The criminal justice book Real Prison Real Freedom (Elm Hill; 2020) by Rosser McDonald tells the chilling story of Rickie Smith, who was said to be the most violent prisoner in the Texas Department of Corrections.
The book takes readers through Rickies broken family background and troubled youth to his life of crime, incarceration at the Texas Department of Corrections (TDC), his chronic prison misbehavior and violence, and conversion to Christianity. Real Prison Real Freedom also exposes the injustice and mistreatment between inmates and prison guards and invokes the questions whether prisons really work and contribute to prison misbehavior.
The book has been well-reviewed by book reviewers who praise the book for its compassionate and compelling storytelling of Rickies life and its focus not only on his troubled life and persistent prison misbehavior but also his spiritual transformation. Writing for Manhattan Book Review, Susan Miller wrote: I think the author provided a compassionate and insightful story of how a man was able to change his life and outlook despite his environment and circumstances.
I found this story incredibly inspiring, wrote Theresa Kadair in a review for the Portland Book Review. Smith shows that hope and light can always be found, even in the bleakest and desolate of situations. Anyone who is interested in accounts of prison life, prison reform, and stories of hope would enjoy this book.
In a review for Seattle Book Review, Foluso Falaye wrote: I was greatly moved by Rickies story! It taught me a great lesson about forgiveness, redemption, and looking after the young in our society.
I recommend Real Prison Real Freedom to fans of Christian-themed biographies and readers who wish to be free from whatever activity they desire to let go of. What a poignant and touching experience! It is a book that I will not be forgetting anytime soon.
Rod Raglins review for San Francisco Book Review touches on Rickies Christian transformation. He wrote: Whether you attribute the transformation of Rickie Smith to accepting Jesus or realizing his life was unbearable and had to change is a matter of personal choice, but there is no denying the gospel was the roadmap to finding his way back to humanity.
His implementation of Christian principles has affected a seismic shift in his life and, in doing so, influenced the faith of many others.
It is an inspirational story of hope that affirms the possibility of transformative change, told with compassion and clear, wrote Edward Sung for IndieReader. McDonald delivers this heartbreaking, often disturbing narrative with journalistic detachment and non-judgmental sympathy, striving to understand both Smith and the prison wardens and officers who are, by turns, his tormentors and saviors.
Purchase a copy of Real Prison Real Freedom by Rosser McDonald on Amazon and the authors website https://www.rossermcdonald.com/.
Real Prison Real Freedom was last exhibited by the self-publishing and book marketing company ReadersMagnet at the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference & Exhibition, held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C.
Real Prison Real Freedom
Author | Rosser McDonald
Published date | June 2020
Publisher | Elm Hill
Book retail price | $12.99
Rosser McDonald is an experienced writer. Sixteen years reporting news on TV in Oklahoma and Texas. Then twenty-eight years as a producer at the Radio and Television Commission, SBC. Twelve of those, Rosser produced and scripted documentaries for use on NBC TV stations. Two brought Emmy Award nominations. He has many Telly Awards (cable TV version of Emmys) and other recognitions. His wife, Glenda, is a life-long musician on piano and organ.
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