A Woman Doing Life: Notes from a Prison for Women / Edition 1

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A Woman Doing Life is the only book that tells stories of women in prison from the inside out. Author and initiate Erin George draws a vivid and uniquely raw portrait of female life in prison, detailing her own responses to incarceration as well as her observations of prison relationships, death and sickness, reactions from friends and family, and even "cooking" in prison. The text also features poignant stories from other female inmates.

Edited by Robert Johnson—esteemed scholar and editor of Victor Hassine's Life Without Parole, Fourth Edition (OUP, 2009)—each chapter of the text opens with a helpful introduction that guides students as they read. An Afterword by noted scholar Joycelyn Pollock further helps place inmate testimonies into an academic context.

Offering profound insight into the too-often neglected issue of women in the criminal justice system, A Woman Doing Life is a must for courses in women and crime, gender and crime, and women in prison.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"George's narrative is a powerful, self-reflective, and elegantly written account of the unique experiences that women face in prison."--Rebecca Bordt, DePauw University

"A Woman Doing Life is very well written and engaging. It gives readers, young and old, a new perspective on what it's like to be a female inmate serving a life sentence."--Ashley G. Blackburn, University of North Texas

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199734757
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 1/13/2010
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 424,766
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

About the Author

Erin George is an inmate at the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women in Virginia, where she is serving a life sentence for murder.

About the Editors

Robert Johnson is Professor of Justice, Law and Criminology in the School of Public Affairs at American University.

Alison B. Martin is Postdoctoral Research Associate at the National Institute of Justice.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi

Introduction Robert Johnson 1

Chapter 1 Jail Time 3

Chapter 2 Prison Time 26

Chapter 3 Love in a Cold Climate 45

Chapter 4 Violence Behind Bars: Women, Mano a Mano 54

Chapter 5 Shakedowns, Fakedowns, and Solitary Confinement 61

Chapter 6 Quality of Life (Loosely Defined) 85

Chapter 7 Living with Loss 97

Chapter 8 Programs, Privileges, and Oases of Creativity 115

Chapter 9 The Sick and the Dead 130

Chapter 10 Other Voices, Other Venues: Self-Portraits by Women in Prison 141

Chapter 11 Looking Out and Looking Back: Recidivism and Religion; Remorse and Redemption 154

Origami Heart Erin George 174

Afterword Joycelyn Pollock 176

Appendix A Terms of Entanglement: A Prison Glossary 186

Appendix B A Prison Cookbook 196

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