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reflection on Eastern state

Grace Zhou's picture

It is thought that Eastern state will be a new kind of prison, one where the prisoners will spend time alone to contemplate their action, and learn to reform their ways. However, from the outside, one thinks this fortress is strict and organized and is reforming thousands of prisoners. From the inside, the prison is falling apart. Things are no longer so organized and officials are doing what they can to keep prisoners under control.

So, to some extent, the reform failed. However, when I visited Eastern state, I had been truly alone that I would have gone crazy like some of the prisoners did, but the people walking by distracted me enough that I could be okay being in the cell--any less than that and I could see how the Quakers expected contemplation on the prisoners’ lives.