Carly Ethan Paul David Christmas Michael Luis Natalie Sheridan Julian Jason George Ross Brooke Niles Todd Alison Rick Rose Frasier Danny Miguel These are the types of sounds known as vowels and diphthongs.
Vowels While the consonant sounds are mostly articulated via closure or obstruction in the vocal tract, vowel sounds are produced with a relatively free flow of air. They are all typically voiced. To describe vowel sounds, we consider the way in which the tongue influences the shape through which the airflow must pass.
For the first two, your mouth will stay fairly closed, but for the last two, your tongue will move lower and cause your mouth to open wider. The sounds of relaxation and pleasure typically contain lower vowels. The terminology for describing vowel sounds in English e. Following the chart is a list of the major vowels with examples of familiar words illustrating some of the variation in spelling that is possible for each sound.
The movement in this diphthong is from low towards high front. While the vowels [e], [a] and [o] are used as single sounds in other languages, and in some other varieties of English, they are only typically used as the first sounds of diphthongs Sittin On A Fence - Various - Super Summer Party (CD) American English.
The accompanying diagram provides a rough idea of how diphthongs are produced and is followed by a list of the sounds, with examples to illustrate some of the variation in the spelling of these sounds. Also, some of the sound distinc- tions shown here may not even be used regularly in your own speech.
In fact, in casual speech, we all use schwa more than any other single sound. There are many other variations in the actual physical articulation of the sounds we have considered here. The more we focus on the subtle differences in the actual articulation of each sound, the more likely we are to find ourselves describing the pronunciation of small groups or even individual speakers.
Such subtle differences enable us to identify individual voices and recognize people we know as soon as they speak. We are clearly able to disregard all the subtle individual variation in the phonetic detail of voices and recognize each underlying sound type as part of a word with a particular meaning.
To make sense of how we do that, we need to look at the more general sound patterns, or the phonology, of a language. The sounds of language 37 Study questions 1 What is the difference between acoustic phonetics and articulatory phonetics?
Keeping this in mind, try to provide a basic phonetic representation of the following words. Some words will be in more than one list. So we say that [k] is a voiceless velar fricative. Write similar definitions for the initial sounds in the normal pronunciation of the following words. Among the types of consonants already described affricates, fricatives, glides, liquids, nasals, stopswhich are obstruents, which are sonorants, and why?
E i How would you make a retroflex sound? F What is forensic phonetics? In front of a mirror or enlist a cooperative friend to be the speakersay the following pairs of words. What clues are you using to help you make your decision? II English has a number of expressions such as chit-chat and flip-flop which never seem to occur in the reverse order i. Perhaps you can add examples to the following list of similar expressions. Further reading Basic treatments Ladefoged, P. Roach, J.
Hartman and J. Live inne contri nire foresta. No mugheggia. Uanna dei pappa, mamma, e beibi go bice, orie e furghetta locche di dorra. Bai ene bai commese Goldilocchese. Sci garra natingha tu du batte meiche troble. Sci puscia olle fudde daon di maute; no live cromma. Den sci gos appesterrese enne slipse in olle beddse. Bob Belviso, quoted in Espy In the preceding chapter, we investigated the physical production of speech sounds in terms of the articulatory mechanisms of the human vocal tract.
That investigation was possible because of some rather amazing facts about the nature of language. Yet those two physically different individuals would inevitably have physically different vocal tracts, in terms of size and shape. In a sense, every individual has a physically different vocal tract. Consequently, in purely physical terms, every individual will pronounce sounds differently. There are, then, potentially millions of physically different ways of saying the simple word me.
Obvious differences occur when that individual is shouting, is suffering from a bad cold or is asking for a sixth martini. Given this vast range of potential differences in the actual physical production of a speech sound, how do we manage consistently to recognize all those versions of me as the form [mi], and not [ni] or [si] or [ma] or [mo] or something else entirely? The answer to that question is provided to a large extent by the study of phonology.
Phonology Phonology is essentially the description of the systems and patterns of speech sounds in a language. It is, in effect, based on a theory of what every speaker of a language unconsciously knows about the sound patterns of that language. Because of this theoretical status, phonology is concerned with the abstract or mental aspect of the sounds in language rather than with the actual physical articulation of speech sounds.
See the end of the chapter for a translation. Phonology is about the underlying design, the blueprint of each sound type, which serves as the constant basis of all the variations in different physical articulations of that sound type in different contexts.
In actual speech, these [t] sounds are all very different. However, all these articulation differences in [t] sounds are less important to us than the distinction between the [t] sounds in general and the [k] sounds, or the [f] sounds, or the [b] sounds, because there are meaningful consequences related to the use of one rather than the others.
These sounds must be distinct meaningful sounds, regardless of which individual vocal tract is being used to pronounce them, because they are what make the words tar, car, far and bar meaningfully distinct. Considered from this point of view, we can see that phonology is concerned with the abstract set of sounds in a language that allows us to distinguish meaning in the actual physical sounds we say and hear.
Phonemes Each one of these meaning-distinguishing sounds in a language is described as a phoneme. When we learn to use alphabetic writing, we are actually using the concept of the phoneme as the single stable sound type which is represented by a single written symbol.
An essential property of a phoneme is that it functions contrastively. This contrastive property is the basic operational test for determining the phonemes that exist in a language. If we substitute one sound for another in a word and there is a change of meaning, then the two sounds represent different phonemes.
The basic phonemes of English are listed with the consonant, vowel and diphthong diagrams in Chapter 3. Because these two sounds share some features i. The prediction would be that sounds which have features in common would behave phonologically in some similar ways. A sound which does not share those features would be expected to behave differently.
If so, then we will be on our way to producing a phonological account of permissible sound sequences in the language. We can describe those different versions as phones.
Phones are phonetic units and appear in square brackets. For example, the [t] sound in the word tar is normally pronounced with a stronger puff of air than is present in the [t] sound in the word star. If you put the back of your hand in front of your mouth as you say tar, then star, you should be able to feel some physical evidence of aspiration the puff of air accompanying the [t] sound at the beginning of tar but not in star.
In the last chapter, we noted that the [t] sound between vowels in a word like writer often becomes a flap, which we can represent as [D]. The crucial distinction between phonemes and allophones is that substituting one phoneme for another will result in a word with a different meaning as well as a different pronunciationbut substituting allophones only results in a different and perhaps unusual pronunciation of the same word.
In the second word, the effect of the nasal consonant [n] makes the [i] sound nasalized. It is possible, of course, for two languages to have the same pair of phonetic seg- ments, but to treat them differently. In English, the effect of nasalization on a vowel is treated as allophonic variation because the nasalized version is not meaningfully contrastive. Clearly, in these cases, the distinction is phonemic. Minimal pairs and sets Phonemic distinctions in a language can be tested via pairs and sets of words.
When two words such as pat and bat are identical in form except for a contrast in one phoneme, occurring in the same position, the two words are described as a minimal pair. More accurately, they would be classified as a minimal pair in the phonology of English. Other examples of English minimal pairs are fan—van, bet—bat, site—side.
Such pairs have traditionally been used in the teaching and testing of English as a second or foreign language to help students develop the ability to understand the contrast in meaning based on the minimal sound contrast.
When a group of words can be differentiated, each one from the others, by changing one phoneme always in the same position in the wordthen we have a minimal set.
The sound patterns of language 45 For example, one minimal set based on the vowel phonemes of English could include feat, fit, fat, fate, fought, foot, and another minimal set based on consonant phonemes could have big, pig, rig, fig, dig, wig.
Phonotactics This type of exercise involving minimal sets also allows us to see that there are definite patterns in the types of sound combinations permitted in a language.
In English, the minimal set we have just listed does not include forms such as lig or vig. According to the dictionary, these are not English words, but they could be viewed as possible English words. That is, our phonological knowledge of the pattern of sounds in English words would allow us to treat these forms as acceptable if, at some future time, they came into use. They might, for example, begin as invented abbreviations I think Bubba is one very ignorant guy.
They have been formed without obeying some constraints on the sequence or position of English phonemes. Such constraints are called the phono- tactics i. Because these constraints operate on a unit that is larger than the single segment or phoneme, we have to move on to a consideration of the basic structure of that larger phonological unit called the syllable. Syllables A syllable must contain a vowel or vowel-like sound, including diphthongs. The most common type of syllable in language also has a consonant C before the vowel V and is typically represented as CV.
Technically, the basic elements of the syllable are the onset one or more consonants followed by the rhyme. The rhyme sometimes syllable onset rhyme nucleus coda consonant s vowel consonant s Figure 4.
Syllables like me, to or no have an onset and a nucleus, but no coda. They are known as open Sittin On A Fence - Various - Super Summer Party (CD). When a coda is present, as in the syllables up, cup, at or hat, they are called closed syllables. Consonant clusters Both the onset and the coda can consist of more than one consonant, also known as a consonant cluster. There are many CC onset combinations permitted in English phonotactics, as in black, bread, trick, twin, flat and throw.
English can actually have larger onset clusters, as in the words stress and splat, consisting of three initial consonants CCC. The phonotactics of these larger onset consonant clusters is not too difficult to describe. You can check if this description is adequate for the combinations in splash, spring, strong, scream and square. Does the description also cover the second syllable in the pronunciation of exclaim?
Remember that it is the onset of the syllable that is being described, not the beginning of the word. It is quite unusual Sittin On A Fence - Various - Super Summer Party (CD) languages to have consonant clusters of this type. Indeed, the syllable structure of many languages e. Japanese is predominantly CV. It is also noticeable in English that large consonant clusters may be reduced in casual conversa- tional speech, particularly if they occur in the middle of a word.
This is just one example of a process that is usually discussed in terms of coarticulation effects. Coarticulation effects In much of the preceding discussion, we have been describing speech sounds in syllables and words as if they are always pronounced carefully and deliberately, almost in slow motion.
Mostly our talk is fast and spontaneous, and it requires our articulators to move from one sound to the next without stopping. The process of making one sound almost at the same time as the next sound is called coarticulation. There are two well-known coarticulation effects, described as assimilation and elision. Vowels are also subject to assimilation.
In many words spoken carefully, the vowel receives stress, but in the course of ordinary everyday talk, that vowel may no longer receive any stress and naturally reduce to schwa. Elision In the last example, illustrating the normal pronunciation of you and me, the [d] sound of the word and was not included in the transcription. This process of not pro- nouncing a sound segment that might be present in the deliberately careful pronunci- ation of a word in isolation is described as elision.
In fact, consistently avoiding the regular patterns of assimilation and elision used in a lan- guage would result in extremely artificial-sounding talk. The point of investigating these phonological processes is not to arrive at a set of rules about how a language should be pronounced, but to try to come to an understanding of the regularities and patterns which underlie the actual use of sounds in language. The sound patterns of language 49 Study questions 1 What is the difference between a phoneme and an allophone?
B In the phonology of Hawaiian there are only open syllables. Also, based on this slender evidence, which two English consonants are probably not phonemes in Hawaiian? C The word central has a consonant cluster -ntr- in the middle and two syllables. D Individual sounds are described as segments. What are suprasegmentals? E The English words lesson and little are typically pronounced with syllabic consonants.
F A general distinction can be made among languages depending on their basic rhythm, whether they have syllable-timing or stress-timing. How are these two types of rhythm distinguished and which type characterizes the pronunciation of English, French and Spanish? How would you describe the special phonological processes involved in the pronunciation of the negative versions of the following words? II The use of plural -s in English has three different, but very regular, phonological alternatives.
For background reading, see chapter 2 pages 55—56 of Jeffries, Bob Belviso translated One attempt to interpret those very unusual spellings might be as follows: Once upon a time was three bears; mama bear, papa bear, and baby bear.
Live in the country near the forest. No mortgage. One day papa, mama, and baby go beach, only they forget to lock the door. By and by comes Goldilocks. She got nothing to do but make trouble. She push all the food down the mouth; no leave a crumb. Then she goes upstairs and sleeps in all the beds.
Further reading Basic treatments Davenport, M. Murray Spangler invented a device which he called an electric suction sweeper. This device eventually became very popular and could have been known as a spangler. People could have been spanglering their floors or they might even have spanglered their rugs and curtains. The use could have extended to a type of person who droned on and on and really suckeddescribed as spanglerish, or to a whole style of behavior called spanglerism.
However, none of that happened. Word formation 53 Instead, Mr. Spangler sold his new invention to a local businessman called William H. The point of this small tale is that, although we had never heard of Mr. Spangler before, we really had no difficulty coping with the new words: spangler, spanglerish, spanglerism, spanglering or spanglered. That is, we can very quickly understand a new word in our language a neologism and accept the use of different forms of that new word.
This ability must derive in part from the fact that there is a lot of regularity in the word-formation processes in a language. In this chapter, we will explore some of the basic processes by which new words are created.
When we look closely at the etymol- ogies of less technical words, we soon discover that there are many different ways in which new words can enter the language. We should keep in mind that these processes have been at work in the language for some time and a lot of words in daily use today were, at one time, considered barbaric misuses of the language. Yet many new words can cause similar outcries as they come into use today.
Rather than act as if the language is being debased, we might prefer to view the constant evolution of new words and new uses of old words as a reassuring sign of vitality and creativeness in the way a language is shaped by the needs Sittin On A Fence - Various - Super Summer Party (CD) its users.
Coinage One of the least common processes of word formation in English is coinage, that is, the invention of totally new terms. The most typical sources are invented trade names for commercial products that become general terms usually without capital letters for any version of that product. It may be that there is an obscure technical origin e. The most salient contemporary example of coinage is the word google.
New words based on the name of a person or a place are called eponyms. When we talked about a hoover or even a spanglerwe were using an eponym. Other common eponyms are sandwich from the eighteenth-century Earl of Sandwich who first insisted on having his bread and meat together while gambling and jeans from the Italian city of Genoa where the type of cloth was first made.
Some eponyms are technical terms, based on the names of those who first discovered or invented things, such as fahrenheit from the German, Gabriel Fahrenheitvolt from the Italian, Alessandro Volta and watt from the Scottish inventor, James Watt. Borrowing As Bill Bryson observed in the quotation presented earlier, one of the most common sources of new words in English is the process simply Sittin On A Fence - Various - Super Summer Party (CD) borrowing, that is, the taking over of words from other languages.
Throughout its history, the English language has adopted a vast number of words from other languages, including croissant Frenchdope Dutchlilac PersianSittin On A Fence - Various - Super Summer Party (CD) Italianpretzel Germansofa Arabictattoo Tahitiantycoon Japaneseyogurt Turkish and zebra Bantu.
In some cases, the borrowed words may be used with quite different meanings, as in the contemporary German use of the English words partner and look in the phrase im Partnerlook to describe two people who are together and are wearing similar clothing.
There is no equivalent use of this expression in English. The English expression moment of truth is believed to be a calque from the Spanish phrase el momento de la verdad, though not restricted to the original use as the final thrust of the sword to end a bullfight. Compounding In some of the examples we have just considered, there is a joining of two separate words to produce a single form.
Thus, Lehn and Wort are combined to produce Lehnwort in German. This combining process, technically known as compounding, is very common in languages such as German and English, but much less common in languages such as French and Spanish.
Common English compounds are bookcase, doorknob, fingerprint, sunburn, textbook, wallpaper, wastebasket and waterbed. All these examples are nouns, but we can also create compound adjectives good-looking, low-paid and compounds of adjective fast plus noun food as in a fast-food restau- rant or a full-time job.
Blending The combination of two separate forms to produce a single new term is also present in the process called blending. However, blending is typically accomplished by taking only the beginning of one word and joining it to the end of the other word. There is also the word fax, but that is not a blend. Clipping The element of reduction that is noticeable in blending is even more apparent in the process described as clipping.
This occurs when a word of more than one syllable facsimile is reduced to a shorter form faxusually beginning in casual speech. The term gasoline is still used, but most people talk about gas, using the clipped form. Other common examples are ad advertisementbra brassierecab cabrioletcondo condominiumfan fanaticflu influenzaperm permanent wavephone, plane and pub public house. There must be something about educational environments that encourages clipping because so many words get reduced, as in chem, exam, gym, lab, math, phys-ed, poly- sci, prof and typo.
A particular type of reduction, favored in Australian and British English, produces forms technically known as hypocorisms. In this process, a longer word is reduced to a single syllable, then -y or -ie is added to the end. You can probably guess what Chrissy pressies are. Backformation A very specialized type of reduction process is known as backformation. A good example of backformation is the process whereby the noun television first came into use and then the verb televise was created from it.
One very regular source of backformed verbs in English is based on the common pattern worker — work. The assumption seems to have been that if there is a noun ending in -er or something close in soundthen we can create a verb for what that noun -er does.
Hence, an editor will edit, a sculptor will sculpt and burglars, peddlers and swindlers will burgle, peddle and swindle. Conversion A change in the function of a word, as for example when a noun comes to be used as a verb without any reductionis generally known as conversion. The conversion process is particularly productive in Modern English, with new uses occurring frequently.
The conversion can involve verbs becoming nouns, with guess, must and spy as the sources of a guess, a must and a spy. Phrasal verbs to print out, to take over also become nouns a printout, a takeover. Verbs see through, stand up also become adjectives, as in see-through material or a stand-up comedian.
Or adjectives, as in a dirty floor, an empty room, some crazy ideas and those nasty people, can become the verbs to dirty and to empty, or the nouns a crazy and the nasty.
Some compound nouns have assumed adjectival or verbal functions, exemplified by the ball park appearing in a ball-park figure or asking someone to ball-park an estimate of the cost. Other nouns of this type are carpool, mastermind, microwave and quarter- back, which are all regularly used as verbs. The verb to doctor often has a negative sense, not normally associated with the source noun a doctor.
A similar kind of reanalysis of meaning is taking place with respect to the noun total and the verb run around, which do not have negative meanings. Acronyms Acronyms are new words formed from the initial letters of a set of other words. Some new acronyms come into general use so quickly that many speakers do not think of their component meanings. Derivation In our list so far, we have not dealt with what is by far the most common word- formation process to be found in the production of new English words.
Some familiar examples are the elements un- mis- pre- -ful, -less, -ish, -ism and -ness which appear in words like unhappy, misrepresent, prejudge, joyful, careless, boyish, terrorism and sadness. Word formation 59 Prefixes and suffixes Looking more closely at the preceding group of words, we can see that some affixes have to be added to the beginning of the word e. These are called prefixes. Other affixes have to be added to the end of the word e.
All English words formed by this derivational process have either prefixes or suffixes, or both. Thus, mislead has a prefix, disrespectful has both a prefix and a suffix, and foolishness has two suffixes.
Infixes There is a third type of affix, not normally used in English, but found in some other languages. This is called an infix and, as the term suggests, it is an affix that is incorporated inside another word.
It is possible to see the general principle at work in certain expressions, occasionally used in fortuitous or aggravating circumstances by emotionally aroused English speakers: Hallebloodylujah!
The expletive may even have an infixed element, as in godtripledammit!. However, a much better set of examples can be provided from Kamhmu, a language spoken in South East Asia. Multiple processes Although we have concentrated on each of these word-formation processes in isola- tion, it is possible to trace the operation of more than one process at work in the creation of a particular word.
For example, the term deli seems to have become a common American English expression via a process of first borrowing delicatessen from German and then clipping that borrowed form. If someone says that problems with the project have snowballed, the final word can be analyzed as an example of compounding in which snow and ball were combined to form the noun snowball, which was then turned into a verb through conversion.
Forms that begin as acronyms can also go through other processes, as in the use of lase as a verb, the result of backformation from laser. The formation of this new word, however, was helped by a quite different process, known simply as analogy, whereby new words are formed to be similar in some way to existing words. Yuppie was made possible as a new word by analogy with the earlier word hippie and another short-lived analogy yippie.
One joke has it that yippies just grew up to be yuppies. And the process continues. They are less proud that the last sheriff was locked up for dealing meth. Thirteen miles away, Winn Correctional Center lies in the middle of the Kisatchie National Forest,acres of Southern yellow pines crosshatched with dirt roads.
As I drive through the thick forest, the prison emerges from the fog. At the entrance, a guard who looks about 60, a gun on her hip, asks me to turn off my truck, open the doors, and step out. A tall, stern-faced man leads a German shepherd into the cab of my truck. My heart hammers. She directs me to a building just outside the prison fence. My uncle killed three people. My brother been in jail, and my cousin. One, he says, is from a shootout in Baton Rouge.
The other is from a street fight in Winnfield. He elbowed someone in the face, and the next thing he knew he got knifed from behind. He has a baby to feed. He also wants to put speakers in his truck. The human resources director comes in and scolds Reynolds for napping. If we have friends or relatives incarcerated here, we need to report it. She hands out fridge magnets with the number of a hotline to use if we feel suicidal or start fighting with our families.
We get three counseling sessions for free. We need your enthusiasm. We need your bright ideas. During the academy, I felt camaraderie.
I felt a little anxiety too. That is completely normal. The other thing I felt was tremendous excitement. I look around the room. The next day, I wake up at 6 a. I feel a shaky, electric nervousness as I put a pen that doubles as an audio recorder into my shirt pocket.
In class that day, we learn about the use of force. Tucker comes into the classroom, his black fatigues tucked into shiny black boots. Some cadets say they would write him up. Depending on where the camera is, he might would get hit. Tucker pauses to see if anyone else has a response. Tucker says we should call for backup in any confrontation. You still supposed to call for backup. Whether you can take him or not. Hell, if you got a problem with a midget, call me.
Me and you can whup the hell out of him. Tucker points at her. He cups his hands around his mouth. They both might lose, but hey, did you do your job? Hell yeah!
So if them fools want to cut each other, well, happy cutting. When we return from break, Mr. Tucker sets a tear gas launcher and canisters on the table. But with just this class, we could take it back.
If we do not sign, he says, our training is over, which means our jobs end right here. Tucker says. The answer is yes. Five of us walk outside and stand in a row, arms linked. Tucker tests the wind with a finger and drops a tear gas cartridge. A white cloud of gas washes over us. The object is to avoid panicking, staying in the same place until the gas dissipates.
My throat is suddenly on fire and my eyes seal shut. I try desperately to breathe, but I can only choke. Tucker shouts at a cadet who is stumbling off blindly. I double over. I want to throw up. I hear a woman crying. My upper lip is thick with snot. When our breath starts coming back, the two women linked to me hug each other. I want to hug them too. The three of us laugh a little as tears keep pouring down our cheeks. Our instructors advise us to carry a notebook to keep track of everything prisoners will ask us for.
I keep one in my breast pocket and jet into the bathroom periodically to jot things down. They also encourage us to invest in a watch because when we document rule infractions it is important that we record the time precisely. A few days into training, a wristwatch arrives in the mail.
One of the little knobs on its side activates a recorder. On its face there is a tiny camera lens. When we go through security, we are told to empty our pockets and remove our shoes and belts. This is intensely nerve-wracking: I send my watch, pen, employee ID, and pocket change through the X-ray machine. I walk through the metal detector and a CO runs a wand up and down my body and pats down my chest, back, arms, and legs.
The other cadets and I gather at a barred gate and an officer, looking at us through thick glass, turns a switch that opens it slowly. We pass through, and after the gate closes behind us, another opens ahead. Yellow lines divide the pavement into three lanes. Clustered and nervous, we cadets travel up the middle lane from the administration building as prisoners move down their designated side lanes.
I greet inmates as they pass, trying hard to appear loose and unafraid. Some say good morning. Others stop in their tracks and make a point of looking the female cadets up and down. At the top of the T we take a left, past the chow hall and the canteen, where inmates can buy snacks, toiletries, tobacco, music players, and batteries.
The units sit along the top of the walk. Every unit is named after a type of tree. Most are general population units, where inmates mingle in dorm-style halls and can leave for programs and chow.
Cypress is the high-security segregation unit, the only one where inmates are confined to cells. In Dogwood, reserved for the best-behaved inmates, prisoners get special privileges like extra television time, and many work outside the unit in places like the metal shop, the garment factory, or the chow hall.
We enter Elm and walk onto an open, shiny cement floor. The air is slightly sweet and musty, like the clothes of a heavy smoker. Elm can house up to inmates. Separated from the floor by a locked gate, every tier is an open dormitory that houses up to 44 men, each with his own narrow bed, thin mattress, and metal locker.
Toward the front of each tier, there are two toilets, a trough-style urinal, and two sinks. There are two showers, open except for a three-foot wall separating them from the common area. Nearby are a microwave, a telephone, and a Jpay machine, where inmates pay to download songs onto their portable players and send short, monitored emails for about 30 cents each.
Each tier also has a TV room, which fills up every weekday at p. More than half are women, many of them single moms. But in Ash and Elm, the floor officers—who more than anyone else deal with the inmates face-to-face—are exclusively men. It is their job to conduct security checks every 30 minutes, walking up and down each tier to make sure nothing is awry. Three times per hour shift, all movement in the prison stops and the floor officers count the inmates.
There are almost never more than two floor officers per general population unit. He tells the female cadets to go to the key and the male cadets to line up along the showers and toilets at the front of the tier. We put on latex gloves. The inmates are sitting on their beds. Two ceiling fans turn slowly. The room is filled with fluorescent light. Almost every prisoner is black. A small group of inmates get up from their beds and file into the shower area.
One, his body covered with tattoos, gets in the shower in front of me, pulls off his shirt and shorts, and hands them to me to inspect. In one fluid motion, the man lifts his penis, opens his mouth, lifts his tongue, spins around with his ass facing me, squats, and coughs. He hands me his sandals and shows me the soles of his feet. I hand him his clothes and he puts his shorts on, walks past me, and nods respectfully.
Like a human assembly line, the inmates file in. He tells one inmate to open his hand. The inmate uncurls his finger and reveals a SIM card. Christian takes it but does nothing. Eventually, the TV room is full of prisoners. A guard looks at them and smiles. Each of us, women included, stops at a bed. Inside a container of Vaseline, I find a one-hitter pipe made out of a pen and ask Christian what to do with it.
I go through the mattress, pillow, dirty socks, and underwear. I flip through photos of kids, and of women posing seductively.
I move on to new lockers: ramen, chips, dentures, hygiene products, peanut butter, cocoa powder, cookies, candy, salt, moldy bread, a dirty coffee cup. One instructor notices that I am carefully putting each object back where I found it and tells me to pull everything out of the lockers and leave it on the beds. I look down the tier and see mattresses lying on the floor, papers and food dumped across beds.
The middle of the floor is strewn with contraband: USB cables refashioned as phone chargers, tubs of butter, slices of cheese, and pills. I find some hamburger patties taken from the cafeteria. A guard tells me to throw them into the pile. Inmates are glued up against the TV room window, watching a young white cadet named Miss Stirling pick through their stuff. The attention makes her uncomfortable; she thinks the inmates are gross. He cooked meth in their toolshed and once beat her so badly he dislocated her shoulder and knee.
As we shake down the tier, a prisoner comes out of the TV room to get a better look at Miss Stirling, and she yells at him to go back in. He does. Most of our training is uneventful. Some days there are no more than two hours of classes, and then we have to sit and run the clock to p. Few of my fellow cadets have traveled farther than nearby Oklahoma. They compare towns by debating the size and quality of their Walmarts.
Most are young. They eat candy during break time, write their names on the whiteboard in cutesy lettering, and talk about different ways to get high. Miss Doucet, a stocky redheaded cadet in her late 50s, thinks that if kids were made to read the Bible in school, fewer would be in prison, but she also sticks pins in a voodoo doll to mete out vengeance. She lives in a camper with her daughter and grandkids. She worked at the lumber mill in Winnfield for years, but worsening asthma put an end to that.
Miss Doucet and others from the class ahead of mine go to the front office to get their paychecks for their first two weeks of work.
When they return, the shoulders of a young cadet are slumping. Outwardly, Miss Doucet is jovial and cocky, but she is already making mental adjustments to her dreams.
The double-wide trailer she imagines her grandkids spreading out in becomes a single-wide. At the end of one morning of doing nothing, the training coordinator tells us we can go to the gym to watch inmates graduate from trade classes. Prisoners and their families are milling around with plates of cake and cups of fruit punch.
An inmate offers a piece of red velvet to Miss Stirling. I stand around with Collinsworth, an year-old cadet with a chubby white baby face hidden behind a brown beard and a wisp of bangs.
When he came to Winnfield to help out with family, this was the first job he could get. Once, Collinsworth was nearly kicked out of class after he jokingly threatened to stab Mr.
Tucker with a plastic training knife. As Collinsworth and I stand around, inmates gather to look at our watches. One, wearing a cocked gray beanie, asks to buy them. I refuse outright. Collinsworth dithers. You straight with that? The inmate says guards turn a blind eye to it. You might as well go with the flow. Get this free-ass, easy-ass money, and go home. I know a dude still rolling.
Another lifts the podium over his head and runs with it across the gym. The coach shouts, exasperated, as prisoners scramble around. Inmates run this bitch, son. A week later, Mr. Tucker tells us to come in early to do shakedowns. The sky is barely lit as I stand on the walk at with the other cadets. Collinsworth tells us another prisoner offered to buy his watch.
The inmate declined. They got it on cards. Little money cards and shit. Collinsworth jumps up and down. Hell yeah. And I will not report it. Officially, inmates are only allowed to keep money in special prison-operated accounts that can be used at the canteen.
Their families can also deposit money in the accounts. The prepaid cash cards Willis is referring to are called Green Dots, and they are the currency of the illicit prison economy.
Connections on the outside buy them online, then pass on the account numbers in encoded messages through the mail or during visits. Inmates with contraband cellphones can do all these transactions themselves, buying the cards and handing out strips of paper as payments for drugs or phones or whatever else. Miss Stirling divulges that an inmate gave her the digits of a money card as a Christmas gift. I need a new MK watch. I need a new purse. I need some new jeans. I just keep it in the open.
Tucker tells us to follow him. We shake down tiers all morning. By the time we finish at 11, everyone is exhausted. Christian pulls a piece of paper out of his pocket and reads off a string of numbers in a show-offy way.
Christian hands the slip of paper to one of the cadets, a middle-aged white woman. The metal door clicks open and we enter to a cacophony of shouting and pounding on metal.
An alarm is sounding and the air smells strongly of smoke. On one wall is a mural of a prison nestled among dark mountains and shrouded in storm clouds, lightning striking the guard towers and an enormous, screeching bald eagle descending with a giant pair of handcuffs in its talons. Toward the end of a long hall of cells, an officer in a black SWAT-style uniform stands ready with a pepper-ball gun.
Another man in black is pulling burnt parts of a mattress out of a cell. Cypress can hold up to inmates; most of the eight-by-eight-foot cells have two prisoners in them. The cells look like tombs; men lie in their bunks, wrapped in blankets, staring at the walls. Many are lit only by the light from the hallway. In one, an inmate is washing his clothes in his toilet.
He grips my hand. SORT teams are trained to suppress riots, rescue hostages, extract inmates from their cells, and neutralize violent prisoners. I get a whiff of feces that quickly becomes overpowering. On one of the tiers, a brown liquid oozes out of a bottle on the floor. Food, wads of paper, and garbage are all over the ground. I spot a Coke can, charred black, with a piece of cloth sticking out of it like a fuse.
No rec time. We just sit in our cells all day. What else are we going to do? You know how we get these officers to respect us? Either that or throw them to the floor. Then they respect us. I ask one of the regular white-shirted COs what an average day in seg looks like. They are supposed to walk up and down the eight tiers every 30 minutes to check on the inmates, but he says they never do that.
CCA says it had no knowledge of guards at Winn skipping security checks before I inquired about it. Collinsworth is walking around with a big smile on his face. The sound explodes down the cement hallway. Collinsworth and the CO he is shadowing move another inmate from his cell. The inmate tries to walk ahead as the CO holds him. I take a few inmates out of their cells, too, walking each one a hundred feet or so to disciplinary court with my hand around one of his elbows.
One pulls against my grip. A SORT officer rushes over and grabs him. My heart races. Mother Jones is a nonprofit. Your support allows us to go where others in the media do not: Make a tax-deductible monthly or one-time gift. One of the white-shirted officers takes me aside. If he keeps going, we are authorized to knee him in the back of the leg and drop him to the concrete. Inmates shout at me as I walk back down the tier. I like them holes in your ears, CO.
Come in here with me. Give me that booty! At lunchtime, Collinsworth, Reynolds, and I go back to the training room. Your support allows us to go where others in the media do not: Make a tax-deductible donation today. That we are scraping the bottom of the barrel. I actually took their pictures and fingerprinted them.
There is much about the history of CCA the video does not teach. The idea of privatizing prisons originated in the early s with Beasley and fellow businessman Doctor Robert Crants.
The year after Hutto joined CCA, he became the head of the American Correctional Association, the largest prison association in the world. Beasley and Crants ran the business a lot like a hotel chain, charging the government a daily rate for each inmate. The s were a good time to get into the incarceration business.
The prison population was skyrocketing, the drug war was heating up, the length of sentences was increasing, and states were starting to mandate that prisoners serve at least 85 percent of their terms. Prisons in many states were filled beyond capacity. The bid was unsuccessful, but it planted an idea in the minds of politicians across the country: They could outsource prison management and save money in the process.
Privatization also gave states a way to quickly expand their prison systems without taking on new debt. In the perfect marriage of fiscal and tough-on-crime conservatism, the companies would fund and construct new lockups while the courts would keep them full.
Today, it runs more than 60 facilities, from state prisons and jails to federal immigration detention centers. All together, CCA houses at least 66, inmates at any given time. Whatever taxpayer money CCA receives has to cover the cost of housing, feeding, and rehabilitating inmates. Two-thirds of the private-prison contracts recently reviewed by the anti-privatization group In the Public Interest had these prisoner quotas.
The main argument in favor of private prisons—that they save taxpayers money—remains controversial. One study estimated that private prisons cost 15 percent less than public ones; another found that public prisons were 14 percent cheaper. The pressure to squeeze the most out of every penny at Winn seems evident not only in our paychecks, but in decisions that keep staffing and staff-intensive programming for inmates at the barest of levels.
Two weeks after I start training, Chase Cortez his real name decides he has had enough of Winn. But in the middle of a cool, sunny December day, he climbs onto the roof of Birch unit. He lies down and waits for the patrol vehicle to pass along the perimeter. That's the World Don't It Feel So Good The Fall Can't Stop con Scolla Let You Down Father's Day The Ecology, Pt. City As School 2. From No Where Else Interlude 4. Old Cats 7.
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Wally Clark Off The Map The Circle Life Instrumental Bud Davis Instrumental Vino Segrada Instrumental The Interview Instrumental Ice Veins Instrumental Off The Map Instrumental Hate Me prod. Blank Check feat.
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