Doing Easy Time: Including a Stretch as Warden of a Coed Prison

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9781587363993: Doing Easy Time: Including a Stretch as Warden of a Coed Prison
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In this personal memoir of his half-century's involvement in the field of corrections, Charles Campbell tells scores of intriguing, heartwarming, instructive stories, some of them hilarious, others very sad. At its heart, the book is a lament over the decline of serious interest in attempting to help offenders in America's tragically overcrowded and burgeoning prison system. Despite all-these pages manage to convey a sense of hope that criminal justice in America is moving in a better direction.

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Much of the melancholy image most people hold about the way prisons were fifty, forty, even as recently as thirty years ago, is accurate, but there was a much stronger counterbalance to the dismal side of imprisonment than there is today. In federal prisons and in the more progressive state systems the importance of human relationships in working with convicted offenders was valued.There was a time when a kind of civility between inmates and staff was observable. During those days now past, while touring starkly traditional prisons, I have had tough old cell-house officers express to me heartfelt concern about the welfare of prisoners in their care.

Within the walls of some of the most foreboding old penitentiaries, there sometimes existed relationships that were very close to affection, between the old lifer, for example, and his boss-man in the plumbing shop. I never considered this kind of thing unusual or surprising.

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Charles Campbell
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