best true crime books

Inside: Life Behind Bars in America

4.00 out of 5 based on 1 customer rating
(1 customer review)


Vivid and detailed account of life behind bars.

Inside: Life Behind Bars in America, offers a graphic look inside the American prison system. I wrote Inside during my 16th year of imprisonment. Rather than telling my own story, I interviewed other people with whom I served time in prisons of various security levels. St. Martin’s Press brought Inside to market in 2006. Reviews from The Los Angeles Times Sunday Book Review, The New York Times Sunday Book Review, Kirkus Reviews, and others ensured a wide distribution. Tens of thousands of people relied upon Inside as a resource to learn more about the inner workings of American’s prison system—I wrote this story from the perspective of people with whom I served time. Unlike Earning Freedom or Success After Prison—books that tell my story at various stages of the journey—Inside emphasizes adjustment patterns of other prisoners.

For a media coverage of my work, watch a two-minute video compilation profile from PBS NewsHour and NBC.

I recommend Inside: Life Behind Bars in America for people who want to learn about challenges inside higher-security prisons.

This softcover book is available for immediate delivery. Price includes shipping to all U.S. Addresses.


Product Description

Best True Crime Books

Readers looking for the best true crime books may like Inside: Life Behind Bars in America. This book shows the ugliness that many prisoners experience after they’ve been convicted of crime. Like Earning Freedom, Success After Prison, and other books I wrote, I tell this story in the first-person voice. Unlike my other books, however, where I reveal my own experiences, in Inside I focus on the adjustment patterns of others.

I wrote Inside in the “voice of the penitentiary.” Readers get a sense of the violent, aggressive language. Through dialogue that I recreated, readers can feel the tension between prisoners and staff. Readers listen and learn from gang members as they manipulate staff or other prisoners. They learn how prisoners introduce contraband, manufacture weapons, and perpetrate criminal behavior while living in secure prisons.

When I wrote Inside: Life Behind Bars in America, I wasn’t thinking about writing one of the best true crime books. I was in my 15th year of confinement and I was scheduled to serve 10 more years. I had published two previous books, About Prison and Profiles From Prison, for academic audiences. With two publishing credentials behind me, I wrote Inside because I wanted to reach a general, nonfiction audience.

Our country was in the midst of its buildup to mass incarceration when I wrote Inside. I wanted to help readers understand why mass incarceration represented one of the greatest social injustices of our time. By showing others what I saw in prison, and what others shared with me, I hoped to contribute to a dialogue for prison and sentence reform.

St. Martin’s Press, one of the largest publishing houses in the world, brought Inside to market. The professionals at St. Martin’s were instrumental in generating wide publicity and distribution. Reviews from The Los Angeles Times Sunday Book Review and the New York Times Sunday Book Review, as well as other major publications, ensured that tens of thousands of people would learn about Inside.

Watch this video link to learn how major news organizations covered my work.

I wrote Inside for a general, nonfiction audience. Although Inside offers highlights of prison life, for those looking to read about how to succeed in prison and beyond, I recommend Earning Freedom or my other books. For those who want a more graphic look of prison, Inside: Life Behind Bars in America is the right book to order.

Inside: Life Behind Bars in America is available for immediate delivery. Price includes shipping to all U.S. addresses.

(Only available in paperback, digital version available through Amazon)

Additional Information

Book Type

Softcover Book, Digital Download

1 review for Inside: Life Behind Bars in America

  1. 4 out of 5


    Pin my tail and call me a donkye, that really helped.

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