Dreams from the Monster Factory: A Tale of Prison, Redemption, and One Woman's Fight to Restore Justice to All

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Simon and Schuster, Jan 6, 2009 - Social Science - 224 pages
23 Reviews
Dreams from the Monster Factory tells the true story of Sunny Schwartz's extraordinary work in the criminal justice system and how her profound belief in people's ability to change is transforming the San Francisco jails and the criminals incarcerated there. With an immediacy made possible by a twenty-seven-year career, Schwartz immerses the reader in the troubling and complex realities of U.S. jails, the monster factories -- places that foster violence, rage and, ultimately, better criminals. But by working in the monster factories, Schwartz also discovered her dream of a criminal justice system that empowers victims and reforms criminals.

Charismatic and deeply compassionate, Sunny Schwartz grew up on Chicago's south side in the 1960s. She fought with her family, struggled through school and floundered as she tried to make something of herself. Bucking expectations of failure, she applied to a law school that didn't require a college degree, passed the bar and began her life's work in the criminal justice system. Eventually she grew disheartened by the broken, inflexible system, but instead of quitting, she reinvented it, making jail a place that could change people for the better.

In 1997, Sunny launched the Resolve to Stop the Violence Project (RSVP), a groundbreaking program for the San Francisco Sheriff 's Department. RSVP, which has cut recidivism for violent rearrests by up to 80 percent, brings together victims and offenders in a unique correctional program that empowers victims and requires offenders to take true responsibility for their actions and eliminate their violent behavior.

Sunny Schwartz's faith in humanity, her compassion and her vision are inspiring. In Dreams from the Monster Factory she goes beyond statistics and sensational portrayals of prison life to offer an intimate, harrowing and revelatory chronicle of crime, punishment and, ultimately, redemption.
 

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Review: Dreams from the Monster Factory: A Tale of Prison, Redemption, and One Woman's Fight to Restore Justice to All

User Review  - Sherrill Watson - Goodreads

I'm sure David Boodell helped write this book, but Sunny certainly deserves a lot of credit. Even if only three people benefited from her programs, she's one up. She quotes statistics often, for ... Read full review

Review: Dreams from the Monster Factory: A Tale of Prison, Redemption, and One Woman's Fight to Restore Justice to All

User Review  - Phoebe - Goodreads

It's fabulous. Not only is the topic of extreme interest to me, but the person writing this reminds me of the Joan Jett commentary from "The Runaways", which I also recommend. I mean, different content, but same tone. Read full review

Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
11
Section 3
22
Section 4
30
Section 5
40
Section 6
52
Section 7
60
Section 8
66
Section 13
131
Section 14
145
Section 15
155
Section 16
168
Section 17
173
Section 18
180
Section 19
191
Section 20
199

Section 9
77
Section 10
86
Section 11
104
Section 12
120
Section 21
203
Section 22
205
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Sunny Schwartz is a twenty-seven-year veteran of the criminal justice system who speaks nationally about the sheriff's innovative in-jail programs, the establishment of the first charter high school in the nation for incarcerated adults, and the successes of restorative justice through the Resolve to Stop the Violence Project (RSVP). Her program was the recipient of the prestigious Innovations in Government Award, sponsored by the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She lives in San Francisco with her partner, Lauren, and their daughter, Ella. Visit her Web site at www.sunnyschwartz.com.

David Boodell
is a writer, television producer and director who has worked with A&E, the History Channel, Discovery, and other networks. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Liesl, and their dog, Murphy.

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