Unusually Indifferent Cruelty

  • Joe Rollins


Some of the most complicated strategies for managing knowledge about HIV/AIDS arise from cases involving inmates. These scripts contain stories about architecture and bodies that echo the regulatory mechanisms we saw above, but here the unceasing discipline of the “complete and austere institutions” of the prison allows for much greater discursive latitude. Knowledge about both AIDS and sexuality is especially indeterminate here. The management of unknowability is more important but can also be done with less effort. HIV is transmitted among prisoners in the same ways that it is transmitted among the nonincarcerated, but injection drug use and sexual contact among inmates pose especially thorny problems in the penal setting.1 More troubling to some, perhaps, than the intractable health and safety concerns they raise are the cracks they reveal in the prison system, particularly the possibility of pleasure among inmates.


Anal Intercourse Fourth Amendment Prison Official Prison Setting Prison Life 
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© Joe Rollins 2004

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  • Joe Rollins

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