A Prison Diary 1 – Hell
‘The sun is shining through the bars of my window on what must be a glorious summer day. I’ve been incarcerated in a cell five paces by three for twelve and a half hours, and will not be let out again until midday; eighteen and a half hours of solitary confinement.’
The first novel in the Prison Diary series.
DAY 5 MONDAY 23 JULY 2001 5.53AM
‘The sun is shining through the bars of my window on what must be a glorious summer day.
I’ve been incarcerated in a cell five paces by three for twelve and a half hours, and will not be let out again until midday; eighteen and a half hours of solitary confinement.
There is a child of seventeen in the cell below me who has been charged with shoplifting – his first offence, not even convicted – and he is being locked up for eighteen and a half hours, unable to speak to anyone. This is Great Britain in the twenty-first century, not Turkey, not Nigeria, not Kosovo, but Britain.’
On Thursday 19 July 2001, after a perjury trial lasting seven weeks, Jeffrey Archer was sentenced to four years in jail. He was to spend the first twenty-two days and fourteen hours in HMP Belmarsh, a double A-Category high-security prison in South London, which houses some of Britain ‘s most violent criminals.
This is the author’s daily record of the time he spent there.
First published in 2002 – Macmillan.
Jeffrey Archer talks about his Prison Diaries.
"It's excellent, I've now read volume two and am about to start the last one in the series, and I'm not disappointed."
"Brilliantly written book. I found it absolutely fascinating. "
"This book was brilliantly written describing daily prison life, the emotion and shock at his sentence, the relationships he built up with fellow prisoners and the empathy shown to certain individuals."
"I love the writing of JA and have read several of his books. This story is clear, concise, frighteningly funny at times and horrifically sad at others. Brilliant storytelling."
"When I finished this book I immediately bought the next one, which follows on. I shall also buy the third one. "
"This is an illuminating insight into prison life and well worth reading."
"Thank you, Mr. Archer, for this insight. I wanted to continue with the sequel right away..."
"Jeffrey Archer has a happy knack of writing about an apparently boring subject in a very interesting way."