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Holding the Key: My Year as a Guard at Sing Sing Paperback – July 2, 2001
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Top Customer Reviews
Fantastic stuff, can't recommend it highly enough.
The book starts with that seemingly ubiquitous American institute - the Boot camp - in which in a diluted version of that venerable military institution, the recruits are subjected to a regime of petty regulations, bullying seniors, and broken a little in order - so the theory goes - to be remade into the ideal Corrective officer after what appears to be a ludicrously short seven weeks. From there Conover goes to his four weeks of on job training at Sing-Sing where he stays for the remainder of his term.
Conover appears to be an American of the liberal mode, antagonistic to racism, sexism, etc, and this has a welcome effect on his account of the prison system. What is less welcome is the extent to which he essentially - because of the nature of his participation - becomes embedded within it in a way not dissimilar to many of those reporting on the Afghan and Iraq wars. He becomes, not unnaturally, sympathetic to the plight of the staff to the point of feeling elated (though with a few qualifications) when four prison officers who first handcuff, and then beat up a former prisoner they know in a crowded restaurant have the charges are thrown out for reasons of insufficient evidence.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ripoff of his other book NEWJack, same material different title.....Published 12 months ago by Darryl
I bought this book because I have a running interest concerning the inside life of prisons and the penitentiary culture as a whole. Read morePublished on March 12, 2007 by Shane Phillips