A lifer in the Iowa State Pen tells the story of his journey from the hills of West Virginia to his Iowa cell. After a free- wheeling boyhood marred by a difficult, drinking father who didn't believe in education, Tom skated through the twenties in various jobs. The depression found him supplementing his income with the bank robberies which involved him in second degree murder and which led to life imprisonment. From his narration of crime he goes on to his concern about punishment. Tom considers his changing attitudes toward his wife, who divorced him after five years of his imprisonment; toward prison life; toward the cons and guards. He tells of various prisonmates, of life on the mainline, on Death Row, in solitary, where he went after an escape attempt. Through the prison paper he has aided other men and fights to better even further conditions which have already improved in recent years under the present Warden. An engrossing glimpse of penal sociology and of one man's reaction to the life meted out to him and his growth in it.