×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

I Cried, You Didn't Listen, A First Person Look at a Childhood Spent Inside CYA Youth Detention Systems
     

I Cried, You Didn't Listen, A First Person Look at a Childhood Spent Inside CYA Youth Detention Systems

5.0 3
by Dwight Abbott, Karren Kilian, Danny Abbott
 

See All Formats & Editions

An early Winner of the PROJECT CENSORED AWARD OF EXCELLENCE;
I Cried, You Didn't Listen is a powerful story. It is shocking, haunting and brutal. Although it is a rare and valuable document, what is exceptional is not Dwight Abbott's experience, but his clarity and courage in sharing that experience. Dwight tells the disturbing tale of a very young child,

Overview

An early Winner of the PROJECT CENSORED AWARD OF EXCELLENCE;
I Cried, You Didn't Listen is a powerful story. It is shocking, haunting and brutal. Although it is a rare and valuable document, what is exceptional is not Dwight Abbott's experience, but his clarity and courage in sharing that experience. Dwight tells the disturbing tale of a very young child, first committed to the care of the state because of family tragedy and bad luck.
Once institutionalized, he must learn to live within the cruel dynamics of a system that grants power through violence and leaves children at the mercy of predatory adults. He is continually faced with the need to choose between dehumanizing options: Be predator or be prey.
Even in Dwight's description of racialist violence we see the effect that the social system has had on him – cementing stereo-types and prejudices that become self-fulfilling prophesy. Dwight's account is terrifying. Upon reading it, one must recognize that, faced with the stark choice between victimizing another and being a victim oneself, the morals and values that make sense in freedom fall away. Perpetrating violence appears as the best option for self-preservation. This is the fundamental dynamic at work in Dwight's institutional life.
I Cried, You Didn't Listen shows that, within incarcerating institutions, violence in all its forms – sexual assault, cliques, crews, gangs, emotional abuse – is essentially about power and control both over and above one's own sense of self. - BOOKS NOT BARS

I have had the privilege of reading the 'Proofs' of the yet to be published revised and enhanced 3rd Edition of I CRIED, YOU DIDN'T LISTEN; as well as the 1st Edition. The 3rd Edition has many added personal pictures and details, as well as many testimonials. It is a MUST read; not only to remember the heartbreaking loss of innocence, but to once again ignite whatever "call to arms" that the reader might take in exposing and attacking this 'cancer' growing in us and our society. Get the word out!
There seems to be a 'question' as to whether this book's content would be 'less valid', if Sonny had been incarcerated because he 'damn well DESERVED it; rather than through a 'crack' in the system. I would like to suggest that; even if the Author had been incarcerated because he is, or was, a 'blood thirsty murderer'; it would have absolutely NO bearing on the truth of Dwight's message. This book is not, in ANY way, shape or form , an indictment of 'guilty' or 'not guilty', incarcerated children. This Book is an indictment of the 'handlers', administrators and 'supporters' that are hired, trained, retained or volunteer, under the auspices of the California Youth Authority.
The CYA, as it is, has been entrusted with the care and attempted rehabilitation of abused and/or abusive ignorant waifs. The truth of the matter is that, these children, when in helpless ('hopeless') imprisonment behind closed doors, find any abuse they suffered or perpetrated, outside the CYA before incarceration, totally 'PALING' in comparison to what they will and do experience; and subsequently learn, as a way of life, inside the CYA.
Is there a 'way' or 'ways' to stop; or at least, 'curtail' the many abuses suffered by children by adult authority figures; especially in 'closed' rooms? Are there any possible steps that might be taken both inside and outside the system, by anybody, that may have a positive result? If so, these steps may need to be 'spelled' out and alluded to. The one obvious step resounding throughout this book is 'Chilling': "Whatever the cost; do not enter the CYA; it IS a fate WORSE than DEATH!" No longer will I question the statement of many a 'escapee'; when they vow: "I will NEVER be taken alive!" Danny Abbott

Publishers Weekly:
This harrowing volume tells of a young boy ripped from his secure middle-class existence and placed in the thick of California's abusive penal system. In the early 1950s, when Abbott was nine years old, his parents were badly injured in a car crash. Housed for four months at Los Angeles Juvenile Hall, he was beaten by the other children and sexually molested by a counselor. This experience began a nonstop pattern of abuse, retaliation and incarceration. Abbott's chronicle takes him from reform school to federal prison, detailing inmate honor codes and caste systems, as well as the diligently enforced homosexual roles of ''straight'' (dominant) and ''punk'' (passive). Although supported by his parents throughout his ordeal, a tragic lack of communication prevented any constructive bond with them. Only through his friendship and eventual affair with Stubby, a fellow Youth Authority prisoner, did Abbott receive and give love during this period in his life. The author's well-written story..

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"THE AUTHOR'S WELL-WRITTEN STORY COMES AT THE READER FAST AND FURIOUSLY; SHOCKING READERS INTO AN AWARENESS OF THE INHUMANITY OF AMERICA'S JUVENILE PENAL INSTITUTIONS."- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
Alden Mills
"I CRIED, YOU DIDN'T LISTEN IS THE MOST POWERFUL TALE OF HORROR WITHIN THE WALLS OF PENAL INSTITUTIONS SINCE PAPILLON THE TERRIFYING ASPECT IS THAT IT DESCRIBES AMERICA'S JUVENILE SYSTEM" - Alden Mills, ARETE MAGAZINE
Don Davis
"I CRIED YOU DIDN'T LISTEN IS A POWERFUL INDICTMENT OF A SYSTEM THAT MAY HAVE LOST TRACK OF ITS PURPOSE." - Don Davis, THE SAN DIEGO UNION
Christian Parenti
"THIS IS A SEARINGLY HONEST BOOK - READ IT IF YOU HAVE THE COURAGE. DWIGHT EDGAR ABBOTT'S STORY WILL REVEAL MORE ABOUT THE SELF-FUELING HORRORS OF INCARCERATION THAN WOULD TEN OF THE AVERAGE CRIMINOLOGY TEXTS. FOR YEARS THIS BOOK HAS CIRCULATED AS AN ALMOST CULT UNDERGROUND DOCUMENT, A SIMPLE KEY TO EXPLAINING THE COMPLEX WRETCHED MESS THAT IS THE AMERICAN CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM." - Christian Parenti; American investigative journalist; of: "LOCKDOWN AMERICA," "THE SOFT CAGE" AND "THE FREEDOM."
Van Jones
"SADLY, DWIGHT'S EXPERIENCE ECHOES THE STORIES OF THE THOUSANDS OF YOUNG PEOPLE STILL WAREHOUSED AND DEHUMANIZED IN CALIFORNIA, BUT ALSO SERVES POWERFUL TESTAMENT TO THE NEED FOR A 180 DEGREE SHIFT IN HOW WE DEAL WITH YOUNG PEOPLE IN TROUBLE." - Van Jones, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ELLA BAKER CENTER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS.

Product Details

BN ID:
2940014439374
Publisher:
Abbott & Abbott
Publication date:
05/15/2012
Series:
Innoent until "Made" Guilty , #1
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
232
Sales rank:
403,455
File size:
625 KB

Meet the Author

At the age of nine, Dwight Abbott's carefree life ended dramatically, his childhood thrown into chaos when his parents were nearly killed in a car accident late one night in the hills above Pomona, California.
Dwight was taken to Los Angeles Central Juvenile Hall, where he was soon after beaten by his peers, and raped by the counselors his care was entrusted to. It wasn't long before he
understood he had to decide if he'd remain prey or become the predator.
He shares his childhood with us in his book, I Cried, You Didn't Listen, written upon toilet paper while in Solitary Confinement for five years at the Oregon State Penitentiary.
And now, with CONSEQUENCE, for the first time, he shares what he and the children growing up with him went on to experience.
The scary part is the nightmare he writes of is the fate of boys and girls today being raised inside California's juvenile penal system.
Today, in place of knives and zip guns, Dwight battles with pen and paper, choosing to believe, as he did in the beginning, 20 years ago, that readers learning of the consequences of unchecked authority inside juvenile institutions will rise up and demand reform.
Dwight has spent most of his 69 years behind one set of bars or another, and is presently serving four 25 Year to life; consecutive sentences at The California Health Care Facility in Stockton. "THIS," he shares, "is in large part the consequence of, to name a few, Nelles, Paso Robles and Preston; spawn of California's Youth Authority."

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

I Cried, You Didn't Listen: A First Person Look at a Childhood Spent Inside CYA Youth Detention Systems 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Lippylemurian More than 1 year ago
A word from the author's brother, Skippy When Sonny first wrote I Cried You Didn’t Listen and subsequently Consequence, I never 'wanted' to believe. I told myself that he was simply 'dramatizing' the situations. This was particularly true after I had read I Cried You Didn’t Listen. I don’t think it was so much as being far from the truth, as it was that I did not want to believe that my brother had suffered the 'unbelievable & inhuman' indignity’s that he related in his book; nor, that he had perpetrated similar indignities upon others, either, whom he perceived had wronged him or simply in 'self-preservation.' With knowledge, age, wisdom and experience; I have come to know that what my brother has written, is not only true; but, maybe even 'less' than the truth. Not because it is false, but because the truth is more then most humans can bear to hear about their very own nature. I, in my own cloistered and protected world, do not want to know what lies in the 'darkness' ; inside or outside. I prefer that no one turn the “'lights' on; for I am totally convinced, the horror of what I will actually see, will; by far, outstrip my most vivid imaginations of what is there. I also fear and know; when the lights go on, I will see myself, in a mirror, as I really am. I certainly am in denial; however, I might always remain of that persuasion, to the death. This is because I never want to believe that my brother actually suffered such indignities and was forced by the system to act so violently toward others. Most of all, I never want to admit to my part in that system, or let it be seen by others, to my shame. I prefer to point to the sins and secrets of others in order to distract from myself, my family and my friends. I simply have never been caught; and I sincerely hope I never will. I am thankful for the vivid news stories, prisons, jails, mental institutions, cartels and corrupt governments, which draw attention away from me; and to which I can, with confidence, point a 'finger of guilt' or 'throw a stone'. Such opportunity for 'condemnation' gives me a 'soapbox pedestal' upon which I can and do, falsely, lift myself; my life behavior and thoughts, above what is the absolute Truth concerning my own sin. I can look down, while the 'ignorant' look up. When should a child be ‘exposed’ to the absolute truth of our (mans) continuing inhumanity? Should we withhold the truth and hope that our children will never come near that ‘human darkness’ let alone be drawn into it, either willingly or unwillingly? Should we “spare them”, as long as possible, out of misguided compassion, hoping beyond hope, that they pass through this life; never ‘suffering’ the discovery that the real world (including you) is not really what they were led to believe? Is it better to ‘live the lie’; by sticking our heads in the sand; or risk the Burning Light of the Truth? If there be a 'Highest Power', it is I, you and our children who need it even more-so than my brother; for he has been exposed; albeit, in a horrific and tragic way, to Truths Light. It is now my brother’s desire and purpose to awaken young adults and children in as 'gentle' a way as possible; in the Hope that they can avoid the tragic consequences of believing the lie a minute more than necessary.
ACAMEO More than 1 year ago
This is a book you won't put down. I admire the writer for his courage to continue on in writing Part 2 in his most recently published book: "CONSEQUENCE: The Aftermath" which is just as intense and honest as Dwight's 1st book, "I Cried, You Didn't Listen" Dwight is naturally talented in exposing life's truths, horrors that most people tend to shut out and push away — all that is 'invisible to the eye'
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a book you won't put down. I admire the writer for his courage to continue on in writing Part 2 in his most recently published book: "CONSEQUENCE: The Aftermath" which is just as intense and honest as Dwight's 1st book, "I Cried, You Didn't Listen" Dwight is naturally talented in exposing life's truths, horrors that most people tend to shut out and push away — all that is 'invisible to the eye'