Real Prison Real Freedom

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Real Prison Real Freedom by Rosser McDonald is the chilling story of Rickie Smith, one of Texas’s most feared and dangerous inmates. The book focuses not only on Rickie’s criminal life but also on his eventual conversion to Christianity. Exposing the injustice and mistreatment between inmates and prison guards, this book is an eye-opening dive into how the prison system really works. Overall, I found this story incredibly inspiring; Smith shows that hope and light can always be found, even in the bleakest and desolate of situations. Anyone who is interested in accounts of prison life, prison reform, and stories of hope would enjoy this book.

Rickie Smith did not have a childhood of ease. Between his father’s infidelity, constant fighting, and physical and verbal abuse, it’s no wonder Smith fell down a rabbit hole of bad choices. Dropping out of school in the sixth grade did not help Smith’s case; suffering from dyslexia, Rickie was deemed hopeless by his teachers and was beaten by his father for his failures. The only solace Rickie found was with his dog Tippy, hunting and fishing in the woods.

Before long, Rickie gets involved in various burglaries and runs away with his girlfriend to Corpus Christi. The road only goes down from here; living during the height of the hippie movement, the two indulge in copious amounts of drugs and begin dealing to others in their community. Although their relationship does not work out, Rickie easily moves on to other girls, other drugs, and other fights. Between a constant high, sex, alcohol, and fights, Rickie stays busy in his lifestyle of partying and running from the law.

However, Rickie could not run forever. Eventually the charges catch up with him and he lands himself in jail, then prison. Rickie quickly learns that prison officers are rough, and to stay above the water, most inmates join gangs. Because of this, Rickie eventually joins the Aryan Brotherhood, a white supremacist group who live by the slogan “LOVE, LOYALTY, AND RESPECT.”

As his prison sentence continues, Rickie attempts to kill guards on multiple occasions, creates weapons in his cell, and causes hell for everyone on the receiving end of his wrath. Eventually, he lands himself in the most guarded and secure cell in prison for his continued trouble. In this seemingly hopeless place, Rickie finds Jesus.

Truly a story you have to read to grasp, Rickie completely turns his life around into one of love and forgiveness. I highly recommend this book for any who are struggling with acceptance of faith and feeling discouraged in their prayer life. Rickie Smith’s story is truly a testimony to God’s mercy running deeper than any sin.

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Author Rosser McDonald
Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 212 pages
Publisher Elm Hill
Publish Date 19-May-2020
ISBN 9781400330348 Buy this Book
Issue February 2022
Category Mystery, Crime, Thriller