As soon as I saw the blurb for this one, I knew it would appeal to me and I found this an educational and very interesting read.
The Diary of a Prison Officer is one of those books that once you pick it up you are pulled in and want to keep reading. I enjoyed the diary format and how you progressed through Amber’s career from when she started at HMP Holloway Prison and met a wonderful selection of people who became friends who she knew had her back when she needed it the most.
A story that is particularly poignant in the current climate and highlights many of the injustices as well as racial prejudices that have taken place throughout the history of both female and African/American prison officers. With HMP Holloway being the largest European Women’s Prison this story packs a real punch as you are reading, it makes you ponder what it means not to be a British White prison officer and what impact does this have on your career and potential. It makes you really stop and reflect as to what life is really like for both the prison officers and the inmates, it highlights the fragile relationships that exist and the destructive behaviours that often to lead to frequent reoffenders.
I like the reflection through Amber’s blog posts and her trip to Africa linking back to her ethnic roots as she meets with different tribes and learns more about the history of Africa. This is a passionate story full of hope and determination with descriptions that are vivid and realistic, pulling on Josie Channer’s experience working at HMP Holloway leaving little to the imagination. This all helps shape the story and increase the lasting effect the story will have on the reader.
A story that I found gritty and enlightening, it’s great to really sink your teeth into a story and with the diary layout I flew through this book and found it captivating from beginning to end.
It’s 2003, Tony Blair is still Prime Minister and a shy loner from London, Amber Campbell, joins the prison service searching for purpose.
Behind the walls of the women’s prison Amber is determined to prove that she has what it takes. She makes a packed with two close friends to support each other no matter what. However, the three Black women struggle when they experience discrimination and disappointment at every turn.
There is rising racial tension in her home town when twelve far right local councillors are elected. Amber reflects on the prison system in her blog and takes an emotional journey off the beaten track through Africa to find love.
Available to purchase here
Meet Josie Channer
Josie worked as a prison officer at Holloway Prison for many years and has a unique and specialist knowledge of how a prison is run.
Josie likes writes about criminal justice system, politics, women’s issues and Black British history. Her work has been published with online political magazines a number of times. She is passionate about addressing the barriers that women of colour face.
You can find Josie on Twitter @JosieChanner
Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation to help with the cover reveal and for all the wonderful books you invite us to read.
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