Cover image for Undoing time : American prisoners in their own words
Undoing time : American prisoners in their own words
Evans, Jeff, 1961-
Publication Information:
Boston, Mass. : Northeastern University Press, [2001]

Physical Description:
xiii, 262 pages ; 25 cm
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
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HV9468 .U53 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



The over two million men and women incarcerated in penitentiaries and jails have become America's forgotten population. This extraordinary anthology of autobiographical prison writings brings the reader inside their silent and hidden world.

Culled from more than four hundred submissions nationwide, the thirty-six pieces here represent works by a broad spectrum of prisoners: young and old, unknown and infamous, minimum security check forgers and death row inmates. The authors include notorious "Preppie Murderer" Robert Chambers; an elderly truck driver who strangled the woman he professed to love; and a gang member recalling his violent street life. All talk in their own uncensored words about themselves and their families, about their motives and personal demons, about committing crime and doing time.

Just as this collection gives prisoners the rare chance to communicate who they are and what went wrong, it also gives the reader a unique opportunity to see convicts not as hardened criminals but as human beings.

Author Notes

Jeff Evans has written for the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Spotlight, Europa Times, and Gist
Jimmy Santiago BACA is a renowned poet, novelist, and screenwriter who served time at San Quentin prison
Craig Haney is Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz

Table of Contents

Jimmy Santiago BacaRichard HingerLou TorokCharles C. MallosDarlene NallWilliam Skeans, Jr.C. Kaye FergusonOscar ChandlerLamont BolderChristopher Lynn GarnerLalo GomezRonald GearlesKevin LeeRobert L. JohnsonJeff Parnell and Mike McLaneSteven King AinsworthMichael Wayne HunterMichael RossTonya Star JonesNemo ValentinePhillip SantiagoRobert ChambersBarry ConnEasy WatersBenjamin La GuerCheyenne Valentino YakimaD. Michael MartinKevin JamesJon Marc TaylorJennifer HowardJohn BeasleyLarry BrattRonnie TurnerJaye BookhartJuan Shamsul AlamChristopher J. RodriguezLarry BrattCraig Haney
Forewordp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Introductionp. 3
Back in the Dayz
1937p. 15
The Mystery of Aunt Lillyp. 19
The Chickenp. 23
110th Streetp. 26
Where I Come Fromp. 29
Invisiblep. 37
I Killed My Wifep. 39
Turned Outp. 47
A Shot in the Darkp. 55
Back in the Dayzp. 63
Marthap. 73
End of the Gamep. 76
Years without Days
Revolving Doorp. 87
From From the Inside Outp. 95
Dannyp. 102
Another Dayp. 107
Reflections from Death Rowp. 112
What It's Like Being a Drag Queen in the Illinois Department of Correctionsp. 118
Prison Break Memoirsp. 122
Grief behind Barsp. 127
Christmas: Presentp. 135
What Happened to Your Message?p. 138
Upon Completing Twenty Yearsp. 146
Notes from Life and Deathp. 163
The Ice Man Speaksp. 168
One Hundred Soldiersp. 179
A Part of Me Set Freep. 185
The Prison Pumpp. 194
Freedom from Withinp. 198
Hired at the Last Hourp. 207
When Student Teaches Teacherp. 214
Prison as Monasteryp. 216
Jaye's Storyp. 220
Salvationp. 223
Reunionp. 234
The Tale of a Kitep. 242
Afterwordp. 245
Editor and Contributorsp. 257