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  Grace Goes to Prison




 
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Author: Melanie G. Snyder

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In 1975, a 37 year-old homemaker named Marie Hamilton started visiting a group of prison inmates with one simple idea: to look for and affirm the good in them. In the 30 years that followed, she expanded that vision, creating unique programs to educate, empower and support inmates to be successful when paroled. Her volunteer work has challenged the conventional wisdom about how to deal with criminals. She’s had no formal education in criminal justice, she isn’t part of the “system”, yet her programs have become an integral part of Pennsylvania’s prison system.

Discover how this quiet woman touched the lives of thousands by tearing down the walls of mistrust, bringing respect and humanity to people on both sides of the prison bars.


Average Customer Review: 5 of 5 | Total Reviews: 9 Write a review.


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More than inspiring...enlightening, too! November 21, 2009
Reviewer: Charles Roberts from Dresher, PA United States  
This book goes beyond being a wonderful story about a truly caring soul who pursues a career of providing hope and inspiration to prisoners.  

It also challenges the reader to face incredibly timely and relevant issues, such as the need and cost of keeping people locked up for life without parole, the lack of emphasis on prisoner rehabilitation and societal re-entry, the budget-busting expenditures involved in building more prisons to house more prisoners, and the effectiveness as deterrent and cost of capital punishment.

As a society, do we have the courage to follow Grace's inspiring example of seeking the good in everyone, always striving for forgiveness, helping people to get back on track and promoting non-violence and love?  Impossibly idealistic, you say?  Then please read Grace Goes to Prison!

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Grace Goes to Prison November 20, 2009
Reviewer: G. Gehrett from Charlottesville, VA United States  
This compelling story of how one woman's courage and caring made a difference in the lives of so many is inspiring. It is also a wake-up call for us as a society to look at the long term harm caused by our current policies of incarceration without emphasis on rehabilitation.  Melanie Snyder draws us into the world of prison inmates and staff with stories of humanity, heartbreak, and love.  "Grace Goes to Prison" opened my eyes to the power of restorative justice and made me a believer.

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It Consumed every spare moment October 29, 2009
Reviewer: Jon Singer from Lancater, PA United States  
I highly recommend this book to anyone involved in prison work or prison ministry. It captivates so well that inmates are human beings after all, most just making stupid/impulsive decisions. With many more Maries and programs like CentrePeace working with inmates, recidivism can be reduced and thus, the need for more prisons/jails. Jon Singer, Executive Director, Lancaster Area Victim Offender Reconciliation Program

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Restorative Justice October 28, 2009
Reviewer: Nancy Neiman-Hoffman from Norwich, CT United States  
Grace Goes to Prison is the story of one woman's 30-year volunteer ministry in the Pennsylvania prison system.  Blessed with a remarkable gift, Marie Hamilton is able both to envision and execute new ways of thinking about incarceration.  The book, by Melanie G. Snyder, is a non-theoretical, engaging account of restorative versus retributive justice.  Some readers will question this shift from a mindset of punishment and vengeance to one of restoration.  But this extraordinary account of changed lives is its own witness.  The moving story in the penultimate chapter of a mediation experience between an inmate who has served 12 years of a life sentence for murder, and the victim's sister, consumed for 12 years with anger and bitterness, will stay long with this reader.  This book has a mission and deserves a wide readership.  Highly recommended.

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Inspiring/Humbling October 20, 2009
Reviewer: M Hollinger from Elizabethtown, PA United States  
One is quickly drawn into this book and feels compelled to try to understand the population being served as well as the committment of those serving.  Coming from a peace-perspective background, it was so encouraging to see how it was acted out on many occasions and to hear the positive results of such a witness.  I was horrified at some of the experiences of the subject, but rejoiced when the positive results of those times were shared.  To know that lives were touched in a positive way brought me to tears as I reached the end of the book.

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