Real Prison Real Freedom

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“In 1970, Dr. Beto lamented the fact that nearly three-fourths of his prisoners were from broken homes.” Real Prison Real Freedom by Rosser McDonald details the life of a man who was known as the “‘Most Dangerous Inmate’ of the 40,000 inmates in the Texas Department of Corrections” and his miraculous transformation. Rickie Smith grew up in a home where he experienced abuse and had constant clashes with his father. His teenage years were rife with wild influences and behaviors, like random sex, drugs, and fights. Eventually, his violent, criminal lifestyle led to him serving a term of ten years in Texas prisons. His situation only deteriorated as he got more violent, fought in gang wars, and attacked officers and inmates alike. Was there any hope for Rickie’s salvation?

If you don’t have a strong stomach, you might not be able to finish Real Prison Real Freedom. Rickie’s story is not the type of reality the average person is used to, as it reflects extremely immoral and gory acts. However, it also includes the complete opposite of this: redemption, love, and hope. It took me out of my bubble and showed me how I have no excuse to give up on life and finding peace and happiness, no matter how rough my situation is. Imagine being raised in a way and an environment that conditions you not to care about life—whether your own or another’s.

Real Prison Real Freedom brought to my attention the effects of broken homes and violent communities on children. It exposes the popularity of vices among young adults—who are, mostly, left on their own—and the continuation and propagation of criminal acts in prisons. A major question came to mind: how effective is the United States’ prison system since many people have been known to become even more dangerous in prison?

Rosser McDonald employs a fast-paced approach to narrate Rockie’s story, which covers a few decades of his life and a diverse compilation of themes: abuse, addiction, imprisonment, Christianity, redemption, murder, gang wars, racism, depression, marriage, and more. The book is quite elaborate and thorough as it includes some useful quotes, statistics, historical facts, and information about the Texas prison system and other related phenomena.

I was greatly moved by Rickie’s story! It taught me a great lesson about forgiveness, redemption, and looking after the young in our society. I recommend Real Prison Real Freedom to fans of Christian-themed biographies and readers who wish to be free from whatever activity they desire to let go of. What a poignant and touching experience! It is a book that I will not be forgetting anytime soon.


Reviewed By:

Author Rosser McDonald
Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 212 pages
Publisher Elm Hill
Publish Date 19-May-2020
ISBN 9781400330348
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue February 2022
Category Mystery, Crime & Thriller
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