Not On My Watch

By Bob Hatrak

and Joan Hatrak

About The Book

Bob Hatrak: The “Scared Straight” Warden

In 1973, Bob Hatrak became the youngest warden of a maximum-security prison in America, Rahway State Prison in Trenton, New Jersey. Not on My Watch is an inspirational story of how one man with a visionary plan became one of the most notable and progressive prison reformers in American history.A pitching phenom in high school, Bob lost his hand in a machine accident and almost lost his spirit-until his tight-knit Trenton community rallied to his side. After college, he thrived as a high school teacher and head basketball coach. He started a career in corrections in 1967, and six years later he assumed the warden’s position at the violent, riot-torn Rahway State Prison. Treating prisoners with respect, he built an international reputation as a reformer.Written by Bob and his wife, Joan, Not on My Watch is a personal, passionate, and eye-opening story, shedding light on one of the great reformation stories of the era. Fans of the documentary and subsequent TV series Scared Straight! will find this memoir equally revealing-and riveting.Bob’s story is personal – a reminder that as a society, we have a long way to travel on the path to justice, equality, and reform.

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EARLY REVIEWS for Not on My Watch

“An engaging, humane glimpse into a 1970s-era prison. The narrative doesn’t shy away from disturbing stories of violent criminals, but it ultimately affirms Bob Hatrak’s belief in the humanity of the incarcerated and the power of second chances” – 5/5 Kirkus

“Quick, engaging… Not on My Watch makes Hatrak’s upbringing as exciting as the [prison] reform stories that follow it…. [a] reminder of the difference dedicated people can make on issues of justice and equality.” – Publishers Weekly/Booklife

“So much is provided here… lively, eye-opening, and worthy of discussion on many different levels.” – Midwest Book Review/D.Donovan

“Hatrak is justifiably famous for his reformation of the New Jersey prison system, he also happens to be a talented writer with a story to tell.” – The US Books of Review

“A memoir that regales the reader with the story of a man who would run one of the more infamous correctional institutions in New Jersey, if not the United States. However, Bob Hatrak’s story does not dwell on the gratuitous or graphic in order to be a fantastic read.” –  Portland Book Review

Not On My Watch packshot

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