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Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Readers' Favorite
It is 2003, and Pamela Beasley works for social services as a case manager. Three months later, however, she is charged with health care fraud and laundering. She is then sent to spend time behind bars where she learns how it is to fight for survival on a daily basis, facing lies, secrecy, violence and bullying. However, amidst the daily struggle, she meets new friends including Nega, a dentist’s wife, and finds courage, compassion and sympathy in the middle of a chaotic environment. In a system that hides ills disguised as “federal justice,” she tries to solve her case and to search for the truth. Eventually she will find shocking information that will shed light on her case, a long time after her first day in incarceration.
The book is based on a real incident from the author’s life and her search for the truth, while being a victim of a seemingly effective yet twisted system. More than just a fictionalized recounting of events, it is a story of emancipation, a story of women and equality. Pamela Beasley’s book reveals to us the shocking truth through her own experiences in federal prison, and shows us, up close, just how cruel and alarming situations are, not just behind bars, but in the unfair treatment that women, in general, receive as well. Despite the grim circumstances that the characters find themselves in, the book is one of hope, and of how beautifully it can shine through to give us strength in trying times. "Disempowered" is a compelling story of hope and about about how women know well how to endure the most trying of circumstances.