Interview with Laverne Barkley
QUESTION 8
TERRY ROCKEFELLER:

Do you learn a lot about prisons or did, did the experience of having Elliot in prison and your visiting him there and your hearing what, what he felt change your mind? Change what you thought about jails in our country and, and the purpose they serve?

LAVERNE BARKLEY:

Well I fear for anyone who goes to prison because I think your really lucky if you come out healthy and come out alive. There's so many things there that can happen to you. I feel that sometimes treatment by some of the guards might even precipitate someone doing something foolish and then jeopardizing his, ah, well-being. I, um, I feel that and I agree with Elliot that men should be treated as men. It could only be beneficial for everyone concerned. This is very important, I believe, that when men go to prison that they learn that it, it's, there is a chance for them. They aren't bitter and they can come out and be useful citizens. But I do believe in some instances it doesn't happen because of what goes on behind those walls. I, I think Elliot must have been very, very, um, must have been very upset, maybe even surprised that these things happened in prison. That's why he wrote a book about it. That's why a lot of his time was spent writing that book.