with Tara: Interview with Ted Conover
Author of Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing (II of II)
Introduction to book at: http://talktotara.com/biohistoryandscifi.htm
RealPlayer interview at: http://talktotara.com/conover.ram
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(start interview at about halfway mark on RealPlayer)
maximum security prison
to be oppressed
to get old
to wear one out
the way we're set up
to deal with
not to have a lot of choice
to be forced to
prison guard material
why on earth...?
to show favoritism
hard to resist
out of the ordinary
to bring it up
to flip = to go crazy
'to blank somebody down'
huge physical presence
situations requires it
in common with
to excite some interest
on the subject
was it worth it
to my knowledge
to get away with
to get caught
if you will
to turn someone around
to give lip service to
rehab = rehabilitation
AA = Alcoholics Anonymous
to go in with
to pull off a heist
to fill their brains
frame of mind
to be fascinated by
to be convicted
to put oneself in
to shut one's eyes to
to be diverted from
to have one's hands tied
to put one's mind to it
to be involved with
to draw a dark line
to stay whole
to put people down
out a side of one
to keep s.t. to oneself
to stay healthy
live among us
to cook up a program
at loose ends
there's a ton we could do
in my blood
Listening Comprehension Questions (II):
1. How do a lot of prisoners feel about the justness of their imprisonment?
2. What kind of relationship is there usually between the inmates and guards?
3. Why, according to Conover, can it be harder to work in a women's prison?
4. Doing what can make a guard's job easier in a women's prison, according to Conover?
5. What disgusting thing did the inmate with the nickname of 'Mr. Slurpy' sometimes do?
6. What can happen to an inmate who behaves like this in a New York prison?
7. How did an officer look after a prisoner did the action described in (5) to him?
8. What did one Puerto Rican inmate have tattooed on his back?
9. One inmate felt it was 'too late' for the people already in jail; where should resources go instead?
10. Some transvestites and transsexuals got different treatment than others. Why?
11. What does Conover say about prison rape, based on his experience working at Sing Sing?
12. Why is it difficult for something like rape to take place in a prison like Sing Sing?
13. What does Conover think the 'single best way to keep people from coming back' to a prison is?
14. What does Conover mean when he says 'we're in a punitive frame of mind' in the US at this time?
15. The public seems very interested in trials; but less information is available about what?
16. Explain the metaphors of 'garbage' and 'toxic waste' as cited in this interview.
17. What is the first thing, Conover suggests, that should be done to reform the U. S. penal system? The second?
18. What does Europe seem to do better than the US as regards their penal system?
19. What does Conover mean when he says the job of prison guard is 'soul shrinking'?
20. What unpleasant side effect does the author say his experience brought out in him?
21. The author said he tried to keep unpleasant things to himself and away from his family;
but what did he find out was important in order to maintain his own emotional health?
22. What is the prison system doing right, according to Conover?
23. What happens when young black and Latino men who have spent their 20s and 30s in prison go back into society?
24. About how much does it cost for the government to keep an inmate in jail for a year?
25. What is one of the author's next projects?