Sage, dignified adjuration for the imprisoned.
Alarmed by the massive explosion of the prison population in recent decades, best-selling author and TV actor Harper (The Conversation: How Black Men and Women Can Build Loving, Trusting Relationships, 2009, etc.) believes that, visible or not, the prison populace is part of the fabric of America and shouldn’t be dismissed as merely a blight on humanity. Though his criticisms of the penal and prison systems label them as malevolent, for-profit cauldrons of unregulated private companies bent on manipulating criminals, the author is adamant about creating a solution to what he views as a mushrooming “hyper incarceration crisis.” With stern, direct advice and direction on real-life issues (and focusing on the African-American incarcerated population), Harper coaches readers through the fear of prison life and how to stay focused and hopeful and resist gang recruitment. The author writes in the form of unique and heartfelt answers to letters he received from prison inmates in response to his first book, Letters to a Young Brother (2006). In counsel delivered through relatable and colloquial prose, Harper encourages his readership to prepare a mental “escape plan” in anticipation of an inevitable re-entry into society armed with motivation, responsibility and clarity. With frequent references to the spiritual lessons of Deepak Chopra, the author shares pages of positive reinforcement, encouraging inmates to “beat the odds and avoid returning” to the cellblocks after release. His affirmations of hope and humility resonate throughout this unique display of compassionate humanitarianism for those residing behind prison walls and those who wait patiently for their release. The closing section—a useful, well-rounded “Owner’s Manual”—begs for an expanded edition.
An inspiring jail companion guidebook brimming with straight-talking tough love.