MizzSandie's Reviews > No Matter How Loud I Shout: A Year in the Life of Juvenile Court

No Matter How Loud I Shout by Edward Humes
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
5670472
's review
Apr 19, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: heartbreaking, interesting, moved-me-deeply, author-love-respect-admiration, well-written, put-life-in-perspective, school-or-work-related
Read from April 19 to June 15, 2012

This book broke my heart.
Photobucket
Over
Photobucket
and over
Photobucket

and over
Photobucket

and....

This is an extremely well-written book, in which Humes manages to show us the humans behind the label 'criminal'. He shows us the inside and the backdrop of their lives, how they rationalise, think, what they want and how they feel, and how they are (and have been) treated by caregivers, society and the system, and finally how the many chance factors that play into how their fate is decided in court. The books aim isnt to relieve the youngsters of the responsibility of their actions, but more to debate the whole way the system works and to pose the central question: 'okay, so we have young people committing crime... now what do we do about it ?' Do we dare take the chance on rehabilitation or do we pursue justice, a (false) sense of security and punishment for the actions comitted? What responsibility does society have for it's citizens, all of them, and the chances it provides them?
The book manages to show us all the different ways these questions can be anwsered, and all the different angles that weigh in on how they are anwsered, making it clear, that this is not an easy topic, for anybody involved. Leaving you to ponder for yourself, where you stand on the matters.
Photobucket
The book shows us how different people in the system, judges, probation officers, attorneys, politicians, a nun and several others think on the matter, based on their experiences. It shows us their frustrations with the system, the hopes they have and the reasons for the actions they take, that sometimes from the outside can seem incomprehensible.

this is an important book because it is a book where many voices, we usually dont get a chance to listen to, is heard.
this is a book, where you are shown how they feel, and you can't help feel with them.
This is a book that leaves you with the feeling that something is not right and that something must be done. The what is up to you to decide.

The only critique I have of this book is that it can sometimes be hard to follow all of the different people playing a part in this book, and that maybe it could have been benefitted from some overarching structure (if there was one, I didnt get it. The chapters seemed not to have any particular order, but be somewhat randomly put together), or at least an explanation of why it was put together the way it was. Also, here and there, there is a little too much 'lawtalk' and beaurocratic formality and institutional history pasages, that I dont think are entirely necessary, and could just as easily be handled (as it also is) to only the most important and central aspects and facts and making them part of the different stories/cases, and leaving out the longer 'fact monolouges'.
That would also make the book less entrenched in the american system only, making it more universal, since I think the problems and debates are important to any one society, because we all most decide how we deal with crime offenders, especially the young ones, who has so much life left in them.
The facts of the system are important, but even so it is the cases and the voices of these people that is the books strongest point and the most compelling read, and the facts would be better told if in direct relevance to the cases at hand.
A small matter (that can be handled by skimming over it, if it doesnt have your interest), that does not take away from the book being both important and so so wellcrafted .
I have much respect for what Edward Humes did here, both as a researcher and as a writer.
Photobucket
11 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read No Matter How Loud I Shout.
Sign In »

Quotes MizzSandie Liked

Edward Humes
“we are waiting and waiting and doing nothing, until it is too late, and they commit crimes so serious that all society wants to do is punish instead of rehabilitate.”
Edward Humes, No Matter How Loud I Shout: A Year in the Life of Juvenile Court

Edward Humes
“Is it always in the interest of the public safety to seek the prosecutor's traditional solution -- the harshest penalty possible? Or is the public best served by finding ways to change a kid's lot in life for the better, even if that means opening the prison door?”
Edward Humes, No Matter How Loud I Shout: A Year in the Life of Juvenile Court

Edward Humes
“These kids are already hard. They don't need to be made harder. The issue is softening them up. They need to learn how to care about life again. They've lost that. That's what we need to give back to them.”
Edward Humes, No Matter How Loud I Shout: A Year in the Life of Juvenile Court
tags: crime, life

Edward Humes
“the fundamental question Juvenile Court was designed to ask - What's the best way to deal with this individual kid? - is often lost in the process, replaced by a point system that opens the door, or locks it, depending on the qualities of the crime, not the child.”
Edward Humes, No Matter How Loud I Shout: A Year in the Life of Juvenile Court

Edward Humes
“Locking everyone up is not the solution,' she sighs, staring into a cup of coffee gone cold as The Box at Juvenile Hall. 'It's just the symptom of the problem. It's the proof that we're doing something wrong.”
Edward Humes, No Matter How Loud I Shout: A Year in the Life of Juvenile Court

Edward Humes
“Take a trip in my mind
see all that I've seen,
and you'd be called a
beast, not a human being...

Fuck it, cause there's
not much I can do,
there's no way out, my
screams have no voice no
matter how loud I shout...

I could be called a
low life, but life ain't
as low as me. I'm
in juvenile hall headed
for the penitentiary.
George Trevino, sixteen, "Who Am I?”
Edward Humes, No Matter How Loud I Shout: A Year in the Life of Juvenile Court

Edward Humes
“It's not like they can take anything from me,' he says later, back with his homeboys in Juvenile Hall. 'Ain't got nothing to give. Nothin' but time, that is. And I been doin' time my whole life, one way or the other.”
Edward Humes, No Matter How Loud I Shout: A Year in the Life of Juvenile Court

Edward Humes
“Officially, he was no longer a victim, he was a criminal”
Edward Humes, No Matter How Loud I Shout: A Year in the Life of Juvenile Court

Edward Humes
“from a child in danger to a dangerous child”
Edward Humes, No Matter How Loud I Shout: A Year in the Life of Juvenile Court

Edward Humes
“He wants to tell her that he is not hopeless, that he is not filled with hatred or violence, that he is not a number, a 300 or 600 or any hundred, but just a kid with no one and nothing, and who would do anything to make it otherwise. Just tell me how, he wants to scream. He wants to tell her what it's like to have the same dream night after night, that he's playing tag with his little sister, laughing, happy - then waking up and not knowing if the image in his head is a dim memory, or just something his mind cooked up to fill the black hole. Do you know what it's like to have no past? he wants to ask. And behind it all, like a ringing in his ears, is the question that really nags at him all the time, the one that has haunted him since he was six years old and his family evaporated. He wants to ask it, then and there and for good: What did I do wrong back then? What did I do to deserve this life?”
Edward Humes, No Matter How Loud I Shout: A Year in the Life of Juvenile Court


Reading Progress

04/19/2012 "This book has won me over. It's interesting, subject wise, sad, disturbing, real and chilling, and at the same time written so beautifully. art and research goes hand in hand. beautiful."
05/13/2012 page 101
25.0% "This book has won me over. It's interesting, subject wise, sad, disturbing, real and chilling, and at the same time written so beautifully. art and research goes hand in hand. beautiful."
05/20/2012 page 115
29.0% "So sad, but so well-written. Well done Humes!

wow.he's good"
06/04/2012 page 225
56.0% ""while they may laugh off fears of dying, the idea of being disabled for life never really occurs to them. They may be criminals, but they are also children, and they are posessed of all the usual childish feelings of invulnerability,""
06/05/2012 page 249
62.0% "Anger, dissappointment, sadness, frustration, disbelief in our world an what it has come to fueled with just a little bit of hope that it can get better, HAS to get better or we are all lost."
06/05/2012 page 260
65.0% "A 2year old gets killed... what insanity is this?! Mad world, stop it, now."
04/06/2016 marked as: read
show 3 hidden updates…

Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Jim (new) - added it

Jim Great review, MizzSandie! I love the thought and care you put into this, and your empathy for the hopes and frustrations of others really comes through in your writing.

I think you will do great work in your career, with your kindness and ability to see situations from many perspectives! I look forward to chats about related issues, and to reading more of your thoughts on them.;)


MizzSandie Jim wrote: "Great review, MizzSandie! I love the thought and care you put into this, and your empathy for the hopes and frustrations of others really comes through in your writing.

I think you will do great w..."


thank you, Jim! :)
I do have a passion for the human species and to do my part in trying to turn this ship around on some areas, and for some of them.

I hope you are right, and I will be able to contribute by making small differences - that's all anyone can hope for, isn't it? :)


message 3: by Jim (new) - added it

Jim MizzSandie wrote: "thank you, Jim! :)
I do have a passion for the human species and to do my part in trying to turn this ship around on some areas, and for some of them.

I hope you are right, and I will be able to contribute by making small differences - that's all anyone can hope for, isn't it? :) ..."


Those are all wonderful goals, MizzSandie, and I can really see your passion for making a difference in all of them. It's a great thing!

You can definitely contribute by making small differences, and those (for me) are a huge part of a life well lived. You can also inspire others with your positive example, and this will be true for your patients/clients and for the professionals/peers around you.

They may not tell you about how you inspired them, but you will hear little things now and then, and you can see it in their eyes. Most people put up a tough defensive exterior, but they also respond to those who inspire them.

Passion and dedication can do wonders, and I think you will see this in your career and life. Don't let the bad things get you too far down, and keep pushing!


MizzSandie Jim wrote: "MizzSandie wrote: "thank you, Jim! :)
I do have a passion for the human species and to do my part in trying to turn this ship around on some areas, and for some of them.

I hope you are right, and ..."


I can only hope to be able to prove all of the things you see in me true in the flicker that is my life :)

There's definately a lot of both passion and dedication in my life.
And a stubborn will to see life as half full, not half empty.
I'm not blind to the dark things life or humanity has to offer, but I will always be looking for the light, that I know is there, somewhere, or coming - light that will push the darkness, even if just a little at first.
My hope is to be part of keeping the world a bright place, maybe helping somebody discover that light in themselves, and in life, along the way.


message 5: by Jim (new) - added it

Jim What a beautiful statement! And a truly marvelous philosophy to carry with you through your life. I firmly believe in all of the points that you made, and you stated them much more clearly and with more eloquence than I could have done for myself.

We both know this from our reading - finding that calm center in yourself, and knowing it is always there for you, are core elements of the happy and productive life. When others see that in you, they begin to find it in themselves. I can see in you that passion to make a difference, and I have seen it in others as they set forth on productive and meaningful careers.

I can also see that we will have many things to talk about in future chats. And I am really looking forward to hearing from you, as you move forward in your journey!


back to top