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Dreams from the Monster Factory

Dreams from the Monster Factory

A Tale of Prison, Redemption, and One Woman's Fight to Restore Justice to All

Powerful, captivating, and hopeful, Dreams from the Monster Factory goes beyond statistics and sensational portrayals of prison life and reveals the troubling realities of U.S. jails, and an astonishing alternative. .

Sunny Schwartz founded the Resolve to Stop the Violence Project (RSVP), a restorative justice program based in a San Francisco jail that has cut recidivism for violent rearrests by up to 80 percent. Schwartz makes no excuses for the rapists, gangbangers and murderers she works with, nor will she excuse a prison system that churns out criminals who are more dangerous when they leave prison than when they arrived. Instead, she’s created a correctional program that is designed to empower victims and require offenders to take true responsibility for their actions and eliminate their violent behavior. .
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  • Scribner | 
  • 240 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416569824 | 
  • February 2010
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Meet Sunny Schwartz

Criminal justice expert Sunny Schwartz talks about what motivated her to create a groundbreaking program for prisoners.

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About the Author

Sunny Schwartz
Photo Credit:

Sunny Schwartz

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

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.


Author Revealed

Q. how did you come to write Dreams from the Monster Factory?

A. I wanted to write a book to reveal a more civilized society that is based on restoration rather than retribution, to help bring the voice to all those harmed by violence and other crimes, to demonstrate peoples’ capacity to evolve and to change how we incarcerate people. Dreams From the Monster Factory is meant to show readers that our jails and prisons embody our individual struggles as well as our societal struggles. Most importantly, Dreams shows how we can and must reconfigure our criminal justice system so it is a place of accountability and change for everyone’s dignity and safety. Every person I have ever brought to see our jails, whether it was a housewife or venture capitalist, walked away stunned about both the decay and the potential of the human spirit and our ability to change. Since I can’t bring everyone into our prison facilities, I thought I would bring the jails to people by way of this book. I hope you can empathize with the struggles and triumphs of people in these pages as well as see how important it is to come together. By thinking critically, we can stop doing business as usual and can work together to bring about a peaceful revolution for everyone’s sake!

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