Prisoner

Photo: Reading behind bars
Impact Sports Prison Ministry

A record number of inmates killed themselves in North Carolina last year. Twelve inmates committed suicide in 2018, compared to six in 2017 and seven the year before. State prison officials are now forming a suicide prevention task force to address the issue.

Cover of the book, 'Sugar Run' by Mesha Maren.
Courtesy of Mesha Maren

How can you return to a place that was once home? That question is at the center of the new novel “Sugar Run” (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill/2019). Protagonist Jodi McCarty was sentenced to life in prison for manslaughter when she was 17. Eighteen years later, she returns to her home in the Appalachian Mountains after her release, and on her way home Jodi meets and falls in love with a young mother named Miranda. She brings Miranda back to West Virginia and tries to get a fresh start while grappling with her past. 

Photo: Reading behind bars
Impact Sports Prison Ministry

This week the North Carolina American Civil Liberties Union wrote a letter to state officials asking them to remove “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration In The Age of Colorblindness” (The New Press/2012) from the list of banned books in state prisons. The book argues that the U.S. criminal justice system is a contemporary system of racial control.

Headshot of Eric Fair, a former interrogator at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
Amy Cramer

In 2004, photographs capturing extreme abuse of detainees at the American-controlled Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq were released to the public, sparking a humanitarian outcry. That same year, Eric Fair was working as an interrogator at the prison. Fair's new memoir, "Consequence" (Henry Holt/2016) is an unflinching look back at his time at Abu Ghraib and the mental and physical pain he inflicted on detainees as part of military-sanctioned interrogations.