Five to Fifteen ($20, ISBN: 978-1-937536-37-4, 6X9”, 170pp, Out of Print): In September of 1975, Denise Sassoon entered the front gates of Arizona State Prison for Women inside the back of a government transport truck, sentenced to “no less than five, no more than fifteen” years of incarceration. At 21 years old, how had she – a 60’s Hippie peace-love-freedom child – wound up in this strange, callous, and violent place? And if she managed to live through her years there, who or what would she have to become? Five to Fifteen is Denise’s story, fascinating in its detailed and personal perspective not only on surviving in prison during the mid-70’s, but living amidst the rampant drug culture of the 60’s through the 80’s, and enduring the soul-rending ravages of rape, addiction, and societal intolerance. Five to Fifteen is an amazing and inspiring story of triumph over adversity, evidence that even the most extreme human pain can lay a foundation of strength and hope for others.
Denise Sassoon did, indeed, survive her years at Arizona State Prison, though not unscathed emotionally and spiritually. Her experiences prior to, during, and after her incarceration more than qualified her to help others seeking freedom from the same difficulties. Since 1988, Denise has worked continuously in some aspect of prison re-entry programs or drug/alcohol treatment, including counseling clients, training counselors and support staff, managing in-house treatment programs for prison inmates, and assisting with or directing residential treatment facilities. She also helped develop pioneer programs for ex-convicts with drug and alcohol dependency issues, that later served as models for state-wide treatment curricula. Denise currently resides alongside her family in her home town of Tucson, Arizona.