Life in Prison Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-05-28 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 98 user ratings

" Very short detailed book about what life is like in prison. It is meant for teens and kids. It gives an age appropriate account of prison life. I've worked in a prison before and on death row and everything in the book is accurate. It gives enough info to paint a picture, but isn't so graphic that it becomes inappropriate. " said.

"Stanley "Tookie" Williams's purpose for writing this book was to deter young people from entering a life of crime. If you are ever wondering what the average day is like in prison, or what life is like on death row, this book does a great job of making you understand those horrors. The author simply, but forcefully describes the loneliness, lack of privacy and fear that he deals with each day. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in studying criminal justice or pursuing a career in law enforcement." said.

"This brief book was written to tell kids how awful prison is. Sort of a watered down version of the documentary Scared Straight.

Hard to tell how much of it was ghost written. But the author leaves out the most important part--how he got into prison.

At first, he seems like a nice guy. Until you find out he was co-founder of the Crips gang. He doesn't mention feeling guilty for any of his crimes. So I question his sincerity. Maybe instead of this book, he should have written apology letters to the families of the people he murdered.
" said.

"This book is a brief look at the day-to-day life of a prison inmate. None of the information presented is new or surprising. While reading, I found it impossible to ignore the pervasive attitude of 'poor me' that flowed throughout this book. It was as if the reader should feel sorry for anyone in such circumstances. Since the point of this book is to educate children and steer them away from prison, I thought it interesting that Williams really failed to touch on the fact that prison is (with a few exceptions) the end result of someone's own actions. He never discusses his own crimes that put him in a cell barely large enough to contain his 'muscular body.' After reading this, I found it laughable that people believed this work to be worthy of having a death sentence for multiple execution-style murders commuted. I realize this book is geared towards kids, but with all the time Williams had on his hands, I'd have thought he could have worked in a chapter about the remorse someone might feel for committing the crimes that put them in prison in the first place. As a person I think Williams was the worst kind of garbage. As a writer; too little, too late. I give it two stars only because there's the offhand chance some kid might read this, ignore the irony, and actually stay out of prison." said.

" The strongest of men feared him. The weakest of souls were crushed by his ego. None have dared to threaten neither his street reputation nor his authority. His gang, the Crips, is notorious for their viciousness and brutality. When Stanley (he acquired the nickname “Tookie”) Williams, the mastermind behind all of this, suddenly realizes that the world isn’t his playground nor does he make the rules. He may have ran from the law, but the law caught up.
Life in Prison, his short book, insists that the violent lifestyle of a violent offender may not be as pleasurable as you think. Stanley’s childhood innocence was robbed way too young, as he was accepted in gang lifestyle. Robberies, street firefights, and drugs were popular/common events where he grew up. It may not be surprising that he became a part of the norm. Revelations uncover in the most intriguing ways in Life in Prison. You may encounter similar stories through the media (television, newspapers, etc.), but Stanley gave you the behind the scenes, behind the bars, perspective of an inmate stuck in the arduous concept of being stuck on Death Row. Back in Stanley’s early childhood, ex-convicts would always explain to minors on how prison was a pleasant place. Some described it as a place in which men, on a basis, competed to earn a title of their strength. In reality, prison is nothing like those descriptions. The plight of Stanley “Tookie” Williams may imprint in our hearts. We may view this man in scorn, but I surely do not. It truly takes a real man to admit, wrongdoings. Stanley did prove his strength in prison, but I am not acknowledging physical excellence, I am admiring his mindset. He may be ashamed of the legacy he had left behind, but he started to refurbish it with a new one.
"My lack of fear of this barbaric methodology of death, I rely upon my faith. It has nothing to do with machismo, with manhood, or with some pseudo former gang street code. This is pure faith, and predicated on my redemption. So, therefore, I just stand strong and continue to tell you, your audience, and the world that I am innocent and, yes, I have been a wretched person, but I have redeemed myself. And I say to you and all those who can listen and will listen that redemption is tailor-made for the wretched, and that's what I used to be…That's what I would like the world to remember me. That's how I would like my legacy to be remembered as: a redemptive transition, something that I believe is not exclusive just for the so-called sanctimonious, the elitists. And it doesn't—is not predicated on color or race or social stratum or one's religious background. It's accessible for everybody. That's the beauty about it. And whether others choose to believe that I have redeemed myself or not, I worry not, because I know and God knows, and you can believe that all of the youths that I continue to help, they know, too. So with that, I am grateful…I say to you and everyone else, God bless. So take care."-Stanley “Tookie” Williams, on WBAI Pacifica.
Nothing may bring you closer to accessing the true painstaking agony of a prisoner, especially placed in Death Row, than Mr. Williams’ novel. This book deserves, an obvious, 5-star rating. However, this doesn’t follow the typical rubric. One may not simply say this book was “interesting” or “well-written”. Those are such inappropriate terms to use with this novel. This book was not to interest, even if it may have. It was to warn outsiders of the plight that one experiences behind bars. Hollywood may not portray this pain, for this is genuine. To know that Stanley felt that his readers have changed by this book would be amazing. This novel, Life in Prison, didn’t simply “change” me, but it wanted me to continue his word. To believe that this man, once a relentless gang leader, transformed into a heartfelt entrepreneur of this new era is incredible. This was not a book, for it was a plead, or an epiphany. The world may never be the same after his book touched the hearts of many (and probably prevented young teens accepting such a morose lifestyle). I recommend this book to those of the curious, but also to the appreciative. Non-fiction fans would admire this book!
Stanley “Tookie” Williams 1993-2005
Grading System
1 Star- The book was torturous! It wasn’t worth the time that you spent reading it.
2-Stars-The book had a 2 chapter’s worth of enjoyable context. I don’t really recommend it.
3-Stars-It was a great book, but lacked one special element that would enhance the read. It would depend on the book if I were to grade it or not.
4-Stars-It was an excellent book. The majority of this book had great context. However, it is not the book for everyone.
5-Stars-The book was almost perfect! I cannot say anything negative about this book. It was worth every nanosecond that you had spent on reading this book. It would be worth reading again.

" said.

" i thought it waas good because it really shows you how bad it can be in jail it is very specific and give lots of details about why you will not ever want to be in prison " said.

"When I ordered this off amazon I thought it was a detailed memoir of prison for adults, but its a cautionary tale aimed at teenagers. Written for children and teens, it basically addresses them and seeks to teach them why they need to stay in school and not break the law. It paints prison in honest terms and goes against the belief that in prison one will be happy and have proved their machismo.

I found it lacking in that it wasn't' the book I expected, but I'm giving it five stars because I think it will be really good for its target audience.
" said.

"Stanley "Tookie" Williams is one of the original founders of the Crips gang. After his involvement in a robbery where he killed four people, he was sentenced to death. During his time in prison, Stanley realized the errors of his ways and teamed up with a journalist who helped him write a series gang prevention books for kids. He also wrote his memoir and this book, "Life in Prison", for teenagers, warning them about what he made of his life and why not to follow in his footsteps. Stanley won the Nobel Prize for the work he did during his stay in prison. A few years ago, his death sentence was carried out, despite many pleas and protests from people who felt he had at least made a valiant effort at redemption. This book is kid-friendly but still a scary description of prison life. My "at-risk" students love it. It helps for them to hear warnings from someone who has lived it, and from someone they admire. I respect the work that Stanley did to try and prevent kids from following the same path." said.

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