Roger Caron’s life consisted of a series of incarcerations and escapes from some of Canada’s toughest institutions. His book, Go-Boy! is an interesting read, especially for those pursuing a career within the criminal justice system. He recounts in detail his life of crime from the time he entered it at the age of just sixteen in 1954 until he was thirty-four in 1972. Caron grew up as a rebellious loner in a poor and violent household with little compassion and constant arguments. He seemed destined to be involved in violent criminal acts since he was beaten by his father and brothers as well as community members and the house was raided on several occasions since his father bootlegged alcohol. Starting when he was 16, Caron was consistently incarcerated with brief breaks of freedom which ultimately resulted in robberies and re-arrests. He broke out of jail 13 times and was officially released on five occasions. His time imprisoned was marred with beatings, stabbings, tear-gassing, rape, electric-shock therapy and years spent in solitary confinement. In an interesting note, Caron only had a grade six education and it took him 15 years to write the book.
He begins with the bus ride on the Black Maria on the way to the Ontario Reformatory in Guelph. Here he is to spend the next fourteen months for break and enter. Caron makes friends and slowly learns the how to exist in jail. He he learns that within this system there is no option but to show no weakness. Caron is initially categorized as being a candidate for rehabilitation and moved to a medium security reformatory in Brampton. With the added freedom, his uncontrollable rage and desire to seem tough, he hits another bigger prisoner, and thinks that he has killed him. This prompts his first of many escapes. Although he makes it out (but his friend does not), Caron is eventually captured and returns to Guelph with an added six months to serve.
After his first ten day stint in the cooler with...
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