A fine book about a New Haven gang leader turned gang-outreach officer who, by talking down revenge-minded young men, manages to interrupt the cycle of retaliation.
The New Yorker
A remarkable story.
– Colin McEnroe, WNPR
Citizen Outlaw was featured in the New York Times, read more here.
A must-read … inspiring. Barber could not have chosen a better subject; Outlaw is smart, charismatic and someone readers will instantly root for.
– Booklist
– Kirkus Reviews
I knew my friend Juneboy Outlaw when he was a gangster in the 1980s. I am so proud of what he has become. Against all odds, he acquired enough spiritual and self-knowledge to go from a gangster to a prisoner to an award-winning peacekeeper and positive force in his community. I cannot recommend enough the book about his life, CITIZEN OUTLAW.
Dapper Dan, Fashion Innovator
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Citizen Outlaw plunges readers inside the belly of the beast with such searing credibility, you’ll feel you’re there. Brilliantly crafted, Citizen Outlaw is that rare book that educates, entertains, and inspires. It’s a must read for anyone interested in criminal justice reform and the power of the human spirit.
– Pete Earley, author of The Hot House: Life Inside Leavenworth Prison
An extraordinary book about an extraordinary man. Citizen Outlaw is a great American gangster story, told with wit and insight. This account of his life is riveting and unexpectedly moving — a life-and-death saga that is also a meditation on the nature of ambition.
– Kelefa Sanneh, staff writer, The New Yorker
A quintessentially New Haven story of Outlaw’s renunciation of the violence and errors of his youth, and his inspirational striving toward an almost improbable redemption.
New Haven Register
A great book, a great writer.
– Paul Bass, The New Haven Independent
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Charles Barber’s Citizen Outlaw is an elegantly written account tackling one of the most important moral issues of our time — the role of redemption in our justice system and our society. This book offers an unforgettable rendering of a life redeemed.
– Jennifer Gonnerman, author of Life on the Outside: The Prison Odyssey of Elaine Bartlett
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What does it mean when the person least likely to turn around his life actually does it? William Outlaw’s story, told by Charles Barber with sensitivity and wisdom and jaw-dropping detail, will amaze and inspire you.
– Robert Kolker, author of Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery


William Outlaw saw, through the faint glow of the streetlights of Church Street South, a man approaching him. He would learn later that the name of this man was Sterling Williams. The man came closer to Outlaw, and Outlaw could see that this man, Sterling Williams, was stocky. To Outlaw, who was twenty at the time, the encroaching man appeared to be in his thirties.

“I’m here for Juneboy,” Sterling Williams said. He spoke with a Jamaican accent. Juneboy, William’s middle name, was also his street name, and what everybody in New Haven called him. His full given name was William Juneboy Outlaw III.

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