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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There was a book written in the late 80's called:
"Screw: The Truth About Walpole State Prison by the Guard Who Lived It"

I have been looking for it in bookstores, but haven't able to find it.
This morning I noticed Amazon has the paperback version on a "Special Order" basis.
So my order was placed right away.

If it comes in, I'll let you guys know in case you want to order it for yourselves.
Something tells me it will be an eye-opener.

The tone of the authors description sounds like everything you boys from the DOC say here everyday. Nothing seems to change huh?
The administration of Massachusetts prisons is incongruous with staff safety and a true sensible approach to punishing violent offenders.

And it could be a great primer to those of us thinking of entering the field.
If any of you have read it already, let us know what you think. I'll do the same if there is interest.

Here is an editorial review and the description by the book author:
Michael A. McLaughlin; Correctional Officer W/ MA DOC (Walpole)


Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal
This is the second book with the same odious title, both of them set in Massachusetts. The first was Tom Ryan's alleged expose of Bridgewater State Hospital (South End Pr., 1982). This one is better written, but both are short on sophisticated analysis of guard management problems. The hero of the present volume is McLaughlin, who was president of the guards' union in the late 1970s. The book is a chronology of how he took on the bureaucrats and improved the prison (only to see it decline again after his departure), with suspenseful material about hostage taking. The book should be of interest only to those associated with Walpole State Prison. Wait for the movie. The rest of us can wait for the movie. -- John Broderick, Stonehill Coll., N. Easton, Mass.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


Book Description
At last! SCREW: The Truth About Walpole State Prison By The Guard Who Lived It, is available in paperback. I have been looking forward to this since the hardback edition sold out. After its original release I talked on nearly 100 radio and television shows nationwide about my experiences at the prison in Massachusetts. I worked as a correctional officer, while heading the guards union that eventually won major reforms. On these programs, callers often made one comment: "This could be our prison."

My Story is not an academic treatment of prison life, although it now serves as a source work in universities and training academies. It's an adventure that actually took place between 1976-1980 in what was then one of the ten most violent prisons in America. Because of my position, each day I went to work, each hour on the job, was like being in a war zone. Each moment my life was on the line amidst inmates who wanted me dead and a prison administration that wanted me gone. During that brief four-year period of my life, sixteen inmates were murdered and literally hundreds of officers and inmates were injured through inmate violence. There were countless riots and disturbances, and an eleven-hour hostage crisis during which the superintendent and five officers faced death.

When I requested a transfer to Walpole State Prison (since renamed MCI Cedar Junction) it was Massachusetts' sole maximum-security prison. At 26 years of age, I had a bright future, for I was about to earn a BS w/honor degree from Northeastern University, and within two years I earned a Master of Public Administration degree. The Commissioner of Correction invited me to transfer from a county system after hearing me speak at a seminar. It didn't take long to recognize why Walpole was so dangerous. Inmates had basically wrested control from the Commissioner and the Walpole administration.

SCREW is the story of how we, my fellow officers and I, fought for and finally won changes. It took a great deal of courage for the officers to stand united during five strikes, four of which were for increased safety, which ultimately made Walpole one of the safest maximum security prisons in the country. There could have been mass firings, for there is no right to strike in the public sector. If the only complaint I hear about the book is that I exaggerated my role, I am a happy guy.

When I arrived at Walpole in the spring of 1976, the word throughout the prison was that I had been sent to spy on the officers by the Commissioner of Correction. I was assigned to the 3-11 shift, during which most of the violence took place, and a short one year later, I was elected president of my local (at age 27). I was outspoken against the new statewide contract which was about to be ratified and held my first news conference at the suggestion of the union members who helped elect me. The senior union officers tried to stop me and even attempted to censure me. And although the contract was ratified, they knew I would not fall in line as so many presidents before me had.

Three weeks after my swearing in, we had our first showdown with manangement. Three weeks later my car mysteriously exploded as I was driving home at high speed. During my two-and-a-half years as president (elected 3 times) we struck five times as we negotiated safety policies which were put in place and still exist today to some extent. There were two organized crime contracts on my life, at least four attempts to take me hostage, and one officer credited me with saving his brother's life during the eleven-hour hostage crisis. My battles with then District Attorney William Delahunt, who is currently a U.S. Congressman, were reported in the newspapers. Not only did he fail to prosecute the inmates who took the hostages, he made several attempts to indict officers for alleged brutality against inmates.

I never intended SCREW to be about Mike McLaughlin, but wanted it to be about life behind prison walls as seen by me. What happened in Walpole could happen in any prison anywhere. At any given moment, any officer or inmate may confront the same dangers, or worse, in any prison. Why is a good question and the answer will not be known until the people learn what is really going on. Only then can true change occur. Remember, 92% or more of all inmates will one day walk free. We should all be concerned about their reintegration into our communities. We should all be concerned with rehabilitation, which all too often takes a back seat to political considerations.

Throughout our country, employees of correctional institutions are prevented from speaking out publicly about life behind the walls. The only news comes from the administration's public relations personnel. They determine what the public should learn, unless acts of violence occur that cannot be kept quiet. I wrote SCREW, with the assistance of my two co-authors, Warren Jamison and Russell Dynda, for the purpose of getting the message out about life behind prison walls.

SCREW was not written to expose those I disagreed with, nor to position myself for a return to prison work. I had resigned from the Department of Correction in April 1980 and was gainfully employed as a Mortgage Originator with a local credit union. I had no ax to grind and I was not seeking anything more than to get my story published. The vast majority of rejections Warren, Russ, and I received stated clearly that a contract would be offered if the story were fiction. I am thankful Warren and Russ agreed with me, for the story is true and rather exciting, if I may say so.

Respectfully submitted,
Michael A. McLaughlin
 

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Koz,

I have been trying to get this book for a while. I had a inmate in my block that was in the book. He denies what was mentioned in the book of coarse, a guy turning up dead minutes after accidently bumping into him. He was also mentioned in the book 6-5. JGH
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
JGH_7223";p="67087 said:
Koz, I have been trying to get this book for a while....
JGH - if Amazon ships it to me, I'll let you know so you can order it for yourself. It is a "Special Order", so I'm not sure if they can get it or not.

I also noticed some "Used" listings for the hardcover version. I might inquire for those as well.

If I'm able to locate a copy, I'll be happy to send it to you after I read it.
I'd also like to find the earlier book written by a Bridgewater officer.

Stay Safe bro; KK
 

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I read the book "Screw". It was not a bad book but some things seemed a little unrealistic to me. For instance the author, I believe his name is Mclaughlin, tells how he would practice jumping from the third tiers to the flats to escape an attack. There is no way that someone can jump from the third tier and land on the flats without beaking an ankle or leg etc. Some parts are very boring talking about union shit. But all in all it was a good book and I was able to appreciate it because I work at Walpole and when he describes the layout of the prison and describes incidents I can picture them happening. New Jack is a good book also.
 

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Kozmo, try the library. I took that book out of my local library a couple of years ago. If your library doesn't have it, and they belong to one of those library networks they can get it from another one. And its a really good book.
 

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ejk55";p="67092 said:
I read the book "Screw". It was not a bad book but some things seemed a little unrealistic to me. For instance the author, I believe his name is Mclaughlin, tells how he would practice jumping from the third tiers to the flats to escape an attack. There is no way that someone can jump from the third tier and land on the flats without beaking an ankle or leg etc. Some parts are very boring talking about union shit. But all in all it was a good book and I was able to appreciate it because I work at Walpole and when he describes the layout of the prison and describes incidents I can picture them happening. New Jack is a good book also.
ejk55,
We had a inmate that was thrown off the third tier at Walpole and landed on his melon and survived. I also know a C.O. that climbed down the back tier to keep from getting shit thrown on him by some moron.JGH
 

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KozmoKramer";p="67088 said:
JGH_7223";p="67087 said:
Koz, I have been trying to get this book for a while....
JGH - if Amazon ships it to me, I'll let you know so you can order it for yourself. It is a "Special Order", so I'm not sure if they can get it or not.

I also noticed some "Used" listings for the hardcover version. I might inquire for those as well.

If I'm able to locate a copy, I'll be happy to send it to you after I read it.
I'd also like to find the earlier book written by a Bridgewater officer.

Stay Safe bro; KK
Koz,
Already ordered.Thanks. The book 6-5 was written by a B-water officer.JGH
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My most recent e-mail from Amazon on my June Order...
"Hello from Amazon.com.
We are sorry to report that we will not be able to obtain the following item from your order:

Michael McLaughlin, et al "Screw: The Truth About Walpole State Prison by the Guard Who Lived It".

Though we had expected to be able to send this item to you, we've since found that it is not available from any of our sources at this time. We realize this is disappointing news to hear, and we apologize for the inconvenience we have caused you. We must also apologize for the length of time it has taken us to reach this conclusion. Until recently, we had still hoped to obtain this item for you. We have cancelled this item from your order."

That sucks, I was looking forward to reading this book.. Oh Well.
BTW: If anyone already has it or happens to get it and would be willing to loan it out or sell it, send me a PM... Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Excellent! I remember seeing the used section of Amazon, but never even gave that a thought after I placed the order for the new version...
Thanks G...
 
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