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Dreams from the Monster Factory: A Tale of Prison, Redemption and One Woman's Fight to Restore Justice to All

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Dreams from the Monster Factory: A Tale of Prison, Redemption and One Woman's Fight to Restore Justice to All Cover

ISBN13: 9781416569817
ISBN10: 1416569812
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Review-A-Day

"America's prison system is in a dire state. Some 2.3 million people in this country are now behind bars, five times more than in 1978....Schwartz's book is revealing about the criminal mind and its thought processes, and thus contains valuable lessons for those at risk of incarceration, and for those close to them." Helen Epstein, New York Review of Books (read the entire New York Review of Books review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Dreams from the Monster Factory tells the true story of Sunny Schwartz's extraordinary work in the criminal justice system and how her profound belief in people's ability to change is transforming the San Francisco jails and the criminals incarcerated there. With an immediacy made possible by a twenty-seven-year career, Schwartz immerses the reader in the troubling and complex realities of U.S. jails, the monster factories — places that foster violence, rage and, ultimately, better criminals. But by working in the monster factories, Schwartz also discovered her dream of a criminal justice system that empowers victims and reforms criminals.

Charismatic and deeply compassionate, Sunny Schwartz grew up on Chicago's south side in the1960s. She fought with her family, struggled through school and floundered as she tried to make something of herself. Bucking expectations of failure, she applied to a law school that didn't require a college degree, passed the bar and began her life's work in the criminal justice system. Eventually she grew disheartened by the broken, inflexible system, but instead of quitting, she reinvented it, making jail a place that could change people for the better.

In 1997, Sunny launched the Resolve to Stop the Violence Project (RSVP), a groundbreaking program for the San Francisco Sheriff 's Department. RSVP, which has cut recidivism for violent rearrests by up to 80 percent, brings together victims and offenders in a unique correctional program that empowers victims and requires offenders to take true responsibility for their actions and eliminate their violent behavior.

Sunny Schwartz's faith in humanity, her compassion and her vision are inspiring. In Dreams from the Monster Factory she goes beyond statistics and sensational portrayals of prison life to offer an intimate, harrowing and revelatory chronicle of crime, punishment and, ultimately, redemption.

Review:

" I couldn't put this book down. This is to the world of prisons and rehabilitation what Dead Man Walking is to the death penalty. It's gritty and real, simple yet revolutionary, hopeful but realistic. It isn't all happy endings, but there is vision combined with experience that suggests a way out of the morass our society is in. Dreams, yes, but not fantasies." Howard Zehr, professor of restorative justice at the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, Eastern Mennonite University, and author of Changing Lenses

Review:

"Sunny Schwartz understands accountability, kindness and forgiveness. In her brave and empowering book about people's ability to change, she tells the story of her life and her work with people who are often detested, feared or forgotten and explains how restorative justice can transform these criminals, their victims and our communities." Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking

Review:

"Dreams from the Monster Factory is as gritty as the halls of the San Francisco jail in which it takes place. But rather than being filled with despair and violence, Sunny Schwartz's story is marked by hope and respect. It is truly breathtaking to read about the transformation of the jails that Sunny has led. Putting the principles of restorative justice to work at ground zero of the crime culture, Sunny and her team have created a space where hardened criminals can realize their better selves and begin giving back to the community that they have heretofore only taken from." Pat Nolan, vice president of Prison Fellowship

Review:

"A powerfully honest and revealing glimpse into a little-known world. Ms. Schwartz captivates the reader with her clear-eyed belief that even violent offenders can change. Her work shows that violent behavior is a choice and our communities can be stronger if each of us — victims, offenders, citizens — better understands why we act the way we do. As a survivor of violent crime, I respect Ms. Schwartz's insistence that the penal system is not working. I admire her willingness to follow her heart toward a vision that will make a difference." Trisha Meili, author of I Am the Central Park Jogger: A Story of Hope and Possibility

Review:

"Personal and provocative, Sunny Schwartz's book demanded my wide-eyed attention. Schwartz confronts our skepticism of the prison system and its ability to prevent violence with gripping and authentic stories from her life and her work on a visionary program in the San Francisco jails that has actually reduced recidivism rates for violent crimes. Dreams from the Monster Factory is an inspiring story about justice and forgiveness." Terrie M. Williams, author of Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We're Not Hurting

Synopsis:

"Dreams from the Monster Factory" presents an intimate, harrowing, and revelatory chronicle of how one woman with a profound belief in people's ability to change is transforming the San Francisco jails — the monster factories — and the criminals incarcerated there.

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What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Sharon Skinner, August 18, 2009 (view all comments by Sharon Skinner)
Enlightening and thought-provoking. In many ways, this is the story of Sunny Schwartz's personal Inferno. This book tells how her work took her into the dark depths of the California prison system and helped to change it, and herself, for the better.
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(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
Marerob, June 12, 2009 (view all comments by Marerob)
As an inmate's wife, and a family member to many other ones as well due to their drug addiction. I found this to be very moving and humbling. You reached out and touched there humanity. You have a special gift. Part of the problem for many of them upon release is they are used to an environment of programing and structure and actually go through programming withdrawal like the pavlov rat very painful to watch a grown man cry because he wants to go back to prison. Others it is to find anyone to rent to them, or hire them, so finding resources tailored to some of them was inspired you go girl! Obama and Biden are going to be implementing the "Second Chance Act" why not send them both a copy of your book I think you and your ideas would be a great addition to whatever they decide to put together. Good job very well done!
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(4 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781416569817
Author:
Schwartz, Sunny
Publisher:
Scribner Book Company
With:
Boodell, David
Author:
Boodell, David
Subject:
Criminology
Subject:
Violence in Society
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Criminals
Subject:
Prisons
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Penology
Subject:
Schwartz, Sunny
Subject:
Prison reformers - California - San Francisco
Subject:
Biography-Women
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20090131
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Women
History and Social Science » Crime » Criminology
History and Social Science » Crime » Prisons and Prisoners
History and Social Science » Sociology » Violence in Society
History and Social Science » World History » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

Dreams from the Monster Factory: A Tale of Prison, Redemption and One Woman's Fight to Restore Justice to All Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.48 In Stock
Product details 224 pages Scribner Book Company - English 9781416569817 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "America's prison system is in a dire state. Some 2.3 million people in this country are now behind bars, five times more than in 1978....Schwartz's book is revealing about the criminal mind and its thought processes, and thus contains valuable lessons for those at risk of incarceration, and for those close to them." (read the entire New York Review of Books review)
"Review" by , " I couldn't put this book down. This is to the world of prisons and rehabilitation what Dead Man Walking is to the death penalty. It's gritty and real, simple yet revolutionary, hopeful but realistic. It isn't all happy endings, but there is vision combined with experience that suggests a way out of the morass our society is in. Dreams, yes, but not fantasies." Howard Zehr, professor of restorative justice at the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, Eastern Mennonite University, and author of Changing Lenses
"Review" by , "Sunny Schwartz understands accountability, kindness and forgiveness. In her brave and empowering book about people's ability to change, she tells the story of her life and her work with people who are often detested, feared or forgotten and explains how restorative justice can transform these criminals, their victims and our communities."
"Review" by , "Dreams from the Monster Factory is as gritty as the halls of the San Francisco jail in which it takes place. But rather than being filled with despair and violence, Sunny Schwartz's story is marked by hope and respect. It is truly breathtaking to read about the transformation of the jails that Sunny has led. Putting the principles of restorative justice to work at ground zero of the crime culture, Sunny and her team have created a space where hardened criminals can realize their better selves and begin giving back to the community that they have heretofore only taken from."
"Review" by , "A powerfully honest and revealing glimpse into a little-known world. Ms. Schwartz captivates the reader with her clear-eyed belief that even violent offenders can change. Her work shows that violent behavior is a choice and our communities can be stronger if each of us — victims, offenders, citizens — better understands why we act the way we do. As a survivor of violent crime, I respect Ms. Schwartz's insistence that the penal system is not working. I admire her willingness to follow her heart toward a vision that will make a difference."
"Review" by , "Personal and provocative, Sunny Schwartz's book demanded my wide-eyed attention. Schwartz confronts our skepticism of the prison system and its ability to prevent violence with gripping and authentic stories from her life and her work on a visionary program in the San Francisco jails that has actually reduced recidivism rates for violent crimes. Dreams from the Monster Factory is an inspiring story about justice and forgiveness."
"Synopsis" by , "Dreams from the Monster Factory" presents an intimate, harrowing, and revelatory chronicle of how one woman with a profound belief in people's ability to change is transforming the San Francisco jails — the monster factories — and the criminals incarcerated there.
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