‘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 has a happy knack of writing about an apparently boring subject in a very interesting way. He describes graphically the day to day life in Bellmarsh prison and the relationship between the prisoners and their officers. How he managed to survive on so little food while he was in Bellmarsh Prison I’ll never know”
“Thank you, Mr. Archer, for this insight. It helped to inform your fans and you have now impressed me even more as this volume brought out your humanity, decency and compassion. I wanted to continue with the sequel right away…”