Karen Heetderks Strong is a consultant on criminal justice reform and conflict resolution. She spent the majority of her career in an American non-profit organization serving prisoners, ex-prisoners, victims, and their families and supporting advocacy for reforms in the state and federal criminal justice systems. In addition to her work in helping envision and articulate restorative justice, Strong guided program development in such areas as mentoring for youth at risk and a re-entry model for Michigan prisoners returning to Detroit. She also evaluated and helped shape the pilot of a faith-based victim assistance program model. As a senior leader, she guided a number of organizational efforts aimed to increase the effectiveness of volunteers in serving those affected by crime and prison. Strong earned a Ph.D. and an M.Phil. from Drew University, a graduate Diploma from the University of Oxford, and a B.A. from Seattle Pacific University.
Caught smuggling half a million euros’ worth of cocaine, Paul Keany was sexually assaulted by Venezuelan anti-drugs officers before being sentenced to eight years in the notorious Los Teques prison outside Caracas. There he was plunged into a nightmarish world of coke-fuelled killings, gun battles, stabbings, extortion and forced hunger strikes until finally, just over two years into his sentence, he gained early parole and embarked on a daring escape from South America . . .
Aided by his extensive prison diaries, Keany reveals the true horror of life inside Los Teques: a shocking underworld behind bars where inmates pay protection money to stay alive, prostitutes do the rounds and vast amounts of cocaine are smuggled in for cell-block bosses to sell on to prisoners for huge profits. The Cocaine Diaries is a remarkable story, told by Keany with honesty, courage and even humour, despite knowing that every day behind bars might have been his last.