Reaction to Tamms Letters

Regarding the letters from the prisoners, I was extremely surprised as to how well some of them could write. Specifically, the way they formatted, structured, and used intelligent vocabulary to express their feelings and concerns. Like many people, initially stereotyping criminals as uneducated and simpleminded, I enjoyed reading the letters because it was truly the complete opposite of what I had originally thought it was going to be. I was also impressed with the neutral and moreover, peaceful approach on how these prisoners presented themselves and their situations. It seemed all of them were gracious and thankful for the opportunities to write and have a chance for their voices to be heard. Considering the confines of supermax prisons, it amazed me in some of the letters the statistical information and the mathematic calculations regarding prison costs, food and staff reductions, and overall knowledge these prisoners were privy to. I think it is great that despite the extreme loneliness and severely mundane lifestyle of these prisoners that they are still able to think analytically. Additionally, I thought the cynical attitude some of these guys had were pretty interesting. Not so much because they were funny but rather they seemed to be realists regardless of being confined all day.


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