Weeping in the Playtime of Others

America’s Incarcerated Children
Second Edition

Kenneth Wooden
Foreword by Kathleen M. Heide

“If this book disgusts and angers enough to inspire reform, [Kenneth Wooden] will have performed a valuable public service.” —New York Times Book Review

“A shocking investigation into the conditions at detention centers, reform schools—the homes of America’s incarcerated children. A Southern school uses bullwhips and leg irons to keep order, a Florida institution tries for the same thing with the use of mock burials . . . the list is frighteningly endless.” —Chicago Sun-Times

“There have been other accounts of the wretched treatment inflicted on children by the various courts and institutions created to help them, but never one which covered so much geography or revealed so clearly the economic reasons for the failure of attempts to improve the system.” —The Atlantic Monthly

From the summer of 1972 through 1975, Kenneth Wooden visited correctional facilities in thirty states where juveniles between the ages of five and sixteen were being held. During his research  he uncovered an astoundingly high incidence of emotional and physical abuse, torture, and commercial exploitation of the children by their keepers, individuals who received public funds to care for them. After observing the brutal treatment of these youths, a significant number of whom were not criminals but runaways or mentally disabled, Wooden described the conditions in which these children lived in Weeping in the Playtime of Others.

Kenneth Wooden’s investigative reports have appeared on abc News 20/20, cbs 60 Minutes, and nbc News. An active advocate for children, he is founder of Child Lures Prevention, a fifteen-year-old firm dedicated to developing strategies for protecting children from sexual exploitation and abduction. Kathleen M. Heide is a professor of criminology at the University of South Florida.

Aug 2000
Criminal Justice
296 pp.  5 1/2 x 8 1/2

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