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The Sun Does Shine
Hinton, Anthony Ray
In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in Alabama. Stunned, confused, and only twenty-nine years old, Hinton knew that it was a case of mistaken identity and believed that the truth would prove his innocence and ultimately set him free.But with no money and a different system of justice for a poor black man in the South, Hinton was sentenced to death by electrocution. He spent his first three years on Death Row at Holman State Prison in agonizing silence - full of despair and anger toward all those who had sent an innocent man to his death. But as Hinton realized and accepted his fate, he resolved not only to survive, but find a way to live on Death Row. For the next twenty-seven years he was a beacon - transforming not only his own spirit, but those of his fellow inmates, fifty-four of whom were executed mere feet from his cell. With the help of civil rights attorney and bestselling author of Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson, Hinton won his release in 2015.With a foreword by Stevenson, The Sun Does Shine is an extraordinary testament to the power of hope sustained through the darkest times. Destined to be a classic memoir of wrongful imprisonment and freedom won, Hinton’s memoir tells his dramatic thirty-year journey and shows how you can take away a man’s freedom, but you can’t take away his imagination, humor, or joy.
Letters to an Incarcerated Brother
A compelling, important addition to Hill Harper’s bestselling series, inspired by young inmates who write to him seeking guidance After the publication of the bestselling Letters to a Young Brother, accomplished actor and speaker Hill Harper began to receive an increasing number of moving letters from inmates who yearned for a connection with a successful role model. With disturbing statistics on African-American incarceration rates on his mind, Harper set out to address the specific needs of inmates. Harper’s powerful message from the heart provides advice and inspiration in the face of despair along with encouraging words for restoring a sense of self-worth. Uplifting and insightful, Letters to an Incarcerated Brother provides the hope and inspiration inmates and their families need.
Acclaimed journalist Ted Conover sets a new standard for bold, in-depth reporting in this first-hand account of life inside the penal system. When Conover's request to shadow a recruit at the New York State Corrections Officer Academy was denied, he decided to apply for a job as a prison officer. So begins his odyssey at Sing Sing, once a model prison but now the state's most troubled maximum-security facility. The result of his year there is this remarkable look at one of America's most dangerous prisons, where drugs, gang wars, and sex are rampant, and where the line between violator and violated is often unclear. As sobering as it is suspenseful, Newjack is an indispensable contribution to the urgent debate about our country's criminal justice system, and a consistently fascinating read.
My Friend Leonard
My Friend Leonard is James Frey's hilarious and heartbreaking story of his friendship with the mobster who adopted him as his "son" at the end of A Million Little Pieces. At its core, My Friend Leonard is a story about the responsibility that comes with loving someone and going out on any number of limbs to care for him. And it is a book that proves that one of the most provocative literary voices of his generation is also one of the most emphatically human.
In the Place of Justice
Wilbert Rideau, an award-winning journalist who spent forty-four years in prison, delivers a remarkable memoir of crime, punishment, and ultimate triumph. After killing a bank teller in a moment of panic during a botched robbery, Wilbert Rideau was sentenced to death at the age of nineteen. He spent several years on death row at Angola before his sentence was commuted to life, where, as editor of the prison newsmagazine The Angolite, he undertook a mission to expose and reform Louisiana's iniquitous justice system from the inside. Vivid, incisive, and compassionate, this is a detailed account of prison life and a man who accepted responsibility for his actions and worked to redeem himself. It is a story about not giving up; finding love in unexpected places; the power of kindness; and the ability to do good, no matter where you are.
Good Kids, Bad City: A Story of Race and Wrongful Conviction in America
From award-winning investigative journalist Kyle Swenson, Good Kids, Bad City is the true story of the longest wrongful imprisonment in the United States to end in exoneration, and a critical social and political history of Cleveland, the city that convicted them.In the early 1970s, three African-American men - Wiley Bridgeman, Kwame Ajamu, and Rickey Jackson - were accused and convicted of the brutal robbery and murder of a man outside of a convenience store in Cleveland, Ohio. The prosecution’s case, which resulted in a combined 106 years in prison for the three men, rested on the more-than-questionable testimony of a pre-teen, Ed Vernon.The actual murderer was never found. Almost four decades later, Vernon recanted his testimony, and Wiley, Kwame, and Rickey were released. But while their exoneration may have ended one of American history’s most disgraceful miscarriages of justice, the corruption and decay of the city responsible for their imprisonment remain on trial.Interweaving the dramatic details of the case with Cleveland’s history - one that, to this day, is fraught with systemic discrimination and racial tension - Swenson reveals how this outrage occurred and why. Good Kids, Bad City is a work of astonishing empathy and insight: an immersive exploration of race in America, the struggling Midwest, and how lost lives can be recovered.
Inside This Place, Not of It: Narratives from Women's Prisons (Voice of Witness)
Levi, Robin (Edt)
Inside This Place, Not of It reveals some of the most egregious human rights violations within women’s prisons in the United States. Here, in their own words, thirteen narrators recount their lives leading up to incarceration and their harrowing struggle for survival once inside.Among the narrators:Theresa, who spent years believing her health and life were in danger, being aggressively treated with a variety of medications for a disease she never had. Only on her release did she discover that an incompetent prison medical bureaucracy had misdiagnosed her with HIV.Anna, who repeatedly warned apathetic prison guards about a suicidal cellmate. When the woman killed herself, the guards punished Anna in an attempt to silence her and hide their own negligence.Teri, who was sentenced to up to fifty years for aiding and abetting a robbery when she was only seventeen. A prison guard raped Teri, who was still a teenager, and the assaults continued for years with the complicity of other staff.
Texas Tough: The Rise of America's Prison Empire
In the prison business, all roads lead to Texas. A pioneer in criminal justice severity - from assembly-line executions to supermax isolation, from mandatory sentencing to prison privatization - Texas is the most locked-down state in the most incarcerated country in the world. Texas Tough, a sweeping history of American imprisonment from the days of slavery to the present, explains how a plantation-based penal system once dismissed as barbaric became a template for the nation. Drawing on the individual stories as well as authoritative research, Texas Tough reveals the true origins of America’s prison juggernaut and points toward a more just and humane future.
Last Chance in Texas: The Redemption of Criminal Youth
A powerful, bracing and deeply spiritual look at intensely, troubled youth, Last Chance in Texas gives a stirring account of the way one remarkable prison rehabilitates its inmates. While reporting on the juvenile court system, journalist John Hubner kept hearing about a facility in Texas that ran the most aggressive–and one of the most successful–treatment programs for violent young offenders in America. How was it possible, he wondered, that a state like Texas, famed for its hardcore attitude toward crime and punishment, could be leading the way in the rehabilitation of violent and troubled youth? Now Hubner shares the surprising answers he found over months of unprecedented access to the Giddings State School, home to “the worst of the worst”: four hundred teenage lawbreakers convicted of crimes ranging from aggravated assault to murder. Hubner follows two of these youths–a boy and a girl–through harrowing group therapy sessions in which they, along with their fellow inmates, recount their crimes and the abuse they suffered as children. The key moment comes when the young offenders reenact these soul-shattering moments with other group members in cathartic outpourings of suffering and anger that lead, incredibly, to genuine remorse and the beginnings of true empathy . . . the first steps on the long road to redemption. Cutting through the political platitudes surrounding the controversial issue of juvenile justice, Hubner lays bare the complex ties between abuse and violence. By turns wrenching and uplifting, Last Chance in Texas tells a profoundly moving story about the children who grow up to inflict on others the violence that they themselves have suffered. It is a story of horror and heartbreak, yet ultimately full of hope.
A World Apart
“Life in a women’s prison is full of surprises,” writes Cristina Rathbone in her landmark account of life at MCI-Framingham. And so it is. After two intense court battles with prison officials, Rathbone gained unprecedented access to the otherwise invisible women of the oldest running women’s prison in America. The picture that emerges is both astounding and enraging. Women reveal the agonies of separation from family, and the prevalence of depression, and of sexual predation, and institutional malaise behind bars. But they also share their more personal hopes and concerns. There is horror in prison for sure, but Rathbone insists there is also humor and romance and downright bloody-mindedness. Getting beyond the political to the personal, A World Apart is both a triumph of empathy and a searing indictment of a system that has overlooked the plight of women in prison for far too long. At the center of the book is Denise, a mother serving five years for a first-time, nonviolent drug offense. Denise’s son is nine and obsessed with Beanie Babies when she first arrives in prison. He is fourteen and in prison himself by the time she is finally released. As Denise struggles to reconcile life in prison with the realities of her son’s excessive freedom on the outside, we meet women like Julie, who gets through her time by distracting herself with flirtatious, often salacious relationships with male correctional officers; Louise, who keeps herself going by selling makeup and personalized food packages on the prison black market; Chris, whose mental illness leads her to kill herself in prison; and Susan, who, after thirteen years of intermittent incarceration, has come to think of MCI-Framingham as home. Fearlessly truthful and revelatory, A World Apart is a major work of investigative journalism and social justice.
Lockdown High: When the Schoolhouse Becomes a Jailhouse
In the dozen years since the Columbine High School shootings, school violence has fallen steadily. Yet, as Annette Fuentes visits schools across America she finds metal detectors and drug tests for aspirin, police profiling of students with no records, arbitrary expulsions, teachers carrying guns, and all-seeing electronic surveillance. Her moving stories will astonish readers, as she makes the case that our public schools reflect a society with an unhealthy fixation on crime and violence.
Beyond These Walls: Rethinking Crime and Punishment in the United States
Beyond These Walls is an ambitious and far-ranging exploration that tracks the legacy of crime and imprisonment in the United States, from the historical roots of the American criminal justice system to our modern state of over-incarceration, and offers a bold vision for a new future. Author Tony Platt, a recognized authority in the field of criminal justice, challenges the way we think about how and why millions of people are tracked, arrested, incarcerated, catalogued, and regulated in the United States.Beyond These Walls traces the disturbing history of punishment and social control, revealing how the criminal justice system attempts to enforce and justify inequalities associated with class, race, gender, and sexuality. Prisons and police departments are central to this process, but other institutions – from immigration and welfare to educational and public health agencies – are equally complicit.Platt argues that international and national politics shape perceptions of danger and determine the policies of local criminal justice agencies, while private policing and global corporations are deeply and undemocratically involved in the business of homeland security.Finally, Beyond These Walls demonstrates why efforts to reform criminal justice agencies have often expanded rather than contracted the net of social control. Drawing upon a long tradition of popular resistance, Platt concludes with a strategic vision of what it will take to achieve justice for all in this era of authoritarian disorder.
A Life and Death Decision
Sundby, Scott E.
With a life in the balance, a jury convicts a man of murder and now has to decide whether he should be put to death. Twelve people now face a momentous choice. Bringing drama to life, A Life and Death Decision gives unique insight into how a jury deliberates. We feel the passions, anger, and despair as the jurors grapple with legal, moral, and personal dilemmas. The jurors' voices are compelling. From the idealist to the "holdout," the individual stories - of how and why they voted for life or death - drive the narrative. The reader is right there siding with one or another juror in this riveting read. From movies to novels to television, juries fascinate. Focusing on a single case, Sundby sheds light on broader issues, including the roles of race, class, and gender in the justice system. With death penalty cases consistently in the news, this is an important window on how real jurors deliberate about a pressing national issue.
Dreams from the Monster Factory: A Tale of Prison, Redemption and One Woman's Fight to Restore Justice to All
Powerful, captivating, and hopeful, Dreams from the Monster Factory goes beyond statistics and sensational portrayals of prison life and reveals the troubling realities of U.S. jails, and an astonishing alternative. Sunny Schwartz founded the Resolve to Stop the Violence Project (RSVP), a restorative justice program based in a San Francisco jail that has cut recidivism for violent rearrests by up to 80 percent. Schwartz makes no excuses for the rapists, gangbangers and murderers she works with, nor will she excuse a prison system that churns out criminals who are more dangerous when they leave prison than when they arrived. Instead, she's created a correctional program that is designed to empower victims and require offenders to take true responsibility for their actions and eliminate their violent behavior.
Texas Death Row
A chilling catalog of the men and women who have paid the ultimate price for their crimes. The death penalty is one of the most hotly contested and longest-standing debates in American politics, and ground zero for this national debate is the execution chamber in Huntsville, Texas. Since the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1977, Texas has put more than four hundred prisoners to death, far more than any other state. Texas Death Row puts faces to those condemned men and women, with start details on their crimes, sentencing, last meals, and last words. Definitive and objective, Texas Death Row will provide ample fuel for readers on both sides of the death-penalty debate.
Good Kids, Bad City: A Story of Race and Wrongful Conviction in America
In the early 1970s, three African-American men - Wiley Bridgeman, Kwame Ajamu, and Rickey Jackson - were accused and convicted of the brutal robbery and murder of a man outside of a convenience store in Cleveland, Ohio. The prosecution’s case, which resulted in a combined 106 years in prison for the three men, rested on the more-than-questionable testimony of a pre-teen, Ed Vernon.The actual murderer was never found. Almost four decades later, Vernon recanted his testimony, and Wiley, Kwame, and Rickey were released. But while their exoneration may have ended one of American history’s most disgraceful miscarriages of justice, the corruption and decay of the city responsible for their imprisonment remain on trial.Interweaving the dramatic details of the case with Cleveland’s history - one that, to this day, is fraught with systemic discrimination and racial tension - Swenson reveals how this outrage occurred and why. Good Kids, Bad City is a work of astonishing empathy and insight: an immersive exploration of race in America, the struggling Midwest, and how lost lives can be recovered.
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