Out of Sight, Out of Mind by John Podmore

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Part engaging memoir, part history of how we have got to this point, but always written with humour, pace and well-turned sentences, Out of Sight, Out of Mind not only pinpoints the problems, it offers solutions.
-Guardian

Synopsis

At the heart of his book is his conclusion that prison simply does not work, failing on three fundamental levels. The view of the popular media is that when prisoners are locked up they cannot commit crime. This is not true. Podmore shows how crime actually proliferates in prison, how serious organised crime is allowed to flourish there through bad management, and how the UK's prisons are a multi-million pound investment bank for the black economy. The public sees prison as a deterrent. This book shows that whilst it may deter the white, middle classes, for the majority of those behind bars it is merely a social tax, or as Norman Stanley Fletcher was told in Porridge, 'an occupational hazard'. It shows that for many across the spectrum of social exclusion it is a place of safety and preferable to life on the streets. Also, whatever spin is put on the figures it is clear that the majority of those leaving prison will quickly reoffend. OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND is a remarkable book that seeks to ignite a debate across society about a vital subject we ignore at our peril.
 

About John Podmore

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John Podmore worked in the prison service for twenty-five years and governed three British prisons, most notably HMP Brixton, which he took from being Britain's worst performing prison to being its most improved. He spent three years as an inspector of prisons and has carried out consultancy for the Australian and Mauritian prison services. He has written for a number of publications, including The Guardian and the British Journal of Psychiatry, and also for the Prison Reform Trust.
 
Published January 19, 2012 by Biteback Publishing. 302 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Biographies & Memoirs, Crime. Non-fiction
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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Peter Stanford on Jan 28 2012

Part engaging memoir, part history of how we have got to this point, but always written with humour, pace and well-turned sentences, Out of Sight, Out of Mind not only pinpoints the problems, it offers solutions.

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