Profiles from Prison: Adjusting to Life behind Bars

Profiles from Prison: Adjusting to Life behind Bars

Profiles from Prison: Adjusting to Life behind Bars

Profiles from Prison: Adjusting to Life behind Bars

Synopsis

"Written by an inmate serving 45 years for a drug conviction when he was 23, this is an in-depth view of living behind bars - from the perspective of the prisoners themselves. Sections of the book are based on length of imprisonment. Prisoners in Fort Dix, N. J., detail their unique experiences, thoughts, and feelings about "life on the inside." Some describe the actions that lead to their confinement, or detail the complexities of living in all-male communities. Others reveal the ways they cope with their terms, or the expectations they have for life after prison. Santos offers the gripping stories of men serving a variety of terms, providing commentary and analysis as he guides readers through the prison experience. How men adjust to their confinement, and how they utilize their time while serving their sentences, can be a predictor of future success or failure both in prison and society upon their release. Through these often-difficult accounts, readers gain a greater understanding of what it means to be a prisoner, and how the system itself can contribute to both positive adjustment and negative outcomes alike." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

One of the great ironies of criminal justice policy is that we regularly hypothesize about the causes of crime, legislate punishment, propose treatment and prevention programs, and design elaborate laws, programs, or penitentiaries all without ever asking offenders why they commit crimes. Although there is a rich literature of prison writing and research, little of it seems to directly translate into new policies or procedures. This is unfortunate, as meaningful insights can be gleaned from both the explicit and the subtle messages of those who inhabit the world behind bars. The reader should come to realize that, as different as this world may seem from ours, it is a real world. What you read is not just the inmates' view of life, it is, ultimately, a reflection of our condemnation of that view.

Over the years famous writers such as Solzhenitsyn, Timerman, and Dostoyevsky have been able to bring readers deep into their prison experiences. However, some of the most exciting works have come from those who have educated themselves behind bars and become master storytellers in their own right: Rideau and Wikberg, Washington, Hassine, McCall, Martin, and now Santos.

The men profiled in this collection are intriguing and contradictory spirits, confused and savvy, contrite and defensive, funny and sad, and, oh, so very human. Within these pages are unique lessons on the poverty of the human condition—not one created by dustbowls, floods, or famines, but one we have engineered in America. It is not the creation of some . . .

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