The Prison Doctor
by Dr Amanda Brown
Dr Amanda Brown has treated inmates in the UK’s most infamous prisons – first in young offenders’ institutions, then at the notorious Wormwood Scrubs and finally at Europe’s largest women-only prison in Europe, Bronzefield. From miraculous pregnancies to dirty protests, and from violent attacks on prisoners to heartbreaking acts of self-harm, she has witnessed it all. In this memoir, Amanda reveals the stories, the patients and the cases that have shaped a career helping those most of us would rather forget.
I love watching prison documentaries (and there seem to be so many of them!) but as far as I can remember, I’ve never read anything prison-related before. Having enjoyed the ‘This is Going to Hurt‘, I had a strong feeling that this book would be up my street and I’m glad to say that I wasn’t wrong. ‘The Prison Doctor’ is a non-fictional memoir written by Dr Amanda Brown, covering the twelve years she has been working as a doctor in a number of UK prisons including Wormwood Scrubs.
I really enjoyed following Dr Brown find her place in the prison system, from her anxious expectations through the gritty reality. While covering some tricky subjects, this isn’t a depressing book. It’s full of heart warming, eye opening and funny moments that made this quite an easy read. I was fully engrossed for the couple of hours it took me to finish it and I just couldn’t put it down!
One thing I liked about the book is that it’s not full of waffle, it’s almost like Dr Brown has thought back and just written down her memories, without the need for lengthy description or build up. There were a few cliches and the writing did feel a little weak at times, but as Dr Brown is first and foremost a doctor and not a writer, this didn’t really matter to me. I admire her honesty and am glad she’s help fuel my slightly strange obsession with prisons!
“The day I lose my compassion is the day I will stop working. I’m afraid it will always get to me.”
Overall rating: Written with admirable passion, Dr Amanda Brown’s memoir ‘The Prison Doctor’ was definitely my cup of tea. I really enjoyed reading about the range of situations that she has to deal with on a daily basis – 5 stars!