With all that we know of the suffering and injustice of incarceration, how unexpected it is to discover that Prison from the Inside Out is a book about love. Through Mecca’s extraordinary gift for human connection and Simone’s commitment to holding that gift at the center of his stories, we learn about the sustaining and redemptive power of family, profound friendship, tough but caring mentorship, and small acts of human kindness. Somehow Mecca manages to steer clear of trouble and to get close to people, whether he is hanging in the yard, working in the clothes house, or slaughtering hogs on work release. He shows us that you can find and provide compassion even in the harshness of prison.

How appropriate that this book is an imprint of HKF.


– Lucy Suchman – Professor of Anthropology, Lancaster University

It’s the long game – Mecca seen here during a  pass early in the story, years of talking while Simone wrote.

Visiting Buddhist monks from Daremsaala India met with Simone, Mecca, and Tofu Dave to exchange thoughts, at the Carrboro Arts Center after a radio talk, while working on their sand mandala.

We are sending free copies to the incarcerated (funding availability), The best way to donate is mailing a check to HKF, P.O. Box 61619, Durham, NC 27715. Write “Prison Inside Out” on the Memo line.  Online you follow the “honor-memory” link and write in “Prison Inside Out” for the honoree/project name.  Thank You!


The book “Prison From The Inside Out” is already being considered for many literary trade awards.  Having already been awarded a 5-star Gold award for 2021 from the Literary Titans, the publisher has been told the book is under consideration for these upcoming awards:

  • National Book Award
  • Indie Excellence Award
  • Eric Hoffer Book Award
  • IndieReader Discovery Award
  • Reader’s Favorit Book Award
  • Instruction & Insight Book Award
  • Independent Publisher Book Award
  • Nonfiction Book Award
  • National Book Critics Circle Award

We are honored by the early positive reception of our book and thank each and every reviewer for their consideration.  Award or not, we are heartened by your positive feedback.

Lydia Davis, winner of the Man Booker International Prize and MacArthur Fellow, noted author, says of Prison From The Inside Out:

“Forceful, vivid, and utterly captivating.  Every voice is fully alive, opinionated, smart, honest, articulate, and human – especially that of Mecca, the complex, thoughtful figure at the center.”

Thank you Ms. Davis for your acclaim and support of this inspiring and unique story!

Mr. James Leone is a US Marine and former supervisor at the Department of Public Safety’s Piedmont Correctional facility in Salisbury, NC. 

His review is: 

“You have a lot to say to me and anyone who picks up this book.  I’m honored to be in your story.”

Mr. Leone, we are honored you feel this way!  Thank you for your contribution, and I’m sure our readers will be enlightened by your role in the narrative.   The book is now available on Amazon, BarnesAndNoble, and directly from the Human Kindness Foundation.

Mr. Langston is the retired superintendent of Wake Correctional Facility.  He was officer of the year in 1999!  He has this to say about the book: 


Prison From the Inside Out

is Awesome!  Just like William, It’s Straight Up With No Chaser.

 More details about Mr. Langston and his interactions with “Mecca” are in the book!


NC Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Greene has this to say about the book PRISON FROM THE INSIDE OUT: 

In his many years of incarceration, William ‘Mecca” Elmore realized that words are more powerful than bars. This is also a love story dedicated to resistance, resilience, hope, unconditional love, and humility. – Jaki Shelton Green, North Carolina Poet Laureate