'My Heart Attack in Prison': Penal Harm, Bureaucracy, and a Narrative of Personal Crisis

Christopher E. Smith, Michigan State University
C.R. Jones, Michigan State University

This paper, co authored by a professor and a prisoner currently incarcerated for armed robbery, uses the prisoner's narrative description of his heart attack in prison as the basis for analyzing the human consequences philosophy and the impact of bureaucratization in the aftermath of more than a decade of rapid expansion of prisons. The paper also illuminates the gap between formal rights (e.g., right to be free from deliberate indifference to serious medical needs: Estelle v. Gamble) and human experience in a bureaucratic setting.

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Updated 05/20/2006