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The Sun Magazine

Culture and Society

Incarceration

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Captive Audience

Confessions Of A Book Junkie

Here in this high-desert penal colony, boredom is king, and although prison is not nearly as harrowing as it is made out to be in the media, simple pleasures are in short supply. Under these diminished circumstances, passing the time with a good book takes on new meaning. Books are cherished, hoarded, reread, traded, borrowed, begged for, and accumulated in any way possible.

Photography

Juvenile

In discussions of justice in America, talk of punishment and retribution dominates. There is little interest in offering criminals, even juveniles, a second chance. But Joseph Rodriguez’s story makes a strong argument for the possibility of redemption.

Quotations

Sunbeams

An unrectified case of injustice has a terrible way of lingering, restlessly, in the social atmosphere like an unfinished equation.

Mary McCarthy

The Sun Interview

Going The Distance

Rubin Carter’s Long Journey From Convict To Crusader

When you spend a great deal of time in darkness, in solitary confinement, where everything blends into one, if you’re fortunate, you’ll begin to see things more vividly than you’ve ever seen them before. It may take days, weeks, months, years, but you’ll begin to see things as they really are. You’ll begin to see yourself as you have never seen yourself before. Because when you can’t see outside, you can only look inside.

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Bible Hockey

Jail seems like a metaphor for the human condition: we all have life without the possibility of parole. And, as in life, some people serve their sentences in nicer places than others. Foxtrot — or “the hole,” as the inmates call it — is the worst place to be. It is like the underworld, a frightening and remote region where everything is cement or metal.