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Have You Seen My Backyard? Rural Ecology, Disrepute, and Prison Placement

Have You Seen My Backyard? Rural Ecology, Disrepute, and Prison Placement

Chapter:
(p.23) Two Have You Seen My Backyard? Rural Ecology, Disrepute, and Prison Placement
Source:
Big House on the Prairie
Author(s):
John M. Eason
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226410487.003.0002

In this chapter, the Please in My Backyard (PIMBY) question posed in the opening chapter is reframed by asking, “Have you seen my backyard?” This chapter explores the potential motivations behind prison placement in rural communities by focusing on the role of stigma in defining a town’s identity. In underscoring events that affected Forrest City’s reputation, including the rape trial of Wayne Dumond, the curious case of Sheriff Conlee, and a manufacturing worker’s strike where racists signs were prominently displayed, we can see how stigma builds in rural communities. Each of these infamous cases in Forrest City made national headlines news often casting the town in prominent, and unflattering light. These events, along with several other community changes, serve the impetus for the Forrest City leadership to seek a prison.

Keywords:   NIMBY, stigma, Wayne Dumond, Sheriff Conlee

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