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Faces: Imprisoned Women and Their Struggle with the Criminal Justice System Paperback – December 5, 2014
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About the Author
Betty May is a theatrical director, a writer, a high school teacher, a circus coach, and a clown. Her career in theater has taken her across the United States; to Europe, where she toured England, France and Switzerland with her Teens Onstage troupe; and to Central America, where she founded a company of ninety street children in a Guatemalan squatters’ settlement. She has no professional experience in the criminal justice system, nor does she have any academic credentials in the field. She went into the prison in response to a somewhat bizarre request: write a comedy about life in prison. Six years later, she is an activist in the judicial system, testifying before congressional committees and advocating for people she once knew only through horrific newspaper headlines. Betty and her late husband, Gerald (Jerry) G. May, M.D., have five grown children: Earl, Paul, Greg, Julie, and a late addition: Chris. She lives in Columbia, Maryland with a wussy dog, a geriatric cat, and a neurotic bird. Her work with the women of I-WISH (Incarcerated Women Inside Seeking to/for Help) has been a fulfilling and life-changing journey, and she is grateful to them for sharing their lives.
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Top customer reviews
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Besides spreading the words of the women, Betty also learned that she wished to advocate for changes in the criminal justice system and is doing so now. She shares with us the various ideas , laws, and sentences that could be changed by thoughtful efforts. I was pleased to see this. This book is well composed and reads smoothly. An " easy read" . Good for you ,Betty. Who would have thought an actress and clown could have produced what you have. You will make a difference.
This tender, true story makes no excuses for crimes, and does not advocate light punishment for serious crimes. This book is about justice. It's about real, loving, remorseful, transformed persons who will live the rest of their lives in prison.
There is a disconnect between the sentences these women serve; the circumstances of their lives and 'crimes'; and the persons they've become.. What are we allowing our criminal justice system to do in our names?
Read this book and ask yourself, "Is this the best system of justice a great nation can create and implement?" This book won't let you feel confident that we have it right... yet.
Although I understand the reason for the layout, I suggest you move past the play "reviews" after the beginning introduction - that's when the stories become interesting.
The most promising thing about this book is that it looks at who people are before and after the incident that had them incarcerated. It is surprising how many people in prison are just ordinary individuals who made one mistake or found themselves in circumstances they couldn't resolve. When you see that, you understand the need for us to take care of each other better, and punish each other less. There are better ways, less expensive and more productive and these are explored in this book. Highly recommended if the issue interests you at all.