Evidenced by the mixed emotions of providing convicted criminals recreational equipment, an intriguing article became a topic of discussion the other day on Deadspin, as an ex-con, recently released from prison, delved into his experience with the prevalence of weightlifting in the pen and it’s ultimate effect on the not just the body, but psyche of prisoners.
One of the most telling quotes comes near the end, where author Daniel Genis states:
“Removing the weights from state prison might make for weaker criminals, but also weaker men. And in our society, apart from the white-collar offenders, it is really the weak who commit the crimes, not the strong. Taking away the weights—and thereby killing a culture with its own customs, traditions, vocabulary, and even festivals (the annual lifting contest was much-anticipated)—would deny the men a chance for a true mens sana in corpore sano. From my own time inside, I can attest that it’s better for men to emerge from the hell of incarceration stronger—not necessarily in their biceps, but in their hearts and minds.”
No matter which way your opinion sways, its an insightful and highly detailed read about the inner workings of the system. The piece in its entirety can be found here.
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