Inside This Place, Not of It: Narratives from Women's Prisons

Inside This Place, Not of It: Narratives from Women's Prisons

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by Ayelet Waldman
     
 

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People in U.S. prisons are routinely subjected to physical, sexual, and mental abuse. While this has been documented in male prisons, women in prison often suffer in relative anonymity. Women Inside addresses this critical social justice issue, empowering incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women to share the stories that have previously been silenced. Among the

Overview

People in U.S. prisons are routinely subjected to physical, sexual, and mental abuse. While this has been documented in male prisons, women in prison often suffer in relative anonymity. Women Inside addresses this critical social justice issue, empowering incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women to share the stories that have previously been silenced. Among the narrators:

•Irma Rodriguez, in prison on drug charges. While in prison in 1990, Irma was diagnosed HIV positive, but after a decade and a half of aggressive and toxic treatment, Irma learned that she never had HIV.

•Sheri Dwight, a domestic violence survivor who was sent to prison for attempting to kill her batterer. While in prison, she underwent surgery for abdominal pain and learned more than four years later that she had been sterilized without her consent.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Winner of The National Council on Crime and Delinquency's PASS Award for Literature

"Incredibly compelling."
—Meg Waite Clayton, Huffington Post

"A chilling glimpse of the human rights abuses suffered by women in U.S. prisons... a captivating read."
—Ashley Lucas, Ms. Magazine Blog

"These stories are a gift. The women in this book compel us to imagine how their lives would be different—how we would be different—if we responded to their experience with genuine care, compassion, and concern.”
—from the foreword by Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow

"Inside This Place, Not Of It is precisely the kind of book we need now. In reading these narratives—so skillfully assembled, and with the accompanying statistics and data which let readers see how America and its states are complicit in taking away lives and dignity from so many women—what stands out is the poignant sense of abandonment and sadness that changed their lives from childhood, and the astonishing strength and perseverance that let them survive in prison. I will never forget these women, or this book."
—Susan Straight, author of Take One Candle Light A Room

“I am passionately, ardently grateful for the existence of this book. How else would I have ever heard the voices of these women? Where would I gain insight or understanding of the lives they describe: harrowing, riveting, rife with misogyny, and utterly unacceptable in a country that values human rights.”
—Peggy Orenstein, author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture

“We may hear about prisons, but not much from prisoners, and certainly not from women prisoners, which makes Inside This Place, Not of It so unusual.”
–Leonard Lopate

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781936365494
Publisher:
McSweeney's Publishing
Publication date:
11/01/2011
Pages:
300
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)

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Inside This Place, Not of It: Narratives from Women's Prisons 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Inside This Place, Not of It" provides powerful insight into the faults in the American prison and judiciary systems for women. Through its compilation of narratives, the book sheds light on the personal accounts of female prisoners. This book is a great resource because there is little soapboxing in the narratives. Instead the editors focused on transmitting the harrowing, real-life accounts of women treated unfairly in incarceration. In each story, the reader learns of the individual's childhood and the particular difficulties they face in establishing their life after prison. "Inside This Place, Not of It" personalizes these women's experiences and the injustices they have suffered.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Even in the most well-meaning essays, the voice of the storyteller is often sidelined by the voice of the reporter. Voice of Witness allows those who do not often get the choice to tell their own story a chance to speak, free of outside interpretation. Immensely harrowing and compelling, Inside this Place, Not of It gives incarcerated women an opportunity to, for a moment, be free.
crowe-bird More than 1 year ago
This is such a necessary book. Injustice is what delivers so many of the narrating women to prison and what they face once they are inside. The stories of abuse ¿ Olivia¿s shackled birth, the sexual abuse constantly endured by Teri, or the barbaric medical care received by Sheri ¿ are all devastating, but it¿s essential that we listen, that each voice is heard, especially because each voice represents thousands of other women in similar situations. Anyone who wants to reexamine our notion of the people who end up in prison, and take a good hard look at what happens in those prisons, should read this book. Listening these issues - being forced to face them - is the first step to challenging them, hopefully, to ultimately changing them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read Inside This Place, Not of It over the course of a few days. These are stories of abuse, it's true, but these women's strength shine through, inspiring me to work for change in this country, as opposed to focusing on what's wrong with it. One of the main messages I got from Inside This Place was how insufficient the prison system is in this country. There are so many barriers to dealing with mental health and abuse issues, and the system in place appears to be ignoring the problem until it's impossible, and then reacting with incarceration, like in Francesca's story of abuse and violence. The narratives tell stories of violence against and abuse of inmates, but it raises questions of how to deal with the prison class as a whole, and more than anything else, whether we are dooming a class of women to life in prison through insufficient education and domestic abuse prevention. I'm so glad to have read this book, and I can't recommend it highly enough to those interested in incarceration issues in the U.S., women's issues, and mental health issues.