July 28, 2009
. . . We have an epidemic of damaged and literally demoralized young people for whom we have failed to find satisfactory remedies or solutions. Gold’s journal entries present the raw daily life inside the cottages that house these offenders. There are tensions, power struggles, feedback groups and one-on-one discussions. There are snacks and games and suicide attempts. There are classes, confrontations, medications and paperwork. Gold’s assertion that what this state’s system for juvenile offenders does best is “simply to remove these kids from their environment and put them in a place where they [have] a chance to grow up without someone trying to kill them” is feeble comfort, indeed.
. . . I’d suggest that this nonfiction work by Seattle author Jerome Gold, subtitled “Fifteen Years in a Juvenile Facility,” should be read by every adult living in the state of Washington. Something very bad is happening to too many of our children, and we need to know about it. —Barbara McMichael, Kitsap Sun