Winner of a Koestler Platinum Award (judged by author and comedian Will Self). As Frankie Owens writes in The Little Book of Prison (LBP), “Society wants to know about prison life, an interesting place to visit but you wouldn’t want to live there”.
An easy-to-read prison survival guide of do's and don'ts. Perfect for anyone facing trial for an offence that may lead to imprisonment, their families and friends. Packed with humour as well as more serious items. Backed by prisoner support organizations. Straightforward and highly entertaining.
Frankie started writing the LBP from day two of entering prison as a first-time offender. He had no idea how the system or a prison worked. He was clueless about it all and it was hard for him going in and frightening for the family and loved ones he left behind. The writing began as self-help and as the days progressed it occurred to Frankie that the LBP would prove useful to first-time offenders as well as other prisoners and help them get through what is surely one of the most difficult times in their lives. It also motivated him to get out on the prison wing and find out as much as possible about his new home. There are a lot of books about people in prison, people in far worse places than Frankie was and on far longer sentences. But the LBP is a book about prison not people, and will help new inmates, their friends and families get to know what to expect from the system. The LBP is a masterpiece in comic writing but somehow gets through to people with serious information in a way that more formal texts cannot. Already organizations connected to the criminal justice system are beginning to acknowledge that Frankie Owen’s LBP is an ideal read for people facing the trauma of a first prison sentence. It will also be of considerable interest to other prisoners or people working in a custodial setting.
"If people want to know what prison is like it's for them, if people need to know what happens in prison it’s definitely for them".
'Our awards judges don’t give a Platinum Award lightly, and this book is a winner on more than one level. It is a practical and totally frank introduction to real life in the British prison system - probably the best introduction there is. But it is also a wonderfully human narrative and a sharply argued critique - the wit and wisdom of one inmate who turns out to be a born writer. I was gripped from start to finish - roared with laughter one minute, winced with pain the next, and was left wondering why we have prisons at all': Tim Robertson, Chief Executive, The Koestler Trust
'Absolutely hilarious, I'm not sure it'll ever be standard prison issue but maybe it should be! Packed full of witty and wry observations and some extremely pertinent advice. It is well-structured, easy to read and informative. I hope he continues writing as The Little Book of Prison is something that the general public would love to read as well as a guide book for other prisoners': Koestler Award Judges
As featured in The Guardian; in leading prison newspaper Inside Time; in Church Times; on BBC Radio; and around the web, including RSA, The Huffington Post, Sabotage Times.
Frankie Owens was prisoner A1443CA at Her Majesty’s pleasure until 2 August 2011. If he had been given the information gathered in LBP, he thinks that the first weeks inside would have been better and the learning curve not as steep.
'By the end of the book, I felt like Frankie Owens was my cell-mate. His style and execution is either perversely skilful or an absolute fluke, but whatever it is, it is certainly good': Prison Service Journal
Waterside Press Ltd
WATERSIDE PRESS publishes works of interest across the legal system where many of its titles have become staples for practitioners, tutors and librarians. Waterside authors come from a wide range of backgrounds and include for example lawyers, judges, campaigners, ex-prisoners, historians, biographers, criminologists and other experts. We also publish works on aspects of social history and seek to blend readability with excellence, diversity, innovation and integrity. In 2010, Waterside Press published Sir William Garrow: His Life Times and Fight for Justice the contents of which were mirrored in the award-winning BBC TV series 'Garrows Law', leading to other projects touching on popular culture or with links to the media.