Readers’ Comments About Deliberate Indifference
“A highly recommended and engaging novel, Deliberate Indifference is a candid, intelligent work that reveals the private lives, foibles and follies of people employed in a penal system – and what can all too easily happen to the inmates under their jurisdiction.”
- THE MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW, WISCONSIN BOOK WATCH
“. . . Deliberate Indifference is about life and death in a secure facility and the author accurately captures the tension of the prison environment. Readers will recognize the feeling that something could happen at any moment and a situation could arise in which you are about to earn your entire year’s pay in just a few tense and dangerous moments.”
- CORRECTIONS TODAY (read the complete review of Deliberate Indifference)
“The novel, Deliberate Indifference, draws the reader into the realm of a real life tale which reflects the experiences of the author, Dr. Jed Lewis. Lewis practiced as a psychologist in a Midwestern prison system. In the story, Lewis weaves composites of prison life verities in a way that entices the reader to ask, ‘What would I do in such a situation?’
The demands placed upon the story’s protagonist (Dr. Jillian) are multifaceted. On one hand, he must follow the prescriptions of bureaucratic prison protocol. This does not allow him to maintain the primacy of human (prisoner) welfare. On the other hand, he must follow the calling of his profession and provide quality treatment to those he serves. Although the rhetoric of the bureaucratic prison system is to avoid “deliberate indifference” concerning the prisoners’ pathos, it subtly forces those who work in the system to become deft in their indifference (which is quite deliberate).
Glimpses into the personal lives of prisoners, and Jillian’s colleagues, offer a humane quality for the story to which the reader can easily relate. In doing so, the reader gains a sense of why the characters behave as they do.
I read Deliberate Indifference as a metaphor for situations that most of us commonly deal with in regard to the overpowering presence of social or corporate institutions and bureaucracies in our lives. In the 21st Century, one must inevitably make personal decisions about how best to maneuver with immutable, impersonal systems. In other words, how does one maintain convictions and a viable conscience . . . one’s humanity, when struggling with the inhumane? For the sake of survival, how does one acquiesce to the powerful structures in our lives, yet affirm a wholesome balance on the side of self-respect?
The novel, Deliberate Indifference, is going on the reading lists of my Sociology classes.”
- Lance R. Miller, Sociology Instructor, Montcalm Community College, Sidney, MI
“As an ex-con, I read this novel with interest. It seems the author, an ex-prison psychologist, got it right: there is deliberate indifference on the part of the system to deal with those with problems, and the efforts of those who do care are mostly for naught. Recommended for those interested in prison reform, including staff and prisoners, as well as those interested in a good story.”
- A reader from San Francisco, CA
I have just finished Deliberate Indifference. As an educated individual who incidentally practiced psychotherapy privately for over 20 years, I find the book curious. Narratively, it seems to lack vigor and energy, as the book is primarily written as dialogue. On the other hand, the dialogue is well written, often interesting, and actually moves the story forward. The most difficult aspect of the book for me was the way in which it treads a narrow path between social commentary and fiction. As such, neither seem to fare particularly well. Further, within the fictional context, the fragmentation of focus between the lead character and subcharacters that further the social commentary and add color to the narrative often seems to confuse the true direction of the story. For a first novel it is acceptable, and the author may need to decide whether he is writing a good story or a polemical piece that might be better written in the form of articles sent to a local or national newspaper.”
- John McLaughlin