Although the tiger cages of Vietnam made headlines (if only for a few days), the American public generally finds it easier...

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FORT DIX STOCKADE: Our Prison Camp Next Door

Although the tiger cages of Vietnam made headlines (if only for a few days), the American public generally finds it easier to ignore our own prison cages. One of the worst was at Fort Dix, New Jersey, where on June 5, 1969, several hundred prisoners in the stockade rioted to publicize their miserable conditions -- beatings, handcuffings to chairs, lack of proper food, exercise, and medical care; requests to sign false statements against other prisoners in return for clemency; refusals of legitimate (according to the Uniform Code of Military Justice) demands for counsel. As it turned out, the hope was naive, for the riot got nowhere, and, just as predictably, none of the major publications bothered to investigate either the prison conditions or the distortions of justice that occurred at the subsequent court-martial trials against the presumed ""leaders."" This is a small but moving attempt to document that injustice and brutality, as often as possible through the voices of the young men themselves -- usually poor, shuffled into the army as an alternative to jail, going AWOL to assist starving relatives or because the Army refused to grant C.O. status -- out cases both from society and the institution it forced them to join. This is a book about people going nowhere fast, and a system that allows it. As Robert Sherrill says, ""Military justice is to justice as military music is to music.

Pub Date: April 1, 1974

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Links Books-dist. by Straight Arrow

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1974