Life on the Outside

Life on the Outside

by Jennifer Gonnerman

Elaine Cassell reviews Life on the Outside, A Reporter's Account of an Ex-Con's Struggle to Reenter Society:

In 2004, an estimated 600,000 people will be released from state and federal prisons. And in the near future, this number will increase exponentially -- as persons who began serving long prison terms in the late 1980's (for mostly drug offenses) return to their communities. Criminologists are poised to study the challenges and problems facing those who attempt "reentry" into society outside prison. Meanwhile, Village Voice staff writer Jennifer Gonnerman has put a human face on the data with her compelling book, Life on the Outside: The Prison Odyssey of Elaine Bartlett.

Bartlett served a draconian prison sentence for a first-time offense -- and is now trying to put her life back together. She, and others like her, deserve our compassion and support -- and Gonnerman's book beautifully illustrates why.

TChris wrote about the book here.

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