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Life Without Parole: Living and Dying in Prison Today, by Victor Hassine
Ebook Free Life Without Parole: Living and Dying in Prison Today, by Victor Hassine
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In 1981, Victor Hassine went to prison. In 2008, he died there. This edition of Hassine’s Life Without Parole is no longer just an account of life in confinement; it is the story of life and death behind bars.
Revised and updated throughout, the fifth edition includes:
A new title. In honor of Hassine’s legacy, editors Robert Johnson and Sonia Tabriz have given the fifth edition a new subtitle–Living and Dying in Prison Today.
A new format. To create a more fluid narrative, the editors have restructured Hassine’s writings to offer a seamless chronicle of his life and death in prison.
New stories. To better convey Hassine’s journey, the editors have added three of Hassine’s original works of fiction.
A new beginning and ending. The editors have replaced chapter introductions with two new essays bookending Hassine’s text, offering insights that complement Hassine’s own perceptions.
A new appendix. Editors Robert Johnson and Sonia Tabriz examine the latest developments in the field of penology.
- Sales Rank: #203915 in Books
- Published on: 2010-12-17
- Released on: 2010-12-17
- Original language: English
- Number of items: 1
- Dimensions: 6.10″ h x .60″ w x 9.20″ l, .80 pounds
- Binding: Paperback
- 196 pages
“Four editions of Victor Hassine’s book have earned a place as esteemed contributions to academia, and as reliable teaching tools in prison courses. The revamped posthumous version of the book provides us with a stirring memoir and a vivid memorial to a troubled but admirable life. Hassine’s account is redolent with surprising insights and poignant observations, and with occasional touches of humor. It is also a blow-by-blow narrative of a gifted man’s effort to transcend life in confinement.”–Hans Toch, University at Albany, State University of New York
“For over a decade now, I have considered Hassine’s text Life Without Parole to be an essential one in my teaching on corrections and the realities and challenges of this world. The life and death of Victor Hassine epitomizes the full cycle of humanity in our society–with its conflicting message at times of hope and tragedy–and touches upon the themes of justice, race, power, and redemption that are central to our criminal justice system. Hassine’s words bring to life the people who work and live behind the walls of a maximum-security prison while simultaneously bringing into the light of day controversial topics for critical discussion in the classroom. Coupled with the thoughtful commentary and background offered by editors Robert Johnson and Sonia Tabriz, this text is a valuable tool that raises the level of discourse of any course related to corrections or public policy.”–Denise Paquette Boots, University of Texas at Dallas
“Life Without Parole may be the most authentic prison book ever penned in the English language. This new edition, artfully recast by Johnson and Tabriz, is written in the blood of all the men and women who live in prison cages buried at the end of the world. This is the one book every student of criminal justice should read.”–Stephen C. Richards, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
“Life Without Parole charts Victor Hassine’s sojourn inside America’s dystopian prison system. This latest collection of his work, edited by Robert Johnson and Sonia Tabriz, locates his narrative within an insightful combination of fiction and nonfiction that reinforces the horror of society’s worst kept secret and challenges us to change it. Responding to Hassine’s runaway train metaphor, Johnson and Tabriz provide incisive commentary that confirms the author’s observations and helps illuminate the crippling pattern of alternating hope and fear that attends a prison sentence. In responding to Victor’s death, his family observed that he considered his work done when hope withered and died in a prison isolation cell. He would have been comforted to know that his work will continue, left in the capable hands of Robert Johnson and Sonia Tabriz.”–Charles Huckelbury, PEN Award Winning Author
About the Author
Victor Hassine (1955-2008) was an accomplished author of works on crime and punishment. Shortly after graduating from law school, he was convicted of a capital offense and sentenced to prison for life without parole. While incarcerated, Hassine devoted himself to bettering prison conditions for himself and his fellow inmates and strived to promote prison reform through his written works of fiction and nonfiction. Sadly, Victor Hassine committed suicide in April 2008 shortly after being denied a commutation-of-sentence hearing.
Robert Johnson is a Professor of Justice, Law, and Society at American University, Editor of BleakHouse Publishing, and a widely published author of fiction and nonfiction.
Sonia Tabriz is a J.D. candidate and merit scholar at The George Washington University Law School, the Managing Editor of BleakHouse Publishing, and is noted for her creative writing and legal commentaries.
Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful.
This is such a great book. I know it sounds strange to write that about a book by a lifer (now dead by suicide) in a US prison but this really is the best book about prison and being inside the US prison system I have read. I have read about Victor Hassine’s crimes and realise he might have done something terrible but he comes across as humane and wise in this book. A great account of what it must be like to find yourself ‘in the belly of the beast’. It’s written like a textbook/novel/academic work and deserves a much wider audience. I live in the UK so had to order it from America and it was well worth it. The USA jails well over a million of its citizens (often in terrible gladiatorial institutions) and it is interesting to see what effect it has. Unless they stay in for ever some of these guys are going to be back on the streets and I am convinced that the brutal conditions in prison won’t make them model citizens once they are out there.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful.
Thought provoking, disturbing, well worth reading for those who have an interest in the subject
By Sam I Am
This book was highly disturbing, as the author intended it to be. My first thought, upon reading the writing of an educated, highly literate young man who was doing life in prison, was how his mother must have felt. Nobody gives birth to a son and imagines one day, they’ll be visiting him through a pane of glass inside a prison visiting room.
I learned new things by reading this book, and much of it made logical sense. Have you ever driven past an older prison, and wondered why it looked so foreboding? Historically (this may not be the case with modern archictecture), jails and prisons were intentionally designed to be ugly and scary on the outside for a reason – it conveys a message to society, especially to impressionable young children, “You don’t ever want to go there.” Hassine considers this to be something negative, but being someone who has lived an entire life outside of prison, I would tend to disagree. Do a Google search for the phrase “Sybil Brand” and you’ll see why I’ve never been arrested or in trouble with the law. That institution, a County Jail for women, was well known to our local community as a place you didn’t ever want to go.
I disagree with some of author Victor Hassine’s other beliefs, but it was still eye-opening and informative to consider his perspective. He writes about a lifer named Cherokee, who has completed 40 years of a life sentence in prison, a man who has been in the prison so long, both corrections officers and inmates consider him to be something of a mascot. He has free run of the place, and his primary hobbies are digging through trash cans for things he can give, reuse or trade for something else, with both inmates and guards. Hassine believes there is something wrong with a society that continues to keep a man like Cherokee incarcerated, and says that he should be granted compassionate release and released to a nursing home. This is where Hassine’s vision is incredibly naive and narrow. Cherokee had more freedom inside that prison than he would have in a state-paid nursing home as a Medicaid patient.
I believe this book should be required reading for criminal justice majors and those who plan on a career working in corrections or law enforcement. You don’t have to like the people you’re guarding, but certainly there is much to be gained by developing a better understanding of their situation as incarcerated individuals. I’m not sure this book will hold much interest for casual readers who don’t have any connection to an incarcerated person.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful.
“Love” is an unfortunate choice, but that’s what’s available …
“Love” is an unfortunate choice, but that’s what’s available. Disturbing insights into life imprisonment by a talented writer and thinker who ended his own life rather than go on without hope.
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