Resistance Behind Bars, new book by Victoria Law

I don't think I ever got around to this when Vikki's book first came out, but Alison Lewis's nice review in the Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) Newsletter reminded me to do it now.

Basically I'm saying, "Yay! Radical Reference helped someone write a book!"

While researching her book, Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women, Victoria Law posted probably a dozen questions to Radical Reference. We supplied her with answers, articles, and search strategies.

Resistance Behind Bars examines daily struggles against appalling prison conditions and injustices. It documents both collective organizing and individual resistance among women incarcerated in the U.S. Emphasizing women's agency in resisting the conditions of their confinement through forming peer education groups, clandestinely arranging ways for children to visit mothers in distant prisons and raising public awareness about their lives, Resistance seeks to spark further discussion and research into the lives of incarcerated women and galvanize much-needed outside support for their struggles.

"Written in regular English, rather than academese, this is an impressive work of research and reportage." --Mumia Abu-Jamal, death row political prisoner and author of Live From Death Row

Victoria Law is a writer, photographer and mother. After a brief stint as a teenage armed robber, she became involved in prisoner support. In 1996, she helped start Books Through Bars-New York City, a group that sends free books to prisoners nationwide. In 2000, she began concentrating on the needs and actions of women in prison, drawing attention to their issues by writing articles and giving public presentations. Since 2002, she has worked with women incarcerated nationwide to produce the zine Tenacious: Art and Writings from Women in Prison and has facilitated having incarcerated women's writings published in Clamor magazine, the website "Women and Prison: A Site for Resistance" and the upcoming anthology Interrupted Lives.

"I ♥ my radical reference librarian(s)!" said Vikki when she gave me permission to write this post.


As someone who answered a question or two of hers on the site, read and commented on earlier versions of the book, and works with her in Books Through Bars, I also say -- yay Vikki! And yay being able to see a real-life example of radical research helping an activist with her work.

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