This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.
This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.
Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
From the Womb to the Tomb - The Tony Lester Story: A Culture of Death in an Arizona Prison by Carl R. Toersbijns is a bold examination of how incarcerated people with mental health issues are treated within the walls of Arizona prisons and exposes a flawed criminal justice system. Toersbijns is an experienced prison professional and consultant for sound correctional practices, and he uses his experience and skills to bring to light the tragic story of Tony Lester, a Native American suffering from mental illness who died in the Tucson Complex. “He was a victim of a culture of negligence concerning mentally ill inmates in the Corrections Department,” as Toersbijns puts it. We follow Lester’s aunt, Patti Jones, as she advocates for better treatment of mentally ill prisoners so that the tragedy of her nephew will not be repeated.
Real-life stories are more tragic and thought-provoking. From the Womb to the Tomb by Carl R. Toersbijns is an investigative and sympathetic look at the way inmates with mental health issues are handled and what makes it an urgent call for immediate reform. What is deplorable is that the administrative officials and psychiatric staff evaluated Lester as a “manipulator” and a “gamer.” He was prescribed to remain on psychotropic medications, yet his prison conditions were not conducive to sustain whatever limited mental competency he had. Cells with no windows, poor lighting, ill-trained staff, property restrictions, and delayed access to medical and mental health care are among the many factors that trigger mentally ill inmates to get worse. Videos on the web attest to the failure to provide Lester with sufficient care when he was found in a dark cell with self-inflicted injuries. May this book serve as the catalyst to reform the criminal justice system. It is a powerful tool to understand the dynamics of Lester’s case and how it can be used as a blueprint for penal reform.