Life in Prison, By Stanley Tookie Williams



Softback: 80 pages
Publisher: Chronicle Books

Purchase other Gang Books

Tookie also wrote a very detailed history of early Crip history in South Los Angeles in Blue Rage Black Redemption

Life in PrisonBy Stanley Tookie Williams

As a boy, Williams heard the older kids who’d served time tell stories that made prison sound glamorous and fun, a place to hang out with your friends and prove how tough you were. But now, after years on San Quentin’s death row for the murders of four people, Williams, co-founder of the Los Angeles Crips gang, knows that prison “is no place you’d ever want to be.” In this slender volume, he explains why: the cramped quarters, lack of freedom and privacy, homesickness, violence and daily indignities (strip searches, having to use the toilet in public). Williams often goes beyond mere description, asking readers to imagine or emulate his experiences (“To get a feel for what it’s like to live in a prison cell, test yourself. Spend ten hours?nonstop and alone?in your bathroom”), an effective technique. Though the book’s stated goal is to warn kids away from Williams’s path, its matter-of-fact, often homogenized tone connotes more of a plea for sympathy than a caution intended to frighten kids. Co-author Becnel’s foreword contributes to this problem, although the stark black-and-white photographs of Williams, San Quentin and other prisons and prisoners toughens the tone to some degree. Those concerned that purchasing the book will profit a convicted killer can be reassured: Williams’s royalties will be donated to the Institute for the Prevention of Youth Violence.

8 Comments for “Life in Prison, By Stanley Tookie Williams”

  1. this is a really good book he could have been a whole lot more if he hadn’t went to prison this book really stand out to teens like me

    • maalik fladger

      this book would have never even be published or wrote if he didn’t go to prison. he could have been something better if the did not give him the death penalty

  2. dj cliffko

    rip peace king tookie alwas will i represent in a positive

    • Tashamaquefaye 7-4-14

      -Yes ; RIP to the Greatest my nigha raw as hell for that ; Gotta love folks ;

      • Marwa

        Irish people who use Americanisms such as Cellphone, Station Wagon, Gas, Sidewalk and as Fill tiomenned earlier, Store.Also, Culchies who culchie up their accent when they go abroad or in Dublin (same thing). Yeah we know you’re from Leitrim because you wear your GAA jersey to work.

  3. Loya

    TOKKiiEEE !

  4. o.g. dom-loc

    You will foreva be remembered to cuz 4 life

  5. Awesome Student

    Amazing Book. too bad Williams didnt realize the type of potential he had as a writer and motivational activist until he was a death row prisoner.

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