Maria Shriver Discusses OITNB Author Piper Kerman’s Journey From Inmate to Advocate

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This video originally appeared at Today.com.

Maria Shriver sat down with Orange Is the New Black author, Piper Kerman to discuss her time spent in prison and what Kerman is doing now to advocate for the prison population.

Shriver and Kerman discuss what Orange Is the New Black did for her and for the community of women who find themselves behind bars. Kerman says, “Women have been the fastest growing segment of the prison population. If people could imagine themselves in my shoes or in the shoes of one of the other woman who are depicted in the book, they may think differently of prisons.”

[See more of Maria Shriver’s latest reporting for NBC news]

Kerman served 11 months at a minimum-security prison in Connecticut.

“The vast majority of women in prison were mothers and most of them were mothers of young children – they were not dangerous, they were really low-level, non-violent offenders; they didn’t need to be in prison,” Kerman shares. She is currently fighting for lower mandatory drug sentences and alternatives to prison for low risk felons.

Kerman hopes that by the time she is “old and gray” she will see fewer women and men in prison.

Read more on Piper Kermans experience in prison in her book Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison, available now.

Check out more stories on Maria Shriver’s NBC News page.

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