For two years, Lankford interviewed more than 120 incarcerated teenagers, eight of them weekly, and features their voices, views, writing and drawings along with interviews with pediatric psychiatrists, neurobiologists, judges, probation officers and other professionals in BORN, NOT RAISED.
In researching her book on women in jail, Lankford learned that a majority of inmates had at least two children in foster care, living with relatives or in detention. Many of them would end up in jail, too, because they lacked the basic parenting necessary to become productive individuals.
Jefferson-award-winning and number-one New York Times bestselling author Dave Pelzer writes, “Susan’s Lankford's BORN, NOT RAISED spotlights the raw stories of children traumatized by neglect, abuse and poverty. Working with outside professionals, Susan exposes an overburdened juvenile justice system, while offering powerful tools for change."
University of California at San Diego Professor of Medicine Vincent J. Felitti says, “This important book clearly illustrates the vast gap between what we typically believe of ourselves as a successful society and the dark side that contains our failures, which we prefer locking up or overlooking.”
Library Journal declares, “More policy-oriented than academic, this book is a powerful reminder of the social costs of neglecting the specific needs of at-risk youth.”
Lauri Burns, founder of Orange County, CA’s The Teen Project and author of Punished for Purpose, declares, “Susan Lankford has captured a powerfully personal glimpse into my life and the lives of other children in the Juvenile Hall system. Every parent should read it. I was so moved by this book’s message. If I hadn’t gotten rehab while incarcerated, I would have stayed a street prostitute and heroin addict.”
Watch a preview on YouTube.