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Jailbirds

Lessons from a Women's Prison
Narrated by: Mim Skinner
Length: 6 hrs and 51 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (21 ratings)

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Summary

Darkly funny, heartbreakingly poignant and stark in its revelations about the UK's attitude towards people on the fringes of society and women in general, Jailbirds is this year's book you need to listen to.

Did you know that 48 per cent of the women in prison have committed an offence in order to support the drug use of someone else? That 46 per cent of women in prison report having attempted suicide once in their lifetime? Or that over half of the women in prison have been victims of more serious crimes than the ones they've been convicted of? But this isn't a book about statistics. 

It's a book about the individual stories of women caught up in our creaking and under-resourced prison system. Women who commit crimes in order get a roof over their head, who star in prison pantomimes and who deal drugs with Apprentice-style entrepreneurship. It's about those who won their battles with addiction or mental health, and those that didn't. About those who will never come back to prison, and those for whom it's the only safe space they've ever known.  

Headlines and news reports of prison leave us with a boiled-down narrative of goodies and baddies - violent offenders, neglectful mothers and incurable psychopaths if you read one paper, or cruel officers, the evil establishment and sexist judges if you read another. But, very rarely, just humans. 

When I started working in prisons, part of me expected to find this pantomime cast of characters. Instead I met wonderful, funny, brave and resilient people with complicated stories - on both sides of the bars. Come inside with me and meet them.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio on our Desktop Site.

©2019 Mim Skinner (P)2019 Orion Publishing Group

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Eye-opening insight into women in prison

This is such a powerful book, based on the experiences that Mim Skinner had whilst working in a women’s prison - getting behind the statistics to tell the stories of individual women with humour and dignity. I was moved alternately to laughter and tears. This is a book which has changed the way I think about the prison system and how it needs reform. Read it and have your own preconceptions challenged!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Everyone should read this book

Thank you so much to Mim for sharing your experiences through this book. I found it eye opening, funny and heart breaking. I have learnt so much from this book and would encourage everyone to read it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Needs a professional narrator

I tried, but the author who narrates this book has the most monotonous, dull, expressionless and emotionless reading voice I've ever heard. Please get a professional narrator so that I can try it again.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful