Thursday, February 28, 2008
Five inmates in the Missouri prison system -- all convicted killers -- believe sharing their stories of bad choices and horrendous deeds may deter other youths from making the same mistake. They have compiled their stories into a book called "Lost Innocence."
In the book, the five convict/authors do not seek to explain away their horrible crimes. Nor do they expect to profit from book sales. The not-for-profit project was underwritten by the families of the convicts to produce a first printing of 200 copies the authors hope will find their way into school libraries.
Prison life is grim and brutal, the five writers agree. It is an existence they could have avoided by making different decisions regarding the abuse of drugs and alcohol at an early age.
Most TV shows and movies tend to make heroes of some inmates who are struggling with prison life. That's not the point of "Lost Innocence." If this book is going to accomplish the goal of its authors, it will need to be read widely, especially by high school-age youths.