Reviews from Inside

Current and formerly incarcerated persons have been reviewing the new edition of Concrete Mama. Here is what some of them have said:

Ed Mead:

“Concrete Mama is a great book for viewing a slice in time at the Washington State Penitentiary during the late 1970s, but the limitations of the authors to track this process over an extended period limits its usefulness as the history lesson it could have been. What makes up for this limitation of the book is Dan Berger’s outstanding introduction. It was drafted from the comfortable perspective of viewing Concrete Mama, and imprisonment in general, during the forty years since the book was initially written. He fills in the gaps left by Messrs. McCoy and Hoffman. The book is worth the price just for Dan’s informative introduction. Dan is a part of the Prison History Project and his introduction to Concrete Mama is something every prisoner should read. They will learn their history as a community. As for outside people, Dan quotes Therese Coupez, an incarcerated George Jackson Brigade member as saying we should not be “viewing prisons and prisoners as somehow a different, exclusive, unrelated issue from the rest of society.” Or as Dan quoted McCoy in his original introduction, prisoners are an “uncommon Community” rather than a “mass of anonymous men.” With that said, let me give you some background information.” Continue reading…


Updates from the University of Washington Bothell's Project on Mass Incarceration in Washington State