The Outside Circle: A Graphic Novel: 04/16/16
The Outside Circle: A Graphic Novel by Patti Laboucane-Benson is a story of personal healing among gang-affiliated incarcerated First Nations men in Canada.
The story follows a young man named Pete who is trying to keep himself and his younger brother safe. They live with their mother and her drunk and abusive boyfriend. A fight ends up with the boyfriend dead and Pete in jail.
In prison, Pete is given the opportunity to join a therapy group tailored to men in his situation. The program, though requires him to move to a different prison and to be on his best behavior. Feeling he has nothing to lose he says yes.
Most of the rest of the book is the group therapy sessions where the true plight of people like Pete is outlined. The drinking, the forceable removal of children from families by white authorities, the abuse (physical and sexual), and the high numbers of incarcerations.
The story is based on the author's own experience and research of working with men like Pete.