Breaking Out of Prison circles around the complex and fundamental question of how to break out of internal and external prisons which confine both ourselves and others in spaces much too small for our mind, heart, and spirit. It explores how writing, even a simple Composition class within a maximum security prison, can be a path for consciousness, compassion, and freedom. It is not, however, only about those who are imprisoned within concrete and steel, but also about those who have placed them there and how concepts, habitual thinking and entrapped mindsets cast some people "beyond the pale" with the illusion that another's imprisonment makes us safe, that another's "evil" makes us "good." At the center of the book are papers written by students in a composition class in prison, but Breaking Out of Prison also traces the author's personal journey toward understanding and freedom. It includes a wide range of poetry and creative nonfiction as well as selections from works in history, psychology, politics, and spirituality. It is a weave of experience and theory, of poetry and literature, of pedagogy (a practical guide on how to teach writing), and Buddhist thought (bare attention and mindfulness), of psychology (shadow and projection) and politics (the prison industrial complex in the U.S.). Breaking Out of Prison explores paths toward deeper awareness within ourselves and in the world.