LINDA'S STORY, A MEMOIR

What is the experience, what are the driving forces, what are the feelings of a perpetrator? Linda Taylor has shared an excerpt from her upcoming book, A Rat's Tale, so that we might examine a true life account of a female prison inmate, from childhood to release from jail. Throughout the retelling of her capture, prosecution, incarceration and preparation for release, the “angels” and “demons” of control and absence of control over her own fate and her own actions, over what she was doing and what was being done to her or even “for” her, illustrate how the principles of Restorative Justice bring mental health and responsibility to the process, and how damaging can be the traditional punitive methodologies that emphasize control by external forces.

After a criminal is caught, we consider that there might be shame and guilt, but it may be thrill that drives the offender — while shame may come later. Linda's life had those moments — those events we all know, when we feel our paths shifting, just so slightly. She reveals such details, and through her depiction it becomes evident how one misguided step might lead to the next, until, finally, it feels like there is nowhere left to step toward. Pressed into a corner, with no choice, no more room for maneuver in any direction.

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