BROMER | Our Incarceration Nation


Hello, massive and fervent column audience: I know you’re probably all here expecting me to talk about something fun, like the politics of feline hook-up culture or the secret world of Insane Clown Posse slash fiction. Today, though, I decided to take a relatively brief diversion into a topic that’s, well, a wee bit serious. So tune in next week if you’re looking for something smile- rather than frown inducing. With that out of the way …

In the middle of the 18th century, Charles Dickens visited the United States, and while in Philadelphia, encountered the Eastern State Penitentiary. Dickens was shocked and appalled by the conditions of a prison known for its focus on rehabilitation.