Author(s): Neil Samworth
Britain's prison system is in crisis. Prisoners catatonic on Spice, prison officers under extreme stress, overcrowding, riots, fatal stabbings - barely a week goes by without disturbing reports reaching the outside world of life inside our jails. For eleven years, Neil Samworth worked as a prison officer in perhaps the most notorious of all prisons, Strangeways, now HM Prison Manchester. He left in 2016 and, having kept a diary for many years, is ready to tell his story. Strangeways: My Life As A Prison Officer is a no-holds-barred account of one man's struggle to keep his professional composure and sanity in one of Britain's toughest jails. From the chaotic, intimidating atmosphere of K wing, which houses more than 200 prisoners spread over three landings, to the healthcare unit where the prison's most mentally disturbed prisoners are held, Neil has seen it all - cell fires, suicides, terrifying violence. He has had to beat back his own emotions as he deals with psychopathic killers and witnessed the worst of human nature but also the best, and some of the most moving passages in the book recall the embattled camaraderie among his colleagues.