ARC Review: Prison Torture in America- Paul Singh

Title: Prison Torture in America

Author: Paul Singh

Publisher: Science Literacy Books

Pages: 490

Rating: 4/4

Paul Singh gives us an inside look at the atrocious conditions that some of these prisoners go through on a daily basis, as far as their health is concerned. He worked alongside 15 other prisoners to get their accounts on the extreme and disheartening conditions they suffered in the hands of prison staff, both guards and medical staff. Singh goes on to discuss and describe the many times prisoners put in requests to be seen as an emergency because of their medical conditions and the countless times they were ignored or given false promises of immediate medical attention. A lot of the times these conditions got even worse and a lot of them on the brink of death, if not already dead because of the neglectful conditions they were left in. I know it’s a touchy subject for some that prisoners get rights in prisons because obviously, a lot of people think that they should be punished and have EVERYTHING taken away from them. Sometimes I myself am on the fence about this topic at times. Now I will say, I have no sympathy nor support murderers, rapists, child abusers, or animal abusers point blank! I believe they deserve the worse, however, the other prisoners who have committed smaller crimes, that actually have a chance to go back out into the real world and rehabilitate themselves shouldn’t be denied proper medical care or other prisoner rights. Its pretty disgusting and mind boggling how prison officials make it their business to destroy documentation of these prisoners so they won’t get in trouble with the higher ups or them just plain being evil and devious. I believe these issues need to be addressed more, and more has to be done in this prisons to make sure everyone is getting their proper medication or at least something close to it. This book is an eye-opener and I recommend everyone to read it. 
I want to thank NetGalley for the opportunity of giving me this ARC in exchange for an honest review on this book. Looking forward to my next read. 

Review: 23/7: Pelican Bay and the Rise of Long-term Solitary Confinement- Keramet Reiter

Title: 23/7: Pelican Bay and the Rise of Long-term Solitary Confinement

Author: Keramet Reiter

Publisher: Yale University Press

Pages: 312

Rating: 3/5

I REALLY wanted to like this book, but it lacked a lot of content. Even though it gave you some background on how Pelican Bay and the SHU came about, I just felt it was too statistically out there. The author focused mainly on two individuals. While it gave you a little glimpse on the inside of what these prisoners have endured, I still wish she would’ve used more inmates’ personal experiences. This book does give you some great research ideas and does give you an idea of the life of a prisoner, but I wanted more. 

If you do want to read about Solitary Confinement and some perspectives from a few inmates, check out:

Hell is a Very Small Place: Voices of Solitary Confinement- Jean Casella, James Ridgeway, and Sarah Shourd (no endorsement for this book)
I really feel like you get that more personal, in-depth look you want in the life of a solitary confinement prisoner. 

I really wanted to write more in this review, but there’s only so much you can write about something you didn’t really enjoy.

Review: Hell is a Very Small Place- Jean Casella

Title: Hell is a Very Small Place

Author: Jean Casella/ James Ridgeway/Sarah Shourd

Publisher: The New Press

Pages: 228

Rating: 5/5

Imagine living in a 4 1/2 x 9feet cold, musty, dark, and depressing box, sometimes for days at a time, week, months, years, hell even decades. Hell is a very small place is a collection of essays of people who have lived through this turmoil for years and even decades, some even from the moment they stepped into prison. These prisoners do not have communication with anyone (except those that work in the prison), they sometimes don’t have a window and if they do all you see is concrete. That’s when the prisoners start falling into a dark abyss, they start going crazy, and hearing the yelling and cries from the other inmates doesn’t make it any easier.

I absolutely loved this book. I think sometimes it’s a good thing to listen to what inmates have to say, sometimes they actually want to rehabilitate themselves and change, but the way the system is set up it’s impossible for them at times. Now I believe if someone did something heinous they should be punished and do the time they are given, but also some of the conditions they have prisoners is deplorable too. I don’t want to talk much about the subject, because it’s a pretty controversial topic, but I truly recommend people to read it and get an idea of what these people suffer after years of being locked away like an animal (some don’t even get treated like that). Please open your mind and give it a try.

Original Review Published: 8/15/2016