After the success of her memoir and Netflix series based on her narrative, Piper Kerman has used her story's prominence as a platform for prison reform and called for a reevaluation on the meaning of rehabilitation. Much of her personal growth after her time in prison stemmed from writing, an activity she now teaches to men and women in Ohio State prisons.
Her message is clear: empower men and women incarcerated to grow and reflect in new ways, which cannot be accomplished with overflowing prisons that are filled past capacity. While thinking of other ways to hold people accountable will take time, Kerman's work certainly kick starts the conversation.
She had no plans to write a memoir about her experience...but once she was back in the outside world, she....was "able to reflect on the meaning" of what she endured... ...."One of the reactions [of the memoir and show] is, they're really excited that a woman was able to write this," Kerman said. "The personal narratives are overwhelmingly written by men, but women are the fastest growing segment in the prison population. People need to know what really happens." Five years on from her book's release, Kerman is pleased to see it has helped bring attention to what happens behind bars and has started conversations among people who otherwise would have no interest in prison reform.