This article uses the case of Bolívar Ochart, a midlevel member of the Socialist Party of Puerto Rico, to explore the ways that labor leaders navigated the Puerto Rican polity after the 1898 US occupation of the archipelago. The Socialist Party radically challenged the new carceral logics through its prison reform stance. Since it was the only political party in which most of its leadership had all been imprisoned, it also offered a space for formerly incarcerated, self-educated workers to become career politicians. Ultimately, this essay tells the story of how Ochart went from being a convict to receiving an executive pardon, publishing a groundbreaking book, and later becoming an elected official.

You do not currently have access to this content.