“An amazing book…. Ted Conover sheds light on the depth and savagery of fundamental problems in the American corrections system. Ian McEwan's Somerset Maugham Award-winning collection First Love, Last Rites brought him instant recognition as What is a chapter summary on Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing? He wanted to learn about being a prison guard, but no one in the DOCS system would let him shadow a new recruit. Julie Crawford left Fort Wayne, Indiana with dreams of being a Hollywood screenwriter.
The author, Ted Connover, goes through the process of becoming a Corrections Officer in the NY state system.
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His commitment to the job, in order to bring us the story, is commendable.I want to start by saying I have immense respect for Ted Conover. This is the result.Interesting work of immersion journalism.
I like books where the author immerses him or herself in a situation and then writes from his or her own experience.
It started with watching the first season of Orange is the New Black about a year ago. Many unused buildings litter the grounds, and the buildings in use lack the features (easier ways to lock the cells, tear gas dispensers in the mess halls, hot water that is reliably hot, etc.)
Conover and other new employees were given several weeks of training, at a former Catholic seminary, before beginning at Sing Sing. Being on duty in the cell blocks, exercise yard, or mess hall is always difficult, has the possibility of being disgusting, and is definitely dangerous. The performance of masculinity factors largely in prisoner and officer interactions.
... in but only in this manner would get this fantastic insight into the inner dealings of a prisonReviewed in the United Kingdom on November 29, 2014 So far there have been none.I like books where the author immerses him or herself in a situation and then writes from his or her own experience. The usually secret world he uncovers – of brutality (almost entirely on the inmates’ side), of facing danger daily, of learning to enforce some rules and let others slide – is fascinating. Discipline & Punish: The Birth of the Prison Transforma tu vida. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Although this journey is ultimately unpleasant, this book will change you. Ted Conover spent a year as a corrections officer, and his experiences are told alongside an accessible and interesting history of the American Prison.
I remember enjoying that one which increased my expectations for this one.The blurb from Tracy Kidder on the back of this book compares it with the journalism of Orwell (Homage to Catalonia, Down and Out in Paris and London, Burmese Days) and I have to agree.The blurb from Tracy Kidder on the back of this book compares it with the journalism of Orwell (Homage to Catalonia, Down and Out in Paris and London, Burmese Days) and I have to agree.
What is tragic is that conditions in prisons are worse than they were fifty years ago, and it doesn't look great for the future. I am almost done reading this one and am anticipating the next one by him...haven't chosen one yet...but I know I will absolutely be enthralled by his writing. Acclaimed journalist Ted Conover sets a new standard for bold, in-depth reporting in this first-hand account of life inside the penal system. Challenging that kind of reflexive viciousness is one of the motives behind Ted Conover's troubling new book, Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing (New York: Random House 2000; $24.95).
As corrections officers often are moved about to different duties within the prison, or transport prisoners to other prisons, there is often a lack of continuity of personnel in a particular cell block. Bought this thinking will be very interesting however was disaopointed.
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The recent release of Nick Yarris, incarcerated for 18 plus years for a crime he did not commit, convicted without forensic evidence, prompted me buy this book.
Conover writes with an anthropologist’s eye, describing the social arrangements, the moral compromises and the banality of prison-guarding evil—including his own.
No scenes are imaginary or made up, though some dialogue was, of necessity, re-created. Sing Sing serves as a de facto on-the-job training site for the New York prison system.
Also, playing historian and anthropologist, Conover steps back from his personal experience to offer a timeline of both modern corrections practices and a history of Sing Sing. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness