Friday, May 09, 2014

Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman

Yes, this is a popular TV show, but it originated as this book, which is the true story of one woman's year in a women's prison. Piper Kerman was a Smith College graduate who spent her first year after college traveling around the world with drug mules. Piper didn't mastermind anything or actually transport drugs, but she did knowingly transport drug money. She soon left that life and settled into a more normal existence, but ten years later her former "friends" turned her in and her past caught up with her. She was sentenced to 13 months in a women's detention center, and at age 35 she served her time. The book provides a really fascinating look at a place that most of us will never see, and it also gives a sympathetic view of the women who are incarcerated. Many lack an education and access to good attorneys, and the prison system does nothing to educate, rehabilitate, or otherwise help them be productive citizens. This is definitely worth reading. Recommended for high school on up.

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