I Cried, You Didn't Listen: A Survivor's Expose of the California Youth Authority

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"The author's well-written story comes at the reader fast and furiouslyshocking readers into an awareness of the inhumanity of America's juvenile penal institutions."-Publishers Weekly

At age nine, a family tragedy forced Dwight Abbott into the California Youth Authority. This is the chilling chronicle of his life behind bars-a story of brutality and survival, a dark journey showing how the systematic abuse of incarcerated children creates a ...

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Overview

"The author's well-written story comes at the reader fast and furiouslyshocking readers into an awareness of the inhumanity of America's juvenile penal institutions."-Publishers Weekly

At age nine, a family tragedy forced Dwight Abbott into the California Youth Authority. This is the chilling chronicle of his life behind bars-a story of brutality and survival, a dark journey showing how the systematic abuse of incarcerated children creates a cycle of criminal behavior that usually ends with prison or death.

Dwight Edgar Abbott, in and out of prison since childhood, is serving multiple life sentences in Salinas Valley State Prison.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781904859543
  • Publisher: AK Press
  • Publication date: 7/15/2006
  • Pages: 180
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Dwight Edgar Abbott, in and out of prison since childhood, is serving multiple life sentences in Salinas Valley State Prison.

Jack Carter is an investigative journalist and makes his home in Cardiff, California.

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2009

    I cried, You didn't Listen

    I could not put this book down after starting. It is very graphic and sexual throughout, so if you do not enjoy reading about such things, I would not suggest reading this. But if you can read through those events, this book will definitely make you think differently about people in prison. It reminds us all that prisoners are real people, with real stories, and a real past. We sometimes forget that they were innocent children at one time before they became criminals. This book is definitely worth reading.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2006

    Shocking

    ¿I Cried, You Didn¿t Listen: A Survivor¿s Expose of the California Youth Authority¿ by Dwight E. Abbott Review by James Generic The author of this book states that he wrote it while in solitary confinement. It¿s a trip to his childhood, where he came of age in California¿s Juvenile system. It takes place throughout his childhood years, beginning with an early stay at age 6 (along with a rape by a counselor.) The rest is his teenage years spent trying to survive the brutal system of rape, violence, and sadistic counselors (also known as prison guards). It¿s very chilling. I couldn¿t peal myself off of this book, even though it has very graphic rape descriptions and brutal fights between gangs of boys not even old enough to shave. The fact that the author even survived that system, which incidentally took place in the 1960s, impresses me. When I was a teenager, a few friends of mine ended up in a juvenile drug rehab center at Horsham PA, and afterwards they were extremely shaken up. It turned out later they had been raped. Not much has changed in the last 40 years. Abbott and his companion quickly rise to the top of the ruling prison gang, which he uses to attempt several escapes. Each time, he nearly makes it. It¿s amazing that he goes for his parents, who are totally excluded from being able to help their boy. He forms a love relationship with his companion which he must hide in order to survive. The counselors maintain the order by daily beatdowns and shake-ups, and when it comes down to it, the boys are treated exactly like adults. The prison system makes people have to fight for their survival almost daily, or be pushed to a fate of worse than death. It makes the reader wonder why anyone thinks that prisons can reform any person. Trapping someone in a room and punishing them for years with the most sadistic people doesn¿t seem like a good way to reform anyone. In the end, prison, for adults or kids, really just sweeps away the problem of emotional disturbance underneath the carpet. Nowadays, a few million reside in United States prisons, the largest such population in the world (even more than China, which has 5 times the population), so we¿re at a time where the ruling classes think it¿s better to completely separate millions into boxes than to even give a carrot to oppressed communities. Dwight Abbott remains in jail today, and he says he wouldn¿t be there unless for the way the Juvenile Youth Authority twisted him as a human being to the point where the only place he could exist was a prison. They destroyed him as a teenager at a critical point in any human being¿s development. Why? If you want a window into how a person can be destroyed, read this book. At the same time, if you want to see how a person can keep some amount of love and hope for a better day (away from the prison), read this book as well.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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