Your Cart Your Cart: (0)
New Titles Best Sellers Top Authors For Stores Get Published Browse Books

Celling America's Soul: Second Edition

Judith Trustone (Author)

ISBN: 0-7414-1433-3 ©2007
Price: $19.95
Book Size: 5.5'' x 8.5'' , 322 pages
Category/Subject: SOCIAL SCIENCE / Penology

Not just another expose’ of the horrors of our $46 billion a year ineffective prison system, this book is a prism through which to view the raw and dramatic stories of seven prisoners, four of them innocent, and those who counsel, teach, confine and love them. Their art and poetry celebrate their transformations. “Rapes, Murders and Abuses” describes the daily terrorism of prisoners. “Visions of What Could Be” presents responses from prisoners, teachers, guards, and activists to: 1) What do you think of the current system? 2) Without political, legal or economic limitations, what kind of a new system would you build from the ground up?

Click Here for a SNEAK PEEK of this book.

Customer Reviews

Reviewer: Patricia R. Sax, Ph.D., LCSW
This book is a must read. It is a beautiful combination of information and human interest. The men, through their writing, speak eloquently of their lives and their incarceration and their beliefs that there is a better way to imprison and rehabilitate people.

Was this review helpful?

Reviewer: Joan Gauker
The state’s unnecessarily punitive mindset is revealed in an Infinity publication called Celling America’s Soul. Torture and Transformation in our Prisons by Judith Trustone and seven SageWriter authors. In it are vivid accounts by Pennsylvania prisoners of the hell they experience and their struggle to maintain dignity, a purpose and some beauty in their lives. One prisoner writes, “ I know many men who’ve been in prison for so long that they are no longer capable of dreaming….” (which) says a lot about the negative effects of long-term incarceration and the hopelessness and despair that can set in when human beings are locked in cages and treated like animals. What can a society hope to accomplish through such dehumanizing methods?” Also writing in Celling Bonnie Kerness, co-director American Friends Service Committee Criminal Justice Program in Newark, NJ, says, “What’s going on in the name of all of us needs to be stopped. Poverty and prisons are state-manifested violence.” The book reveals the despairing souls of the prisoner writers, and the level to which society has stooped to express its meanness. Also, the book is revealing the risk the writers took by allowing their names to be published. Reports of retaliation in the form of job and privilege loss, destruction of writings and prohibition of the book are being received. French historian Alexis de Tocqueville, while traveling through the U.S. in the 1830’s said, “America is great because America is good. If America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.” Unless we, as a nation, search our souls instead of trying men’s and women’s souls by the debasing way we punish, we will fast reach the day when because America is no longer good, America is no longer great.

Was this review helpful?

Reviewer: Pat Fros
(Pat is one of many Europeans who correspond with American prisoners, especially lifers with no chance of parole and those on death row.) Judith Trustone sent me the book, Celling America’s Soul, which she wrote with seven prisoners, some anonymous, their families and others. I truly hope people read this impressive book and I want to say thanks to everyone who made it possible to publish it. I want to express my respect to the prisoners who wrote about their experiences in spite of the risks. It is so very sad and unbelievable that a nation like America treats their prisoners the way they do and at the same time the government is promoting human rights! Celling America’s Soul shows how bad the conditions are in many prisons in the U.S.A. and calls for action. It is written in understandable English. The experiences prisoners write about alternate with their beautiful poems and paintings. It isn’t easy to say the way I felt when I read this book. Feelings of pain, anger, sorrow and powerlessness, knowing that my pen-pals have to survive in this horrible situation. However, my feelings are nothing compared to the sorrow, inhumanity, discrimination, mental and physical pain the prisoners have to endure every day! This book deserves a lot of respect!!

Was this review helpful?

Reviewer: Multiple Readers
“I’m sure the writers are aware of the significance of this publication. As a criminologist I am repeatedly reminded that every opportunity to put a human face on the statistics of correction is a move away from stereotypic thinking. ..Prisoners are not monsters who must be locked away forever in sterile environments for the protection of society. I’d like to add this book to my courses as a recommended book.” Julia Hall, Ph.D., Drexel University “…After reading this book it became apparent that everyone who is connected to the correctional system needs to own a copy in order to get as complete an understanding of the correctional experience as one could find in print anywhere, especially for those who are charged with creating or implementing the laws which govern this system. We need to purchase as many copies of this book as our limited budget can support in an attempt to present a copy to all volunteers who enter Dallas Prison to work with inmates, as many lawmakers as possible, prison staff, support groups etc. Celling describes being in a correctional facility from nearly every perspective, and is well worth more than the purchase price.” Bryan A. McMichael, Dallas (PA) LIFE Association “Celling is like a “broadside” as in colonial times, a declaration of war against the penal system; no hesitation in saying it’s abominable. It says all those things that any conscious and conscientious person must know, but never make it into formal, public discourse. If I were retired, I’d volunteer to work with SageWriters.” Carl Hirsch, PhD, professor of sociology and criminology, Pennsylvania State University “Tears welled as I read about life within these walls. FEAR for what could happen to your own loved ones, which I live with daily. Harassment that visitors experience, especially a white woman married to a black man. I hope people read this book and see what prisons are really like. Thank you for being courageous in telling this story.” Dianna L. Hollis, President, PA CURE “The authors have written a worthy equal to Bedlam, the expose’ a century ago of the horrors of our mental institutions. They have opened a door into our prison system that is shocking, and, in a perverse sense, beautiful. The inclusion of art and poetry by prisoners and visions of more humane alternatives speaks to hope in a system that destroys hope. For every person of conscience, a must read.” Robert Surrick, Esquire, author, Lawyers and Judges: the corrupt and the corrupters “The book’s journey through Shadow America is authentic and intimate, with the voices of the incarcerated used to articulate the experiences, the issues and the transformations. Celling shows the reader’s role as a stakeholder in a degenerating prison process which contributes to increased risk to the community. Both the guilty and the innocent are trapped in a downward spiral of human decency and potential. The call is for rehabilitation rather than retribution.” Errol McClean, organization development consultant “Judith, the other SageWriters and Celling, Contemplations of a Convict and whatever we may produce next are the answer to one of this prisoner’s prayers.” Leonard Jefferson, SCI Albion The book has been recommended by NPR’s “Radio Times” and NAMI, the National Association for the Mentally Ill

Was this review helpful?

Have you read this book? Write a review and share your thoughts with other customers!

Click here to Self Publish your Book