Sunday, November 17, 2013

Book review: Treasures of Darkness by Trish Jenkins

Treasures of Darkness: A Prison Journey
Trish Jenkins

Publisher: Trish Jenkins (Seasonz Pty. Ltd. Trading as Trish Jenkins)

ISBN: 978-0-646-56039-7

 My Review:

Australian author Trish Jenkins shares her love for the Lord in an entirely accidental prison ministry. I have often wondered whether rehabilitation of persons actually takes place through a prison sentence. Trish’s heartfelt story confirmed much of my opinions.

Caught up in an investment trade operation that went wrong, Trish, who’d been a successful real estate investor, was caught using funs improperly when her partner couldn’t make his payments. It was later determined this partner had been a fraud, and Trish was charged with breaching the (Australian) Corporations Act. Eventually a domino effect and oddly (or Godly?) financial circumstances made it impossible for her to rectify the issue. An eight-month prison sentence was the result.

In the book about her experience, Trish, a Christian, tells the story of her incarceration through letters written and received, her journal entries, and observations after the fact. It’s a real prison journey dealing with other inmates in various settings as well as personnel in the system. I had to go back and read the beginning again after I finished the book, and really commiserated with her: “Each day felt like a week; each week, a month.”

Trish never denied her guilt. Being ignorant or na├»ve was not an excuse for what she’d done, as she learned many stories from other inmates who’d committed crimes that seem rather harmless. Hers was not harmless, and she accepted that. Using her faith to keep herself together, as well as reach out to others, both inmates and staff, became her lifeline. She learned to understand what it was like to live without the privileges she’d become used to “outside.” The emotional and spiritual impact of learning how to “be” after her sentence was wrenching.

Who gains the most from imprisonment? Those who are truly repentant before they go in, and never, ever want to return.

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