Joe Loya served a seven-year prison sentence in Lompoc Federal Penitentiary for bank robbery - sometimes in solitary for violent behavior. During this time he developed a friendship with the author Richard Rodriguez, who was instrumental in fostering his writing career. After his release in 1996 he wrote about prison life for the Pacific News Service, then went on to freelance for The LA Times and The Washington Post. Loya's biography, The Man Who Outgrew His Prison Cell: Confessions of a Bank Robber, was published by Harper Collins in 2005. He was profiled in the movie Protagonist, and his story was the basis for an episode of the Discovery Channel series, I Almost Got Away With It. Loya is also close friends with fellow former inmate, Piper Kerman, author of Orange Is the New Black.