Inside This Place, Not of It reveals some of the most egregious human rights violations within women’s prisons in the United States. Here, in their own words, thirteen narrators recount their lives leading up to incarceration and their harrowing struggle for survival once inside.
Among the narrators:
Theresa, who spent years believing her health and life were in danger, being aggressively treated with a variety of medications for a disease she never had. Only on her release did she discover that an incompetent prison medical bureaucracy had misdiagnosed her with HIV.
Anna, who repeatedly warned apathetic prison guards about a suicidal cellmate. When the woman killed herself, the guards punished Anna in an attempt to silence her and hide their own negligence.
Teri, who was sentenced to up to fifty years for aiding and abetting a robbery when she was only seventeen. A prison guard raped Teri, who was still a teenager, and the assaults continued for years with the complicity of other staff.
About the Author
Robin Levi is a consultant working in the field of human rights, and she is the former human rights director at Justice Now. While a staff attorney at the Women’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch, she documented sexual abuse of women in US state prisons.
Ayelet Waldman is the bestselling author of Love and Other Impossible Pursuits, Daughter’s Keeper, Red Hook Road, Bad Mother, and, most recently Love and Treasure. She has also written for the New York Times, Vogue, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal.
Michelle Alexander is a longtime civil rights advocate and litigator, and holds a joint appointment at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and the Mortiz College of Law at Ohio State University. Alexander served for several years as director of the Racial Justice Project at the ACLU of Northern California, and went on to direct the Civil Rights Clinic at Stanford Law School, where she was an associate professor. She is the author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.
“Essential reading. These women’s stories compel us to recognize their humanity, tenacity, and value as people, and reveal a hidden and heart-wrenching reality.” —Piper Kerman, author of Orange Is the New Black
“This is an incredibly important, urgently readable book. I stayed up all night with these forgotten women, who have encountered, in present-day America, levels of cruelty and humiliation that have somehow not undercut their ability to express themselves with verve and grace and dignity.” —Rachel Kushner, author of The Flamethrowers
“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