Sociologist Megan Comfort Studies How Mass Incarceration Affects Families
Here’s a podcast with sociologist Megan Comfort on her book, Doing Time Together: Love and Family in the Shadow of Prison (UChicago Press, 2007). Here’s what the book’s about:
Megan Comfort spent years getting to know women visiting men at San Quentin State Prison, observing how their romantic relationships drew them into contact with the penitentiary. Tangling with the prison’s intrusive scrutiny and rigid rules turns these women into “quasi-inmates,” eroding the boundary between home and prison and altering their sense of intimacy, love, and justice. Yet Comfort also finds that with social welfare weakened, prisons are the most powerful public institutions available to women struggling to overcome untreated social ills and sustain relationships with marginalized men. As a result, they express great ambivalence about the prison and the control it exerts over their daily lives.