An Unlikely Inmate Looks Back on Her Time in Prison

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When Piper Kerman graduated from Smith College she veered away from the typical middle class lifestyle and chose, for a time, to go a different way. She fell in with a group of charismatic drug smugglers and ended up traveling to fine resorts around the world to help traffic drug money.

On one trip Kerman smuggled a bag full of drug money from the U.S. to Europe. At the time, she seemed to get away with it. Eventually Kerman came back home and settled into a more normal career. Five years later federal officials arrested her for drug smuggling, to which she pled guilty and served a year in prison.

Piper Kerman looks back on her experience in her new book, Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison.”  She says that after meeting women in prison who had problems related to drug addiction and the drug trade, she learned that crime, including her own crime, is born out of an indifference to human suffering.