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Publisher's Summary

Victor Rios grew up in the ghetto of Oakland, California, in the 1980s and '90s. A former gang member and juvenile delinquent, Rios managed to escape the bleak outcome of many of his friends and earned a PhD at Berkeley and returned to his hometown to study how inner-city young Latino and African American boys develop their sense of self in the midst of crime and intense policing. Punished examines the difficult lives of these young men, who now face punitive policies in their schools, communities, and a world where they are constantly policed and stigmatized. 

Rios followed a group of 40 delinquent Black and Latino boys for three years. These boys found themselves in a vicious cycle, caught in a spiral of punishment and incarceration as they were harassed, profiled, watched, and disciplined at young ages, even before they had committed any crimes, eventually leading many of them to fulfill the destiny expected of them. But beyond a fatalistic account of these marginalized young men, Rios finds that the very system that criminalizes them and limits their opportunities sparks resistance and a raised consciousness that motivates some to transform their lives and become productive citizens. 

©2011 New York University (P)2017 Tantor

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

audio goes out in ch 4 at 25:30

audio goes out in ch 4 at 25:30.... says i need more words so here is more words more words

2 people found this helpful

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Powerful Story

The book uncovers so many “truths” in how society deals with today’s youth. By the end of it, you have to ask yourself - what can I do to make “the change?”

1 person found this helpful

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Someone should train the narrator

I enjoyed the book, but the mispronounced words from the narrator drove me crazy. The rapid transit system in the San Francisco Bay Area is called Bart. The narrator spelled it out each time. Also the cities were mispronounced frequently, too. San Ramon and San Leandro were wrong. Maybe someone should have coached the narrator or at least edited it before publication? The author was from the area, so he knew how to pronounce these places correctly.

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it's a true story, as a criminal justice academic

it's a true story, as a criminal justice academic it still is happening daily anywhere within the United States, and around the world

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The story of why WE should do better!

Thank you Victor Rios for writing this book. We should do better by these boys. No child should hear “you won’t succeed” even one time. I will do my part to be part of the Youth Support complex.