In their own words, a look inside the silent and hidden world of the men and women incarcerated in America's penitentiaries.
The over two million men and women incarcerated in penitentiaries and jails have become America’s forgotten population. This extraordinary anthology of autobiographical prison writings brings the reader inside their silent and hidden world.
Culled from more than four hundred submissions nationwide, the thirty-six pieces here represent works by a broad spectrum of prisoners: young and old, unknown and infamous, minimum security check forgers and death row inmates. The authors include notorious "Preppie Murderer" Robert Chambers; an elderly truck driver who strangled the woman he professed to love; and a gang member recalling his violent street life. All talk in their own uncensored words about themselves and their families, about their motives and personal demons, about committing crime and doing time.
Just as this collection gives prisoners the rare chance to communicate who they are and what went wrong, it also gives the reader a unique opportunity to see convicts not as hardened criminals but as human beings.
JEFF EVANS has written for the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Spotlight, Europa Times, and Gist. He lives in New York City.
JIMMY SANTIAGO BACA is a renowned poet, novelist, and screenwriter who served time at San Quentin prison. His works include Immigrants in Our Own Land and Blood In Blood Out. He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
CRAIG HANEY is Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He specializes in the psychological effects of incarceration and the social histories of those convicted of violent crimes.