Cover image for Behind bars : surviving prison
Behind bars : surviving prison
Ross, Jeffrey Ian.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Indianapolis, IN : Alpha Books, [2002]

Physical Description:
xv, 219 pages ; 23 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HV9471 .R67 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
HV9471 .R67 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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A judge hands down a stretch in a local, state, or federal prison. It's time for some serious life lessons. With the crime rates soaring in the United States and the prison population growing faster than at any time in American history, staying alive and well -- both mentally and physically -- is tougher than ever.

Author Notes

Jeffrey Ross, PhD, is a professor of criminal justice at the University of Baltimore and a visiting professor of criminology at Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany. In 2003, he was the recipient of the University of Baltimore's Distinguished Chair in Reseach Award. Ross also worked as a social science analyst in a division of the U.S. Department of Justice from 1995 to 1998.

Stephen C. Richards, PhD , is a professor of criminal justice and the author of several books and articles. He is one of the founders of the New School of Convict Criminology. Richards earned a BS degree in sociology while serving a nine-year sentence in a federal prison for conspiracy to distribute marijuana. After his release, he earned an MA in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a PhD in sociology at Iowa State University. Richards is also a Soros Senior Justice Fellow.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

In the 1960s, peace groups issued leaflets to their members on what to do if arrested during nonviolent demonstrations. Now two criminologists have come up with a guidebook on surviving the criminal justice system that is loosely modeled after these earlier leaflets. The crimes have expanded to include far more weighty ones than civil disobedience. Ross and Richards (coauthors, Convict Criminogy) offer advice on what to do if your front door is bashed in by police in a drug bust and how to avoid fatal legal mistakes. Writing in sections under topical headings, the authors follow an anonymous everyman (or woman) through an arrest, a trial, and an incarceration. The legal system they depict bears no resemblance to the one in school textbooks. It is the enemy. The authors describe different types of prisons and suggest how to deal with the correctional officers, the other inmates, and various types of discipline. Finally, they discuss making parole and returning to life on the outside. An appendix offers a glossary of prison slang and a statement about the status of prisons in America today. Overall, this is an absorbing, original book that should be required reading for criminal justice classes. Ostensibly intended for the person who is caught committing the crime, in reality Behind Bars gives the outsider an in-depth look at what it is like to be in prison in America today. Highly recommended for all libraries.-Frances Sandiford, formerly with Green Haven Correctional Facility Lib., Stormville, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. xi
Part 1 You're Under Arrestp. 1
1. Busted!p. 3
2. Four Fatal Legal Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)p. 13
Part 2 You've Got Jail!p. 27
3. Big Houses, Dog Pens, and Gladiator Schools: The U.S. Prison Systemp. 29
4. Hacks, Cops, and Cons: Who's Who in Prisonp. 47
Part 3 Doing Timep. 63
5. Jugged: Welcome to Prisonp. 65
6. Don't Drop the Soap: Sex in the Slammerp. 85
7. My Baloney Has a First Name: Food in Prisonp. 91
8. License Plates and GEDs: Work and School in Prisonp. 103
9. Blood In, Blood Out: Prison Gangs and Violencep. 115
10. Brother, Can You Spare Some Time: A Day in the Life of Joe Convictp. 135
11. We Ain't No Debutantes: Women Behind Barsp. 145
Part 4 Beyond the Wallsp. 153
12. Happy Days Are Here Again: Getting Outp. 155
13. Revolving Doors: Fixing the Incarceration Machinep. 173
A. Slammer Slang: A Glossaryp. 181
B. We Understand, Son: Prison Reform Advocacy Groupsp. 199
Indexp. 205