Interview with TJ Parsell about his book Fish, Memoir of a Boy in a Man's Prison that documents his survival of rape inside prison.
Emily Aspinwall, Stark Raven Media Collective
In 1978, when TJ Parsell was just seventeen years old, he did something that wasn't too smart. He held up a store with a toy gun to impress a girl. For that action, he was sent to a Michigan State prison for more than 5 years.
When TJ entered the adult maximum-security prison environment, he was a skinny and naive 17 year old. Within his first 24 hours in prison, TJ was gang raped by several men. Those men then tossed a coin to see which one of them would have him as their boy. For the remainder of his prison term, TJ remained the property of another prisoner.
Unfortunately TJ's experiences are not an uncommon. Sexual violence in prison continues to be an issue in every prison system around the world.
TJ survived the prison world, and after getting out, managed to stay out. Now, 30 years after he went to prison, he has published a book about his experiences inside. The book is called Fish: A Memoir of a Boy in a Man's Prison.
TJ Parsell has become an active advocate for human rights inside prisons. He spent several years working with the US-based organization Stop Prisoner Rape and is a consultant to the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission.
For more info, www.tjparsell.com
STARK RAVEN MEDIA COLLECTIVE
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