Dreams from the Monster Factory by Sunny Schwartz
A Tale of Prison, Redemption, and One Woman's Fight to Restore Justice to All

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews



Dreams from the Monster Factory tells the true story of Sunny Schwartz's extraordinary work in the criminal justice system and how her profound belief in people's ability to change is transforming the San Francisco jails and the criminals incarcerated there. With an immediacy made possible by a twenty-seven-year career, Schwartz immerses the reader in the troubling and complex realities of U.S. jails, the monster factories -- places that foster violence, rage and, ultimately, better criminals. But by working in the monster factories, Schwartz also discovered her dream of a criminal justice system that empowers victims and reforms criminals.

Charismatic and deeply compassionate, Sunny Schwartz grew up on Chicago's south side in the 1960s. She fought with her family, struggled through school and floundered as she tried to make something of herself. Bucking expectations of failure, she applied to a law school that didn't require a college degree, passed the bar and began her life's work in the criminal justice system. Eventually she grew disheartened by the broken, inflexible system, but instead of quitting, she reinvented it, making jail a place that could change people for the better.

In 1997, Sunny launched the Resolve to Stop the Violence Project (RSVP), a groundbreaking program for the San Francisco Sheriff 's Department. RSVP, which has cut recidivism for violent rearrests by up to 80 percent, brings together victims and offenders in a unique correctional program that empowers victims and requires offenders to take true responsibility for their actions and eliminate their violent behavior.

Sunny Schwartz's faith in humanity, her compassion and her vision are inspiring. In Dreams from the Monster Factory she goes beyond statistics and sensational portrayals of prison life to offer an intimate, harrowing and revelatory chronicle of crime, punishment and, ultimately, redemption.

About Sunny Schwartz

See more books from this Author
Sunny Schwartz is a twenty-seven-year veteran of the criminal justice system who speaks nationally about the sheriff's innovative in-jail programs, the establishment of the first charter high school in the nation for incarcerated adults, and the successes of restorative justice through the Resolve to Stop the Violence Project (RSVP). Her program was the recipient of the prestigious Innovations in Government Award, sponsored by the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She lives in San Francisco with her partner, Lauren, and their daughter, Ella. Visit her Web site at www.sunnyschwartz.com.David Boodell is a writer, television producer and director who has worked with A&E, the History Channel, Discovery, and other networks. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Liesl, and their dog, Murphy.
Published January 6, 2009 by Scribner. 240 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Crime.

Unrated Critic Reviews for Dreams from the Monster Factory

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

she was the first student ever to challenge his demonstration of “the power of authority, and people’s willingness to suffer injustice in silence.” Schwartz displayed the same fearless concern as a lawyer defending criminals’ right to counsel and as a program administrator at County Jail 7 in San...

Dec 01 2008 | Read Full Review of Dreams from the Monster Facto...

Carlin Romano

In part, because some of our students at Zenith have launched a prison education initiative modeled on the Bard Prison Initiative, and while one of my specialties as a historian is crime, violence and policing, that doesn’t exactly prepare you to walk into a prison and teach, nor does it help you...

Aug 02 2009 | Read Full Review of Dreams from the Monster Facto...

Reader Rating for Dreams from the Monster Factory

An aggregated and normalized score based on 59 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review