Item description for I Cried, You Didn't Listen: A Survivor's Expos of the California Youth Authority by Dwight Edgar Abbott...
"The author's well-written story comes at the reader fast and furiouslyshocking readers into an awareness of the inhumanity of America's juvenile penal institutions."-Publishers Weekly
At age nine, a family tragedy forced Dwight Abbott into the California Youth Authority. This is the chilling chronicle of his life behind bars-a story of brutality and survival, a dark journey showing how the systematic abuse of incarcerated children creates a cycle of criminal behavior that usually ends with prison or death.
Dwight Edgar Abbott, in and out of prison since childhood, is serving multiple life sentences in Salinas Valley State Prison.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.2" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.6" Weight: 0.45 lbs.
Release Date Jul 1, 2006
Publisher AK Press
ISBN 1904859542 ISBN13 9781904859543
Availability 0 units.
More About Dwight Edgar Abbott
Dwight Abbott is currently serving seven life terms at Valley State Prison in Chowchilla, California. He was raised and trained by the California Youth Authority, from the age of nine. This prepared him to continue his adult life in various penal institutions and penitentiaries throughout California and Oregon. Places include: Preston Castle, Paso De Robles, Deules, San Quentin, Folsom, Salinas Valley State Prison, Pelican Bay and many unmentioned. He is a hardened veteran of the Aryan Brotherhood among others. He is now an accomplished author of "I Cried, You Didn't Listen" and "CONSEQUENCE," the aftermath. He presently is showcasing his books and short stories on Ebay and www.DwightAbbott.com. His sole remaining Purpose in this life is to have one more young 'rebel' write him and say that Sonny's book had a part in a change of heart; thus avoiding the Path that Sonny took. Dedicated to: All the children who shared with me the suffering of physical, mental, sexual and emotional brutality. To those very same boys I met again as an adult, while I served time in Soledad, San Quentin, Folsom and in Oregon state and Washington state penitentiaries. To the many I have watched slaughtered on those prisons' yards, and to those who went on to kill - three of whom I wrote to often until they were executed by the state that raised them. To all the incarcerated children, who because of cruel physical beatings, sexual molestations and mental manipulations, become society's outcasts and nonconformists; not because they are bad children but because they have become products of the system. To the children who are - and will be - growing up as I did, filled with shame and guilt, unable to speak with any member of a society that refuses to lift its head from the sands of ignorance and denial. To the future victims of these victims. And to the following men: George Jackson, shot and killed by guards at San Quentin; Billy Cook, murdered at San Quentin; Gary Gilmore, excuted by the state of Utah; Tony Zamore, murdered at San Quentin; Wallace Michael Ford, murdered at Vacaville; Dennis Dimmick, murdered at Vacaville; Jimmy Trembly, murdered at Soledad; Kenny West, shot and killed during a bank robbery; "Joker" Jones, murdered by prison guards at San Quentin; "Wop," murdered by inmates at San Quentin; Jason, poisoned at Oregon State Penitentiary; and to Charles Manson, a friend whose soul was killed by the System. I dedicate this book. - Dwight Abbott
Reviews - What do customers think about I Cried, You Didn't Listen: A Survivor's Expos of the California Youth Authority?
POWERFUL Jun 9, 2007
What a candid book. I read it in one night. I volunteer in Los Angeles County Juvenile Hall. I read this aloud to the wards, 15-16 year old boys. That was last year, some are asking me when am I going to read it again. Some books about incaceration glorify the situation, but Mr. Abbott's account of an innocent childhood to a downhill spiral of abuse and survival really strikes a cord with the reader.
a story that needs to be told! May 17, 2007
this is a great read. though much of it is tought to read through, the material is important and needs to be circulated!
Shocking Apr 15, 2007
The author of this book states that he wrote it while in solitary confinement. It's a trip into his childhood, where he came of age in California's Juvenile system. It takes place throughout his childhood years, beginning with an early stay at age 6 (along with a rape by a counselor). The rest is his teenage years spent trying to survive the brutal system of rape, violence, and sadistic counselors (also known as prison guards).
It's very chilling. I couldn't peel myself away from this book, even though it has graphic descriptions of rapes and brutal fights between gangs of boys not even old enough to shave. The fact that the author even survived that system, which incidentally took place in the 1960s, impresses me. When I was a teenager, a few friends of mine ended up in a juvenile drug rehab center at Horsham, PA, and afterwards they were extremely shaken up. It turned out later they had been raped. Not much has changed in the last 40 years.
Abbott and his companion quickly rise to the top of the ruling prison gang, which he uses to attempt several escapes. Each time, he nearly makes it. It's amazing that he goes for his parents, who are totally excluded from being able to help their boy. He forms a love relationship with his companion which he must hide in order to survive. The counselors maintain the order by daily beatdowns and shake-ups, and when it comes down to it, the boys are treated exactly like adults. The prison system makes people have to fight for their survival almost daily, or be pushed to a fate of worse than death.
It makes the reader wonder why anyone thinks that prisons can reform any person. Trapping someone in a room and punishing them for years with the most sadistic people doesn't seem like a good way to reform anyone. In the end, prison, for adults or kids, really just sweeps the problem of emotional disturbance underneath the carpet. Nowadays, a few million reside in United States prisons, the largest such population in the world (even more than China, which has 5 times the population). We're at a time when the ruling classes think it's better to completely separate millions into boxes than to even give a carrot to oppressed communities.
Dwight Abbott remains in jail today, and he says he wouldn't be there unless the Juvenile Youth Authority had twisted him as a human being to the point where the only place he could exist was in a prison. They destroyed him as a teenager at a critical point in any human being's development. Why? If you want a window into how a person can be destroyed, read this book. At the same time, if you want to see how a person can keep some amount of love and hope for a better day (away from the prison), read this book as well.
Jaw Dropper Feb 9, 2007
I cried, You Didn't Listen was absolutely breath taking. The whole time I wanted to stop reading the horrors, but didnt stop looking at the text the entire way through the book. It placed a new perspective on a lot of things for me and I thank Abbott for such. This is a must read for anybody looking for some perspective on juvenile punishment within the Califonia Youth Authority. It is a tough one though if you have a passion for living beings, especially children.
A Most Important Book Feb 8, 2007
This plain autobiography is written with such directness that it is difficult to doubt the veracity of even the smallest incident. More important, it is difficult to doubt that these incidents (or similar ones) are fairly common place, not just the events of some freakish horror story.
The story is told with great specific purpose, to expose institutions so completely rotten, but one is aware that much is not being told. The author concentrates on what must be said to bear witness to what is wrong institutionally, and does not allow himself long divergences into his own feelings and ideas. The title is a bit ironic; it's about tears shed long ago, and mere personal understanding can no longer change much.
The book speaks clearly to the need for, at very least, massive alterations in the juvenile (and adult) justice system in this country, above and beyond any very small reforms made since this story occurred. Ultimately, one must question our reliance on "professionals" to do our thinking and social organizing for us. Every terrible action detailed in this book, each so obviously misguided and clearly bound to have exactly the opposite effect of it's supposed intention, is a reminder of how we as a people have turned our freedom and control over to institutions that serve only the dictates of cynical and uncaring power, and which operate directly against the interests of individuals and society in general.
Whatever tiny changes have been made in California's juvenile system must be looked at against the fact that America has few (or perhaps no) growing industries other than it's prison system, which cannibalizes the society it purports to serve, and is already a bloated hulk, claiming more far people per capita than that of any other country, two, four, or 10 times as many as any other major nation today.