exoneree diaries the fight for innocence independence and identity

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Exoneree Diaries

Author : Alison Flowers
ISBN : 9781608466535
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 90. 99 MB
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Through intimate portraits of four exonerated prisoners, journalist Alison Flowers explores what happens to innocent people when the state flings open the jailhouse door and tosses them back, empty-handed into the unknown. From the front lines of the wrongful conviction capital of the United States—Cook County, Ill.—these stories reveal serious gaps in the criminal justice system. Flowers depicts the collateral damage of wrongful convictions on families and communities, challenging the deeper problem of mass incarceration in the United States. As she tells each exoneree’s powerful story, Flowers vividly shows that release from prison, though sometimes joyous and hopeful, is not a Hollywood ending—or an ending at all. Rather, an exoneree’s first unshackled steps are the beginning of a new journey full of turmoil and triumph. Based on Chicago Public Media’s yearlong multimedia series—a finalist for a national Online Journalism Award—this narrative piece of investigative journalism tells profoundly human stories of reclaiming one’s life, overcoming adversity, and searching for purpose—at times with devastating consequences and courageous breakthroughs.

Liberating Minds

Author : Ellen Condliffe Lagemann
ISBN : 9781620971239
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 32. 77 MB
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Anthony Cardenales was a stickup artist in the Bronx before spending seventeen years in prison. Today he is a senior manager at a recycling plant in Westchester, New York. He attributes his ability to turn his life around to the college degree he earned in prison. Many college-in-prison graduates achieve similar success and the positive ripple effects for their families and communities, and for the country as a whole, are dramatic. College-in-prison programs greatly reduce recidivism, leading to potential savings in the staggering cost of prisons. They increase post-prison employment, allowing the formerly incarcerated to better support their families and to reintegrate successfully into their communities, providing positive role models. College programs also decrease violence within prisons, improving conditions for both correction officers and the incarcerated. Liberating Minds eloquently makes the case for these multiple benefits and also tells the stories of many formerly incarcerated college students and the remarkable transformations in their lives. Both access to college for all Americans and criminal justice reform are high on today’s national policy agenda. Liberating Minds argues that it is imperative, both for prisoners themselves and for society, that access to higher education be extended to include the incarcerated. As the country faces a legacy of decades of over-incarceration, offering college behind bars provides a corrective on the path back to a more democratic and humane society.

College In Prison

Author : Daniel Karpowitz
ISBN : 9780813584140
Genre : Education
File Size : 72. 80 MB
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Over the years, American colleges and universities have made various efforts to provide prisoners with access to education. However, few of these outreach programs presume that incarcerated men and women can rise to the challenge of a truly rigorous college curriculum. The Bard Prison Initiative is different. College in Prison chronicles how, since 2001, Bard College has provided hundreds of incarcerated men and women across the country access to a high-quality liberal arts education. Earning degrees in subjects ranging from Mandarin to advanced mathematics, graduates have, upon release, gone on to rewarding careers and elite graduate and professional programs. Yet this is more than just a story of exceptional individuals triumphing against the odds. It is a study in how the liberal arts can alter the landscape of some of our most important public institutions giving people from all walks of life a chance to enrich their minds and expand their opportunities. Drawing on fifteen years of experience as a director of and teacher within the Bard Prison Initiative, Daniel Karpowitz tells the story of BPI’s development from a small pilot project to a nationwide network. At the same time, he recounts dramatic scenes from in and around college-in-prison classrooms pinpointing the contested meanings that emerge in moments of highly-charged reading, writing, and public speaking. Through examining the transformative encounter between two characteristically American institutions—the undergraduate college and the modern penitentiary—College in Prison makes a powerful case for why liberal arts education is still vital to the future of democracy in the United States.

Hell Is A Very Small Place

Author : Jean Casella
ISBN : 9781620971383
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 44. 49 MB
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The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture has denounced the use of solitary confinement beyond fifteen days as a form of cruel and degrading treatment that often rises to the level of torture. Yet the United States holds more than eighty thousand people in isolation on any given day. Now sixteen authors vividly describe the miserable realities of life in solitary. In a book that will add a startling new dimension to the debates around human rights and prison reform, former and current prisoners describe the devastating effects of solitary confinement on their minds and bodies, the solidarity expressed between individuals who live side by side for years without ever meeting one another face to face, the ever-present specters of madness and suicide, and the struggle to maintain hope and humanity. These firsthand accounts are supplemented by the writing of noted experts, exploring the psychological, legal, ethical, and political dimensions of solitary confinement, and a comprehensive introduction by James Ridgeway and Jean Casella. Sarah Shourd, herself a survivor of more than a year of solitary confinement, writes eloquently in a preface about an experience that changed her life.

The Perpetual Prisoner Machine

Author : Joel Dyer
ISBN : 0813338700
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 42. 58 MB
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In The Perpetual Prisoner Machine, author Joel Dyer takes a critical look at the United States’ criminal justice system as we enter the new millennium. America has more than tripled its prison population since 1980 even though crime rates have been either flat or declining. The U.S. now incarcerates nearly two million people in its prisons and jails on any given day and over five million of its citizens are currently under some form of justice department supervision. These facts raise an obvious question: If crime rates aren’t going up, why is the prison population? The Perpetual Prisoner Machine provides the answer to this question and, shockingly, it has little to do with crime or justice. The answer is “profit.”In the 1990s, through their mutual and pension funds, millions of American investors are now unwittingly profiting from crime. As a result of America’s controversial push towards the privatization of its justice system, a growing number of well-known and politically influential U.S. Corporations—and subsequently their shareholders—are now cashing in on a prison trade whose profit potential is tied directly to the growth of the prison population. A disturbing realization, when you consider the influence that these same multi-national companies now have over our government’s policy-making process by way of their lobbyists and their ability to fill campaign coffers.The Perpetual Prisoner Machine explains how the new prison-industrial complex has capitalized upon the public’s fear of crime—which has its origins in violent media content—to help bring about the “hard on crime” policies that have led to our prison-filling, and therefore profitable, “war on crime.” In addition to a quest for profits, Dyer describes an astounding chain of events including media consolidation and globalization, advances in communication technology, and the increasing political dependence upon public opinion polls and campaign funding that have led to the creation of what the author calls “the perpetual prisoner machine,” a mechanism designed to suck the funds from social programs that diminish the crime-enhancing power of poverty and spit them into the bank accounts of those who own stock in the prison-industrial complex.Dyer concludes that powerful, market-driven forces have manipulated America into fighting a very real war against an imaginary foe. “Unfortunately,” says Dyer, “real wars have real casualties. And in this case, the victims are America’s poor, particularly those segments of our black and Hispanic population who live in poverty and who now comprise the vast majority of the new human commodity.”

You Got Nothing Coming

Author : Jimmy Lerner
ISBN : 9780552149655
Genre : Jews
File Size : 28. 49 MB
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It is your worst nightmare. You wake up naked in an eight-by-ten-foot steel cell designated 'Suicide Watch #3. The cell is real. Jimmy Lerner, former family man and corporate strtegic planner, has become a prison 'fish', or green new arrival. Taken to a penitentiary in the Nevada desert to serve a twelve-year sentence for voluntary manslaughter; this previously nice Jewish boy from Brooklyn ends up sharing a claustrophobic cell with Kansas, a hugely muscled skinhead witll a swastika tattooed on his neck and a serious set of issues. YOU GOT NOTHING COMING takes us into the corrupt world of the American prison system and, with brash, dark humour; tells us how the techniques learnt in management seminars helped Lerner survive this brutal environment. It is a book and an experience you will never forget.

Drug Crazy

Author : Mike Gray
ISBN : 9781136788765
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 50. 63 MB
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Over the last fifteen years, American taxpayers have spent over $300 billion to wage the war on drugs--three times what it cost to put a man on the moon. In Drug Crazy, journalist Mike Gray offers a scathing indictment of this financial fiasco, chronicling a series of expensive and hypocritical follies that have benefited only two groups: professional anti-drug advocates and drug lords. The facts are alarming. More than twenty-five years ago, a presidential committee determined that marijuana is neither an addictive substance nor a "stepping stone" to harder drugs, but the embarrassing final report was shelved by a government already heavily invested in "the war against drugs". Many medical experts recommend simply prescribing drugs to addicts, and communities that have done this report a lower crime rate and reduced unemployment among drug users. In a riveting account of how we got to this impasse--discriminatory policies, demonization of users, grandstanding among both lawmakers and lawbreakers--conventional wisdom is turned on its head. Rather than a planned assault on the scourge of addiction, the drug war has happened almost by accident and has been continually exploited by political opportunists. A gripping account of the violence, corruption, and chaos characterizing the drug war since its inception, Mike Gray's incisive narrative launches a frontal attack on America's drug orthodoxy. His overview of the battlefield makes it clear that this urgent debate must begin now.

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