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About the author:
Betty May is a theatrical director, a writer, a high school teacher, a circus coach, and a clown. Her career in theater has taken her across the United States; to Europe, where she toured England, France and Switzerland with her Teens Onstage troupe; and to Central America, where she founded a company of ninety street children in a Guatemalan squatters' settlement.
She has no professional experience in the criminal justice system, nor does she have any academic credentials in the field. She went into the prison in response to a somewhat bizarre request: write a comedy about life in prison. Six years later, she is an activist in the judicial system, testifying before congressional committees and advocating for people she once knew only through horrific newspaper headlines.
Betty and her late husband, Gerald (Jerry) G. May, M.D., have five grown children: Earl, Paul, Greg, Julie, and a late addition: Chris. She lives in Columbia, Maryland with a wussy dog, a geriatric cat, and a neurotic bird.
Her work with the women of I-WISH (Incarcerated Women Inside Seeking to/for Help) has been a fulfilling and life-changing journey, and she is grateful to them for sharing their lives.


Imprisoned Women and Their Struggle with the Criminal Justice System

Authored by Betty May

In 2008 a group of women serving life sentences for capital crimes sought to reach out to at-risk youth and warn them of the consequences of bad choices. With the mantra: If we can help just one kid, all this work will be worth it, they produced and performed a play: FACES. The play became a phenomenon and reached hundreds of people-in the prison and at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. This is their story.
It is also the author's story. How she went from knowing nothing about the Criminal Justice System to becoming an advocate for these women and an activist for change. The women's mantra became her own and the basis for this book.
One of the women said of FACES, the play: "If I had seen this play when I was a teenager, I probably wouldn't be here now." The women and the author want FACES, the book, to reach young adult readers and help them in the same way.

You don't have to be perfect. You don't have to have all the answers or always know the right thing to say. You can climb the tallest tree if you want.
You can take chances, make miracles or make mistakes.
You don't have to be composed at all hours to be strong.
You don't have to be bad or certain to be brave. You don't have to have all the answers or even know who you want to be. Just take us with you in your journey, following your heart as we have just done with you. --From the play: FACES

Profits from the sale of this book will be shared with the prison and with Social Justice organizations.

Publication Date:
1505396263 / 9781505396263
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
5" x 8"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Social Science / Criminology

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