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Mr. Smith Goes to Prison
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About the Author

Jeff Smith is a former Missouri State Senator who represented the city of St. Louis from 2007 until 2009, when he pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in a previous campaign. Having served a yearlong sentence in Kentucky's FCI Manchester, he is now an assistant professor at the New School's Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Planning. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and two children.

Reviews

"Partly funny, partly urgent and wholly unnerving - a mashup of 'House of Cards' and 'Orange Is the New Black'" "The New York Post""With empathy and insight, Smith s book takes on one of the country s most complicated and fraught policy issues while also providing a gripping memoir of an experience all of us would prefer to miss." "Salon.com"""
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"""hilarious, insightful, and disturbing all at once." "DailyKos.com"
""
"""The prison memoir is a classic mode of American literature, and Smith updates the form for the 21st century, in...brilliantly observed passages telling us everything we secretly wanted to know. Then he pivots and makes all of this about much more than himself and his personal arc. He makes his mistakes and punishment pay off in an intimately detailed yet data-driven argument for making sweeping reform to criminal sentencing guidelines and prison policy." - "St. Louis American" This eye-opening book reveals the sometimes-gray shades of politics, and more importantly, reminds all that prison can be steps away for anyone, no matter what the profession. This book is needed to jump-start a national conversation about over-incarceration and rational criminal justice reform. Claire McCaskill Well written and insightful, "Mr. Smith Goes to Prison" asks us to question the way opportunity and punishment are apportioned in our society. Prepare for a bevy of emotions: humor and frustration; elation and grievance. This book and this story are great platforms to better understand the way our justice system works, and what can be done to address its fissures. Wes Moore This is a terrific and timely book with a compelling narrative that challenges us to think more critically about what mass incarceration is doing to all of us. Bryan Stevenson "Mr. Smith Goes to Prison" joins Michelle Alexander's "The New Jim Crow" as essential reading on America's greatest failure: our prison system. I was transfixed by this book: a middle class white politician goes to prison for some hard time and turns out to be a great writer and a keen observer and interpreter of all he sees. Anyone who wants to work on fixing the prison system ought to start by reading this riveting book. Howard Dean Jeff Smith takes us inside the prison experience like never before. You feel like you're inside the walls with him, living the gritty, scary, and tragic reality of prison life. Toure"


"Part personal memoir, part academic treatise, part political polemic, "Mr. Smith Goes to Prison "is required reading for anyone interested in learning more about life on the inside, the history of crime and punishment, and the issue of criminal justice reform." "GQ""Partly funny, partly urgent and wholly unnerving - a mashup of 'House of Cards' and 'Orange Is the New Black'" "The New York Post""With empathy and insight, Smith s book takes on one of the country s most complicated and fraught policy issues while also providing a gripping memoir of an experience all of us would prefer to miss." "Salon.com"""
""
"""hilarious, insightful, and disturbing all at once." "DailyKos.com"
""
"""The prison memoir is a classic mode of American literature, and Smith updates the form for the 21st century, in...brilliantly observed passages telling us everything we secretly wanted to know. Then he pivots and makes all of this about much more than himself and his personal arc. He makes his mistakes and punishment pay off in an intimately detailed yet data-driven argument for making sweeping reform to criminal sentencing guidelines and prison policy." - "St. Louis American" This eye-opening book reveals the sometimes-gray shades of politics, and more importantly, reminds all that prison can be steps away for anyone, no matter what the profession. This book is needed to jump-start a national conversation about over-incarceration and rational criminal justice reform. Claire McCaskill Well written and insightful, "Mr. Smith Goes to Prison" asks us to question the way opportunity and punishment are apportioned in our society. Prepare for a bevy of emotions: humor and frustration; elation and grievance. This book and this story are great platforms to better understand the way our justice system works, and what can be done to address its fissures. Wes Moore This is a terrific and timely book with a compelling narrative that challenges us to think more critically about what mass incarceration is doing to all of us. Bryan Stevenson "Mr. Smith Goes to Prison" joins Michelle Alexander's "The New Jim Crow" as essential reading on America's greatest failure: our prison system. I was transfixed by this book: a middle class white politician goes to prison for some hard time and turns out to be a great writer and a keen observer and interpreter of all he sees. Anyone who wants to work on fixing the prison system ought to start by reading this riveting book. Howard Dean Jeff Smith takes us inside the prison experience like never before. You feel like you're inside the walls with him, living the gritty, scary, and tragic reality of prison life. Toure"

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