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FACES combines the story of the author’s journey with a group of women serving life sentences for capital crimes with vital information regarding our judicial and penal systems. It introduces the women and chronicles interviews with judicial experts and activists and their efforts to humanize our prisons, change archaic laws, help troubled young people find a path to a constructive life, and assist survivors as they work to reclaim their lives.

FACES fosters awareness of egregious laws that can result in a lifetime in prison and warns young people of temptations that can lead to a life of drug addiction, prostitution, and victimhood in sex-based human trafficking. Finally, It offers advice from the women and an introduction to Restorative Justice, a new/old concept that encourages communication as a way to reduce violence.



Parker J. Palmer, Ph.D is an award-winning educator, writer, speaker and activist. His books include Let Your Life Speak, The Courage to Teach, A Hidden Wholeness, and Healing the Heart of Democracy.

Please read this book!  By Parker J. Palmer

Here’s an important book about this country’s urgent need to fix our broken legal and penal systems—for the sake of individuals AND our society as a whole. The book is important not only because of the issues it addresses, but because of the way it addresses them. Betty May writes wonderfully well; she tells compelling personal stories that will draw you in; and her work as an advocate for imprisoned women and for legal reform is both imaginative and promising. There’s no hectoring or grandstanding here, but a lucid, human-scale approach to problems we should all care about and work together to solve.


Other 5-Star reviews:

“…This is a wonderful book that opens a window into the sordid world of maximum-security prisons, and it is a positively uplifting account of the success of her play, including performances at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. It should be mandatory reading for anyone interested in reforming the regressive American prison system and, especially, for those working in them.”   Sam Colt


“…I didn’t realize about our dysfunctional penal system & the efforts needed to improve it. However, reading about the effectiveness of the various conflict resolution methods that are being used to help reduce incarcerations was quite encouraging. Thank you, Ms May, for your drive & determination to enlighten us & make a difference in our world!”  Susan Cournoyer


 “…A compassionate treatise on a system that clearly needs review and change.”  Raoul E Anderson


“…This work is an important one, one that can and must be shared with young adults who still have a choice.” Anonymous


This book is amazing! It gives you a birds-eye view of life in a women’s prison and so much more. We meet the inmates themselves and hear their heart-wrenching stories. We learn about our broken justice system. And we meet many courageous folks who are trying to fix the system. I couldn’t put it down. A must read for all!” Mary Pat Donelan


“[FACES] breaks down barriers between the inside and the outside so necessary if we are ever to make rehabilitation in our prisons a reality.” Edward Sabin



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