In Halfway Home, Miller recounts the stories of men and women, who have served their time in the U.S. correctional system, and upon their release have fulfilled all the legal requirements, but are still kept on the fringes of society, struggling to find employment and housing at every turn. Miller weaves legal history into the personal stories, filling in the details of mass incarceration in this country. But this is also a very personal story for Miller, who recounts his own family's struggles with the legal system, and whose father and brothers have both been in and out of cages throughout their lives. It's the personal element to these tales and Reuben Miller's empathy with his subjects that makes this book so affecting.
One of the best non-fiction books of the year. In alternating chapters that focus on past and present, Bauer elegently lays out the brutal history of for-profit prisons in America, and writes about his experience both as a former prisoner and working as a guard in the private prison industry. This is an essential read for anyone interested in criminal justice or law enforcement.
In 2016, Albert Woodfox was released from prison after years of campaigning by activists, judges, politicians, and members of the Angola Three support network. Framed for the murder of a prison guard along with two other Black Panther Party members, he'd been kept in solitary confinement for over 40 years due to a system of falsified accusations and sabotaged appeals involving collusion at high levels of government and judiciary. Radicalized in prison, Woodfox drew immense strength and determination from the principles of the Black Panther Party; in every cell block, he worked to eradicate violence, materially improve conditions, practice liberation, and call for change. In these pages, his goal is not just to tell his incredible story, but to educate us about the many ways mass incarceration and police brutality are used as a weapon against Black communities.