No Caption Needed (NCN) is a bubbling blog-broth of visual politics and opinion that swills about their own cast-iron-think-piece cauldron. Last year, NCN (Robert Hariman & John Louis Lucaites) posted thoughts on America’s Prison Industrial Complex.
NCN began by stating, in my opinion, an irrefutable fact, “The prison system in the United States gives a hard meaning to the adage ‘out of sight, out of mind’.”
Specifically, NCN was reacting to the formidable work of Andrew Lichtenstein who has documented for many years America’s sites of incarceration. In 2006, he was a Soros Documentary Photography Grant recipient.
The words that stuck with me from NCN’s post The American Gulag were those that lamented Democrat and Republican obstinacy and mutual blindness to shared agendas. NCN suggests both major parties have ideological roots which should inform progressive positions on prison reform and thus the down-scaling of US reliance on custodial sentencing:
The US has the highest incarceration rate in the world; the causes include both excessive income inequality and the disintegration of the family. Given that both conservative and liberal arguments are proved correct, you might think that a strong bi-partisan effort could be made to keep millions of Americans out of prison. Think again, for why would anyone bother to fix something they never see?
NCN’s brand of commentary on this type of pariah-issue is in stark comparison to the empty promises of politicians to reach across the aisle.