In this candid account, author Jason Hardy describes what it was like for him to work as a parole/probation officer in crime-ridden New Orleans, with clients among the neediest souls anywhere. He finds that the hardest populations to work with are not the drug abusers or homeless people, but those who are “addicted to the lifestyle” of excitement and easy money made possible through drug dealing or being the girlfriend of a “don”. Through his work Hardy comes to understand how much of a person’s life and available choices are determined by something as arbitrary as the block he or she grows up on.
Hardy offers valuable perspectives crime, prison, and alternatives to incarceration. This book is well worth reading.
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Reviewed by Amy B.