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Drawing on twenty-five years of teaching prison college and volunteer classes in eleven Michigan and California prisons, The Prisoners' World strives to make the 'prisoners' voice' come alive for regular college students. The book starts off by tracing shifts in social definitions of criminality, and lays out the premises of the U.S. incarceration binge in the 1986 War on Drugs laws and subsequent mandatory sentencing and policing. Later chapters discuss issues such as leaving home, cell life, correctional officers and treatment, the homosexual prisoner, and drugs. Furthermore, the book discusses the teachers' experiences via author narrative essays that draw the reader into prisoner student and prisoner teacher interaction, and what it is like inside prison college classes where both young and older black prisoner students describe growing up in the inner cities. The book also draws upon over sixty prisoner essays that provide insight on prisoner life and self-concept with insights on pathways to prison, drug selling, the inner city and guns. There is also a strong focus on the 'inside' experiences of entering prison and orientation, daily work routine, correctional officers and surreptitious activities like cell cooking and contraband. These essays are capped by prisoner critiques of prison life from those still in the system. The Prisoners' World serves as a successful supplemental book whose material has proven useful in undergraduate criminal justice classes. As college students themselves, on-campus students in these classes will identify with the prisoner-student voices who share their experiences but in a radically different environment.
Part 1 Part 1: Emergence of the Prisoners' World Chapter 2 Chapter 1: Historical Periods of Prisoners' Worlds Chapter 3 Chapter 2: Premises of the Incarceration Binge Culture Chapter 4 Chapter 3: Binge Growth Theory Part 5 Part II: Life Before Prison Chapter 6 Chapter 4: Families and Home Chapter 7 Chapter 5: Pathways to Prison Part 8 Part III: Entering the Prisoners' World Chapter 9 Chapter 6: Getting into "The System" Chapter 10 Chapter 7: Cells Chapter 11 Chapter 8: Daily Work Routine Chapter 12 Chapter 9: Correctional Officers Part 13 Part IV: Portraits of the Prison Self Chapter 14 Chapter 10: Prisoner Free Time Chapter 15 Chapter 11: The Homosexual Prisoner Chapter 16 Chapter 12: Drugs and Contraband in Prison Part 17 Part V: African-Americans Caught in the Expanding Prison World Chapter 18 Chapter 13: Michigan Reformatory (MR)–Young Blacks Caught (1987–1994) in Detroit's Incarceration Binge Drug Sweeps Chapter 19 Chapter 14: Detroit's Inner City–Critique by Youth (Under 25) Black Prisoners at Michigan Reformatory (MR) Chapter 20 Chapter 15: Inner City Experiences–Black Prisoners over 25 at Jackson State Prison, 1990–2000 Chapter 21 Chapter 16: Cocaine and Addictive Deadly Crack in Detroit's Inner City Chapter 22 Chapter 17: Guns in the Inner City Part 23 Part VI: The Future of the Prisoners' World Chapter 24 Prisoners' Views on System and Reentry Chapter 25 The End of the Incarceration Binge