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"Let's usher in a solution-solving debate around why we should spend $35,000 a year warehousing close-custody prisoners in this state."

Re: Solitary confinement; Election coverage 

Re: Solitary confinement

Chris McBride and his seven Central Prison freedom fighters ignited an act of heroism ["You're so alone," Oct. 31]. They stopped being inmates while making a righteous demand to stare down a brutal 23-hour ICON nightmare eye-to-eye.

Thanks to McBride's letter, Billy Ball and the entire Indy Week crew, this incident illuminates the solitary confinement debate, the greater issues of prison torture, inhumane sentencing and a criminal lack of rehabilitation within the criminal system of injustice.

Let's usher in a solution-solving debate around why we should spend $35,000 a year warehousing close-custody prisoners in this state. Why can't we use our psychological and social insights to implement less expensive, more humane treatments for offenders?

I offer McBride and his helpmates an option: Sign up for another rehab group that encourages you to feel guilty and helpless, facing a no-hope future because of your criminal record—or give yourself a chance to correct that self-destructive criminal thinking that propelled you into prison.

I applaud each of you as the Central Prison Eight and pray that your struggle will afford you a chance to read my book, Correcting Criminal Thinking, which I was blessed to write after three trips behind prison walls.

Kudos to Mr. McBride and his fellow heroes, to Billy Ball and to the Indy Week staff, who never fail to discover new strategies for igniting awareness and promoting activism for free.

Ismail A. Aziz

Re: Election coverage

Indy Week should get some kind of journalistic award for beating the clock and meeting press time Wednesday morning after the presidential elections [Nov. 7]. How did you do it?

Let me just comment on the [Durham/ Chapel Hill] cover image by D.L. Anderson, as photography is the one area I am competent to speak about. I am not often heard heaping plaudits on a photograph, but the image of the couple at a Democratic watch party in Raleigh is great in so many ways.

This image drives home the fragility of the fault line African-Americans still live on in these D.S.A.—Divided States of America. One can see the fear, hopes and anxieties for their family's future glimmer in their eyes.

The way they hold on to each other shows their solidarity in the face of uncertainty. That look on the husband's face speaks of the years of indignities he has witnessed and what this president's re-election would mean to his family. Even the faint blur of the person passing to the left is important in that it conveys that this was a seized moment, not a set-up shot. Add to that the speed with which the image must have been edited and transmitted in the media crush of election coverage, and you get a praiseworthy, prize-winning photograph.

Congratulations to Mr. Anderson and the entire Indy staff for great teamwork and an exceptionally fine issue.

Sonia Katchian
Chapel Hill


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