Strangeways: A Prison Officer’s Story by Neil Samworth #audiobook #nonfiction #bookreview

I am still catching up with reviews from the end of last year. Today’s review is for Strangeway’s: A Prison Officers Story by Neil Samworth. I listened to this from Audible and what a brilliant book it is to listen to.

Neil ‘Sam’ Samworth spent eleven years working as a prison officer in HMP Manchester, aka Strangeways. A tough Yorkshireman with a soft heart, Sam had to deal with it all – gangsters and gangbangers, terrorists and psychopaths, addicts and the mentally ill. Men who should not be locked up and men who should never be let out.

Strangeways is a shocking and at times darkly funny account of life in a high security prison. Sam tackles cell fires and self-harmers, and goes head to head with some of the most dangerous men in the country. He averts a Christmas Day riot after turkey is taken off the menu and replaced by fish curry, and stands up to officers who abuse their position. He describes being attacked by prisoners, and reveals the problems caused by radicalization and the drugs flooding our prisons.

As staffing cuts saw Britain’s prison system descend into crisis, the stress of the job – the suicides, the inhumanity of the system, and one assault too many – left Sam suffering from PTSD. This raw, searingly honest memoir is a testament to the men and women of the prison service and the incredibly difficult job we ask them to do.

MY REVIEW

WOW! I have been listening to this audio version and it is such an amazing book to listen to. The author tells his story as he worked in prisons and especially his time at Strangeways in Manchester as an officer. The narrator is amazing and his voice is perfect for this style of the book.

Samworth tells how he joined the prison service, the roles he had, his upbringing and right the way through until he left. There are some really awful stories and what he has seen and how he has dealt with the many people he has come across. He comes across as a tough bloke, but also fair. He has had some dangerous run-ins with inmates and injuries he has suffered.

He has seen problems with the prison service over the years and he does mention how he has suffered from PTSD, this is something that I imagine is rife among staff in this service. The people they are mixing with are criminals, some are highly aggressive, drug dealers, and gang members, some are psychopaths and then some are just evil. He explains how prisoners use various tactics to incite riots or to get out of their cells.

When I first saw this title I was interested to get a first-hand account of what it is like to work in a high-security prison. I know there are TV shows, but I wanted something a bit more and this book definitely gave me that. A chance to get behind the scenes in a no holds barred style of the book. There are many TV shows and documentaries about prisoners and criminals but there is very little about the officers.

This is a tough book to listen to but my goodness it was addictive. This is one for those who like to learn more about people and their jobs. Tough, gripping, sombre and one I would highly recommend.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

2 thoughts on “Strangeways: A Prison Officer’s Story by Neil Samworth #audiobook #nonfiction #bookreview

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