Saturday, April 30, 2011

Van Buren Street (Arizona Center for Women)

photo by Brianna Jones and Maxine Miller

32nd Street and Van Buren

Located at 32nd street and Van Buren is a prison called the Arizona Center for Women. The prison opened in 1979 and it can hold up to 250 women. Van Buren Street is known for a lot of prostitution. The location of the Arizona Center for Women couldn’t be better planned. With a prison located in an area that is known for prostitution, a higher amount of prisoners is more plausible. The state is taking advantage of the women in the area because the women are more likely to prostitute because of their poverty. Prisons constitute people that have a suspension of their rights due to certain illegal actions but it can be argued they target certain groups of race and class. Giorgi (2008) found that prisonization is the states way of creating a war against unwanted classes and that the casualties of imprisonment is racially and economically identifiable. The creation of prisons are due to the state, because the state creates the social norms and practices and furthermore what is produced and abolished.  Prisons ascribe an economic functionality and political sovereignty towards the state, and the use of them wouldn’t be possible without the dehumanization of the “criminals”.  The Arizona Center For Women benefits the state because the location of it invites more opportunity for more prisoners due to its poverty and prostitution. Another benefit is in employment, before the prison was built and opened the unemployment rate in Arizona sat around the 4.0 range, in 1982 after the prison was opened the unemployment rate had gone to only 2.0 (Regional economic forecast:, 2008). Prostitution, and Arizona’s Center for Woman are not the only two thing Van Buren street is know for, it is also known to be a dividing line of racial segregation. Just like the Levittown problem after WWII the government started giving national lending programs to veterans. Racial restrictions continued and Van Buren became the dividing line of Phoenix. (Dimas)

- Brianna Jones and Maxine Miller


Dimas, P.R (Performer). American legion post 41 [Television series episode]. In (Executive producer), Arizona Stories. Phoenix: Public Broadcast Service.

Giorgi, D. Alessandro. (2008). Ruth Gilmore, Golden Gulag. Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California. University of California Press, Berkeley. pp. 157-163 doi 10.1007/s10612-008-9051-y x

Regional economic forecast: 'it's going to get uglier before it gets better'. (2008). Informally published manuscript, W.P. Carey School of Business , Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona.

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