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NO MATTER HOW LOUD I SHOUT : A Year in the Life of Juvenile Court Reprint Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0684811956
ISBN-10: 0684811952
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

This is one powerful book: it will grab you with vivid stories about individual kids, draw you in with honesty and compassion, and amaze you with alarming details about how the juvenile justice system works (or rather, doesn't work) in America. Anyone interested in the problem of crime should read Edward Humes's gripping account of how future criminals are shaped in youth, and how the system misses its chance to help them before they're lost for good. As Richard Bernstein writes in the New York Times, "There are many admirable things about Mr. Humes's book, which, despite its grim subject matter, has a narrative power that keeps you reading right to the end. One of them is that Mr. Humes is a shrewd and perceptive observer of his young subjects ... [and he] allows himself to feel sympathy for the young people whose lives and crimes he describes.... At the same time, Mr. Humes never exonerates bad children for their badness." No Matter How Loud I Shout was a finalist for the 1997 Edgar Award in Fact Crime.

From Publishers Weekly

After being granted access by court order to a system that is usually closed to the public, Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Humes (Buried Secrets) spent 1994 surveying the largely futile attempts of Los Angeles to deal with its juvenile crime. He concentrates here on a few who have not let themselves be overwhelmed by the deluge of defendants-80,000 cases are pending at any given time: Judge Roosevelt Dorn, who is also a clergyman; Deputy DA Peggy Beckstrand, who finally leaves the system to work on adult cases; Probation Officer Sharon Stegall, who tries to cope with the insurmountable burden of supervising 200 juveniles; Shery Gold, a public defender who also wants to move to adult courts. Humes follows closely the cases of seven young people who were caught up in the system, three of whom have been saved by it?maybe. First serial to Glamour and L.A. Magazine.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (May 7, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684811952
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684811956
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #404,900 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was one of the victims listed in this book. It was an accurate account of what happened from my point of view and gave me some insight into what two affluent teenagers were doing robbing me at gunpoint in a "supposedly" low crime part of Los Angeles, The Palos Verdes Peninsula. We've since moved and my children are grown with families of their own now. It's no fun looking at "the stupid end" of a gun & one especially in an unsophisticated teenagers hand. My story in the book just goes to prove that the more money you have for defense the better deal you're going to get,period.

For the record, our family has been changed forever. I'm a lot more cynical toward someone who looks like a "gang-banger" irrespective of their race. My children have a hatred toward Koreans even though they are Asian (We are Filipinos) themselves and I'm afraid that that bias will be transferred to my grandchildren, I certainly hope not.

I just hope the two young men that robbed me that evening will turn their lives around and become productive members of society. My late Grandfather once told me that even though I would not always be able to provide every material wish for my children just spending time loving them would serve them well as adults and it has.

Thank God I'm still alive to write this. It all could have been so different.I hope none of you have to experience what we have. God bless you all.
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Format: Paperback
Let me start by saying that I really enjoyed this book. Mr. Humes is a wonderful writing who has the skills to draw the reader in in such a way as to "experience" the things he is writing about. Readers, though, ought to be aware that this is a book about a very specific system-the California Juvenile Justice System-which as most people in the field know is substantially different than, say the juvenile system in Topeka, Kansas. I think part of the book's utility, and the reason I think anyone in the field out to read it, is the way in which Humes makes salient the individuals that make up the larger system in much the way Marc Parent did in Turning Stones.
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By A Customer on January 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is the quintessential book for me. All I can say is that everyone and no one is responsible for the plight of kids like "George Trevino". His impossible situation haunted me, surfacing raw emotions. Why do we turn our backs on kids like this? We need to find an answer fast before we transform conscientious orphans into delinquents whose only dominant emotion is hate. Where is George now? Has he given up on the system yet? I hope not. Every time I think of his disadvantaged life I need an easy culprit to lay the blame on, when in reality I should be holding the person in the mirror accountable...
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By A Customer on February 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
I read this book for my sociology class. It was the best I've read. The stories of these kids are so involving and twisted that you wonder if this is book is fiction. This gives such insight to the problems of todays juveniles and how the court system fails them repeatedly and how the kids fail themself. Truly sad and yet reminding us how cold life can be and how fortunate some of us actually are relative to these kids. Although you can read this book in a few hours, it's still worth having on your shelf. This book is part indictment of the system and part spotlight on the troubles ahead for us all if it's not corrected.
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NMHLIS was written back in 1996. I don't know how much things have changed since, but I can't imagine they're that much better. The difference is that nowadays, a kid who habitually beats up adults and steals their handbags isn't going to be protected by juvenile barriers. They'll try him as an adult and he'll do time.

The justice system in this portrayal is torn between adult and child attitudes. If the kid is tried as a juvenile for theft, he'll end up in a youth facility until adulthood, so if he's 16, he could be in there until he's 21, and that's 5 years! In the adult court, he'd get 6 months, but at the risk of being in an adult prison, where he can be severely exploited or killed.

Around this time, Judge Judy Sheindlin wrote "Don't Pee On My Leg and Tell Me It's Raining," about her experiences as a juvenile court judge. The NYC family court was a "criminal college" where kids committed violent crimes, went to youth facilities, came out, went back to their terrible neighborhoods, and back to where they started. NYC had a string of out-of-control killings committed by teenagers, all of whom were repeatedly in trouble. But for murder, the cases had to be moved to adult court, and these kids eventually ended up in adult jail.

In "Scared Straight" a convict tells the kids "you're like a dog that keeps pissing on the carpet, after a while the judge doesn't know what to do with you anymore." These kids in NMHLIS would eventualy end up serving long sentences in jail. The judges had thrown up their hands and said "I don't know what to do with you anymore!"
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Much like Mr. Humes' "Monkey Girl," he combines great writing and outstanding investigative work to produce a must read book. To say that the current approach in dealing with children is disfunctional would be putting it mildly. A chronically underfunded juvenile system, a short-sighted or unaware populace and no political will to fix this huge cancer is very well depicted in the author's book. Most of the repeat offenders, identified in the system as Sixteen Percenters, know full well how laughably arbitrary and ineffective justice is meted out to them. Though the scenes depicted are about the Los Angeles' juvenile court system, it is indicative of a national problem. Even in my very low crime-rate state of Maine, people who have worked within our juvenile-court system have said that Mr. Humes analysis is right on the money. Though it was published in 1996, his reporting holds up to today's zeitgeist. The book was extremely compelling, but so infuriating that I could barely see straight. If you'll excuse me, I'm going to go hug my two young sons, now.
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