Trauma and Abuse in Foster Care: Background information when reading The Buddhist on Death Row

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The Buddhist on Death Row

How One Man Found Light in the Darkest Place

by David Sheff

The Buddhist on Death Row by David Sheff X
The Buddhist on Death Row by David Sheff
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  • First Published:
    Aug 2020, 272 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2021, 272 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Valerie Morales
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About this Book

Trauma and Abuse in Foster Care

This article relates to The Buddhist on Death Row

Jarvis Jay Masters was five years old when he was taken from his overwhelmed mother and placed with foster parents Mamie and Dennis Procks. They bestowed upon him the kind of luxuries middle class children take for granted. He had his own room, his own toys and clean clothes. His sheets were even ironed. More importantly, he wasn't neglected, abused or refused love. But when Mamie Procks became ill and could no longer care for him, he was moved. Again and again and again. While the Procks had extended love and mercy, kindness and laughter, goodness and warmth, his other foster families denied him food and beat him for small infractions. He ended up in juvenile lockup, where he was forced to fight, burned with cigarettes and sadistically whipped.

For children like Masters, who went through nine foster homes and three boys homes, experiences like these are not uncommon. The American foster care system was designed to be a temporary fix for troubled families, but neglect, abuse and a ...

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