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Sweet Hell on Fire: A Memoir of the Prison I…
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Sweet Hell on Fire: A Memoir of the Prison I Worked In and the Prison I… (edition 2012)

by Sara Lunsford

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196537,190 (4.5)None
Member:kraaivrouw
Title:Sweet Hell on Fire: A Memoir of the Prison I Worked In and the Prison I Lived In
Authors:Sara Lunsford
Info:Sourcebooks (2012), Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Your library, 2012
Rating:****
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Sweet Hell on Fire: A Memoir of the Prison I Worked In and the Prison I Lived In by Sara Lunsford

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I found that this book brought back a flood of memories. Like Lunsford, I worked in Corrections, 21 years for the Federal Government. I began my career with them as a Correctional Officer, and worked my way up through the ranks to a long-sought retirement. I was also a second generation law enforcement professional, and also had a legendary father to try to measure up to. I experienced many of situations Lunsford had with inmates, including some that were even worse. I, too, found myself self-medicating with alcohol. It seemed that, other than just swallowing the traumas and keeping them to yourself, the only people you could talk to about them were other Officer's who had the same experiences. And the only way to open up to those people, and get them to open up, was to loosen the inhibitions with alcohol. Even then, one had to be careful not to reveal too much, or risk as being perceived as weak. You surely could not tell your loved ones of the prison realities, as it would have scared them to death. You could seek out mental health professionals, but in my experiences, they really had no answers other than to prescribe med's to help you sleep at night. For me, it took a good friend and mentor dying in a car accident after one such drinking session for me to realize I had to change (God bless you, Leroy!). I learned to seek outlets for the rage building inside me, simple things, like going to a batting cage and pulverizing baseballs until your arms gave out. Over time, as I was promoted out of the trenches, the wounds would scar over. Yet still today I find that, at unexpected times, a news story or incident will cause the memories to rush back, ripping the scars off and exposing the truth of how inhuman people can be. I wish Officer Lunsford all the best in her future, and thank her for so bluntly telling her story of what it is to be a Corrections Officer. I wish this book would be required reading for all who wish to seek out a career in Corrections. ( )
  1Randal | Aug 25, 2014 |
I found that this book brought back a flood of memories. Like Lunsford, I worked in Corrections, 21 years for the Federal Government. I began my career with them as a Correctional Officer, and worked my way up through the ranks to a long-sought retirement. I was also a second generation law enforcement professional, and also had a legendary father to try to measure up to. I experienced many of situations Lunsford had with inmates, including some that were even worse. I, too, found myself self-medicating with alcohol. It seemed that, other than just swallowing the traumas and keeping them to yourself, the only people you could talk to about them were other Officer's who had the same experiences. And the only way to open up to those people, and get them to open up, was to loosen the inhibitions with alcohol. Even then, one had to be careful not to reveal too much, or risk as being perceived as weak. You surely could not tell your loved ones of the prison realities, as it would have scared them to death. You could seek out mental health professionals, but in my experiences, they really had no answers other than to prescribe med's to help you sleep at night. For me, it took a good friend and mentor dying in a car accident after one such drinking session for me to realize I had to change (God bless you, Leroy!). I learned to seek outlets for the rage building inside me, simple things, like going to a batting cage and pulverizing baseballs until your arms gave out. Over time, as I was promoted out of the trenches, the wounds would scar over. Yet still today I find that, at unexpected times, a news story or incident will cause the memories to rush back, ripping the scars off and exposing the truth of how inhuman people can be. I wish Officer Lunsford all the best in her future, and thank her for so bluntly telling her story of what it is to be a Corrections Officer. I wish this book would be required reading for all who wish to seek out a career in Corrections. ( )
  1Randal | Aug 25, 2014 |
I found that this book brought back a flood of memories. Like Lunsford, I worked in Corrections, 21 years for the Federal Government. I began my career with them as a Correctional Officer, and worked my way up through the ranks to a long-sought retirement. I was also a second generation law enforcement professional, and also had a legendary father to try to measure up to. I experienced many of situations Lunsford had with inmates, including some that were even worse. I, too, found myself self-medicating with alcohol. It seemed that, other than just swallowing the traumas and keeping them to yourself, the only people you could talk to about them were other Officer's who had the same experiences. And the only way to open up to those people, and get them to open up, was to loosen the inhibitions with alcohol. Even then, one had to be careful not to reveal too much, or risk as being perceived as weak. You surely could not tell your loved ones of the prison realities, as it would have scared them to death. You could seek out mental health professionals, but in my experiences, they really had no answers other than to prescribe med's to help you sleep at night. For me, it took a good friend and mentor dying in a car accident after one such drinking session for me to realize I had to change (God bless you, Leroy!). I learned to seek outlets for the rage building inside me, simple things, like going to a batting cage and pulverizing baseballs until your arms gave out. Over time, as I was promoted out of the trenches, the wounds would scar over. Yet still today I find that, at unexpected times, a news story or incident will cause the memories to rush back, ripping the scars off and exposing the truth of how inhuman people can be. I wish Officer Lunsford all the best in her future, and thank her for so bluntly telling her story of what it is to be a Corrections Officer. I wish this book would be required reading for all who wish to seek out a career in Corrections. ( )
  1Randal | Aug 25, 2014 |
inspiring ( )
  maryintexas39 | Jul 15, 2014 |
Detailed and gritty!
Look, I know some of you are looking at the description or cover and thinking, "there's no way I'd read that, it's not my tastes." Well, get out of your comfort zone, and read it anyway! There is an amazing story to be heard right here. This lady, Sara, went through hell and back within a year, and not only became a better person, but changed her whole being. She's strong, confident, smart, and you root for her every step of the way. Let me tell you, she doesn't disappoint either.
Sure, some of the stories are tough to read. Yet, you'd sit and watch an episode of C.S.I on the television, so what is the difference? These are real. It is someone's life. The lessons in it are more valuable than learning how to botch a crime scene with Gary Sinise..... anyway, you get my drift.
I love it and think if you gave it a shot, you'd love it too. ( )
  fredamans | Dec 9, 2012 |
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"A gritty, raw, and engrossing voice."-Publishers Weekly I was a bad mother, a bad daughter, a bad wife, a bad friend. Boozed out and tired, with no dreams and no future. But I was a good officer. Sara Lunsford helped cage the worst of the worst, from serial killers to sex criminals. At the end of every day, when she walked out the prison gate, she had to try to shed the horrors she witnessed. But the darkness invaded every part of her life, no matter how much she tried to immerse herself in a liquor bottle. She couldn't hide from the things that hurt her, the things that made her blee… (more)

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