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Prison Ragout describes Pop's experience as a first-timer, 58 year-old, Ph.D., white guy during seventeen months of incarceration. The book portrays the other inmates, the COs and the psychological impact of the penal system. From county jail Pop is transferred to a classification center. Controlling the tier TV and fear of HIV were the major cultural factors. A medical exam confirms Pop's hypertension and a recent back operation and results in a stipulation that he is to have a bottom bunk and be given a job requiring minimum use of arms and shoulders. Upon returning to the tier the COs tears up the medical stipulation. Pop is assigned to a prison where the medical system 'runs out' of hypertension medication. Pop is given a job on the kitchen cleanup crew; work requiring lots of use of arms and shoulders. Pop changes cellmates four times. One is a "lifer" who is a "jailhouse lawyer." Another filched food from the officer's dining room (with the acquiescence of the COs) and sells it on the tier. A third played the stock market. The fourth was a racist and studying for a GED. Inmates get killed, OD, and commit suicide, but the greatest harm is caused by the inhumane environment. The book shows that violence and brutality can take subtle forms.