There's a fair chance that you're familiar with Piper Kerman's Orange Is The New Black through the award-winning Netflix drama. This week we wanted to go to the source material and read the original memoir, not just to compare and contrast the book and the show but so we could separate fact from fiction and learn more about what's really going on in women's prisons.
Like the show, the book is sometimes funny, often sad, and occasionally bleak. Kerman's stance against mandatory minimum sentencing—an aspect of the justice system that makes even first-time drug offenders do hard time—and the waste inherent to America's massive prison system is often more eye-opening than the heightened drama presented on the show. Even though Piper has an extensive support network and a "normal" life waiting for her when her sentence is not, many of these women do not.