Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Too Young To Die

At the end of DFF: Dead Friends Forever, Kaylee is sent to a boarding school for wayward girls as a plea agreement between her parents and the court. In the second book, newly titled School’s Out 4Ever, she goes through some pretty terrible stuff at the hands of the staff who are not only there to watch over the girls, but enforce strict rules and guidelines. Throughout the story, I wonder (and so does Kaylee) if juvenile hall might not have been a better choice.

Years ago I watched a movie starring Juliette Lewis: Too Young to Die. It’s a fact-based tale of a fifteen year old girl sentence to die. Abused and hooked up with the wrong guy, Billy Canton (played by *Brad Pitt) she ends up murdering a business man who is threatening her. I remember shaking my head at the end of the movie and wondering how this could happen. How could anyone, at any time put a kid to death when the real culprit is the society which allowed these kids to be so adversely affected by life that they would find themselves in these tragic circumstances?

We like to think of ourselves as a country where freedom has the highest value. How is it possible then that one in every 31 adults is in the justice system? Or in Texas, that one in 22 adults are under some form of correctional control? These are questions I find hard to answer.

Julie Garwood, one of my favorite authors, wrote in her book, The Secret: "One whisper added to a thousand others becomes a roar of discontent.”

Maybe this post is my way of whispering my discontent? Wouldn't it be cool if there were enough whispers to make that discontent important? In the mean time, I look forward to seeing how Kaylee survives the dilemma she’s facing now. If you’d like a sneak peek of the new book, the first (intense) chapter is on my blog here: http://www.myspace.com/booksbyjrturner

*Brad Pitt and Juliette Lewis co-starred in another film together. Send me the title at jturner4@charter.net for a chance to win a free book thong!

J.R. Turner is the author of the Extreme Hauntings series. The first book, DFF: Dead Friends Forever is available at Amazon.com, Kindle, Fictionwise, and Echelon Press.com


Mary Cunningham said...

Couldn't agree more, Jenny. Too bad this country has to spend so much building more prisons instead of taking care of the root of the problem.

Great post!


J.R. Turner said...

Thanks so much Cynthia ;)

I discovered recently that in some places, prison guards are paid more than teachers. That's insane to me!


Pam Ripling said...

Juvenile encarceration and even the death penalty are big issues. I have a friend--fellow author--who's taken it upon himself to try to change the minds of people. The stories are chilling on both sides.

Great post today. Can't wait to read the new book!


©DGreer said...

We have so many people in the justice system for one primary reason: Prisons have been privatized, they are looking for new "clients", and the law can be manipulated well enough for them to get more money out of the government coffers. A huge number of people in prison shouldn't be there to begin with. When the government does its job again, the prison populations will drop because it's simply not cost-effective to incarcerate. Studies show that incarceration costs 22times what rehab costs. Those corporations sure know know how to sell an idea and line their pockets, huh! This was a very bad idea, turning over the reins to the for-profit sector.


Mayra Calvani said...

I'm waiting for a review copy of this book. Sounds awesome!

J.R. Turner said...

Great thoughts Pam and Dani! :) Thanks for chiming in. I believe that we can do better by our citizenry than to lock them up at every available opportunity for profit.

I'm glad that teens today can get this information early. Hopefully our combined whispers WILL create that discontent and we can make the world a better place ;)


Martin said...

Wow amazing, I know a kid in the almost exact same sutiation. How did you get the idea with the boarding school Jenny?
Awesome stuff, I'm still reading DEF.


Iris said...

Loved the book, Jenny! And I love the post!