Monday, June 4, 2012


The following are resources aimed at guiding knowledge, understanding and research on the effects of incarceration.


The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble and Coming of Age in the Bronx by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc

Makes Me Wanna Holler by Nathan McCall

Race, Incarceration and American Values by Glenn C. Loury

The following are books written by people on the inside:

Inside the Broken California Prison System by Boston Woodard

Mother California by Kenneth E. Hartmann

That Bird Has My Wings by Jarvis Masters

A Question of Freedom by R. Dwayne Betts

Finding Freedom by Jarvis Masters

How You Lose by J.C. Amberchele

Letters from the Pen by Dale McCurry

Wilderness and Razor Wire: A Naturalist's Observations from Prison and Time of Grace by Ken Lamberton

Teach the Free Man by Peter Nathaniel Malae

The following are wonderful anthologies of prison writings:

Doing Time (edited by Bell Chevigny)

Couldn't Keep it to Myself and I'll Fly Away (by the women of York Correctional Institution in Connecticut and edited by workshop leader, Wally Lamb)

Prison Writing in 20th Century America (edited by H. Bruce Franklin)

This Prison Where I Live (an international anthology of prisoner writing edited by Siobhan Dowd)

Undoing Time (edited by Jeff Evans

Wall Tappings (edited by Judith A. Scheffler).

The following are resources that explore the many facets of what we have come to know as the "prison industrial complex":

Going up the River: Travels in a Prison Nation by Joseph T. Hallinan

Cruel Justice: Three Strikes and the Politics of Crime in America's Golden State by Joe Domanick

Life on the Outside: The Prison Odyssey of Elaine Bartlett by Jennifer Gonnerman

When Prisoners Come Home: Parole and Prisoner Reentry by Joan Petersilia

All Alone in the World: Children of the Incarcerated by Nell Bernstein.

Many of us who have worked with people inside prisons have an awe and a deep appreciation of how they are able to keep their spirituality, soul and love alive--and with that said also have an immense frustration and anger of current prison policies and practices. Below are a couple books that give fact to our feelings. These give historical perspectives.

With Liberty for Some: 500 Years of Imprisonment in America by Scott Christianson
  The following are resources about prison education and recidivism:

Unlocking Potential: Results of a National Survey of Postsecondary Education in State Prisons (2011)

The Top-Nine Reasons To Increase Correctional Education Programs (2010)  

From the Classroom to the Community: Exploring the Role of Education during Incarceration and Reentry (2009)

Learning to Reduce Recidivism: A 50-State Analysis of Postsecondary Correctional Education Policy (2005) 

The Investment Payoff: A 50-State Analysis of the Public and Private Benefits of Higher Education (2005)  

Education as Crime Prevention: The Case for Reinstating Pell Grant Eligibility for the Incarcerated by Daniel Karpowitz and Max Kennar Bard Prison Initiative

The Rise and Fall of California's Radical Prison Movement by Eric Cummins

Although there are many here are a few organizations that focus on prison issues: There is additional resources on each site

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