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Follow the week-by-week progress (or not) of making a baseball team and season work inside San Quentin, one of the most infamous state prisons in the country. See inside the thinking, emotions, and stresses that accompany each inmate's involvement in what is often the most important part of their entire incarceration. Understand why inmates will say and do almost anything to get a chance to play ball and how frustration and disappointment derails them. Find out what "payback" is, how power and authority work, why the sports teams are the only integrated groups, and how baseball entails the search for meaning.
There are reasons that there were no other baseball programs in the world like the one in San Quentin. The treatment of the baseball program by the media normally focuses on the lives of the inmate players, and rightly so. But Kent Philpott's treatment of the subject reflects the difficulty of making the program function from the coach's perspective.
Kent has provided a very realistic portrait of prison life through the prism of the baseball program with his day-to-day account of the 2010 baseball season. His is a tale of the difficulty of creating a successful prison program, not just because of the inherent problems of managing 25-30 men who happened to have anti-social behavior in their past and present lives but also dealing with a sometimes-hostile set of prison administrators.
To expose the public to the humanity of people in prison is also a wonderful thing, and Kent Philpott not only spent many years in San Quentin helping to allow inmates to get through the day, but he was helping to expose the humanity of people in prison to the outside public. Three Strikes, You're Out will educate many people outside about the realities and virtues of people inside to the ultimate benefit of both.