By Piper Kerman
In 2005, I walked out of a federal prison after serving my 13-month sentence for a first-time drug offense I had committed 11 years earlier. Although ecstatic to be released, I carried with me deep concern for the women who were still behind the gate: Women who had been torn from their children. Women who struggled with mental illness. Women sentenced for shockingly long prison terms for offenses very like my own. Women who helped me survive my time as they navigated their own exiles.