Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

Letter from Spain

by Pablo Serrano Zaragoza, Spain

The only thing new is an important increase in the prisoner population. They are filling the prisons to the roof. They have built various new prisons that are already full. Aside from this process, which follows even greater social injustice and inequality, it is due to the proximity of the general elections (in October of 93) and because of it the government has to maintain calm streets. It is a dynamic in which the judges are collaborating to the maximum. Through the mass media a succession of rapes and murders of little girls which occurred recently, have been used to mount a whole lynch mob campaign against prisoners by public opinion. This is when faced with an economic crisis (the Spanish economy is at low levels and the unemployment level surpasses 3 million workers, more than 20 % of the working population), and without "enemies" to blame now that the Soviet Union is dismantled and the armed struggle groups in this country are at a level of unprecedented weakness, thus they need to use prisoners as enemies.

As you can imagine the campaign of yellow journalism, sensationalism, morbidity, blood, tears and fears, all of it well orchestrated has achieved a lynch mob atmosphere against prisoners. Its sickening. No one has asked about its causes, like what kind of society is this that creates these dehumanized beings capable of committing such aberrations? Not even from a perspective of effectiveness within the capitalist system has it occurred to them to ask what are prisons for if 80% return, usually for more serious crimes? But of course that is to reach the causes, such as private property and privilege, and that would question their system, therefore its better to discuss the effects.

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login