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Inside: Life Behind Bars in America (Paperback)
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Before Orange is the New Black, there was Inside.
American jails and prisons confine nearly 13.5 million people each year. Despite these disturbing numbers, little is known about life inside beyond the mythology of popular culture.
Michael G. Santos, a federal prisoner nearing the end of his second decade of continuous confinement, documents the lives of the men warehoused in the American prison system. Inside: Life Behind Bars in America, his first book for the general public, takes us behind those bars and into the chaos of the cellblock.
Capturing the voices of his fellow prisoners with perfect pitch, Santos makes the tragic—and at times inspiring—stories of men from the toughest gang leaders to the richest Wall Street criminals come alive. From drug schemes, murders for hire, and even a prostitution ring that trades on the flesh of female prison guards, this book contains the never-before-seen details of prison life that at last illuminate the varied ways in which men experience life behind bars in America.
About the Author
Michael G. Santos was convicted in 1987, at the age of twenty-three, of crimes relating to his participation in a drug-trafficking scheme and sentenced to forty-five years in prison. While in prison, he earned a bachelor of arts and a master of arts. He wrote several books, including Inside, and contributed to an extensive web site as a resource for those who seek to understand the prison system and the people it holds. Based on his impeccable disciplinary record, he was released in 2013.
“More than just a seamy look at prison life. A chilling, timely portrayal.” —New York Times Book Review
“Inside is actually two books. The red meat of the book is a collection of more than 100 prisoners' accounts, including every gruesome detail… But between shocking tales of inmate misbehavior are Santos' convincing theories about what it all means.” —Sean Bosker, New York Post
“The tone and his focus on other inmates' experiences rather than his own lend the book weight and authenticity, opening a window onto the corrupt, violent and ultimately counter-productive society of American prisons.” —Edward Humes, Los Angeles Times
“Shocking and illuminating.” —Publishers Weekly
“Inside is not recommended for the faint at heart. Santos eloquently and engagingly captures the subculture of the prisoner. Inside is a must-read.” —Sam Torres, Ph.D., Professor of Criminal Justice, California State University, Long Beach, and Senior U.S. Probation Officer (Ret.)