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In March 1975, Brook Carey was selected from among three hundred applicants to serve as warden of the California Institution for Women even though she had no background in Corrections. She was handed a ring of keys and a paperback copy of Helter Skelter, the story of Charles Manson. Nobody told her that the plan was for her to be a figurehead while her subordinates ran the prison behind her back.

So begins the improbable-but true-story, told by Carey herself, of an outsider's tumultuous year inside the hidden world of California's women's correctional system. Her scant orientation scarcely prepared her for the challenges: an inadequate budget, a stifling bureaucracy, a riot threat, and, oh yes, the Manson Family. It just so happened that Carey's new workplace was home to the "Manson girls," and the determined followers of Manson took delight in making death threats to wardens who incarcerated Manson "Family" members.

Against the odds, Carey used creativity and courage as she confronted a dangerous and daunting environment, making essential improvements for inmates and meeting personally with Charles Manson at San Quentin. The Accidental Warden is both an astonishing tale of one woman rising to the occasion and an extraordinary look into the mysterious micro-society of a women's prison.

  • ISBN13: 9780595719679
  • Publisher: iUniverse
  • Pubilcation Year: 2008
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Pages: 00140
Publication DateApril 8, 2008
Primary CategoryBiography & Autobiography/Personal Memoirs

The Accidental Warden

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