More and more women—mothers, grandmothers, wives, daughters, and sisters—are doing hard prison time all across the United States. Many of them are facing the prospect of years, decades, even lifetimes behind bars. Oddly, there’s been little public discussion about the dramatic increase of women in the prison system. What exactly is happening here, and why?
Talvi travels across the country to weave together interviews with inmates, correctional officers, and administrators, providing readers with a glance at the impact incarceration has on our society. With a combination of compassion and critical analysis, Talvi delivers a timely, in-depth analysis of a growing and extremely complicated issue.
Women Behind Bars received the National Council on Crime and Delinquency's PASS literary award for 2007 for excellence in criminal justice-related reporting. The PASS Awards (Prevention for a Safer Society) is the only national recognition of print and broadcast journalists, TV news and feature reporters, producers, and writers, and those in film and literature who try to focus America’s attention on our criminal justice system, juvenile justice system, and child welfare systems in a thoughtful and considerate manner. Watch a video of Silja Talvi being interviewed by Mike McCormick for Making Contact on KEXP at 90.3FM below.
Silja J. A. Talvi is an award-winning journalist with credits in more than seventy-five publications nationwide, including The Nation, In These Times, and the Christian Science Monitor. She was honored as a recipient of the 2005 and 2006 PASS awards for criminal justice reporting by the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, a 2006 New American Media Award, and twelve regional SPJ awards for excellence in journalism. Talvi’s work has appeared in numerous anthologies, including Prison Nation: The Warehousing of America’s Poor, Body Outlaws, The W Effect, It’s So You, and Prison Profiteers. She lives in Seattle.