The Harsh Realities of Prison, Through the Lens of Piper Kerman, Author of Orange is the New Black
By Dan Rogan
Prison is not the easiest topic to make entertaining, but The Washington Post called “Orange is the New Black” “the best TV show about prison ever made.” Of course “Orange is the New Black” is not all entertainment, and not entirely fiction. In fact it is based on the book, Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Woman’s Prison, the memoir of Piper Kerman. Piper is not just the inspiration behind the show, she is the real life hero tackling issues surrounding prison.
Join us Sunday, October 25 at 2 p.m. for the 2015 Ed Likover Memorial Lecture, with our special guest Piper Kerman. Engage with Piper and hear her discuss her personal experiences, as well as relay stories and insights into the issues surrounding women’s prisons, mass incarceration, and solitary confinement.
The event is free and open to the public. Visit our event page for further details and to RSVP.
Piper has taken her real-life experience in prison, engrained it into the American people’s psyche, and now everyone is paying attention. Piper is an activist, and is using her newly found notoriety and success in all the right ways.
What is Piper up to?
- She serves on the board of the Women’s Prison Association in New York City.
- She dialogues on the issues of mental health and mass incarceration – as well as – girls’ and women’s rights on her Twitter.
- She testified in front of congress on the negative impact of solitary confinement.
- She teaches nonfiction writing at the Marion Correctional Institution and the Ohio State Reformatory.
Plan of Action for the ACLU of Ohio
Piper and the ACLU of Ohio are in this fight together. We want to make changes in Ohio’s criminal laws, including the issues of over incarceration, drug addiction, mental health, and sentencing.
What has the ACLU of Ohio been up to?
- We recently released “Ohio’s Statehouse-to-Prison Pipeline”. This report focuses on the introduction of bills facilitating the over incarceration problem in Ohio’s prisons.
- We previously released a briefing on solitary confinement and the mentally ill, as well as published letters to the editor.
- We sent letters to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, Ohio State Penitentiary, and a key Ohio lawmaker proposing much needed reforms.
- We took a stance on Issue 3, continuing our fight for those who are disenfranchised by on our draconian drug laws.
Why we do the Likover Lecture
Ed Likover is remembered as an ACLU hero. A longtime ACLU board member and volunteer, we honor Ed every year because of his tireless efforts to protect civil liberties. Ed stood up for his right – and the right of others – to have political and social views that diverged from what the U.S. government considered acceptable. In 1953, he was one of many subpoenaed by the Ohio Un-American Activities Committee. Against counsel wishes, he took the first amendment as his defense (rather than the Fifth) because he strongly believed the government had no right badgering him about his associations or convictions.