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You Are Going To Prison 1st Edition

31 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1559501194
ISBN-10: 1559501197
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The U.S. keeps a higher percentage of its population behind bars than any other nation in the world. As incarceration becomes more and more popular, wouldn't it be nice if someone provided guidance for innocents--and others--caught up in the toils of the judicial and correctional systems? Well, Hogshire has. Providing down-to-earth advice for and hints on attitude at all steps of the road from arrest to death row, he proffers the chance of survival in an environment usually wrapped in rumors and fear. Indeed, survival is what his book is all about. By affording the potential convict a somewhat more realistic appraisal of the dangers of prison life and workable responses to them, Hogshire makes it a little more likely that someone who isn't already jail-wise will survive long enough to make it through the learning curve. Hogshire has filled a totally empty niche in the reference ecology. Dennis Winters

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 181 pages
  • Publisher: LOOMPANICS UNLIMITED; 1 edition (1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1559501197
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559501194
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,201,887 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Kendall VINE VOICE on May 20, 2003
Format: Paperback
Forget MTV's Scared Straight. If you want to scare someone, no matter what age, into toeing the line and avoiding a prison sentence at all costs, make them read this book. I guarantee there is not a more forthright, realistic view of what goes on in the belly of the beast that is our prison system than can be found in the passages that comprise this excellent book.
As a note of caution, much as I would have liked to use this as a text in my high school teaching days, I probably wouldn't have gotten it past my department heads, as it does depict very graphically what awaits the prison newbie as he (no focus on women's prison here) wends his way through the prison system. It's none too jolly, trust me. Hogshire definitely "tells it like it is," and holds nothing back. HBO prison shows don't show the half of it. For the real, unadulterated deal, trust this author.
Even if you're not planning on a prison junket anytime soon, I recommend this short book as a fascinating read. It may trun your head (or at least your stomach) about the continuing sorry state of affairs in our nation's prison system.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 20, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"If you don't get life," author Jim Hogshire writes, "the next worse thing the state can do to you is kill you." This sentence from the section entitled "Executions" represents the spirit of this excellent introduction to a world where you lose control over simple things like where you go to the bathroom, what you eat, and what you can safely say to other people. Hogshire's book is at once a sly critique of the system as it really operates and a survival guide for anyone unfortunate enough to be caught up by "the machine".
The book is insightful not only for the prisoner, but for those who love him or who just want to understand the world in which he exists. Hogshire is not a preacher who will tell you that crime does not pay: he freely admits that you are better off simply not being caught and provides a few pointers for minimizing the risk of being passed from the streets to the prison should you be arrested, detained in the county jail, and tried. Even following his book to the letter, he further admits, you may find yourself inexorbably shuttled through the judicial process to that most horrible of places, the modern prison.
At each step along the way he discusses the legal and personal risks that a convict must face including physical violence, boredom, cravings for drugs, lonliness, and self defense. Sometimes he injects his darkly funny observations about what people try to accomplish with prison and what actually happens there. (See, for example, his comments about the likelihood of prison rapists getting "some of their own medicine".) I don't think this guide is just for prisoners or their families.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Ellis on September 26, 2001
Format: Paperback
Jim Hogshire's underground classic You are Going to Prison is probably one of the strongest arguements against criminal behavior ever published. Certainly, his guidebook for how to survive behind bars is much more effective than the horror stories and stern warnings that we've been getting from actual law enforcement officials over the past few decades. To a certain extent, I think that's because the police, when they tell you not to break the law, are doing their job. Hogshire, on the other hand, writes with a certain brutal simplicity with an attitude of, "If you're stupid enough to go to prison, here's what's going to happen. Your choice."
Anyway, the book itself is just what it claims to be. A guidebook for what to reasonably expect if you should happen to find yourself confined to prison. It doesn't paint a pretty picture but will be found fascinating by anyone with an interest in criminal behavior, law enforcement, or anyone whose just curious about aspects of life they'll probably never actually get a chance to experience. It is true that Hogshire isn't a huge fan of law enforcement authorities but at the same time, that shouldn't be taken to mean that he in any way glorifies criminals or prison life.
I've read that this book has become dated since its original release. That wouldn't surprise me. With outside society growing grimmer by the minute, one can only guess what must be going on in America's prisons. Still, even if dated, this is a harrowing (if at times strangely humorous -- Hogshire has a corrosive wit that will be appreciated by anyone with a bit of the cynic inside of them) look at a place none of us ever want to end up.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Ken Cook on March 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is one of the most fascinating and disturbing books I have read in some time. Though I (thankfully) have never been caught in the "maw of the criminal justice machine" as Hogshire puts it, I literally could not put this book down once I started reading and I finished it in one afternoon!
Hogshire takes you on a journey through our justice and criminal system from the "flashing blue lights" all the way to the electric chair. Remember the "Scared Straight" program back in the 1970s? Well this book should be required reading for all juvenile offenders - if this book doesn't set them on the right path, nothing will.

One thing that disturbed me about this book was that Hogshire seems to lean too heavily in the favor of the criminals. Such as telling us where we can buy handcuff keys for example, or how to hide evidence. But even more disturbing is the growing power that we citizens have yielded to the government. For example, police can now seize property and initiate investigations based on anonymous tips alone and can apparently manufacture evidence against you very easily should you do so much as sass certain police officers at a routine traffic stop. There are few saints on either side here.
Even if you plan on being a law-abiding citizen your entire life, you should still read this book and be aware of how easy it is for anybody to fall into the "machine."
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