Chris Uggen's Blog: san diego zoo, prison to merge

Friday, May 16, 2008

san diego zoo, prison to merge

via sarah shannon and america's finest news source:

SAN DIEGO—Plagued by a lack of funding and growing staff shortages, the San Diego Zoo and Ironwood State Prison were combined earlier this week, bringing local inmates and wildlife together for the first time under the same roof.

The new state-of-the-art facility—which will house 12 separate cell blocks, a reptile house, two weight rooms, and a primate sanctuary—is expected to save the state of California up to $5 million in operation costs over the next year...


At 1:31 AM, Blogger Belle Lettre said...

I actually found this article a little offensive! Charges of being a humorless feminist don't apply here, so I guess I'm just a humorless progressive person. But is it this way on purpose and truly biting satire, or do the Onion writers not know how "black caged bears" sounds? Or the disproportionate incarceration rates of Blacks and Latinos? Or that 3042/100K black males are imprisoned? And prison conditions are so bad, and prison reform is such a hot button issue. The Feds taking over the prisons (Feeley and Rubin, Judicial Policy Making), supermax prisons...

I hate this to be my first comment on your blog (which I think is awesome), but I was so shocked by my favorite satirical paper! And I really have a sense of humor!

At 8:29 AM, Blogger christopher uggen said...

hey belle, good point. when i take students to prisons, we explicitly discuss zoo-like characteristics of prisons that undercut the basic humanity of the inmates. after such discussions, they tend to do less gawking and more talking and listening with residents.

i linked to this story for the "fiscal crisis" aspect. a similar example would be counties merging jails with libraries, since they can't seem to support the latter in these recessionary times.

ps. love your stuff too.


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