Periodical profile published 1982
Publisher: Bulldozer Collective, P.O. Box 5052, Station A, Toronto, Ontario M5W 1W4
Year Published: 1982
Resource Type: Serial Publication (Periodical)
Cx Number: CX2441
Intended as a vehicle for prison reform, Bulldozer publishes letters, poems and articles by and about prisoners in North American maximum security institutions.
Abstract: Intended as a vehicle for prison reform, Bulldozer publishes letters, poems and articles by and about prisoners in North American maximum security institutions.
The magazine seeks to expose the injustice and violence of the penal system as prisoners describe and analyse their experience of powerlessness at the hands of the courts, the prison administrations and the guards. As one prisoner writes, "to ensure they assert their authority, the keepers of the kept use oppressive policies" which result in "non-recognition of the prisoner as a human being, but as a Crown-owned numerical figure." This degradation is seen in the neglect of prisoners' medical and psychiatric needs and in the use of "segregation" and SHU's ("special handling units") to control inmates. This oppression extends to prisoners' visitors who may be stripped and searched by prison officials. Another concern is the exploitation of prisoners as "slave labour" for the Crown. Issue No. 3 criticizes the recent "reform" of prison wages, showing how it really changes nothing for the prisoner and even reduces a prisoner's spending power.
Besides advocating real reform of the penal system, Bulldozer works "to critique the use of prisons as one of the ultimate weapons that the state uses against both political dissidents and those who are outside the pall of middle class respectability." In Issue No. 3, this concern is reflected in articles about Canadian native prisoners, black prisoners in the U.S. and Republican prisoners in Ulster.
In other articles, the prisoners express their solidarity with other groups who seek justice and they reflect on the struggle to maintain one's commitment to the building of a more humane world.