SPR President Publishes Memoir, Launches Book Tour

Los Angeles, October 26, 2006 | Tour Dates and Locations

Fish Book CoverNational human rights organization Stop Prisoner Rape (SPR) is pleased to announce the publication of FISH: A Memoir of a Boy in a Man’s Prison, written by its President, T.J. Parsell (Carroll & Graf, November 2006). A multi-city book tour, including panel discussions on prisoner rape with leading advocates and academics, is scheduled to begin on October 28, 2006 (see above for a detailed book tour schedule).

“Teenagers in adult prison are five times as likely to be sexually assaulted as young people housed in juvenile facilities,” Parsell wrote in a recent op-ed in The New York Times. He knows what he is talking about. Incarcerated in an adult prison in Michigan at the age of 17, for robbing a Photomat with a toy gun, Parsell endured numerous rapes. Upon his release in 1982, he moved to New York, put himself through college, and built a successful career in the software industry.

After observing teenagers in a Manhattan video store laughing at a television show’s flippant portrayal of prisoner rape, Parsell resolved to tell his story. The resulting book is both a harrowing depiction of the sexually-charged power dynamics of U.S. prison culture and a story of survival and perseverance.

SPR hopes that the publication of Parsell’s powerful book will make clear the severity of the problem of prisoner rape in U.S. prisons and jails. “We anticipate that readers of T.J.’s story will be moved to join us and other advocates in seeking to end this egregious human rights abuse,” said Lovisa Stannow, SPR’s Co-Executive Director.

To request an interview with T.J. Parsell or an SPR staff member, please contact Amber Durfield at: 213-384-1400, ext. 102.

Stop Prisoner Rape (SPR) is a national human rights organization based in Los Angeles, California. SPR works to end sexual violence against men, women, and youth in all forms of detention. To achieve that goal, SPR seeks to: engender policies that ensure institutional accountability for prisoner rape; change ill-informed public attitudes toward sexual assault behind bars; and promote access to resources for survivors of this type of violence.