A Prison Diary is a series of three books of diaries written by Jeffrey Archer during his time in prisons following his convictions for perjury and perverting the course of justice. Each volume is named after the parts of Dante 's The Divine Comedy. The volumes become progressively longer due to his stay being longer and longer at each prison he went to. This book, written under the nom de plume FF , documents Archer's introduction to the prison system. Although Archer spent less than a month there, Belmarsh is described as a real hell-hole. Despite this, many of the inmates are extremely kind to him and regale him with anecdotes, which he duly records.
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A Prison Diary is a series of three books of diaries written by Jeffrey Archer during his time in prisons following his convictions for perjury and perverting the course of justice.
Each volume is named after the parts of Dante 's The Divine Comedy. The volumes become progressively longer due to his stay being longer and longer at each prison he went to.
This book, written under the nom de plume FF , documents Archer's introduction to the prison system. Although Archer spent less than a month there, Belmarsh is described as a real hell-hole. Despite this, many of the inmates are extremely kind to him and regale him with anecdotes, which he duly records. On the other hand, some of the information Archer learns in his three weeks at Belmarsh is extremely disturbing, and he makes great play of imagining that the then Home Secretary , David Blunkett , ought to be reading it and asks for his attention.
Further, it seems there are more heroin addicts coming out of prison than going in. This is because of both random and compulsory checks in which the inmates have discovered cannabis does not leave the system any time soon, but heroin is flushed out of the body in 24 hours providing large quantities of water have been consumed.
They want a drug and this is the one they can obtain. Other inmates he talked with include an experienced Listener for the Samaritans , who had been sexually abused through much of his childhood, existing as a sex-slave , and only knew crime. The very people set up by the institutions to protect him like social workers and magistrates, judges and policemen, let him down, and also paid to abuse him.
The rules are more relaxed, but as the title suggests, boredom is the main enemy for all prisoners, not just Archer. He charts each day in varying levels of detail depending on whether anything of interest happens. His friends and family remain constantly faithful and carry on his appeal case while he is incarcerated.
It was here that he apparently encountered another character inspiring a short story in Cat O'Nine Tales , Maestro. Archer interacted more in this prison with those inmates who could obtain for him goods and services not formally permitted by the authorities, like extra BT phone-cards. He emphasizes how ineffective prison bureaucracy is, especially how the hierarchy works or rather does not work, for example a number of personnel each claiming to be governor.
More privileges, a more relaxed regime and of course, more anecdotes from his time in prison. Archer spent almost a year in this prison and some weeks, once eligible, working in the local theatre. A minor breach of conditions during a home visit resulted in Archer being sent to B-Category HMP Lincoln for 22 days - described in a section of the book subtitled "Back to Hell".
An investigation reversed the decision and he finished his sentence inside D-category HMP Hollesley Bay without opportunity for outside work, summarised in an epilogue. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Not to be confused with Prison Notebooks. This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. Learn how and when to remove these template messages.
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Prose and cons
Added by 19 of our members. Jeffrey Archer was sentenced to four years' imprisonment at Within six hours, Prisoner FF, as he is now known, was on suicide watch in the medical wing of Belmarsh top security prison in south London. This, he discovered, is standard procedure for first-time offenders on their first night in jail.
A Prison Diary, Hell, Volume I
According to an apocryphal story, Picasso was once asked to support a fund dedicated to getting Russian writers out of Soviet prisons. He refused. They write better in prison, he is reported to have said. When Lord Archer published volume one of his prison diary, Belmarsh: Hell , in , the critical consensus was that 'Jeff',as he likes to be known in the slammer, had surpassed himself. That was scarcely a feat of literature, of course, but there's no doubt that Jeff's hour-by-hour account of his first few weeks of detention at Her Majesty's pleasure, much of it in solitary confinement, had the journalistic virtue of being based on first-hand experience. In this respect, Jeff, who takes his writing seriously, owes Mr Justice Potts, who gave him four years for perjury, a big thank you. Jeff never fails to tell his readers how much he loathes Mr Potts, but the judge actually put his prisoner into some fairly select company: writers who have done time, from Daniel Defoe and John Bunyan to Oscar Wilde and PG Wodehouse.
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