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Chapter 3 moves from text-based testimony and performance to the public performances of the Prison Monologues program. Utilizing the lens of performance studies, this chapter analyzes the slippage between performativity and life writing, exploring the model of reform behind the Prison Monologues project and the tensions between what Gillian Whitlock names as the “sacred nature of testimony” and the “commodification and consumption of testimonial discourse.” The chapter explores the quandary of redemption sponsored by the state as both censoring and productive, interrogating how the state exercises the performances for legitimacy. The former warden Mark Kawika Patterson and the Women's Community Correctional Center are the recipients of much public praise for the Kailua Prison Writing Project, and for the Prison Monologues in particular, which reinforces the redemptive notion of the “prison as a healing place.”

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