|Deliberate Indifference Excerpts »
Format: Hardcover, 296 pp.
A Novel by Jed Lewis
Imagine that you are a person who cares about your work. You want to do your job well and value your skills and experience. Imagine further that you work for an organization where rules and protocols come first and your bosses pay more attention to the rules than to the quality of service. Maybe you do not need to imagine this situation at all. Maybe you live it every day as a worker in a factory, corporation, school, or government office.
This is the situation faced by Dr. Nate Jillian, a middle-aged and still idealistic psychologist working in a state prison. Anonymously told about the death of a prisoner, he is ordered to conduct a routine investigation to determine the truth of the allegation. What he finds, in the course of his investigation, is a labyrinth of regulations, excuses, and indifference that has resulted in a needless death, a death that awakens Jillian to all the other forms of “deliberate indifference” going on around him. Jillian’s discoveries impact on him emotionally and physically and he must find a way to keep his job and survive within the system.
Dr. Jillian is not the only employee trying to survive within the system. The reader also meets a prison guard, Jesse Callum, and two of Jillian’s bosses, Dr. Elaine Tims, a supervisor of state prison psychologists, and Marla Hanson, Deputy Warden of Jillian’s prison. Each of these people is also trying to cope with the system regulations and do the best job possible; in the process, each one must confront the moral meaning of his/her actions.
Based upon actual events, part psychological drama and part detective story, Deliberate Indifference makes a bold statement about conditions that prevail on an all-too-often basis in contemporary bureaucracies.
The Legal Meaning of the Term “Deliberate Indifference”
“Deliberate Indifference” has a specific legal meaning. It refers to the deliberate disregard of the risk of harm, when there is knowledge that such a possibility exists. Allegations of “deliberate indifference” have triggered lawsuits in the past decade in the following states, among others: Utah, Kentucky, Michigan, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
Deliberate Indifference’s vivid depiction of the workings of a bureaucracy make it an excellent choice for supplemental reading in a course in the following fields: criminal justice, law, and sociology. Educators in these areas are encouraged to request an examination copy of Deliberate Indifference by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.