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Criminal: How Our Prisons Are Failing Us All

Angela Kirwin

2 Reviews

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An utterly compelling journey inside the broken English prison system by a former prison social care worker.

The most compelling account I've read from the other side of the fence...there are welcome moments of levity' The Times

'Compelling, urgent and devastating. A triumph' The Secret Barrister

'Funny, heart-breaking and utterly authentic' Dr Amanda Brown, author of THE PRISON DOCTOR

"I was what the older generation of prison officers called a 'care bear'. It was my job to work with the prisoners most in danger of falling through the cracks and, if not deliver them safely to the community upon release, fully rehabilitated, then at least stop them from killing themselves or anyone else..."

Come with Angela Kirwin for a journey inside prison like no other. For over a decade she was a social care worker in some of Britain's most notorious prisons.

Now she wants to tell the stories of the men she met, because she believes that prison is failing everyone, damaging the most vulnerable people in our societies, creating habitual criminals, leaving us all less safe and contributing to a society that is immeasurably less humane. Every year, we spend billions of pounds on a system that fundamentally doesn't work.

Rather than a separate world full of people that aren't like us, prison is where the most damaged and vulnerable people in our society end up and we all need to urgently care about that, so we can change it. Because the state of our prisons is criminal.

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Praise for Criminal: How Our Prisons Are Failing Us All

  • A funny, heart-breaking and utterly authentic journey inside prison. Everyone needs to read this book - Dr Amanda Brown, author of THE PRISON DOCTOR

  • Criminal is a beautiful book - honest, necessary, humane, funny and howlingly furious. Kirwin describes the UK's squalid mass incarceration obsession with aching clarity, revealing it for what it is - a mechanism that produces suicide and reoffending, broken minds, broken communities and broken lives. Our prisons are criminal indeed - A.L. Kennedy

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