Hidden Truth: Young Men Navigating Lives in and out of Juvenile Prison

Hidden Truth: Young Men Navigating Lives in and out of Juvenile Prison

Hidden Truth: Young Men Navigating Lives in and out of Juvenile Prison

Hidden Truth: Young Men Navigating Lives in and out of Juvenile Prison

Synopsis

"Hidden Truth" takes the reader inside a Rhode Island juvenile prison to explore broader questions of how poor, disenfranchised young men come to terms with masculinity and identity. Adam D. Reich, who worked with inmates to produce a newspaper, writes vividly and memorably about the young men he came to know, and in the process extends theories of masculinity, crime, and social reproduction into a provocative new paradigm. Reich suggests that young men's participation in crime constitutes a game through which they achieve "outsider masculinity." Once in prison these same youths are forced to reconcile their criminal practices with a new game and new "insider masculinity" enforced by guards and administrators.

Excerpt

The research on which this book is based took place between February of 2001 and July of 2006. Between February of 2001 and June of 2004, I worked as a writing teacher in the Rhode Island Training School, the state’s only juvenile prison, running weekly workshops and helping to publish Hidden TREWTH. Between September of 2001 and September of 2002, I also worked full-time as an Americorps*VISTA volunteer at Broad Street Studio. Throughout my work at the Training School and at Broad Street Studio I recorded my observations, many of which I have used in this analysis.

My formal research began in December of 2003, when I conducted in-depth, semistructured “oral history” interviews with ten young people incarcerated at the Rhode Island Training School and six former residents of the facility. In addition, I interviewed four unit staff, two teachers, and a head administrator. I conducted these staff interviews in December of 2003 and January of 2004.

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