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3 out of 4 stars
Review by Natalie Charlene
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After watching her brother make his way in and out of prison and listening to his stories, Benjamin committed herself to working for the prison system. She devoted herself to volunteering in youth homes and received a proper education, pushing her closer to her dream. However, she was not prepared for what was to come.
From day one to her last day, Benjamin shares what it was like working alongside some of the most evil people she has ever dealt with—prison staff. Jerked around by leadership, bullied by staff, subjected to sexism, and watching favoritism—the things that went on inside the prison were a shock to Benjamin, who had dreamed of making a positive influence with her career choice. The experiences she endured caused such extreme stress that it started manifesting in physical symptoms. Even when she finally had enough and quit, the justice system kept letting her down.
My first reaction to Behind the Walls was that everyone should read it. As a society, we need to know what is truly going on, even if it is hard to swallow, so that we can come together and try to fix the issues. Benjamin shows strength and bravery by opening up about her personal experiences and revealing major problems, not only in the prison system, but also the justice system in general.
I rate Behind the Walls 3 out of 4 stars. This is an important book that forces people to open their eyes to what is going on in correctional facilities. I was shocked to read how terribly some members of staff treated both coworkers and inmates. I will never look at the prison system the same way, and I am glad that my eyes have been opened. While this story is great, the book needs to be thoroughly proofread. Also, at times it is a little vague and confusing. For confidentiality and legal purposes, locations are not given and names are changed, which can make Behind the Walls hard to follow, especially when the same names are given for different characters. However, the issues in no way take away from the story.
I would recommend that everyone reads Behind the Walls by Elizabeth Benjamin. We all should know what is going on in the prison system that is supposed to be keeping society safe.
Behind The Walls
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