Reflection Essay: Cocaine Diaries:

Life in a Venezuelan Prison

Paul Keany made a mistake thousands of individuals around the world make on nearly a daily basis. He decided to smuggle drugs from one country to another. Worse, he was caught smuggling drugs in Venezuela, a nation deep in the heart of the drug smuggling universe, and he was sentenced to serve eight years in Los Teques prison. In The cocaine diaries: A Venezuelan prison nightmare Paul Keany tells his fascinating story about his life in one of Venezuela’s most notorious prisons. His account of his prison experience is very similar to the story Victor Hassine tells in Life without parole: Living and dying in prison today, but there are obvious and distinct differences between the two men’s experiences.

After reading The cocaine diaries: A Venezuelan prison nightmare write a three page essay that addresses the questions and issues described below.

1. Compare and contrast the Los Teques prison with the prisons Victor Hassine served his prison sentence. In what ways are the prisons similar and how are they different? Describe the relationships between the guards and prisoners in the different prisons.

2. Paul Keany shares many stories about his prison experience and some are horrifying and others are fairly humorous. Describe two of those stories and explain why they caught your attention. What if anything did you learn about prisons from Paul Keany’s book that you hadn’t already learned in class. Be specific.
Grading Rubric

All papers must be typed, double-spaced and contain a cover page that contains your name, the course name and section, and the date. Your essay cannot exceed three pages excluding the cover page, and all pages must be numbered and stapled. Papers where the pages are not numbered and stapled will not be accepted no exceptions! Essays that exceed three pages will be penalized (5) five points.

Your paper will be graded according to the following criteria:

A. Did you fully answer each question?
B. Are your ideas and perceptions stated clearly and logically?
C. Is your essay well written? That is, is your essay well organized, clear, critical, and free from spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors? Poorly organized essays that contain excessive spelling and grammatical errors will be penalized by up to (2) two points.
D. Late papers will be penalized 10% of the total points for the assignment.
E. The instructor doesn’t accept assignments via email except when unforeseen and unplanned emergencies arise. The instructor will use his discretion to determine when such circumstances prevail. Planned vacations for weddings or other personal holidays or events do not constitute unforeseen and unplanned emergencies. Students can always turn in their papers early to avoid the late penalty.