is the author of Life on the Outside: The Prison Odyssey of Elaine Bartlett, which was a finalist for the 2004 National Book Award. She is a contributing writer at Mother Jones and New York magazine. Previously, she was a staff writer at The Village Voice, where she covered the criminal justice system for seven years. Her article on which this book is based won the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and the Meyer Berger Award from the Columbia University School of Journalism. To read some of her stories, click here. Jennifer studied at Cambridge University and received a B.A. from Columbia University. She lives in Brooklyn.
Elaine Bartlett spent sixteen years in Bedford
Hills prison under the Rockefeller drug laws. After her release
in 2000, she helped found the Mothers
of the Disappeared, an advocacy group fighting to repeal the
drug laws. She has lobbied New York state legislators, delivered
speeches at numerous rallies, and attended anti-drug law events
in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and Texas. Elaine received
an associate’s degree from Mercy College in early 1999,
while she was still in prison. She has four children and three
grandchildren, and she lives in upper Manhattan.
Lora Tucker met Elaine Bartlett inside Bedford
Hills prison in 1997, when she was running workshops for prisoners.
After hearing Elaine's story, Lora decided to try to help her
win clemency. She attended rallies, collected signatures, and
publicized Elaine's case in the media. Now Lora is employed as
the women's service coordinator at the Bowery Residents' Committee
in Manhattan. She holds a B.F.A. in interior design from Syracuse
University, and in 2005 she received a master's degree from Hunter
College School of Social Work, specializing in community development
and social justice. In her free time, she writes poetry; one of
her best-known poems is
about the first time she met Elaine. Lora grew up in Howard Beach,
Queens, where she still resides. To contact her, click