From Oscar Wilde to John McVicar, Jimmy Boyle to Jeffrey Archer and Noel ‘Razor’ Smith, Unlocking The Prison Muse: The inspirations and effects of prisoners’ writing in Britain examines the history, the inspirations and the effects of prisoners’ writing in Britain – on rehabilitation, on wider society, on penal policy and on victims.
The author has interviewed many of the leading prison writers, as well as judges, criminologists, penal reformers and well-known novelists whose work has delved into criminal values. He considers the morality of convicted criminals profiting by writing about their crimes, the inconsistent attitude of the authorities to censorship, and what prisoners’ writing can tell us that reports by government and the media cannot.
At a time when prisons and prisoners are rarely out of the news, Unlocking The Prison Muse is the first book of its kind – a guide to and analysis of a hitherto neglected genre of prisoners’ autobiography, memoir, fiction, poetry and drama. The book will make an excellent addition to any course material in the vast subject of Criminology, and can act as a reference work for course coordinators, students and lecturers. For experts in the field, and for those hoping to expand their knowledge, this is a fascinating book to add to private collections.