I Hear Your Cry: Women in Prison
by Veronica A. Shaffer

iUniverse, 2007. ISBN 0-595-40563-0.
Reviewed by Carol Waid
Posted on 05/04/2008

Nonfiction: Life Lessons

Veronica Shaffer's book is an invitation to enter into "...a new world that uses a special language, a world that requires patience for adapting to the ever-changing schedules...," as well as an introduction to the idea that your local animal shelter can be likened to your local prison or jail. It is an accounting of honesty, healing, and hope.

As I read of the author's experiences, I nodded with recognition. I recalled my own trepidation and curiosity as a volunteer first encountering the "new world," where I was greeted by women who, though also trepidatious and curious, welcomed me into the space that many called "home." Turning page after page of Shaffer's book, I vacillated between the litany of emotions that go with the stories of abandonment, violence, and despair, and the joy in celebrating the gift of community, no matter where you are.

I Hear Your Cry is an honest, easy to read, inspirational book. It describes what goes on behind the scenes in women's prisons, raising awareness of the needs that exist within the concrete vaults that house thousands. Shaffer writes of the trials and tribulations faced by volunteers entering this "new world," but also highlights the beauty within. Lastly, she brings attention to the "recidivism that damages not only prisoners but our society." She speaks directly to readers, challenging them to ask themselves if they are willing to volunteer their services. Noting the importance of the first twenty-four hours of freedom after incarceration, she writes, "Wouldn't it be great if new jobs were created that could employ those leaving correctional facilities? Wouldn't rehabilitation be less expensive and more humane than the revolving door?"

I hope you will read this book, and I hope you will sign up to volunteer in your local prison and to help with rehabilitation efforts for their ever-growing population.

Veronica Shaffer is a retired health care professional who resides with her husband in Massachusetts. She continues to trust her inner guidance when facilitating groups in meditation, healing, and creating prosperity. She travels to sacred places around the world, contributing to her personal healing.

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