Newjack Guarding Sing Sing PDF/EPUB È Newjack

Newjack Guarding Sing Sing Journalist Ted Conover gives a first hand account of life inside the penal system When Conover’s reuest to shadow a recruit at the New York State Corrections Officer Academy was denied he decided to apply for a job as a prison officer So begins his odyssey at Sing Sing once a model prison but now the state’s most troubled maximum security facility The result of his year there is this remarkable look at one of America’s most dangerous prisons where drugs gang wars and sex are rampant and where the line between violator and violated is often unclear

10 thoughts on “Newjack Guarding Sing Sing

  1. Arista Arista says:

    This book was an interesting point of view from an actual CO who worked in Sing Sing a New York Jail still in existence although a part of it is currently being converted into a museum Anyway Ted Conover takes us through the training of what it is like to become a CO and informs the reader of how few actually make it Prison shows documentaries and books usually portray the POV of prisoners and not often enough of the actual workers As an outsider I can see why many could not survive this job It is mentally draining and as he puts it Prison work was about waiting The inmates waited for their sentences to run out and the officers waited for their retirementit was a life sentence in 8 hour shifts Haven't we all felt that way about a job we hate hahaHe even touches upon the topic of prison reform Some facts given are circa 2000 are Young black men in California are 5x as likely to go to prison rather than a state university the number is inmates has tripled in the last 25 years and continues to climb Instead of reforming prisoners we just incarcerate them At the end I wondered if employers have a legal right to know the criminal background of an applicant? If you did the crime and paid with your time why are you punished for the rest of your working age? This leaves people just resorting to crime in order to survive What do you think?

  2. Petra-X Petra-X says:

    So far the book is all about officer training and being new on the job and is all we did this we were told that these are the rules you are prisoners of the system but not prisoners of the lock up Maybe as the gonzo journalist author of this book gets further into his temporary career there will be revelations of prison and insights into the life of the prisoners from the side of the guards So far there have been none

  3. Larry Bassett Larry Bassett says:

    I like books where the author immerses him or herself in a situation and then writes from his or her own experience Barbara Ehrenreich has done this for several of her books After my mother was sentenced to jail for civil disobedience she has a much better understanding of who is in our jails and why This was knowledge that she might have been able to get from reading a book but having the experience was so much powerful Ted Conover writes as an outsider who chose to spend some time as an insider The results are fascinating I thinkTed Conover wanted to research a story about being a prison guard He claims they would rather be called corrections officers But they wouldn’t let him have direct access So he took the civil service exam and got a job as a corrections officer He did that for a year He took a lot of notes He wrote this book It is not just about his time at Sing Sing but a lot about the history of the place that has been a prison since 1826 I am very interested in the issue about how prisoners should be treated We hear that they are not nice people and that seems to excuse us from treating them with much consideration Newjack is about how those who are in charge of the daily operation of prison system the guards are trained and learn to treat the prisoners The author admits that some forms of treatment that he would have considered inappropriate when he started come to seem necessary after he had been there a while What kind of people do guards start out being and what do they become over time as they experience prison life as the keeper? My own experience being a welfare worker at several times in my work life colors my view of this hardening process People who are “just doing their job” can treat their fellow human beings uite badly Take a “normal” person and make him a welfare worker or a prison guard and what do you wind up with? The peer pressure of coworkers in these dehumanizing institutions to treat clients badly is great In my last welfare job we were told to treat clients as customers But we were not told that the customer is always right Is a convicted felon a customer of the penal system? What kind of service do they deserve both morally and legally? Given the high number of people I was expected to handle as a welfare caseworker I found it impossible to consistently treat people with human concern and understanding It was impossible for me not to treat some people badly in the welfare system Like the corrections officer my job was to say No uite often You didn’t have to be flaying an inmate’s back with a cat o’ nine tails to be wounded by the job That was simply it’s nature a feature of prison work as enduring as Sing Sing’s cell block design “In its application the familiarity it causes with suffering destroys in the breast of the officer all sympathetic feeling”To do this job well you had to be fearless know how to talk to people have thick skin and a high tolerance for stress Ted Conover had a degree in anthropology What he did was apply the anthropological research method of participant observation What did he discover? At Attica and Clinton he said inmates didn’t even talk to female officers It was flat out forbidden“And if they do?” I asked knowing that every jailhouse rule was eventually violated Gaines paused and smiled He was a soft spoken gentle tempered man “They get the fucking shit beat out of them” he saidThe possibility no longer bothered me as it once had That's what happened to him It no longer bothered me as it once had A deadened conscience and morality There is the mere shade of difference between the guards and the guarded The point was that anyone could end up inside The black officers I knew especially seemed to feel this – that the difference between straight life and prison life was a very thin one and that sometimes the decision about which side you were on was not yours to make Because of my own experience as a good guy doing bad things Newjack did not shock me Why do people become correction officers? For most the answer is simple to earn a living when other options do not exist I first became a welfare worker as a young idealist thinking that I could change the system from within And I think in several situations I did that But the system always scoured away any temporary change This is a four star book in the style of the muckraking books like The Jungle Ted Conover was able to shine a little light on the penal system from the point of view of the guards But he always knew that he was going to escape at the end of a year It was still oppressive but it is much easier to describe the system than to change it And he had other choices of what to do with his life This was just a short side trip

  4. Elliot Ratzman Elliot Ratzman says:

    Prison memoirs by prisoners are plentiful shocking and tragically predictable; few have narrated the working life of prison guards doing a “life sentence eight hours at a time” I read 45 of this excellent book in a day—I highly recommend it The author Ted Connover goes through the process of becoming a Corrections Officer in the NY state system After a few months of hellish basic training he is thrown “into the deep end” working in Sing Sing prison Need I say it’s like one big Zimbardo experiment? Conover writes with an anthropologist’s eye describing the social arrangements the moral compromises and the banality of prison guarding evil—including his own The line between inmate and CO is of course blurred—prison traumatizes both Along with some penology and history especially in the New York system we are treated to one unforgettable story character sketch wise observation after another Make sure to get the paperback version which has an indispensible afterwards

  5. Brendan Brendan says:

    Much much than participant journalism Conover's ambitious yearlong journey at Sing Sing as a corrections officer don't call him a prison guard produced this nonfiction masterpiece Over the course of NEWJACK prison slang for officer trainee the reader sees Conover undergo many transitions from excited trainee to disillusioned officer from hardass guard to sympathetic friend of the inmates Also playing historian and anthropologist Conover steps back from his personal experience to offer a timeline of both modern corrections practices and a history of Sing Sing Although this journey is ultimately unpleasant this book will change you

  6. Mike Mike says:

    Ted Conover has the crazy idea of working undercover in Sing Sing for a year This is every bit as scary as it sounds and without being sensationalistic he shows why being a prison guard is one of the worst jobs imaginable Conover has compassion for both the prisoners and the guards without losing his objectivity or coming off as a bleeding heart In addition to being a great piece of investigative journalism the book gives you a harrowing account of Sing Sing's history You discover that just a hundred years ago this place made Abu Ghraib look like The Four Seasons

  7. Jim Jim says:

    This is an interesting book about life inside prison by one of America's most innovative authorsjournalistsConover made numerous reuests of corrections authorities to visit Sing Sing one of New York state's and America's most notorious prisons He was denied time and time again any opportunity to visit or interview inmates officers etc Conover unlike most writers who would have given up and picked a new topic applies for admission to New York's correctional officer training academy and is selected to go through the two month training He is eventually assigned to Sing SingThe book covers the nearly one year that Conover served as a corrections officer at Sing SingIt' s an honest look at incarceration in America our nation's burgeoning prison industrial complex and how life in a prison whether an inmate or as an employees alters your perception and who you are as a personI'll share with you that I once worked at a medium security prison in Westville Indiana for four years as a med tech and it changed how I view prisons Sadly we keep building them locking people up needlessly and in many parts of the country prison building constitutes economic developmentA first rate read

  8. Ensiform Ensiform says:

    The author an anthropologist journalist went through basic training and became a corrections officer in Sing Sing for a year The usually secret world he uncovers – of brutality almost entirely on the inmates’ side of facing danger daily of learning to enforce some rules and let others slide – is fascinating He also makes some fine discoveries about the criminal mind; while he does get chummy with some inmates by the end he finds himself both invigorated and repelled by the violence all around him It seeps into his home life but he also feels exhilarated when there’s a cell extraction for example And he begins to lose his liberal idealism “beating the shit” out of recalcitrant inmate doesn’t bother him as it once didOther than one long misplaced chapter on Sing Sing history and two of its influential wardens semi interesting stuff but fit for a different book or article this is an engrossing feat of undercover journalism into a shadowy world America’s penology system needs a clear eyed and sympathetic look and Conover gives some good indications that the animals might be taking over the zoo

  9. Darcia Helle Darcia Helle says:

    I want to start by saying I have immense respect for Ted Conover When our prison system denied his reuest to shadow a corrections officer recruit he sidestepped the system and applied for the position himself His commitment to the job in order to bring us the story is commendableNewjack is an honest straightforward look at life inside a prison from the viewpoint of a corrections officer While I read a lot on this topic most books come from the inmate's perspective I was shocked to learn how little training these men receive They go from a short 7 weeks at school straight to prison work having had absolutely no prior contact or training directly with inmates These men and women who risk their lives each day are woefully unprepared for the reality inside those walls This book is a scary sad sometimes funny look at that realityI've long believed our prison system is a mess and only reinforces negative behavior If you doubt that at all you need to read this book

  10. Emily Goenner Emily Goenner says:

    Interesting but I have a prison connection at the moment which made it real and relevant Society's prison culture is a topic though that should be of interest to people due to its size growth and the destruction it causes to families of inmates and guards Conover is engaging astute and colorfully describes many of the characters he meets inmates and other guards alike

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