Paranoia & Heartbreak: Fifteen Years in a Juvenile Facility [NOOK Book]

Overview

For fifteen years, Jerome Gold worked as a rehabilitation counselor in a prison for juveniles in Washington state. Throughout his time there, he kept a journal of his experiences with youths who had been incarcerated for murder, kidnap, assault, rape and other sex offenses, auto theft, burglary, and selling drugs. What started as a journal designed to relieve stress turned into the evocation of one man's nuanced perspective on a unique group of young people. Paranoia & Heartbreak tells Gold’s personal story ...
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Paranoia & Heartbreak: Fifteen Years in a Juvenile Facility

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Overview

For fifteen years, Jerome Gold worked as a rehabilitation counselor in a prison for juveniles in Washington state. Throughout his time there, he kept a journal of his experiences with youths who had been incarcerated for murder, kidnap, assault, rape and other sex offenses, auto theft, burglary, and selling drugs. What started as a journal designed to relieve stress turned into the evocation of one man's nuanced perspective on a unique group of young people. Paranoia & Heartbreak tells Gold’s personal story of coming to terms with people who have crossed over to the other side of their own humanity. Writing from ample experience and with unflinching compassion, Gold brings the reader to see these "deviants"—and through them, in some slanted way, our whole society, with an unexpected intensity.
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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Judith Brink-Drescher
Jerry Gold served in the Army during Vietnam and Desert Shield, but he also holds a doctorate in Anthropology. This unusual combination of experience and knowledge led him to work at Ash Meadow, a coed prison for juvenile offenders. Gold would journal when he encountered stressful or disturbing events. As such, many heart-wrenching accounts of troubled adolescents (and their victims) are chronicled within these pages. Stories recount an endless parade of broken teenagers, from repeat offenders of petty crimes to sadists, murderers, and sexual predators. After ten years, the violent and often tragic nature of the kids combined with the political skullduggery of the administration and fellow counselors wore thin. By 2001, Gold realizes that it is time to move on, although it takes him another four and a half years to finally do so. This book, although superbly written, is not for the feint of heart. Gold warns, "Readers who like a neat wrap-up in books will not find it here." This caution is valid; in most instances the reader will get only a snapshot of the disturbed youths. Happy endings are rare. When news was received regarding a former inmate, it was generally that s/he had re-offended and been incarcerated again or violently killed. It is difficult to imagine many teens sitting down to read this book and seems far more appropriate as a sociology text for undergraduates. It may, however, strike a chord with older teens involved with or interested in gang activity, domestic abuse, or criminal behavior. Reviewer: Judith Brink-Drescher
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781583229859
  • Publisher: Seven Stories Press
  • Publication date: 1/4/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 394 KB

Meet the Author

JEROME GOLD is the author of ten books, including Sergeant Dickinson, which was based on his experiences in the US Army Special Forces during the Vietnam War. He is also the publisher of Black Heron Press.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 26, 2009

    self indulgent and depressing

    Having worked in the juvenile justice system, I was looking forward to an insider's journal and insights into the children who are involved in the system and the people who work with them. This book is an uneven and, ultimately, unsatisfactory look at both. For unknown reasons, the author gives a false name for the institution at which he worked, although any one who lives in Washington state knows which institution he is writing about. It detracts from being able to take this book seriously, as does his glossary,note section (much of which is just references to entries in his journal) and, even worse, his "cast of characters".

    He does do a good job of pointing out the failings of our juvenile justice institutions, including describing uninterested staff, petty bureaucratic internicine fighting, and M.D.'s and PhD's who don't have a clue about the kids they are supposed to be helping. It is stunning that DSHS would hire him, an anthropologist, to work with these kids. And that he would stay there for almost 15 years.

    I found this book self-indulgent and depressing. It is nothing greater than notes jotted on an ongoing basis in his journal and then shared with all of us. No great insight; yes, there is some compassion but it is more of a shared trauma than anything else. I do not recommend this book.

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