A Woman Doing Life Notes from a Prison for Women

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2014-12-15
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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In A Woman Doing Life, author and inmate Erin George draws a vivid and uniquely raw portrait of female life in prison. By detailing her own experiences and sharing poignant stories from other female inmates, George gives insight into prison relationships, death and sickness, reactions from friends and family, and even "cooking" in prison.

Author Biography

About the Author

Erin George is an inmate at the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women in Virginia, where she is serving a life sentence for murder.

About the Editors

Robert Johnson is Professor of Justice, Law and Criminology in the School of Public Affairs at American University.

Alison B. Martin is Postdoctoral Research Associate at the National Institute of Justice.

Table of Contents


Introduction, Robert Johnson

1. Jail Time
2. Prison Time
3. Love in a Cold Climate
4. Violence Behind Bars: Women, Mano a Mano
5. Shakedowns, Fakedowns, and Solitary Confinement
6. Quality of Life (Loosely Defined)
7. Living with Loss
8. Programs, Privileges, and Oases of Creativity
9. The Sick and the Dead
10. Other Voices, Other Venues: Self-Portraits by Women in Prison
11. Looking Out and Looking Back: Recidivism and Religion; Remorse and Redemption

"Origami Heart," a poem by Erin George


Afterword, Joycelyn Pollock

Appendix A: Terms of Engagement: A Prison Glossary
Appendix B: A Prison Cookbook
Appendix C: Cell Buddy

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