No Barriers: A Blind Man’s Journey to Kayak the Grand Canyon
Erik Weihenmayer and Buddy Levy
Thomas Dunne Books: 2017
After Weihenmayer became the first and only blind man to reach the top of Mount Everest, he decided his next adventure would be to traverse the treacherous Grand Canyon by kayak. He and Levy, a Washington State University instructor, chronicle the turbulent whitewater journey, and the insights gained by Weihenmayer and other trailblazers he has met.
Unusual Punishment: Inside the Walla Walla Prison, 1970–1985
WSU Press: 2016
Murray was an employee of the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services … » More …
Dozens of witnesses, including a police officer, saw Walter McMillian at a church fish fry when a young woman was killed in nearby Monroeville, Alabama in 1986.
Police later arrested the self-employed African-American tree trimmer anyway. A nearly all-white jury convicted him and a judge sent him to death row. That’s where Bryan Stevenson, a Harvard-educated lawyer, met McMillian.
Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, battled a hostile criminal justice system to uncover improperly concealed evidence that led to McMillian’s exoneration in 1993.
But the frightening way McMillian was so quickly condemned raises broader questions about America’s criminal justice system, which incarcerates more … » More …
Over the past three decades, many of the nation’s most depressed rural communities have vied to host new prisons, hoping that economic benefits would follow.
The trend grew in the early 1990s when an average of three 500-bed prisons opened around the country each week. Small towns courted new correctional facilities, sometimes offering free land or discounted municipal services to tempt them, believing they would get returns in new jobs and money.
But now they may be thinking differently about prisons, thanks to research led by Washington State University sociologist Gregory Hooks.
“We found no evidence that prison expansion has stimulated economic growth,” Hooks says … » More …
Educating the incarcerated is not an undertaking for the faint of heart. In Dancing to the Concertina’s Tune: A Prison Teacher’s Memoir, Jan Walker ’60 explores her unusual career in correctional education and seeks to give the reader an understanding of prisons and inmates.
At bottom, the book is about how education can be used as a means toward transformation and, perhaps, redemption. Walker is steadfast in her argument for educating the imprisoned in parenting and family skills. She clearly lets both reader and inmates know she understands that, while poor family structure is likely to have contributed to the criminal’s path, it is no … » More …