Prison Writings : My Life, Prisons, And The Theory Of Social Prison Experiences?

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Leonard Peltier is a Native American man currently imprisoned for crimes he did not commit. Peltier is currently serving time in Leavenworth, Kansas, and it is likely that he will live the rest of his life in prison. Examining Peltier’s experiences through several different community systems frameworks will push human service professionals to help not only individuals but whole communities as well. In particular, the ecological systems theory, historical trauma, and the theory of social capital are helpful in making sense of Peltier’s experiences, and seeing them not as random events but as the culmination of years of mistreatment, oppression, and marginalization.

Leonard Peltier, author of Prison Writings: My Life is My Sundance (1999), is a 73 year old Native American of the Lakota/Dakota nations. He was a member of the American Indian Movement (AIM), an advocacy group that fights for the rights of Native Americans, and he has paid a high price for defending his people. In 1975, there was already a warrant out for Peltier’s arrest involving an attempted murder, and he was considered a fugitive. At this time, there was continuing violence in the aftermath of the Wounded Knee Incident, and, as a member of AIM, Peltier was staying on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to try to reduce tensions and offer protection. There, he and two other members of AIM were involved in a shootout that resulted in the death of two FBI officers. Though the other two AIM members were

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