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November 12, 1982 - Image 17

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The Michigan Daily, 1982-11-12
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from 1
like an expensive community college.
than a maximum-security prison. But
instead of students, it houses 123 in-
mates serving life sentences and
another 53 serving sentences of at least
20 years.
When the maximum-security prison
opened just over a year ago, it was
hailed as the beginning of a new trend
in Michigan correctional facilities-a
move away from traditional dungeon-
like institutions such as the state prison
at Jackson and the Ionia Reformatory,
toward smaller and more humane
The theory behind the change, accor-
ding to corrections officials, is that
prisoners will respond better to an en-
couraging environment than they will
to a cold, gray world of bars and walls.
The emphasis, they say, shifts from
punishment to rehabilitation.
John (not his real name), a former
Jackson inmate and now a student here
at the University, says the stories about
the older Michigan prisons are true.
"It's a carbon copy of a ghetto. You've
got roaches. You've got rats. The struc-
tural conditions of Jackson are an-
tiquated. Everything in the building is
And, John says, those conditions
don't lead to a very productive attitude
among inmates. "I always remember
the anxiety and fear of not knowing
what was going to happen from day to
day," he says.
While critics argue that Huron Valley
is a far cry from the ideal vehicle for
reform, corrections officials contend
the prison has lived up to its promise.
"I think there have been some dif-
ficulties at that prison," says Gail
Light, a spokeswoman for the Michigan
Department of Corrections. But, she
says, "I think it's significant that the
major disturbances we had in 1981 were
in facilities that were too big and too
old." Last year, successive riots at
three of thesstate's biggest prisons left
dozens of guards and inmates injured'
and millions of dollars in damages.
Hall, now appealing his 1975 murder
conviction to the state Supreme Court,
thinks Huron Valley is different, too. He
should know. He has been in and out of
prison since he was 18, serving time at
the Ionia Reformatory, Jackson Prison,
and Marquette Prison for everything
from armed robbery to statutory rape.
His first two years, 1953 to 1955, came
when he broke parole on a conviction of
stealing candy bars and pop.
"It's a different concept here at
Huron Valley," Hall said, sitting back
comfortably 'fr an interview in the
prison's brightly colored visiting room.
Baby cribs line one of the walls, and
there is a clear view of playground
equipment for visitor's children
through one of the room's many win-
"Jackson looks like a prison-all the
stereotyped concepts that you've ever
seen. So does Marquette. You can look
out across here and probably the one
thing I hear most is it looks like a
college campus," he says.
Although Hall admits Huron Valley
may not be so far ahead of Jackson and
Marquette, he says it does provide
prisoners with a more positive at-
'Prisons like Jackson and Marquette
are negative environments," he wrote
in a letter to the Daily, "not just
because of the walls and the bars, but
because of the drabness of existence,
the lack of opportunity for in-

Hall, with a medium build, brown
hair, and graying beard beginning to
show the years, doesn't look like he's
spent a good part of his life behind bars.
Wearing a sweatshirt, jeans, and beige
windbreaker, he looks more like a
professor than anything else as he
removes his glasses for a moment,
looking at them thoughtfully. He sounds
like one, too.
What's wrong with prisons?" he asks.
"What's wrong with society? One of the
biggest problems with prisons is
prisoners. You've got guys in here
who've got absolutely no respect for
themselves or for anyone else."
The current criminal justice system,
he says, is just not working. The nation
pours $4.5 billion a year into prisons,
and at least 30 percent of the convicts
released go back "inside" within three
"Twenty-five years ago, it seems to
me it was a rarity for someone to go out
there and kill somebody for no reason.
Now you pick up a newspaper and it's
happening every day."
Today's prisoner is different from
one of 20 years ago, he says. "The
biggest change I see within prisoners is
just a lack of respect. I see these young
kids that come in here and they laugh
about what they did. The woman they
raped or the kid they mutilated. How do
you deal with these people? Where do
you put them?"
Huron Valley Warden William Grant
thinks the state's answei to that
question-more small maximum-
security lock-ups-is the best. "I like to
think we've progressed from prisons of
the (early) 1900s and 1800s, and in
some cases, medieval thinking," he
Huron Valley's academic and
vocational programs are unique among
those in most of the state's other
prisons, he says. The Adult Basic
Education program teaches the same
classes anyone could pick up in regular
adult education programs, while the
Life Role Competency program helps
inmates prepare for work once they get
out. Thereis also a Pre-GED program
which helps prisoners prepare for a
high school equivalency exam.
For those inmates who already have
high school degrees, the prison offers a
college program taught by instructors
from Washtenaw County Community
College, through which inmates can
earn an associate's degree.
The prison's vocational program
trains inmates for various office jobs
and building trades such as plumbing,
carpentry, and electrical work.
"People say why are you doing this
for this kind of person," Grant says.
"He's not gonna get out anyway .. -
Well, I know that these people do get
released. Some of them are released by
the courts, some of them are released
by commutation by the governor."
But critics argue that the prison
system's "grand experiments" have
been failures. Things that just weren't
supposed to happen at Huron Valley
have already happened.
Within two months after it opened in
August 1981, a prisoner escaped in a
food service van. A short time later,
another prisoner was found strangled in
his cell. Two months ago, a man was
found hanging by a piece of clothing
from an air vent in his room.
The first prisoner was recaptured
within hours. No charges have been
filed in the homicide, and an in-
vestigation is still underway.
Huron Valley has gotten perhaps
the most publicity for an April 30
disturbance. Inmates in the maximum-
security segregation unit overtook and
assaulted guards, then smashed win-
dows and destroyed furniture. Guards
and state police regained control of the

.. ~~ .*.*..~.~ ~ ~ .*. .*. .*..*.. *..~5

By Jane Carl
Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
Hill Auditorium
Sunday, November 14
FEW ORCHESTRAS in the world
can claim the distinguished past
that the Gewandhaus Orchestra of
Leipzig has had. Founded in 1743 by a
group of merchants and noblemen with
Johann Sebastian Bach as its leader,
the orchestra was originally called the
Collegium Musicum. When the or-
chestra moved in 1781 to the Gewan-
dhaus, the building that housed Leip-
zig's linen merchants, it received its
present name.
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy
became the conductor in 1835. He was
the first conductor to revive works of
composers of the past as well as con-
temporary pieces into his orchestra's

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By Robert Cassard
Lydia Artymiw
Rackham Auditorium
Friday, November 12
LYDIA ARTYMIW has no need to
prove herself. While only in her
twenties, she has already established
herself as one of America's great young
pianists in her dynamic and intelligent
performances as a soloist with or-
chestras and chamber music groups
and also as a recital pianist.-
Artymiw's accomplishments are too
numerous to list here, but they range
from her first performance with the
Philadelphia Orchestra at the age of
eight to her spectacular current season,
which opened with concerts with con-
ductor Andre Previn and the Pittsburgh
Symphony and has included orchestral
and recital performances in Germany
and appearances with cellist Yo-yo Ma
in Toronto.
Thanks to the insight of the Univer-
sity Musical Society, it is Ann Arbor's
great fortune that she is scheduled to
appear at Rackham Auditorium as part
of this outstanding season before retur-
ning to New York for an engagement
with the Guarneri Quartet.
It is surprising to find so complete an
artist at so young an age. Last week, in
an interview for Weekend Magazine,
Lydia shared her views on music and
the art of performance. "What I do
when I'm on stage has to be so convin-
cing that the audience feels it is the only
way." That convincing quality, is not
achieved by accident. In order to better
understand a work and its extra-
musical implications, she first studies

literary and biographical material
about its composer, seeking to better
understand that music and its
emotional content. This brings her
closer to a musical and historical
authenticity and provides a basis upon
which she may place her own ideas and
feelings about the work.
Her recent recording of Schumann's
"Humoreske" for Chandos Records of
England illustrates this. Only after
careful research into the historical
material (letters, etc.) surrounding the
composition did she feel prepared to
convey its meaning accurately and to
see the limits and requirements this
would place upon her own inter-
pretation. The result is an inter-
pretation which is simulatneously well-
informed and highly original.
Although her work is itself a syn-
thesis of musical styles, she is quick to
praise other musicians, both of her own
age and of other generations. She cites
three of these great older pianists for
their particular contributions to the art
of piano performance. "Rudolf Serkin's
work is the embodiment of integrity ...
and he brings a tremendous intensity to
the music of Beethoven and Brahms."
While pointing out the "boundless vir-
tuosity" of Vladimir Horowitz, she sees
him "primarily as a colorist" who is ex-
traordinarily capable of exploiting a
full tonal range from the piano, a
basically percussive instrument.
Finally, she greatly admires Sir Clif-
ford Curzon for the "wonderful joy"
with which he infuses his music.
Artymiw feels at home in recital and
her concert here should be no excep-
tion. While she says that performing
with an orchestra and conductor can be
"the most fantastic experience" when
the conductor and soloist get along well
musically, she says she finds playing in
recital "much easier, in a way, because
I have the entire stage to myself,"
while certainly still difficult because "I
must sustain the interest of the audien-
ce single-handedly." In order to do this,
she believes that the performer must
take risks-risks which are, of course,

backed-up by technical facility. "The
greatest performances are often the
ones in which the most risks were
taken-and they worked."
Lydia made a triumphant Detroit
debut last December. Her performance
of Mozart's Piano Concerto in B-Flat,
K.595, with the Detroit Symphony was
praised as "an accomplished perfor-
mance of remarkable insight." She fin-
ds a great challenge in returning to the
music of the early Classical period,
music which she studies in her for-
mative years but which 'has been
largely replaced by music of the
Romantic period in her recent reper-
toire. She finds that this early Classical
music provides a refreshing contrast to
the highly emotional quality of the
Romantic music. "Today, my greatest
joy is performing any Mozart concer-
to-this is music which is absolutely
The first piece on her Ann Arbor

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Huron Valley: Prison or correctional institute?

Lydia Artymiw: Romantic

2 Weekeod/Npvember.2, 1992

5 We

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