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Stephen Richards

Beyond Bars: Rejoining Society After Prison

by Stephen Richards and Jeffrey Ian Ross 

Richards' Beyond Bars book coverIn the United States, more than two million men and women are behind bars. Another five million live under the control of the criminal justice system. Few are prepared for the tough transition to their new life beyond bars.

Finding a place to live, getting a job, and reestablishing their families are just some of the problems facing people getting out of jail or prison. Their debt to society has been paid, but the world doesn't meet and greet ex-convicts with open arms. Without practical guidance, many ex-cons will quickly find themselves back behind bars.

Beyond Bars provides the information and guidance that can make a real difference in a successful transition. It reveals the difficulties--and opportunities--awaiting parolees once they are outside prison walls. These include:

  • Preparing for release while still in prison
  • Surviving the parole system
  • Dealing with family members--especially spouses and children
  • Halfway houses and work release centers
  • Finding a job--or going back to school
  • Organizations that help ex-convicts


ISBN-10: 1592578519, ISBN-13: 978-1592578511; Paperback: 240 pages, Publisher: Alpha; 1 edition (July 7, 2009)

Convict Criminology

by Stephen C. Richards, Department of Public Affairs, and Jeffrey Ian Ross

Convict Criminology by RichardsFrom the Publisher

Convict Criminology is a collection of chapters written by criminologists, half of whom are ex-convicts. The book includes provocative discussions of rehabilitation, recidivism, drug addiction, life inside different prison systems, transincarceration, discrimination against felons, fathers in prison, and children in adult jails. The book merges autobiographical stories with criminological research to introduce a convict perspective that includes new ideas, vocabulary, and policy recommendations. Convict Criminology is a comprehensive text that covers all major topics related to prison life, prisoner reentry to the community, and research on prisons, in an engaging, thought-provoking style.

ISBN: 0534574335, August 2002, Format: Textbook Paperback, 424pp, Publisher: Wadsworth

Behind Bars: Surviving Prison

by Stephen C. Richards, Department of Public Affairs, and Jeffrey Ian Ross

Behind Bars by RichardsFrom the Publisher

A judge hands down a stretch in a local, state, or federal prison. It's time for some serious life lessons. With the crime rates soaring in the United States and the prison population growing faster than at any time in American history, staying alive and well -- both mentally and physically -- is tougher than ever.

From The Critics

Library Journal

In the 1960s, peace groups issued leaflets to their members on what to do if arrested during nonviolent demonstrations. Now two criminologists have come up with a guidebook on surviving the criminal justice system that is loosely modeled after these earlier leaflets. The crimes have expanded to include far more weighty ones than civil disobedience. Ross and Richards (coauthors, Convict Criminogy) offer advice on what to do if your front door is bashed in by police in a drug bust and how to avoid fatal legal mistakes. Writing in sections under topical headings, the authors follow an anonymous everyman (or woman) through an arrest, a trial, and an incarceration. The legal system they depict bears no resemblance to the one in school textbooks. It is the enemy. The authors describe different types of prisons and suggest how to deal with the correctional officers, the other inmates, and various types of discipline. Finally, they discuss making parole and returning to life on the outside. An appendix offers a glossary of prison slang and a statement about the status of prisons in America today. Overall, this is an absorbing, original book that should be required reading for criminal justice classes. Ostensibly intended for the person who is caught committing the crime, in reality Behind Bars gives the outsider an in-depth look at what it is like to be in prison in America today. Highly recommended for all libraries.-Frances Sandiford, formerly with Green Haven Correctional Facility Lib., Stormville, NY

ISBN: 0028643518, May 2002, Format: Paperback, 240pp Publisher: Alpha (Penguin)

More Info

E-mail Stephen Richards at: richarsc@uwosh.edu

For more information on Dr. Richards' research:

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