Book

Image by Joe Woods

Criminal 

How Our Prisons Are Failing Us All

We cannot hide the problems of our society behind walls and bars and pretend that we’re safer because we do. It is essential to listen to the stories of these men, look at the truth of our broken system and then strive to make the world a better place. Because right now, the state of our prisons is criminal.

front cover.jfif

 

           I was what the older generation of prison officers called a ‘care bear’ –  one of the few dozen civilian staff inside the prison. I stepped in when a prisoner was falling through the cracks. Too mental for the drugs team, too high for education, too gang affiliated to stay safe in custody. It was my job to work across all the teams and if not deliver him safely to the community upon release fully rehabilitated, then at least stop him from killing himself or anyone else while inside...

This is not the tale of being banged up with Britain's most notorious cons. While I will introduce you to the paedophiles, the murderers, the mad and bad, the stories I want to share are those of the the tens of thousands who languish every year in a system that creates more crime than it solves.

Once you have heard the stories of the real people, the circumstances that brought them inside and the daily battles to support them to stay out after release, you can’t help but realise that prison is not a distant place, over there. It’s not full of people any different from you and me. It’s the place where our most pressing social issues are locked together to fester and grow.

We cannot hide the problems of our society behind walls and bars and pretend that we’re safer because we do. It is essential to listen to the stories of these men, look at the truth of our broken system and then strive to make the world a better place. Because right now, the state of our prisons is criminal.