Gail's New Edition of Beyond the Wall

The last time I saw Lady Justice was July 14th in 1995, the day I left Caracas, Venezuela, after four years of living there. Lady Justice was a life-size painting in the lawyer’s room of Réten La Planta, a prison in Caracas. This caricature of Lady J. had been painted over Abe Lincoln’s words. Translated from Spanish, Abe's phrase had said: “If you can’t be an honorable lawyer, then be honorable and not a lawyer."

The new wall decor that replaced Abe's words was the artwork of a Chilean prisoner.  He had given Lady Justice unbalanced scales: one heaped with gold, the other empty; and her blindfold covered only one eye.  The other was open and glittering like the gold chains around her neck and the gold coins in her hands.  The traditional sword associated with Lady Justice was obviously missing.  Why?  Justice did not exist in Venezuela's "pay and you go" legal and penal systems.

Thank you for your educational, provocative, and intriguing book.

Elizabeth Farnsworth, PBS

Beyond the Wall totally absorbed me.  Your stories captured the feel of how bizarre and hard it is in Venezuela.

(Elisabeth Friedman, Fulbright Scholar to Venezuela, Stanford University)

Thank you so much for Beyond the Wall.  The stories in it are both touching and horrifying, and I hope your book finds a wide audience.

Francis Fukuyama, Professor, George Mason U.


The Puffin Foundation is honored to have been part of your fascinating and sad expose on Venezuelan prisons. 

(Gladys Miller-Rosenstein)

Congratulations on Beyond the Wall…an important addition to the drug policy reform movement.

Ethan Nadelmann, The Lindesmith Center

This book displays a real flair for dialogue and deadly serious but wonderfully, witty story telling.  I found the book filled with insights and independent thinking, something that is too hard to find among vote-getting politicians…

William Ratliff, Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institute

Your descriptions in Beyond the Wall are accurate, scary, harrowing, and moving.  It's an incredible, fascinating, and well-told story.

(Richard D. Atkins, attorney at law  International Recoveries)

Foreign Service Journal review: Focus on Books, Beyond the Wall

This is an unusual book, one that trades polished packaging for the unvarnished truth of experience, and the power to reminds folks of what it means to be human and raise a few important, if disconcerting, policy issues to boot.

Thanks for being the passionate and persevering person you have become. Such deeds of mercy, of loving kindness in Beyond the Wall.  There is so much the rest of us can learn from your life's example.

Dr. Robert Coles, Professor Emeritus, Harvard University Medical School