I-"The Convicted: 'This Ain't That Kind of Prison'" - R.H. Ring - Arizona Daily Star

I-"The Convicted: 'This Ain't That Kind of Prison'" - R.H. Ring - Arizona Daily Star

by: R H Ring | publication date: August 8, 1982 | Publication: The Convicted (supplement to the Arizona Daily Star) | pages: 23-34

It's no surprise I wound up in prison. Like many of us, in this nation founded by outlaws, I have committed crimes. I have felt alienation. I have needed money.  I have hated the system, its sometimes oppressive laws and the men who make them. In a wilder period, about 10 years ago, I even did a little time - a few days in a county jail, and almost a week in a Canadian penitentiary. Vietnam-era stuff. What kept me out on the streets for the rest of my 32 years was mainly luck, and a leg up from having white skin and middle-class parentage. Simply, I got away with what others did not. But what did I care if I was caught? In a strange way, I wanted to go to prison.

Arizona Daily Star reporter R.H. Ring spent 10 days posing as a maximum-security convict at Arizona's Florence State Penitentiary. Very few people in the prison system knew of his stay, not even Florence's warden. This article won an award from Investigative Reports and Editors (IRE) and an American Bar Association Gavel Award. It was published in a tabloid called "The Convicted" as a special supplement to the Ariozona Daily Star, along with other Star reporters' stories on Arizona's corrections system. Ring's colleague John Long posed as a corrections officer. His story "Holding Down the Fort" was also included in "The Convicted."

Copyrighted, used with permission.