Author Piper Kerman, whose bestselling memoir about life in a women's prison, 'Orange is the New Black,' was the keynote speaker for the 15th biennial Adult & Juvenile Female Offenders Conference. Her experiences are the basis of the hit Netflix series of the same name.

Kermin spoke today (Oct. 8) at Portland’s Holiday Inn By the Bay to an audience of more than 400 corrections officials from across the country.

Like the character in the show based on her life, she was incarcerated on charges of money laundering and drug trafficking for agreeing to transport a bag of drug money from Chicago to Brussels for a former girlfriend. She spent 13 months in a Connecticut prison starting in 2004.

According to the Bangor Daily News:

Kerman said the vast majority of women in prisons have experienced trauma in their lives, and they need counseling and rehabilitative programs tailored to those specific needs. But she acknowledged that her education, financial stability, lack of a history of abuse and even race made her a more accessible, less threatening “incarcerated woman” figurehead for many Americans.