The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent
Going Native

Kathleen O'Halloran • August 3, 2003

I have been reading with great interest this weeks edition of 'The Blanket' and as usual it was a fantastic read. However, I know that the Blanket is more than just an ex-prisoners journal and so I have a bit to say on Mr. Richards articles.

Firstly Mr. Richards piece in this weeks edition reads like a resume for employment. However, my main critique is of his article in a previous issue called 'What is the new school of criminology'. I hope you dont mind if I make a few observations on this piece.

Firstly, almost the entire discipline of sociology is dominated by American research and then adapted to meet the needs of different countries.

Secondly, it deals mainly with ODC's and not what we have here in the north of Ireland (what Mr. Richards' would call a special group), republican prisoners. Mr Richard's should take note of what Jimmy Bradley had to say on this: "that we are not and never have been ordinary criminals. It is no crime in my eyes for Irish Republicans to assert in arms the right of the Irish people to self-determination." My point being that 'we' dont fit into this new school of criminology, for the reasons already outlined, the U.S. dominance and being political as opposed to ordinary 'criminals'.

Thirdly Richards is advocating a new discipline to be led mainly by those who have personal experience of their craft. This is too subjective even for a soft science like sociology.

Fourthly, Richards' group is too elitist despite his cry of inclusion. Many ex-cons devoid of Phd's have written excellent books on prison life, the latest being 'You've got nothing coming' by Jimmy Lerner.

Fifthly, If Mr. Richards is not careful he will end up going native as a professor in his ivory tower, despite what he says. Also I could add that if Mr. Richards wanted a public study in going native he should look no further than Sinn Fein in Stormont. That is one of the best public experiments of going native outside the United States.
















Index: Current Articles + Latest News and Views + Book Reviews + Letters + Archives

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



All censorships exist to prevent any one from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships.
- George Bernard Shaw

Index: Current Articles

22 August 2003


Other Articles From This Issue:


A Pathological Political Disorder
Anthony McIntyre


Letter to the Blanket

Michael McKevitt


Deeply Flawed

Douglas Hamilton


The Prison Population Binge
Daniel S. Murphy


Going Native
Kathleen O Halloran


The Hall and State of Illusions
Davy Carlin


Liam O Ruairc


Mazen Dana
Sean Noonan


Michael Moore in Belfast: Stupid White Men
Anthony McIntyre


11 August 2003


Revenge, Not Justice
Anthony McIntyre


Statement of Michael McKevitt


Brutality in Maghaberry Extends to Visitors

Martin Mulholland, IRPWA


Federal Prisoner Becomes University Professor
Stephen C. Richards


What is the New School of Convict Criminology?
Jeffery Ian Ross and Stephen C. Richards


Intellectuals and the Cold War
John Harrington


Kevin Lynch Commemoration Speech
Jimmy Bradley


Neo-Liberal Nicaragua: Neo Banana Republic
Toni Solo




The Blanket




Latest News & Views
Index: Current Articles
Book Reviews
The Blanket Magazine Winter 2002
Republican Voices