Life imitating art imitating life

Inmate chronicles “real-life ‘Orange Is the New Black'” experience in essay

From left: Uzo Aduba, Laverne Cox, Taylor Schilling, Piper Kerman, Natasha Lyonne and Jenji Kohan of the Netflix series "Orange Is the New Black," in New York, May 15, 2014. (Therese + Joel/The New York Times)

A woman who identifies herself only as “Alicia” wrote a candid essay for The Daily Beast in which she discussed her experience as an inmate in a maximum security women’s prison in Indiana. Prison was not a stop on the road map with which she was navigating life. She was a suburban soccer mom, who never smoked cigarettes or pot as a teen, she writes, was raised in a normal and loving household, completed the D.A.R.E. program in high school and was president of her local S.A.D.D. chapter. But in June 2013, she found herself locked up. She’s divorced and has a young son, now, and says the worst part of being in prison is not being able to touch her family. Alicia goes on in the essay to detail the pivotal moment in her life that sent her on a downward spiral that concluded with her sentencing, and laments the troubled person she’d morphed into: a felon. She now says she’s thankful she’s in prison. Alicia’s grim story will also be featured in a new TV series airing on the Investigation Discovery channel.

Read the full essay at The Daily Beast.

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