Reflection on Newjack

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Not the Stereotypical COA Review of: | Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing By: Ted Conover | Curtis Robinson CJ 3312 Prisons In America April 4, 2013 | When you think of a correctional officer, the first thing that comes to mind are movies like The Shawshank Redemption or The Green Mile where the guards are portrayed as sadistic people who pleasure at the pain and angst of the prisoners they guard. If that portrayal is all that you have seen, then what else do you have to go by, right? Well in Ted Conover’s book Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing, he gives another view of correction officers, the real one. Conover attempted to shadow a “newjack” initially to write his book but was denied by New York’s department of corrections. So he applied for the job himself and three years later got the call to start boot camp like training to become a newjack himself. In Newjack, Conover takes us through an overwhelming and shocking journey, that most readers haven’t experienced, into the harsh culture of prison life and the incredibly demanding and abysmal working conditions of a Sing Sing corrections officer. Conover begins by taking us through a grueling description of the training that he had to endure while preparing for his trip to Sing Sing, where most newjacks start their career. He describes it as an almost boot camp like environment similar to the army. The training officers came off as aggressive and as Conover says, “assholes.” The CO training was built to prepare the soon-to –be officers not to become soft while guarding the prison. The trainees are subjected to such things as painful teargas training and brainwashing to prepare them. The military atmosphere is apparent with requirements such as tightly made beds, roll call, flawless uniforms and even shooting practice. Conover likens this to what prisoners must go through every day. Conover’s insight into the process of
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