The fall from politico to prisoner isn't necessarily long. But the landing, as Missouri state senator Jeff Smith learned, is a hard one.
In 2009 Smith pleaded guilty to a seemingly minor charge of campaign malfeasance and earned himself a year and one day in Kentucky's FCI Manchester. Mr. Smith Goes to Prison is the fish-out-of-water story of his time in the big house, of the people he met there and the things he learned: how to escape the attentions of fellow inmate Cornbread and his friends in the Aryan Brotherhood; what constitutes a prison car and who's allowed to ride in yours; how to bend and break the rules, whether you're a prisoner or an officer. And throughout his sentence, the young senator tracked the greatest crime of all: the deliberate waste of untapped human potential. Smith saw the power of millions of inmates harnessed as a source of renewable energy for America's prison-industrial complex, a system that aims to build better criminals instead of better citizens.
In Mr. Smith Goes to Prison, he traces the cracks in America's prison walls, exposing the shortcomings of a racially based cycle of poverty and crime that sets inmates up to fail. Speaking from inside experience, he offers practical solutions to jailbreak the nation from the financially crushing grip of its own prisons and to jump-start the rehabilitation of the millions living behind bars.
©2015 Jeffrey Smith (P)2015 Macmillan Audio
Great book, Senator, thanks for keeping it 100. I recently did a Kairos weekend and have been interested about the life of a resident after I left. This book was very honest, and interesting and had some practical observations on how to improve the system. Lots of people forget about these people, but Mr. Smith does a great job in showing that in alot of ways they are regular people that made mistakes in life, and that we all are 1bad choice away from being there ourselves.. I do wonder though if he ate the Meat rock...
The story needs to be told ,, every law enforcement person should have to spend some time behind bars !
I loved that his Mom is now a mentor to a prisoner and that he kept in touch with Warehouse friends as best he could ..
This is a story of one man's courage, spirit and growth ,. in a strange but not unusual setting .. His whole life prepared him for the challanges he had to face and conquer to truely become the Best man he could be ... Which is someone who can make a difference for good in the lives of others especially the disenfranchised.
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