Brief Naked As A Jailbird Review

Publié par chermoh mohamed on dimanche 24 juin 2018

By Jennifer Graham


Priests are viewed as the representation of what God wants of man towards the poor and less privileged in the society. Richard Shaw in Naked as a Jailbird gives an account of his life as a priest and the lessons it has taught him. He narrates his experiences and expectations of the church and its leaders regarding the treatment of the poor.

The title captures the scenarios perfectly. Naked is the best description one can give of lives of people in prison. The first act involves stripping of their rights to ordinary clothing, freedom and privacy. The environment robs the prisoners of all the dignity that a human being craves. The lack and vulnerability that comes with nakedness is what dominates this narrative.

The book focuses on the lives of people behind bars. Though they are human, there is nothing in them that can cover them. This is why they are regarded as naked. The experiences described are drawn from his time and responsibilities as a prison chaplain. Though he was ordained as an adult, he has a lot of growing up to do based on the experiences he encounters in prison.

The handling of wealth is a concern for Shaw as entered in his book. Richard Shaw contends that churches and persons within the institution should focus less on accumulating wealth and more on getting it to the hands of the needy. In his words, churches and church men should not hold more than 85cents in their accounts. By doing so, they will be stopping the resources from getting to the people who need it the most.

The vow of poverty that priests take should remain as the guiding principle. Amassing wealth means that they can no longer identify with the plight of these poor people. Wealth becomes a distraction. It is upon priests to take on the human side and become easier to relate for the poor in society. The priest will alleviate the lives of poor and needy people in the society.

It is rare to think of lives of prisoners unless you have been on or have a relative or friend incarcerated. The manner of narration, setting and presentation gives you an idea of what the people in prison experience. The narrative is vivid and explicit. It will make it easier to relate with their situation. It gives their lives and thoughts such that if you viewed them as criminals, your perception will change.

Jails are not made of prisoners alone. There are people working in the environment and tasked with keeping it as strict and almost in human as most people know it. Shaw gives an account of the lives and thoughts of these prison warders and the officers who come into contact with them. Read the book to know the impact this system has on their lives.

Richard Shaw tells of the life in prison from the perspective of a religious leader. This is a fast paced and life changing book that will cause you to change your perspective of incarceration. It is also an opportunity to experience what passion can do as exemplified by Shaw in his vocation as a priest. It is an opportunity for all people to use their careers to change the lives of those they interact with.




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