1st Edition

Jail Journeys The English Prison Experience Since 1918

By Philip Priestley Copyright 1989

    Originally published in 1989, Jail Journeys was a contemporary history of the English prison system in the words of those who had endured it as prisoners or who had worked within it. More than 1000 extracts from more than 150 first-hand accounts of life ‘inside’ chronicle the empty routines of the prison day and tell of the loneliness, the despair, the squalor, the fights, the friendships, the sex, the humour. There are also eye-witness accounts of the Dartmoor Mutiny, of hangings and floggings, of escapes, and personal statements by the well-known – James Phelan, Wilfred Macartney, Albert Pierrepoint, Charles Kray, John McVicar, Jimmy Boyle, Alfie Hinds, Lord Alfred Douglas – and by many others less well known. These testimonies, by turn dramatic, literate and naïve, add up to an implicit sociology of the twentieth-century English prison, depicting a divided social structure with ‘screws’ on one side and ‘cons’ on the other.

    The book is aimed at anyone with an interest in social issues and twentieth-century history as well as students of law, history, sociology, criminology, and social administration, and at professionals working in all these fields.

    Acknowledgements.  Prologue: The English Prison: The Nineteenth Century Legacy.  Book One: Into Prison.  Book Two: The Men in Grey.  Book Three: Women in Prison.  Book Four: The Men in Blue.  Book Five: The Prison Experience.  Epilogue: The Twentieth Century.  Bibliography.  Index.


    Philip Priestley