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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lighter regime
Finally transferred to an open prison Archer completes 636 remaining days his sentence in a more relaxed regime until he unwittingly breaks the conditions of a home visit. At the insistence of home secretary Blunkett, who seemed to believe tabloid untruths about Archer receiving preferential treatment, he is sent to the harsher regime of Lincoln until after 23 days an...
Published on 30 April 2007 by G. J. Weeks

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Three prisons.
I was very interested to learn about Jeffrey's time in prison but I think three volumes is overdoing it somewhat. Okay, it's a diary but I think volume three was bordering on tedium. I am a big Archer fan and have read most of his books but this one doesn't cut it. I actually stop reading it from time to time and read something else. I WILL finish it but when.....? Sorry...
Published 15 months ago by Smiffies


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lighter regime, 30 April 2007
By 
G. J. Weeks (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Heaven (Prison Diary) (Paperback)
Finally transferred to an open prison Archer completes 636 remaining days his sentence in a more relaxed regime until he unwittingly breaks the conditions of a home visit. At the insistence of home secretary Blunkett, who seemed to believe tabloid untruths about Archer receiving preferential treatment, he is sent to the harsher regime of Lincoln until after 23 days an enquiry shows the prison service at fault.

Archer is shown to have received a far harsher sentence than is normal or his crime. but supposed friends who could have exposed judicial prejudice against him, refused to testify. One finishes these volumes with a lot of respect for Archer and his ability to endure adversity.

One learns you cannot escape from an open prison, only abscond, and some do even when nearing completion of sentence. Another surprise is the number of murdererd qualifying for open prison. Most will have killed family members and are no longer seen as a threat to others.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heaven on Earth...?, 12 Sep 2009
By 
Bert (East Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Heaven (Prison Diary) (Paperback)
This third diary - like the others before - was a definite page turner. The short, sharp entries each day kept my attention and I never knew what was coming next. I have to say that - as someone who visits a Cat C Prison on a regular basis and engages with both Staff and Offenders - Archer has in no way exaggerated the conditions and regulations within our current Penal System.
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Heaven to Hell and Back Again, 18 Nov 2005
By 
Ralph Blumenau (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
In the Open Prison at North Sea Camp, Archer fell on his feet straightaway. One of the prisoners who had helped him so much in Wayland had referred him to similarly helpful prisoner at NSC. This prisoner had the best job at NSC - as hospital orderly. Archer will often stand in for him, but right at the start he had got the second-best job, that of orderly in the Sentence Management Unit, which involved helping the officers with office work (ordering supplies, for example) and seeing the prisoners when they are called to the officers, whether in the course of induction (for instance telling them what work options are available to them) or preparatory to them being called in for some offence. This enabled him to be helpful both to the officers (the first thing he did was to reorganizing drawers, cupboards and notice-boards more efficiently) and to the prisoners; so once again he becomes popular and respected by both sides. He writes (can we believe it?) that hardly any prisoner would swear in front of him (though a woman officer has no such inhibitions), and when refereeing a football-match, he actually penalized one of the players for swearing and got away with it. Though it is an open prison, it still has a contingent of murderers and of drug users. On the one occasion when an inmate promised to beat Archer up, the offender was visited by three heavies (whom Archer did not even know that well) who made him change his mind and apologize.

The question of drugs obsesses Archer. He records every aspect and what the prisoners don't tell him, he reads up. There are frequent random Mandatory Drugs Tests (MDTs), and the more resourceful prisoners told him of the many ingenious ways in which they can fool the testing procedure. Even so, many of them do test positive, for which the penalty can be anything from an extra 28 days being added to their sentence to being shipped out straightaway to the closed prisons at Lincoln or Nottingham. Archer understood the difficulties of someone hooked on drugs; but he was amazed at the sheer stupidity of so many prisoners who commit other offences or unsuccessfully abscond, sometimes only weeks or days before they were due for release, which led to similar punishments.

So it is of course ironical that he himself, after a blameless 435 days, is sent to the notorious prison in Lincoln. Archer was unaware that he had broken any restrictions in his license, and it turned out that his license did not actually include the restriction he was accused of having broken. It appears that David Blunkett, then Home Secretary, had been enraged by yet another press report showing that Archer was receiving preferential treatment, and had ordered the Director- General of the Prison Service to take "immediate and decisive disciplinary action". The whole story is one incident among several he recounts of the miscarriages, if not of justice, certainly of equity and common sense, in many of the sentences that are handed down by the courts. Comparing sentences both within in and outside of prison for similar offences shows how arbitrary the process often is.

One of the most disgusting pictures that emerges from these pages is that of our gutter press. Archer did have a relatively easy time in prison, but the press had an agenda to exaggerate this quite unconscionably. An open prison makes it easy for so-called reporters to gain access to prisoners and even officers who do not scruple, for a consideration, to give the press what they want. The reporters smuggled cameras into the prison so that prisoners could take pictures of Archer or of his cell. They even found a look-alike of Archer whom they filmed on the premises "trying to escape". The man in charge of the film crew claimed to be working for the BBC, but that will surely be just one of the lies that such scum will tell and print without the slightest scruples.

Archer spent 23 days "back in Hell" at Lincoln, before the authorities were sufficiently embarrassed to send him to another open prison (Hollelsley) where he spent the remaining 268 days before his release - just over a third of his total time in prison. He chose not to publish a fourth volume of the diaries he presumably kept during that time: if he had, I would have read it straight after the 1,000 plus rivetting pages of the other three volumes. (See also my review of Vols. I and II)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prison Diary Heaven, 9 Oct 2006
By 
Judith Covert (Abilene. TX) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The last volume of the 'prison diaries' kept me with him the experience and gratification of being in the hospital and trying to help other prisoner showed the more human side of Jeffrey Archer. I like others would have liked a short diary of his confinement in Lincoln Jail. The Home Office and prison system tried to make an example of him, but in the end Jeffrey was able to let others know what he really went through. I have read all his books and look forward to continue reading him.
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, 23 Jan 2006
I very much enjoyed Mr Archers trilogy of prison life. I did feel sorry for him, although I am not sure if that is how he would want the reader to experience. He was, let's face it, hammered at his trial with this sentence. Even if he was guilty, we all try and get away with things, but I guess for who he was he got 4 years. He could spend most of the book defending his corner and slagging everyone off, but his restraint is quite admirable. He concentrates on how prison is for him, and it is to his credit also that after leaving each prison it is after earning the friendship of his fellow inmates, which says allot about the man. I can vouch for how Newspapers just make up stories to sell papers and are so liberal with the truth that the word no longer applies to many of their sotries, And Archer was crucified on the strength of those. I felt sad and ashamed of this country when he was moved from NSC, and I think the writer himself gave up after that. I was thoroughly dissapointed that he discontined his diary at that point because all along I had been hoping for a happy ending and his descriptions of how normal life would be after x amount of time in jail, but In many ways you can understand why he did not want to carry on.
As he was never in Coronation street no one ever started a campaign to get him out of jail, but after reading his diaries I felt that he was an alright bloke, and at the end I felt myself wishing him the best.
This is a fascinating, and sometimes despairing look inside prisons of modern day Britian. I reccomend it, for whatever that is worth.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Three prisons., 26 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Prison Diary 3 (The Prison Diaries) (Kindle Edition)
I was very interested to learn about Jeffrey's time in prison but I think three volumes is overdoing it somewhat. Okay, it's a diary but I think volume three was bordering on tedium. I am a big Archer fan and have read most of his books but this one doesn't cut it. I actually stop reading it from time to time and read something else. I WILL finish it but when.....? Sorry Jeffrey.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Finale?, 11 May 2013
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This review is from: Prison Diary 3 (The Prison Diaries) (Kindle Edition)
I have read all 3 Prison Diaries. It got to me early on in Prison Diary 1 that the daily routine, what he had for breakfast etc., got very repetitive and quite frankly boring.
The book should have ended with more chapters on how Jeffrey adapted to life after prison.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Prison Diary 3, 27 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Prison Diary 3 (The Prison Diaries) (Kindle Edition)
I also read the first two in this series and enjoyed them but, by the time I got into the third, I was bored - too similar to the first two. I love Jeffrey Archer as a writer but this was too repetitive.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heaven Prison Diary, 5 Mar 2012
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This review is from: Heaven (Prison Diary) (Paperback)
An excellent read as were the other prison books by Jeffery Archer. Thoroughly enjoyed it.I look forward to reading more of his books
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prison Diary, 22 Feb 2011
By 
Jean V. Smith (pontypool, Gwent) - See all my reviews
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As usual this will be an excellent book, as is all of Jeffrey Archer's books.
Very pleased with the length of time after ordering, it took to arrive. Will use again.
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