“Why Everyone Should Care About Mass E-Carceration”
In her work Patricia Williams starts by stating by arguing that the social cost that is involved in constant surveillance happens to be more significant than what many people often think. The article is critical as it tries to bring out the impact that technology has on the liberty of individuals. Patricia warns that people should be aware of mass incarceration. Incarceration can be defined as the process of using technology with the aim of taking away people’s liberty. This process involves the use of electronic devices such as surveillance machines in monitoring people’s movements and activities within a certain area. Though the machines are helpful for security purposes, on the other hand, they limit people from expressing and exploring their freedom.
The article brings out several strategies that are involved in depriving people’s liberty. In line with the strategies, there happen to be several assumptions that are used by Patricia to support his argument. The cost involved in constant surveillance, according to Patricia, is not just the purchasing cost, but the cost it has on people’s liberty.
Strategies in the approach to the argument
While stating her argument, Patricia, based on a number of strategies that she used as sources of proof for her argument. One of the strategies involves the use of electronic monitoring in prisons, which many people saw it as more liberating than being in jail. This involves the use of devices such as GPS ankle monitors. Michelle Alexander, on the other hand, saw the improvisation as an attempt to oppress African Americans by the use of the criminal justice system. However, the use of electronic monitoring is associated with several limitations it imposes to the prisoners (Patricia, 2019). The fact that the prisoners are out of jail doesn’t assure them freedom at all. While electronic monitoring falls under incarceration, the prisoners are limited to attending schools, impossible to get or even keep jobs, limited to take care of his kids, and even attempting to pay a visit to family members. Patricia uses this strategy to show how electronic monitoring in prison gets to deny the prisoners freedom even when they are out of jail. The approach is quite convincing to the readers. The reader can easily identify how much liberty, such as visit family members, is limited as a result of digital prisoning. It is also known as open-air digital prison where one is limited to his/her house, block, or even the neighborhood. This kind of situation clearly brings it out how the cost of constant surveillance, which is electronic monitoring for this case, is greater. The cost can be estimated or expressed in the manner in which there is so much limitation while using digital prisoning as compared to being in jail. This approach is much convincing, and every reader could agree with Patricia’s argument.
The use of a platform known as the Canvas Parent advertisement is another strategy Patricia uses. The platform serves the same purpose as the ankle GPS since it is also based on overseeing (Patricia, 2019). However, this platform advertises itself as a tool aimed at empowering parents so that they can get to monitor their children more closely in relation to their academic duties. The application serves as a convenient form or way of communication channel between the parents and the school. The article points out that the platform is integrated to a point where the parents are able to view the student’s assignment, how the assignment is graded, and announcements in relation to the specific courses as well reminders and alerts for assignments. However, despite the fact that it provides a better communication channel between the parents and the teachers, it burdens children on the other end. Children are pushed by their parents to do the work immediately they get the alert. In such a case, we can realize that children end up not doing anything for their selves. No matter how the application teaches parents to participate in helping out on assignments, it will be fair enough to let the children learn by themselves to some extent. This approach or strategy brings out the effect technology has on children’s liberty (Patricia, 2019). In normal circumstances, children need to be given an example after which he/she is required to practice additional assignments using the techniques used in the assignment. Through such, the child is able to learn something on his own. This technique is good supporting evidence for Patricia’s claim. The technique through the way it has been brought out gives a clear picture of what Patricia means by saying that surveillance control is costly that thought. This is because children are not able to learn by themselves, which means that they will keep depending on their parent’s assistance. This is just enough to convince the reader that the claim applies to its totality.
From the article, the claim made by the author happens to have made assumptions while applying the different approaches. One of the assumptions in relation to the use of electronic monitoring is that the prisoner was neither in jail nor at home. This is based on the fact that the prisoners are not entitled to paying a visit to their family members alongside offering care for the kids while at the same time, they are out of jail. It is also assumed that the prisoners have privileges while in jails as they are visited by their families at regular intervals of time. Another assumption based on the use of the Canvas platform. This particular strategy assumes that all the parents with children in that particular institution are learned and are able to assist the children in performing the assignment.
Patricia J. Williams (2019) “Why Everyone Should Care About Mass incarceration”