Crow Justice. (I use it in the graduate Sociology of Crime and Its Correction class and the students all really enjoy it.)

Prison History links: To follow up on other aspects of prison history, check out this Prison History and Reform Page. Eastern State Penitentiary (remember, silent system) has a homepage of its own with a brief timeline and a virtual reality tour. The Yahoo Crime section has a category on prison and there's a list of history links within that.

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