Recently corrections officials at a local prison turned down a proposal from the inmates for an ASL (American Sign Language) program, on the grounds that teaching inmates to communicate non-verbally was a security risk.
This got me thinking: Wouldn't there already be non-verbal languages commonly used in prisons? Gang members, who are well-represented in prison populations, have systems of hang signals, would there be institutional variations? Have non-verbal communication systems been used in other institutional settings, like POW or concentration camps? Obviously, a universal cross-institutional language is unlikely, but any resources, web or book-based dealing with the topic of non-verbal communication in prisons or similar settings would be much appreciated.
posted by Alvy Ampersand
on Oct 19, 2010 -
How can people in the U.S. prison system communicate with the outside world? I understand that this varies depending on the type of prison, and possibly the state, but I have found no information. [more inside]
posted by daboo
on Dec 17, 2009 -