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Shockingly Candid Photos Of Life on a 1970s Arkansas Prison Farm
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9/17/2018 at 2:22:12 PM GMT
Posts: 115
Shockingly Candid Photos Of Life on a 1970s Arkansas Prison Farm

By Mark Murrmann —

Bruce Jackson got into photography as a means to an end. Working as an ethnographer studying African American work songs in Texas prisons, Jackson started taking photos for reference. While doing this work in the late ’60s, he met Terrell Don Hutto, assistant warden of the Ramsey Prison Farm in 1967. In 1971, Hutto was named commissioner of the Arkansas Department of Corrections. He later cofounded the Corrections Corporation of America(now CoreCivic), America’s first private, for-profit prison company. Today, a detention centerin Texas named after Hutto holds immigrant families. 

Jackson’s connection to Hutto allowed him access to prisons in Texas and Arkansas, including the 16,000-acre Cummins Farm Unit, where Hutto lived in Arkansas. Jackson initially went to Cummins to see how Hutto was reforming the state prison system, which had been put under federal supervision after a judge described it as ‘a dark and evil world’ that violated prisoners’ constitutional rights. (An incident in which bodies were found buried on the Cummins grounds was later depicted in the 1980 Robert Redford film, Brubaker.)


To continue reading, visit the full article on Mother Jones’s website.

Murrmann, Mark. “Shockingly Candid Photos Of Life on a 1970s Arkansas Prison Farm.” Mother Jones (September 8, 2018). <>

Last edited Thursday, September 20, 2018

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