In Prison

Douglas Kent Hall, Author Henry Holt & Company $0 (55p) ISBN 978-0-8050-0592-9
This photo-essay of prisoners in the San Quentin, Folsom (both Calif.) and Santa Fe (N.M.) penitentiaries conveys the claustrophobia and ``the gradual shutting down of the human spirit'' that Hall ( Working Cowboys ; The Border: Life on the Line ) noted when visiting to take these 80 or so black-and-white photos. A text consisting of Hall's impressions and informal interviews with convicts explores aspects of incarceration. Crisp, balanced portraits, with dramatic use of light and shadow (particularly in the interior shots), show men and women in their cells, lifting weights, at work or in the exercise yard. Hall admits to a fascination with the convicts' tattoos, and photos of these abound. This is a powerful portfolio, due to both the harshness of the subject matter and Hall's manifest photographic skill. (Feb. )
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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