James A. Paluch, Jr., is serving a life sentence without possibility of parole. In this remarkably perceptive book, he offers the reader a detailed account of the daily realities of prison life in its mundane essentials, from the culture of the cellblock to the etiquette of the yard and themess hall. The book also highlights concepts of prisonization, institutionalization, and the community, as well as the nature of modern punishment. Here, Paluch walks us through a complicated, sometimes treacherous culture behind bars, a place where manipulation and deception often rule. He introduces us to the world of the lifer, a community of men who know they will live and die behind bars. By the end of his book, Paluch leads the reader toquestion and reevaluate whether our prisons, in their present condition, should continue institutionalizing substantial numbers of offenders for the rest of their natural lives.