Paranoia & Heartbreak

Paranoia & Heartbreak

Fifteen Years in A Juvenile Facility

Book - 2009
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For 15 years, Jerome Gold worked as a rehabilitation counsellor in a juvenile detention facility in Washington state. Throughout his time there, he kept a journal of his experiences with youths who had been imprisoned for murder, kidnap, assault, rape, theft, burglary and drug offences. 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 who have crossed over to the other side of their own humanity.
Publisher: New York : Seven Stories Press, c2009
Edition: Seven Stories Press 1st ed
ISBN: 9781583228777
1583228772
Characteristics: 344 p. ; 23 cm
Alternative Title: Paranoia and heartbreak

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f
floy
Jul 04, 2011

This book was written about a juvenile facility not far from Seattle so for us Seattleites, it's especially interesting.
The book reads like a journal and the author acknowledges using his journal to write the book. The problem with that is that I found it very choppy.
The book is probably a good reflection of the author's shifts when he worked at the facility but, for outsiders, it failed to give us enough connection to him or to the residents.
In my opinion, it would've been improved by devoting a chapter to each of the main characters rather than telling us bits & pieces about them throughout the text. The way it's organized now it was just note after note after note about physical & sexual abuse, crime, gangs and substance abuse. Even though I've worked in social services all my life, I found it became a blur after awhile.
Despite being so excited that the book existed, I ended up only reading about half of it.

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