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Book Review of Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison

Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison
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Helpful Score: 5

This book gave a very good description of a woman's prison camp - not a jail or a prison, but a prison camp. There are definate differences between the three. Although all three lean toward rules and regulations, a prison camp allows more freedoms and opportunities than the other two. Kerman does give glimpes of life in a jail and a second hand account of being locked in a prison, but her experience was almost exclusively in the prison camp. There are guards in all three places for a variety of reasons, not all of which is for the profit, comfort, or rehabilitation of the prisoner. Kerman spoke about this type of prison guard, although her experience was pretty run of the mill because she was there to do her time, and not to create problems. Kerman was repaying her debt to society years after the fact, and at 35 yrs old was petrified to be incarcerated. Due to the helping hand of many of the people she profiles in her book, she adjusted well to life in the camp. Her sentence - relatively short in comparison to those she became close to - went by without a lot of problems until weeks before her "out" date, when she got the shocking full effect of time in a large city jail. Kerman had a lot of friends, family and a fiance' who helped to keep her sane during her incarceration, although the loss of a loved one brought out the realism of her situation. Written in an open, honest way, Kerman gives the details of her incarceration in Danbury Connecticut's woman's federal correction facility during her 15 month imprisonment.