Kathrina's Reviews > In the Place of Justice: A Story of Punishment and Deliverance

In the Place of Justice by Wilbert Rideau
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's review
Sep 29, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: lock-up, memoirs-bios
Read from November 03 to 20, 2011

Incredibly detailed account of a man imprisoned at 19 years of age for murdering a white woman in 1961, but developed into a mature, thoughtful and successful journalist within Angola Prison. He made great gains for prison reform and for freeing individuals wrongfully incarcerated. Proof positive that literacy interventions, information resources, and respect for individuals' rights and attitudes of self-worth within the prison system create a better outcome for all, as opposed to a philosophy based on warehousing and retribution. Rideau was unusual in his ability to overcome a huge tide of biased and unjust retribution, and if it weren't for his unique ability to carry on and continue to hope, he would have been another of hundreds of offenders who are forgotten inside the prison complex, serving time until death as unjust punishment, even when rehabilitation has been established. While at times a bit tedious, the details of his work as an award-winning journalist are inspiring. And his perspective of contemporary Southern history, spanning the 1960's through the present day, all from within Angola Prison and various Louisiana jails, provides a unique look at the Civil Rights Movement and its persistent residue.
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