Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Doing Time in the DepressionEveryday Life in Texas and California Prisons$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Ethan Blue

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814709405

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814709405.001.0001

Show Summary Details

Thirty Minutes behind the Walls

Thirty Minutes behind the Walls

Prison Radio and the Popular Culture of Punishment

(p.135) 5 Thirty Minutes behind the Walls
Doing Time in the Depression

Ethan Blue

NYU Press

This chapter discusses the emergence of radio broadcasts as a new element of penal discipline in the late Depression. As New Deal-era labor laws such as such as the Hawes-Cooper Act (1929) and the Ashurst-Sumners Act (1934) increasingly circumscribed inmate labor, prison radio meshed with other popular cultural forms, including baseball leagues, rodeos, literary magazines, and newspapers, to retrain prisoners in recreational activities appropriate to the welfare state and a Keynesian economy. At the same time, these popular cultural events instructed the free world audience in the risks of breaking the law. The programs were as much for audiences outside the prison as they were for inmates on the inside. The citizens that these broadcasts aimed to create—steeped in the liberal ideologies of consumption, leisure, and athleticism—were at every step consistent with broad transformations in American society.

Keywords:   radio broadcasts, penal discipline, punishment, prison labor, prison radio, rehabilitation

NYU Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.