Author: Neil Samworth
Publisher: Sidgwick & Jackson
Release Date: 2018-06-12
Britain's prison system is in crisis. Prisoners catatonic on Spice, prison officers under extreme stress, overcrowding, riots, fatal stabbings - barely a week goes by without disturbing reports reaching the outside world of life inside our jails. For eleven years, Neil Samworth worked as a prison officer in perhaps the most notorious of all prisons, Strangeways, now HM Prison Manchester. He left in 2016 and, having kept a diary for many years, is ready to tell his story. Strangeways: My Life As A Prison Officer is a no-holds-barred account of one man's struggle to keep his professional composure and sanity in one of Britain's toughest jails. From the chaotic, intimidating atmosphere of K wing, which houses more than 200 prisoners spread over three landings, to the healthcare unit where the prison's most mentally disturbed prisoners are held, Neil has seen it all - cell fires, suicides, terrifying violence. He has had to beat back his own emotions as he deals with psychopathic killers and witnessed the worst of human nature but also the best, and some of the most moving passages in the book recall the embattled camaraderie among his colleagues.
Author: Leonard Peltier
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: 2016-04-12
Genre: Literary Collections
Edited by Harvey Arden, with an Introduction by Chief Arvol Looking Horse, and a Preface by former Attorney General Ramsey Clark. In 1977, Leonard Peltier received a life sentence for the murder of two FBI agents. He has affirmed his innocence ever since--his case was made fully and famously in Peter Matthiessen's bestselling In the Spirit of Crazy Horse--and many remain convinced he was wrongly convicted. Prison Writings is a wise and unsettling book, both memoir and manifesto, chronicling his life in Leavenworth Prison in Kansas. Invoking the Sun Dance, in which pain leads one to a transcendent reality, Peltier explores his suffering and the insights it has borne him. He also locates his experience within the history of the American Indian peoples and their struggles to overcome the federal government's injustices.
Author: Jack Gantos
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Release Date: 2002-03-26
Genre: Young Adult Nonfiction
Becoming a writer the hard way In the summer of 1971, Jack Gantos was an aspiring writer looking for adventure, cash for college tuition, and a way out of a dead-end job. For ten thousand dollars, he recklessly agreed to help sail a sixty-foot yacht loaded with a ton of hashish from the Virgin Islands to New York City, where he and his partners sold the drug until federal agents caught up with them. For his part in the conspiracy, Gantos was sentenced to serve up to six years in prison. In Hole in My Life, this prizewinning author of over thirty books for young people confronts the period of struggle and confinement that marked the end of his own youth. On the surface, the narrative tumbles from one crazed moment to the next as Gantos pieces together the story of his restless final year of high school, his short-lived career as a criminal, and his time in prison. But running just beneath the action is the story of how Gantos – once he was locked up in a small, yellow-walled cell – moved from wanting to be a writer to writing, and how dedicating himself more fully to the thing he most wanted to do helped him endure and ultimately overcome the worst experience of his life. This title has Common Core connections. Hole in My Life is a 2003 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.
The author describes how, after being convicted of drug trafficking in Thailand, he was given a life sentence at the Bang Kwang prison, where he overcame hardships and inhumane conditions in his struggle to survive.
Author: Emma Goldman
Publisher: Courier Corporation
Release Date: 2013-02-20
Genre: Social Science
Volume 2 of the candid, no-holds-barred account by foremost American anarchist Goldman continues with the fascinating story of her life, the anarchist movement, her famous contemporaries, and their influential ideas.
“Never once in my life had I dreamed of being in bed with a convicted killer.” For almost six turbulent years, award-winning writer Diane Schoemperlen was involved with a prison inmate serving a life sentence for second-degree murder. The relationship surprised no one more than her. How do you fall in love with a man with a violent past? This Is Not My Life is the story of the romance between Diane and Shane—how they met and fell in love, how they navigated the obstacles of passes and visits and parole hearings and, eventually, how things fell apart, were reconciled and then fell apart for good. In this candid, often wry, sometimes disturbing memoir, Schoemperlen takes us inside a complex and difficult relationship as she journeys through the prison system with Shane. Not only did this experience enlarge her capacity for both empathy and compassion, but it also forced her to more deeply examine herself.
Author: K.C. Carceral
Publisher: NYU Press
Release Date: 2006
Genre: Social Science
In 1888, Leo Tolstoy mysteriously declared that sexual intercourse should no longer exist. Years later he would admit to being "horrified" by this pronouncement, but still remained an ardent believer in sexual abstinence. Frequenter of brothels in his youth, father of thirteen children by his wife and at least two children by peasant women before he was married, Tolstoy now had the audacity to suggest that people should stop having sex. How can such a repudiation be explained? Beginning with Tolstoy's Kreutzer Sonata-his first written "declaration of war on human sexuality"--Tolstoy on the Couch takes us on a sweeping psychoanalytic tour of Tolstoy's diaries and other private materials, revealing that behind his campaign for celibacy lay a painful and complicated drama of early childhood. Rooting Tolstoy's polarized feelings about women and sexuality in his uncontrollable rage toward the mother who died when he was a toddler, Rancour-Laferriere offers profound psychobiographic insights into Tolstoy's lifelong animosity toward women--and into the women he loved to hate.
Author: Laura Bates
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc.
Release Date: 2013-04-02
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
"Shakespeare Saved My Life touches on the search for meaning in life, the struggles that complicate the path to triumph and the salvation that can be found in literature's great works ... An inspiring account."—Shelf Awareness A female professor, a super maximum security prisoner, and how Shakespeare saved them both Shakespeare professor and prison volunteer Laura Bates thought she had seen it all. That is, until she decided to teach Shakespeare in a place the bard had never been before — supermax solitary confinement. In this unwelcoming place, surrounded by inmates known as the worst of the worst, is Larry Newton. A convicted murderer with several escape attempts under his belt and a brilliantly agile mind on his shoulders, Larry was trying to break out of prison at the same time Laura was fighting to get her program started behind bars. What reviewers are saying about Shakespeare Saved My Life "You don't have to be a William Shakespeare fan, a prisoner, or a prison reformer to appreciate this uplifting book. "Shakespeare Saved My Life" also reveals many important truths ... about the meaning of empathy in our dealings with others"—Finger Lake Times "Shakespeare Saved My Life touches on the search for meaning in life, the struggles that complicate the path to triumph and the salvation that can be found in literature's great works ... An inspiring account."—Shelf Awareness "Opening the mind's prison proves enormously gratifying, not to mention effective ... brave, groundbreaking work"—Publishers Weekly "An eye-opening study reiterating the perennial power of books, self-discipline, and the Bard of Avon."—Kirkus "A powerful testament to how Shakespeare continues to speak to contemporary readers in all sorts of circumstances."—Booklist