Book review – A Turnkey or Not? Tony Levy

Still available and still selling

Back On The Rock

The memoirs of an English prison warden, pure and simple. The author joined Her Majesty’s Prison Service in 1983 and served for 25 years in a number of establishments before taking early requirement.

The title of the book is interesting in itself. ‘Turnkey’ is an archaic word for jailer, from the days that a prisoner was afforded little or nothing in the way of consideration or care until – if they were lucky, they were freed. Throughout his book the author considers the balance necessary between secure custody of the inmate as required by law and the level of empathy and dignity which makes life bearable for both jailer and jailed.A Turnkey or Not

The story is straightforward. The author’s application to join the Service is only semi-serious as is his attitude to the training period when he is unexpectedly selected. Throughout his career he sees himself as something of a maverick, speaking…

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