John R. Chaney,Joni Schwartz

Gifts from the Dark

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While in no way supporting the systemic injustices and disparities of mass incarceration, Gifts from the Dark: Learning from the Incarceration Experience argues that we have much to learn from those who have been and are in prison. Schwartz and Chaney profile the contributions of literary giants, social activists, entrepreneurs, and other talented individuals who, despite the disorienting dilemma of incarceration, are models of adult transformative learning that positively impact the world. The authors interweave narratives with both qualitative and quantitative research references to analyze the role of solitude, writing, non-verbal communication; race and gender; physical exercise; education; technology; family and parenting; and the need to “give back” that precipitate transformative learning. The prison cell becomes a counterspace of metamorphosis. In focusing upon how men and women have chosen the worst moments of their lives as a baseline not to define, but to refine themselves, Gifts from the Dark promises to forever alter the limited mindset of incarceration as a solely one-dimensional, deficit event.
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277 printed pages

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