Reviews

“Different to any other book on prison. Compelling and quite breath-taking in its scope of insights, giving a voice to the only people that really know” – Erwin James.


Val: my mother.
As the ‘little one’ in her story in this book, it was overwhelming and heartbreaking to read. The first page she is on broke me straight away, as the day those people broke into my home was the first day I ever self harmed. I rushed to the living room and I took a piece of the broken glass from the shattered window, and I cut open my wrists. I have struggled with self harm ever since, I was five years old.
The detail in this book is incredible, well written and my mother’s story is spoken with honesty.
What is in this book from the point of view of my mother is merely the tip of the iceberg, we could fill our very own book.
Please take the time to read, this is our life, this is how we lived and survived.
Thank you,
‘The little one.’

A wonderful insight … as a former prison officer of some 20 years I can highly recommend this book. It’s beautifully written and so readable. It’s honest, real and so thought provoking. To hear opinions and feeling from those involved in the justice system, without restraints, is refreshing.A superb read !!!!


I have been devouring the book ever since I received it. I love the way that you have structured the chapters and the insight from the participants is remarkable. I think it should be made compulsory reading for any politician involved in criminal justice – from a prison governor


This is a wonderful book. It explores a complex subject through the perspectives of individuals on all sides of the youth and criminal justice systems by simply letting the perspectives speak for themselves.
What is not written is as important as what is. No easy solution is offered (as none is available) but some definite themes emerge that make it very clear that the cuts, the ‘tough on crime’ and the continued sensationalisation of the media of crime and criminals has done nothing to halt crime, and everything to make it more complex. The devil is in the detail – the seemingly small, but crucial deprivations, indignities, pressures and the use of the entire system as a political football – the lack of investment in staff working in the systems and the impossible tasks they are given ever decreasing amounts of time to work with. But none of this is stated outright, it just emerges. The book rightly throws up many more questions than answers, and does not shy away from presenting very opposing views. Somehow on reading this book, you can empathise with every one of the participants in it, and believe what they see to be true, even when their views are diametrically opposed to each other’s, and sometimes even internally contradictory. Highlighting the complexity of the system, decision making, and human beings in general is the genius of this book. Richard, I love it. Thank you.


I never review anything. But had to put something about this book. Totally different to any other prison book. It’s story’s and experiences on every level. Real eye opener. Brilliant !


Before reading this book I had very little knowledge of the prison system, apart from what I’ve read in the press. It’s very easy to forget and ignore all of the lives it affects. A very well written and thought provoking book. Well worth a read!


Finished the book. It’s a Masterpiece and very thought provoking. Very glad I’ve read it. Thank you for writing it and for the people who shared their experiences – a trainee prison officer.


Cannot believe how well this is written. Impressed. People you need to buy this book !!!


Absolutely amazing book. I was hooked from first page. Fantastic insight to prison life and how the system works. Very very well done Richard W Hardwick – keep up the good work

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