When the author was sent to prison for a ten-year-old crime, she barely resembled the reckless young woman she had been when she committed the misdeeds that would eventually catch up with her. Happily ensconced in a New York City apartment, with a promising career and an attentive boyfriend, she was suddenly forced to reckon with the consequences of her very brief, very careless dalliance in the world of drug trafficking. She spent thirteen months in prison, eleven of them at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, where she met a surprising and varied community of women living under exceptional circumstances. She meets women from all walks of life, who surprise her with smalll tokens of generosity, hard words of wisdom, and simple acts of acceptance. Here she tells the story of those long months locked up in a place with its own codes of behavior and arbitrary hierarchies, where a practical joke is as common as an unprovoked fight, and where the uneasy relationship between prisoner and jailer is constantly and unpredictably recalibrated. This is a look into the lives of women in prison; why we lock so many away and what happens to them when they are there.