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The Power of the written word

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Richard W. Hardwick (@RWHardwick) asked me recently if I would consider writing a review for his new book The Truth About Prison in the form of a blog. So here goes.

Reading this book is like listening to myself as Richard writes like I think!

Richard

This is a compilation of journeys of many people within a prison environment with a reoccurring theme, the truth about prisons. Truth can be hard to swallow, it can be hidden, but it’s there if we take the time to find it.

I know that speaking the truth can come at a personal cost.

Truth also hurts. But should we ignore it, should we cover it up? No, certainly not.

Walking into a prison is like opening that door C.S. Lewis wrote about and entering another world. A world without the same rules regulations or expectations. To start with its rather strange, almost intriguing and no day is ever the same. Conversations are limited, people are watching you and waiting for you to make a mistake as you are expected to know the rules, but when they are unwritten how can you? It’s like you walk into someone else’s life

old man in prison

When you start reading this book you open in your mind that wardrobe door. If you have never visited a prison you begin to visualise what really happens, who lives and works there. Most importantly you begin to wonder what are the benefits? What is its purpose? And just Why?

Questioning the stories, the anecdotes, the nitty gritty of prison life changes you. Once you open that door there is no going back. From then on, the reader cannot say “I never knew” as you have just begun to learn and hopefully understand about prison.


5 Comments

  1. When I stood in the doorway of a cell in Leeds, I could only say ‘this is so wrong’. If this space was for pigs or chickens, the animal rights people would be marching to Downing Street, yet we allow this to happen to humans. And yes, I did shed a tear. – And then worked harder at what we are doing to improve the lives of people caught up in this system

  2. Jane Gould says:

    Very true, Faith. This book’s gonna open the wardrobe door to many more people.

  3. Thank you Faith, and for the lovely responses you’ve already sent to me personally about the book. I wonder how many people dare open this door? If they want to peek first, they can read the first three chapters of it, described by Erwin James as “different to any other book on prison, compelling and quite breath-taking”, by going to the website https://thetruthaboutprison.com/

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