People read for multiple different reasons. Some people see reading as a form of escapism. For others, it’s to pass the time and escape boredom. But the single overarching reason why people read is perhaps to find inspiration.

When it comes to this, most turn to fiction or biographies of important or famous people. Almost nobody would turn to anything related to prisons – admittedly, not the best place to receive advice.


This book by Albert Woodfox might be the perfect piece to supply you with the encouragement to endure and win over whatever obstacles life gives you.

Solitary follows the life story of Albert, as he faced more than four decades of solitary confinement when he got wrongly convicted. Solitary narrates his survival against the deprivation and violence he faced during his time in prison.

While this memoir focuses explicitly on Albert’s prison experience and might not be relatable to other audiences, the general public can still draw inspiration from his character. Albert can become a symbol of strength by exhibiting physical and mental power and endurance during those tough times.

Life Sentences: Writing from Inside an American Prison

Life Sentences contains poetry and prose written by six criminal offenders. It’s a collection of their prison memoir, philosophy, history, and manifesto. The writers wrote about the principles of restorative justice, aiming to reach out to communities and individuals broken by state and criminal violence and inspire forgiveness and change.

While reading poetry by inmates might appear unusual, seeing the world through their perspective can inspire understanding and empathy towards them. Most of these people aren’t all evil, and perhaps understanding them can better help them likewise helping the world gain lesser individuals who do wrong – whether actively or subconsciously.

Prison to Promise: A Chronicle of Healing and Transformation

Prison to Promise narrates the prison experience of the author, Craig Waleed. He expounds on how he encountered the most traumatizing and horrible yet significant things in those years. Those experiences helped him recognize his real identity while looking into his inner, most vulnerable self, where he found the freedom to explore who he is. In his sentence, he pointed out his behavioral errors and how not to repeat them.

Not everyone can have the opportunity to reflect on their life while doing time. However, everyone can experience situations that can push them to their limits – situations they might find dreadful. Craig’s story teaches people not to evade these experiences and face them head-on. Because only then will you learn and understand yourself better.

Real Prison Real Freedom

It narrates the life of inmate Rickie Smith. Rickie is presented as the most violent man in Real Prison Real Freedom book.

This book details his life, from when he grew up with his adoptive parents to when he got convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. His first jail time happened when he was 14 years old, where he got sentenced to 10 years for criminal mischief and ownership of a controlled substance. Later on, he received a time of 99 years for attempted murder.

To anyone, Rickie’s case could easily be seen as a lost cause with no reason to believe he’d change. After all, he started breaking the law at a very young age and was convicted for something so grave. But, Rickie teaches us that people do have and deserve chances.

Once he found out how to live in God’s way, he went from being the most violent man to being one of the best inmates in the Texas prison system. One could say he went from someone feared to someone others could learn from. Perhaps, his story can teach people not to give up on themselves. No matter how bad you think you are, you can still be saved by following and listening to the right people.

Sometimes, perhaps, the most inspiring stories can come from prison. It’s where stories are full of regret, second chances, and transformation from people who have hit rock bottom. Seeing them try living life a second time around and becoming better themselves can make one think that life can be forgiving and that they shouldn’t be giving up on themselves easily.