During the winter months, I watched College Behind Bars which I thought was outstanding. Yes, I’m the guy who believes in putting the bad guys behind bars, but this film opened my eyes to rehabilitation and what it takes to reduce recidivism rates in the U.S. If you did see the series and liked it, now what? I have a few book suggestions that will augment what you saw.
I Recommend College Behind Bars
If you have not seen the docuseries, I recommend it. During the last episode, good luck in keeping dry eyes.
5 Books if You Liked College Behind Bars
I had already read Mr. Smith Goes to Prison in 2015. It’s the best book I’ve ever read on one person’s survival behind bars for a full year. That was probably the first book I had ever read that got me to thinking about mass incarceration, and that dealing with prisoners is more about retribution vs rehabilitation.
The other key insight to this book is that many prisoners are probably far more advanced in entrepreneurialism than graduates at Harvard, Yale, or Washington University.
This book is easily a 5-star book.
I generally do not like to recommend books that I have not read yet. But after a recent Zoom call with Jeff Smith, he recommends Law Man: Memoir of a Jailhouse Lawyer. I’ve already bought the book and plan on reading it soon.
A couple of years ago, I listened to Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson. Maybe I’m naive (I probably am), but I did not realize how much injustice there is in the justice system. Bryan Stevenson is making a difference. But is it enough?
The Underground Railroad was as depressing as it was haunting. Yet, I’m glad I read this book which is a Pulitzer Prize Winner. While the book is fiction, it’s tied to real events from the past.
This book might be controversial because it’s faith-based – I don’t care, it’s a great book. The late Chuck Colson was the founder of Prison Fellowship. There no organization that’s had a greater impact on prisoners being touched by this program than Prison Fellowships. His best-selling book is Born Again.
You’ve Seen the Series and Read a Few Books – Now What?
That’s the question I’ve been asking myself lately. One idea is to be a volunteer tutor or teacher. If I believe I can make a difference in just one person’s life, wouldn’t that be worth it?