An engrossing insider’s look at the effects of the correctional system on the personal growth of a low-level sex offender.

A TORTUOUS PATH

ATONEMENT AND REINVENTION IN A BROKEN SYSTEM

An elite medical professional adjusts to his new life as a convicted sex offender.

In 2014, Pelloski (Trauma, Shame and the Power of Love, 2015), a pediatric oncologist, was convicted of “attempting to view” child pornography and sentenced to a year and a day in a minimum security federal correctional facility. When he arrived at prison, he was humiliated by his public disgrace and emotionally drained by PTSD from multiple episodes of sexual abuse during his early years. On “the other side of the looking glass,” the author met his fellow inmates, men whose experiences were often similar to his—childhood abuse that led them to become sex offenders themselves. Though they were lumped together as “chomos” (child molesters), most were “NP/NC” (nonproduction, noncontact) offenders whose crimes consisted of accessing internet sites that viciously exploited the young. As he adjusted to his new community, forming bonds of friendship with some and learning to avoid others, he developed a deep awareness of his good fortune in having family and friends who stood by him through his ordeal, helping him avoid the suicidal despair that overtook many of his fellow prisoners. After his early release into a halfway house, the author faced the even more daunting task of rebuilding his life on the outside, accepting the end of his career and his marriage, dealing with limited contact with his children, and finding a home and a job while being inescapably branded with the loathsome label of sex offender. Pelloski’s chronicle of his “Atonement and Reinvention” is unflinching and intriguing. He takes responsibility for his actions while maintaining a protective sympathy for his younger self, whose damaged innocence led him to “repeat, reenact, or re-experience his trauma” by watching the violation of children. His otherwise carefully reasoned and emotionally honest account of his experiences is occasionally marred by the use of provocative or offensive terms. He writes of a narcissistic fellow inmate that “he would probably get a hard-on from knowing that I dedicated a whole chapter to him.” In another passage, the author portrays a judge’s attitude toward high-status offenders: “He abused the trust placed in him, so let’s hammer a nail through his scrotum.” In this context, such sexual terms become grating and detract from a thoughtful and informative narrative.

An engrossing insider’s look at the effects of the correctional system on the personal growth of a low-level sex offender.  

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 978-1-72630-331-6

Page Count: 286

Publisher: Time Tunnel Media

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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