Book Review for: No Matter How Loud I Shout, by Edward Humes Essay
879 Words4 Pages
Humes, E. (1996). No matter how loud I shout: A year in the life of juvenile court. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks.
Edward Humes is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, non-fiction, and true crime writer. Of his twelve books, five involve the criminal justice system. In this work, Humes takes on the sizeable task of examining the complicated juvenile justice system, chronicling the stories of several juvenile offenders and juvenile justice officials, and how they navigate the confusing and often arbitrary laws of the California juvenile justice system. Humes delivers an informative, eye-opening, and often dispiriting account of what goes on in the halls of America’s juvenile courts and correctional…show more content… This legal loophole is based on the theory that if he had not participated in the robbery, his partner wouldn’t have been shot. Because Geri is over sixteen, his transfer to adult court is certain, where he will face a harsh prison sentence. These cases are just two of many sad and unfair stories featured in this work. Other than the juveniles themselves, the reader will also meet several juvenile court officials. Humes introduces his audience to a frustrated and burnt out juvenile court prosecutor, an intimidating, reform-minded judge who shows his distaste for transferring youths to adult court by simply refusing to do it, even when it is required by law, and a patient juvenile probation officer who manages to find small successes within a job that can sometimes seem futile at best.
The overall sense that the reader gets from this book is that growing caseloads, inadequate facilities, and arbitrary “get-tough” laws are rendering the juvenile justice system in California and elsewhere in America ultimately ineffective. Redeemable kids are sent to adult prisons to “criminal college” to become more hardened and violent instead of being rehabilitated. Extremely violent kids are kept within the juvenile system to be released at twenty-five, based solely on whether they are over or under the age of sixteen. Abandoned or neglected kids are sent to languish within a broken foster care system, to be raised in group homes with deplorable