Piper Kerman

Piper Kerman majored in theater at Smith College and graduated in the recession year of 1992. So the boho Bostonian stuck around Northampton, waiting tables and spinning her wheels. Then she got involved with Nora Jansen, who suddenly acquired a lot of money, and before she knew it, Kerman was crisscrossing the globe with her drug-trafficking girlfriend and even, just once, running drug money herself on a trip from Chicago to Brussels.Leaving behind Nora, she moved to San Francisco, where she met Larry Smith; they moved to New York City. In 1998, she was indicted for money laundering and drug trafficking. She pled guilty. Beginning at the age of 34 she served 15 months in 2004 and 2005, in FCI Danbury a minimum security prison located in Danbury, Connecticut.Currently, she is a frequent invited speaker to students of law, criminology, gender and women’s studies, sociology, and creative writing, and also to groups that include the American Correctional Association’s Disproportionate Minority Confinement Task Force, federal probation officers, public defenders, justice reform advocates and volunteers, book clubs, and formerly and currently incarcerated people. She serves on the board of the Women’s Prison Association.She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, Larry Smith. Piper works with Spitfire Strategies as a communications consultant with nonprofits, philanthropies, and other organizations working in the public interest. She works on a range of issues including criminal justice reform. Her clients include the Open Society Foundations, the Ford Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and many nonprofits.
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