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Doing Life: Reflections of Men and Women Serving Life Sentences.

Zehr, Howard
June 4, 2015

Source: (1998) Intercourse, PA: Good


The author interviewed and photographed 70 men and women who are imprisoned for life, with little or no possibility of ever returning to society. All were convicted of homicide or being an accomplice to homicide. He offers some of their experiences and perspectives, in their own words, in an effort to present them as individuals rather than stereotypes. One of the themes that emerged during the interview sessions was the search for meaning, individuals’ desire to make some good come out of the bad. Many of the people interviewed were involved in programs to assist others and to help young people avoid destructive situations. Others expressed a need to make each day count, to consciously work to do something worthwhile each day. Finding hope in an apparently hopeless situation drove many of them. So, too, did concern for their victims. While not all lifers are like those presented in this book, many do mature into thoughtful, responsible adults who are remorseful for what they have done and who seek ways to contribute to society.


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