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Life on the Outside: The Prison Odyssey of Elaine Bartlett Paperback – December 9, 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
As a school board director, I can tell you that the most salient things are these details- particularly the writing samples, the better the writing sample is for a particular family member, the better the outcome of their life. Coincidence? I do not think so. This is hard evidence that skills matter.
Elaine Bartlett worked hard on improving her skills in prison. The tragedy is that she was not there to be able to usher those same skills in her children because the system removed her form their lives.
This book is an indictment on the Rockefeller Drug Laws-well-meaning though they may have been, they are a social disaster. They have and are continuing to destroy families. Many of the judges who initially supported them, have reversed their opinion. It is time to adjust the law for the social realities-after all, the Supreme Court found that prevailing Community Standards should be the standard. The Rockefeller Drug Laws are an outlier in the scheme of social norms.
I wish this book were required reading for all lawmakers, judges, lawyers, police and parole officers...
Despite having no previous infractions in her life, in early 1984 Elaine stupidly allowed herself to be persuaded by a police informer (who initiated contact with her) to carry 4oz of cocaine from Manhattan to Albany. If anybody out there who has read this book has a law degree or similar training, I would love to hear how Elaine's arrest does not constitute entrapment. Leaving that question aside for the moment, Elaine was sentenced to 15 years-to-life for the conviction. Only through a series of unlikely circumstances was she granted clemency and released in January 2000.Read more ›
While she availed herself of some educational and self-improvement programs during her period of incarceration, Bartlett was ill-equipped to deal with the complexities of urban life upon her release. Saddled with a questionable value system, Bartlett experienced difficulty in finding suitable employment, managing her limited financial resources, maneuvering the social service system, avoiding persons with criminal records, reestablishing herself as the mother of her children, and providing some semblance of order to her chronically troubled family. Were it not for a few responsible friends, a forgiving employer, and an understanding parole officer, she would have likely found her way back into prison.
Despite her personal limitations and the challenges she faced, Bartlett survived her period of parole supervision and was discharged in 2003. According to the author, Bartlett celebrated her release from parole "by going to the apartment of a former coworker and smoking weed.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Although I felt the book ended kind of weakly I thoroughly enjoyed this. I grew up in the same projects on the lower east side and briefly knew some of the members. Read morePublished 27 days ago by Sam
I am really shocked by all of the positive reviews of this book. In my humble opinion, the book came across as a big pitty party for Elaine Bartlett. Read morePublished 18 months ago by John Galt
I learned a lot from this book and I think all criminal justice majors should read it. If you thought prison is horrible wait till you read the outside. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Bridget
Great book! Recommend this book, it really gives you an idea of injustice many prisoners go throught. Easy reading and captivating.Published on December 28, 2013 by maria