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Screwed [Paperback]

Ronnie Thompson
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)

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Book Description

9 Jun 2011

'My name is Ronnie Thompson. Being a prison officer was something I used to be proud of. I soon realised the truth of what it's like working as a screw, though. It's a fucking headache. Corruption, danger, violence. Welcome to my world.'

Ronnie Thompson was just an ordinary guy. That is, until he became a prison officer. By the time he started work at HMP Romwell, he realised he was actually a nurse, a copper, a probation officer, a carer, a counsellor, a social worker and, of course, an incarcerator all in one. Oh, and a punch bag for the cons and bosses.

In SCREWED, Ronnie tells it like it is. He reveals what really goes on behind bars - the times when force is necessary and used, and when it is unnecessary but still used. He exposes the underworld of bent screws, the drugs they traffic, the firms they work for and what they get paid for their sins. He shows how it is left down to a small group of officers to control an over-flowing prison, keep an eye out for corrupt govenors, and dodge the deluded human rights campaigners. Ultimately, he shows us that being a good screw doesn't always mean sticking to the rules...

Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Headline (9 Jun 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755362659
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755362653
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 276,457 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'A brutal tale that will shock anyone brave enough to read it' (Sun)

'Screwed is a sympathetic and eye-opening account of life behind bars' (London Lite)

'Uncompromisingly forthright... his views cannot be ignored... Of the utmost importance to anyone who wants to really understand what life is like at penal ground zero' (The Times)

Book Description

What really goes on behind bars - the truth about life as a prison officer

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful! 23 Jan 2008
Ronnie Thompsons book 'Screwed' is by no means a pleasant read. His hard hitting style and uncomfortable subject matter ensures this throughout.

The book deals with very intense situations that leaves the reader feeling uncertain of their own perceived moral stance on certain issues and incidents that can take place inside a prison.

Screwed accomplishes what all good books should,it challenges our thinking, inspires open discussion and promotes social comment.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants an insight into an organisation and institution that is often neglected in modern literature.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As I Remember It. 2 July 2008
I am an ex-prison officer. I joined in 1992. I lasted one year, three hundred and sixty one days. I hated it that much, I can remember EXACTLY how long I served! I am fortunate enough now, to have joined Ronnies' first choice of service, the Fire brigade. I worked with young offenders mainly, and almost everything in this book rings true with me. The convicts were treated far better than the staff, I received no back up from the governers after a "nose to nose" on my first day. I was moved off of the wing, not the convict! "It'll take you time to settle in. You don't want to nick someone on your first day"!!!!! This is a first class read, although the swearing seems a bit gratuitous, (it is how people speak in prison), and brings back mostly bad memories. I certainly agree about forging relationships with the convicts. You actually missed some of them when they were released, or moved. You feel like a waiter, or a butler. As I put in my resignation letter, "If I had wanted to become a Redcoat, I would have applied to Butlins". It is my opinion that all the woolly, Liberal idiots who complain about the treatment of convicts, and the harshness of prisons should don a screws uniform and pound the landings for a month. That would change their thinkng. I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone to see what it is REALLY like in HM Prisons. I hope everything is well with Ronnie.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
I was a prison officer in Scotland for over 10 years right through the troubles of the eighties and early nineties, so feel fairly qualified to comment on this book in a "peer review" context.

I actually enjoyed it - though the author is obviously a bit of a "super-screw". Met a few - worked with one or two which was occassionally a bit interesting - but it doesn't mean he doesn't know what he is talking about.
A lot of people have commented on the language, and yep it's really quite offensive at times, but at the end of the day this book is about jails. What he wirtes is basically the way people (staff and cons alike) speak... you're not dealing with peers of the realm here (mostly anyway).

If you can avoid the authors clearly over the top elements (we didn't all fall out of work, into the staff club and then go straight back to work next day for example - guys who did that soon found themselves on a gallery all alone because no-one would work with them) then it is a fairly realistic account of what it is like to work in a modern prison.

The elements he did get absolutely correct were the attitudes and styles of senior management. I could relate to every single incident of mismanagement as meeting my own experiences. Shockingly bad and every potential governor (and each jail usually has 8-10 governors and assistant governors to answer a separate query) should be forced to read this book so they understand what happens on the galleries they themselves will never have to walk.

You get to learn a lot about yourself and other people when its just you and your mate on a landing with 150 prisoners all opened up (we used to run halls of 400+ with 5 staff and a PO - getting stuff done required quick wits, a bit of humour and a lot of balls...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars outstanding! 1 Oct 2008
This is the best book I have read,a true insight to what REALLY goes on in the prison service, once I picked this book up i could not put it down.the author portrays the truth exactly how it is in everyway and has an amazing way of creating the whole atmosphere of what is happening.
I was truely amazed at what I was reading and sad when the book had to end I could of continued reading and reading lets hope the author writes more...A BOOK EVERYONE SHOULD READ.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The hard hitting truth 27 April 2008
I am a fan of true life crime books and thought I would give this book a try.
I'm glad I did as this is one of the best books I've read in recent years.
Hard hitting, shocking and to the point. I felt very connected to the writer and enjoyed every page.
Not an easy read but well worth it.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 2 Aug 2011
By A Customer
Like many of the reviewers, I am an ex prison officer, (I served 22 years,) so I was pleased to see this book, thinking it was about time to hear a prison officers side of the story. There were times throughout the book where I had serious doubts that the author had ever actually served as an officer, and was making it all up. While he does put some vaild points of view forward, I found his style of writing and language really difficult to read. Obviously I am used to hearing swearing and I do swear at times myself, I found the constant use of the F and C words really un necessary and in my opinion, it just made the author sound like a completed and utter moron. He spent far too much of the book bigging himself up, saying how wonderful he was and how good at his job, how everyone thought he was the best etc etc,and how he would "drop" a prisoner, and missed a valuable opportunity to tell the story of the prison officer and what the job is really like. I struggled to finish it to be honest and felt really embarrased on his behalf. A very disappointing read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
Gritty, brutal and violent portrayal of the life of a Prison Officer .

Reading this would be enough to put me off going within a mile of the job ! Read more
Published 2 months ago by Monaco Blue
4.0 out of 5 stars great read
Among one of my favourite books that is easy to read and one I could read again and again! Only downside for me personally is the uses of profanity is rather heavy but that doesn't... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Luke Cooper
1.0 out of 5 stars 99% swear words.
I could not get past the first chapter. The amount of swearing makes it almost unreadable.
The author comes across as an obnoxious, illiterate thug. Read more
Published 2 months ago by dante
1.0 out of 5 stars Sad
A very badly written book by an obviously disaffected prison officer. Much of what he relates is untrue. Read more
Published 5 months ago by crclark1953
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
Had read a book by the same author which I couln't put down. So ordered this as enjoyed his other book so much. Havn't read this one yet. Well packed quick delivery.
Published 9 months ago by snoopy
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic book
Its a short read but a very deep read tht immediate gets u involved in a gripping tale of backstabbing and corruption
Published 13 months ago by Jamie Cottam-howarth
4.0 out of 5 stars Top read
A gripping and enthralling read i found myself unable to put it down at some points, i'm so pleased i got this book.
Published 13 months ago by Darren
5.0 out of 5 stars Screwed
Excellent inside imformation of a prison Warden. Told with no holes barred. A riveting read of how the prison system works. Both brutal and at times sensitive. Read more
Published 24 months ago by Janet king
5.0 out of 5 stars thanks
great fast delivery awsome book could not put it down story line was great want to read more like this is there any thanks.
Published on 8 July 2012 by ebbass
4.0 out of 5 stars Well and truly screwed up!
Overall, I liked this book and it is an entertaining read. You'll get through it really quickly, its an easy read. Read more
Published on 21 Mar 2012 by read more books
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